Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Table of Contents

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, affectionately known as the PBGV, is a small, robust hound breed known for its distinctive appearance and lively character. Originating from the Vendée region of France, this breed was primarily developed for hunting small game through dense underbrush, a task reflected in their sturdy build and tenacious spirit. They typically stand 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder and feature a rough, shaggy double coat, which comes in a variety of colors including white, black, and tan, often in a combination.

PBGVs are characterized by their enthusiastic and friendly demeanor. They are known for being outgoing and sociable, often displaying a cheerful and playful nature. This breed is highly intelligent and independent, traits that were valuable in their hunting past, but can sometimes lead to stubbornness in training. They possess a strong sense of smell and a penchant for exploration, often following their noses which can lead them into mischief.

Despite their hunting background, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens make excellent family pets. They generally get along well with children and other animals, though their playful nature and energy levels are best suited to active households. PBGVs are vocal dogs, known for their distinctive deep bark, and while this makes them good watchdogs, it may require management through training. Regular grooming is necessary to maintain their rough coat, and they benefit from both physical and mental exercise to keep them happy and healthy. For those seeking an energetic, affectionate, and slightly quirky companion, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen can be a delightful choice.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

14 to 16 years



Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is best suited for active families or individuals who appreciate a lively, independent, and playful dog. Their sociable and friendly nature makes them great companions for those who enjoy outdoor activities and can provide ample physical and mental exercise. Due to their hunting heritage, they thrive in environments where their curiosity and exploratory instincts can be positively channeled.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Traits

Breed Characteristics

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a sturdy, small hound breed characterized by its tenacious and enthusiastic nature, well-suited for hunting and active play. They possess a high level of intelligence and independence, coupled with a friendly and outgoing demeanor. Known for their strong hunting instincts and keen sense of smell, PBGVs are energetic, require regular exercise, and benefit from engaging in scent-based activities and games.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen boasts a distinctive, rugged appearance with a rough, shaggy double coat that provides a tousled look. They have a compact, well-proportioned body, standing about 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. Their expressive eyes, bushy eyebrows, and beard, along with long, floppy ears, give them a charming and somewhat whimsical appearance. This breed’s coat comes in various colors, typically featuring combinations of white, black, and tan.

1. Ears
They have long, floppy ears that hang close to the head, covered with long hair, adding to their distinct look.
2. Eyes
Their eyes are large, dark, and oval-shaped, often exuding a friendly and intelligent expression. The eyes are framed by bushy eyebrows and a beard, contributing to their characteristic appearance.
3. Nose
The nose is typically black, prominent, and well-developed, befitting their scent hound heritage.
4. Height
They stand about 13 to 15 inches (33 to 38 cm) tall at the shoulder.
5. Coat Length
Their coat is medium-length, rough, and dense, providing a shaggy and tousled appearance.
6. Coat Color
Common colors include white with black or orange markings; tricolor (white, black, and tan) is also seen.
7. Tail
The tail is long and carried high, often with a slight curve, and covered in rough fur.
8. Weight
They typically weigh between 25 to 40 pounds (11 to 18 kg), with a sturdy and well-boned structure.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Temperament

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (PBGV) is a breed with a distinct and appealing temperament:

  1. Friendly and Sociable: PBGVs are known for their outgoing and friendly nature. They generally enjoy being around people and are often good with children and other pets.

  2. Independent and Stubborn: Reflecting their hunting heritage, PBGVs can be independent thinkers. This trait can sometimes be interpreted as stubbornness, especially during training sessions.

  3. Energetic and Playful: They are an active breed, full of energy and enthusiasm. PBGVs love to play and require regular exercise to satisfy their high energy levels.

  4. Intelligent and Curious: This breed is intelligent and curious, which means they are quick learners but can also get into mischief if not properly engaged and supervised.

  5. Vocal: PBGVs can be quite vocal, often barking at perceived intruders or when they want attention. Training can help manage their tendency to bark.

  6. Affectionate: They form strong bonds with their families and often seek affection and companionship.

  7. Good Scent Hounds: Their strong sense of smell and background as hunting dogs can lead them to follow scents during walks. It’s important to keep them on a leash or in a secure area.

  8. Adaptable: While they thrive in active environments, PBGVs can adapt to various living situations, including apartment living, as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Overall, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a delightful companion for those who appreciate an active, cheerful, and somewhat independent dog. Their friendly disposition and playful nature make them excellent family pets, but potential owners should be prepared for their vocal tendencies and need for regular exercise and mental engagement.

How to Care for a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Caring for a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen requires regular grooming to maintain their rough, shaggy coat, daily exercise to channel their high energy and natural hunting instincts, and consistent, patient training to manage their independent nature. They thrive on social interaction and mental stimulation, so engaging play and companionship are essential for their well-being. Regular health check-ups and a balanced diet are also crucial to maintain their overall health.

Grooming a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is an essential part of their care, given their distinctive rough coat:

  1. Regular Brushing: Brush your PBGV’s coat several times a week to prevent matting and remove loose hair. A slicker brush or a pin brush works well for their type of coat.

