Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is one funny little dude. The name says it all: these dogs are small, squat, shaggy imports from the Vendeen region of France. Although their name may bring dopey Basset Hounds to mind, these Bassets have a touch more terrier mentality. They make happy-go-lucky companions that are particularly good with kids. Read on to learn more about the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen.

Description of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

This breed has a very distinctive look about them. Long and low to the ground like a traditional Basset, the PBGV is covered in a harsh, almost wiry coat. What it lacks in softness it makes up for in practicality. This breed’s hair can protect them from even the harshest conditions. It also comes in many colors including black, grey, grizzle, and lemon mixed with white.

This dog was developed to hunt rabbits in France. They’re surprisingly agile for dogs with stubby little legs. Their squat and sturdy anatomy made them perfect hunting companions. The Petit Basset has friendly eyes and a distinctive little trot that gives away his jovial personality.

Life Expectancy and Size

These dogs are nothing if not sturdy. They stand just over a foot tall, generally ranging from 13 to 15 inches. However, they can weigh between 25 and 40 pounds! That’s a lot of weight for so little height.

The PBGV does have some health problems, but the don’t usually stop these dogs from living long lives. Their life expectancy is between 14 and 16 years.

Protective Ability

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is indeed a hound, and these dogs have the bark to prove it. They may alert you to the slightest with their deep, bellowing howl. However, they won’t do much more than that. These dogs are friendly and don’t have much interest in protecting anyone.


This breed was trained to hunt. That means that they are capable learners, but also extremely driven by smell. They’re taught to look for new and exciting things and even to track them down.

In order to keep the Petit Basset’s attention on you, it’s important to make training sessions fun. Teach this opinionated dog why it is in his best interest to listen to you. Treats can be a great way to make this point, but make sure to feed in moderation and pair with exercise. This breed can easily become overweight.

If you decide to take advantage of the PBGV’s skills, consider hunting or search and rescue. These dogs have great noses, and are perfectly capable of putting them to good use.

Energy Level

Despite his funny looks, the Petit Basset was still bred to hunt. These dogs are very curious, and always ready for new adventures. Although they don’t mind their fair share of lazy days, this dog is not for owners that just want snuggle. There are simply too many exciting smells to stay indoors all day.

What Living with a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is Like

These dogs make amusing and light-hearted companions. Friendly with everyone, they particularly love their families. Indeed, they’re great with kids too!

Make sure to socialize puppies at a young age. The PBGV was bred to work in packs, so with proper introduction they should have no trouble getting along with other family pets or even strange dogs.

The Petit Basset requires regular exercise. They’re active and alert, but aren’t all-out athletes. These low-slung hunters may not be able to keep up with the speed or endurance of the most active owners, but they can certainly try!

Care of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

These are adaptable dogs that can fit into many homes. It is most important that owners give them adequate time to explore.

Environmental Needs

The PBGV’s coat is specially adapted to keep them safe while hunting. They can slide right under bushes and brambles. This coat also does a fairly good job at keeping them warm. Most of these dogs have no trouble in winter.

Exercise Needs

These dogs love being outside. If you let them, they’ll rustle around in the woods for hours sniffing out all their potential prey. Walks can be a great way to exercise the PBGV, as long as you don’t mind adding plenty of time for extra stops. These dogs can also be good companions for hikes and jogs.

This breed cannot be simply turned loose in the yard and expected to exercise, though. They’ll likely just sniff around idly. If you show interest, they will happily play games and go all-in for hours.

Shedding and Grooming

Despite their harsh coat, these dogs should still be brushed at least once a week. Baths don’t need to be as frequent. However, these explorers are likely to become smelly every once in awhile.

Some owners clip the PBGV every few months to keep their coats more manageable. These dogs do shed, but not profusely.

Ideal Home Environment

This breed is a great choice for families. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is good with other dogs and even better with children. Ideally, they should have some access to the outdoors each day. However, that can be in a yard or on a leash. These dogs are playful and have moderate exercise needs that should suit most active families.

Health Concerns

The PBGV has a long back and short legs, which can cause some issues. Some individuals develop neck, back, or knee pain. Keeping these dogs fit is the best way to help their joints.

Other areas of concern are the heart and eyes.

Behavior Problems

Sometimes, the Petit Basset’s hunting nature just takes over. They may bark or chase small prey. Obedience training is the best line of defense. Show them why it’s more exciting to behave than bolt after the nearest chipmunk.