  2. Bathing: Bathe your dog every 2 to 3 months or as needed, using a dog-specific shampoo. Their rough coat can trap dirt, so regular bathing is important to keep them clean.

  3. Professional Grooming: Consider professional grooming every few months to trim the coat and ensure it is properly maintained, especially around the ears, paws, and rear end.

  4. Ear Care: Clean their ears regularly to prevent wax build-up and infections. PBGVs have long ears that can trap moisture and debris.

  5. Nail Trimming: Trim their nails regularly to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. This is particularly important for active dogs like the PBGV.

  6. Dental Care: Brush their teeth several times a week with a dog-specific toothpaste to maintain oral health and prevent dental issues common in many breeds.

  7. Paw Care: Check and clean their paws regularly, especially after walks, to remove debris and prevent any infections.

Consistent grooming not only keeps your Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen looking their best but also provides an opportunity to check for any skin issues or parasites, contributing to their overall health and wellbeing.

Training a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen effectively requires patience, consistency, and an understanding of their independent nature:

  1. Start Early: Begin training and socialization as soon as you bring your PBGV home. Early exposure to various people, environments, and other animals is crucial for developing a well-adjusted adult dog.

  2. Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and play. PBGVs are more responsive to rewards-based training rather than harsh corrections.

  3. Consistency Is Key: Maintain consistency in commands and rules across all family members. Inconsistent training can confuse your dog and hinder their learning process.

  4. Short, Engaging Sessions: Keep training sessions short and engaging to hold their interest. PBGVs can become bored with repetitive or lengthy training sessions.

  5. Address Stubbornness: Their independent nature can sometimes come across as stubbornness. Be patient and persistent, and try to make training sessions fun and rewarding.

  6. Leash Training: Given their hunting background, leash training is important to prevent them from chasing scents during walks.

  7. Crate Training: Crate training can be beneficial for house training and providing a safe space. Introduce the crate positively, and never use it for punishment.

  8. Ongoing Training: Continue training throughout their life. PBGVs are intelligent and enjoy learning new commands and tricks, which also provides mental stimulation.

  9. Barking Management: PBGVs can be vocal. Train them to understand commands like “quiet” to manage excessive barking.

  10. Socialization: Regularly expose them to different situations to build confidence and reduce anxiety.

Training a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen takes time and dedication, but it’s a rewarding process that strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Their intelligence and playful spirit can make training enjoyable and a great opportunity for bonding.

Caring for the diet and nutrition of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen involves ensuring they receive a balanced diet that meets their specific needs:

  1. High-Quality Dog Food: Choose a high-quality dog food that’s appropriate for their size, age, and activity level. Look for foods that provide a balanced blend of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

  2. Portion Control: Monitor their food intake to prevent obesity, a common issue in the breed. Follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food package, adjusting as necessary based on their activity level and age.

  3. Consistent Feeding Schedule: Establish a regular feeding routine, dividing their daily food intake into two meals. This helps in digestion and weight management.

  4. Avoid Overfeeding: Be cautious with treats and human food, as overfeeding can lead to weight gain. Treats should only be a small part of their diet.

  5. Fresh Water: Always provide access to fresh, clean water to keep them hydrated.

  6. Special Dietary Needs: Some PBGVs may have specific dietary needs or sensitivities. Pay attention to signs of food allergies or digestive issues and consult your vet for advice on suitable diets.

  7. Regular Weight Checks: Regularly monitor their weight and body condition, adjusting their diet and exercise as needed.

  8. Dental Health: Due to their propensity for dental issues, consider including dental chews or brushing their teeth as part of their routine.

Consulting with a veterinarian can provide personalized advice and recommendations, especially if your PBGV has special dietary needs or health concerns. A well-balanced diet, tailored to their specific requirements, is key to a healthy, active life for your PBGV.

Exercising a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is crucial for their physical and mental well-being, and should be tailored to their energetic and inquisitive nature:

  1. Daily Exercise: PBGVs are active and require regular exercise. Include daily walks, playtime, and opportunities for them to run and explore in a safe, enclosed area.

  2. Mental Stimulation: Their intelligence and hunting background mean they thrive on mental challenges. Scent games, puzzle toys, and interactive play can provide mental stimulation.

  3. Outdoor Activities: Given their hunting heritage, activities like hiking or exploring new environments can be very fulfilling. Always keep them on a leash or in a secure area to prevent them from chasing scents.

  4. Social Exercise: Socializing with other dogs can be a good form of exercise and mental stimulation. Consider playdates or visits to a dog park, ensuring that interactions are supervised.

  5. Training as Exercise: Incorporate training sessions into their exercise routine. Learning new commands or tricks can be both mentally and physically engaging.

  6. Avoid Overexertion: Be mindful of their limits; PBGVs can be enthusiastic about exercise but shouldn’t be overexerted, especially in extreme weather conditions.

  7. Consistency: Establishing a consistent exercise routine helps in managing their energy levels and contributes to overall health and behavior.

By providing regular, varied exercise and mental stimulation, you will help maintain your PBGV’s health, prevent boredom, and enhance your bond with them. This breed’s playful and curious nature makes exercise a fun and rewarding experience for both the dog and the owner.

Creating an ideal environment for a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen involves addressing their physical, mental, and emotional needs to ensure a fulfilling and healthy life:

  1. Safe and Stimulating Space: PBGVs are curious and active, so a living environment that is safe and stimulating is essential. Ensure your home and yard are secure to prevent them from wandering off while exploring.

  2. Exercise Area: Having access to a space where they can safely exercise and explore, like a securely fenced yard, is ideal. If you live in an apartment, regular walks and trips to the dog park can compensate.

  3. Comfortable Indoors: Provide a comfortable and quiet place indoors where they can rest and sleep. Consider a cozy bed or crate in a peaceful area of your home.

  4. Mental Stimulation: They thrive on mental challenges. Offer a variety of toys, including puzzle toys, to keep them mentally engaged and prevent boredom.

  5. Routine and Structure: PBGVs benefit from a consistent daily routine. Regular feeding times, exercise, grooming, and playtime help in providing structure.

  6. Social Interaction: They are sociable dogs that enjoy being around people. An ideal environment includes regular interaction with family members and opportunities to socialize with other dogs.

  7. Grooming Station: Set up a space for regular grooming. Their shaggy coat requires frequent care, so having a designated grooming area is helpful.

  8. Climate Consideration: Their thick coat can make them prone to overheating in hot weather. Ensure they have a cool, shaded place during summer and don’t over-exercise them in high temperatures.

By providing a loving, stimulating, and secure environment, you can ensure your Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen lives a happy and healthy life. They adapt well to various living situations, from houses with yards to apartments, as long as their need for exercise, mental stimulation, and companionship is met.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Health

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (PBGV) is generally a robust and healthy breed, but like all breeds, they have specific health predispositions that owners should be aware of:

  1. Ear Infections: Due to their long, floppy ears, PBGVs are prone to ear infections. Regular cleaning and checking of the ears are important to prevent problems.

  2. Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t fit properly, which can lead to arthritis. It’s less common in PBGVs than in larger breeds, but it’s still something to watch for.

  3. Eye Problems: They can be prone to certain eye conditions, including primary open-angle glaucoma and persistent pupillary membranes. Regular eye examinations by a vet are recommended.

  4. Epilepsy: The breed can be predisposed to epilepsy, a neurological condition that causes seizures. Managing this condition typically involves lifelong medication.

  5. Skin Allergies: PBGVs may suffer from skin allergies that can lead to itching and discomfort. These can often be managed with appropriate diet and medical treatments.

  6. Dental Issues: Like many small breeds, they can have dental problems due to their small jaws. Regular dental care, including brushing and professional cleanings, is important.

  7. Patellar Luxation: This is a common issue in small breeds where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position. Severity can vary, with some cases requiring surgical intervention.

Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine grooming play a significant role in maintaining a PBGV’s health. Additionally, being proactive about their health care and aware of these breed-specific issues can help owners ensure a long, happy life for their PBGV.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Breed Comparison and Consideration

Comparing the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (PBGV) with other breeds can offer valuable insights for potential owners to determine if the PBGV is the right fit for their lifestyle. Here’s how they compare to a few similar breeds:

PBGV vs. Basset Hound

  • Size and Build: PBGVs are smaller and more agile than Basset Hounds, which are heavier and have a more pronounced droopy appearance.
  • Energy Levels: PBGVs tend to be more energetic and require more exercise compared to the more laid-back Basset Hound.
  • Grooming Needs: While both breeds require regular grooming, the PBGV’s rough, shaggy coat demands more frequent attention than the Basset Hound’s smoother coat.

PBGV vs. Beagle

  • Temperament: Both breeds are friendly and sociable, but PBGVs can be more independent and stubborn compared to the generally more easygoing Beagle.
  • Hunting Instincts: Both have strong hunting instincts, but the PBGV’s scenting abilities are more specialized for rough terrain.
  • Vocalization: PBGVs tend to be more vocal than Beagles, often with a deeper bark.

PBGV vs. Dachshund

  • Coat Care: Dachshunds come in smooth, long-haired, and wire-haired varieties, each with different grooming needs, while PBGVs consistently require regular grooming for their shaggy coat.
  • Body Structure: PBGVs have a more balanced body structure compared to the elongated body of Dachshunds, which can be prone to back issues.
  • Personality: Both breeds are known for their boldness and tenacity, but Dachshunds might display a stronger independent streak.

General Considerations

  • Living Space: PBGVs can adapt to various living environments, including apartments, as long as their exercise and mental stimulation needs are met.
  • Family Compatibility: They are great with families, including those with children, and can coexist with other pets if properly socialized.
  • Healthcare and Lifespan: Regular vet check-ups are crucial. PBGVs have a lifespan of around 12-15 years, typical for dogs of their size.
  • Activity Level: They require a moderate level of activity and enjoy being mentally and physically engaged.

In summary, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a unique, energetic, and affectionate breed, well-suited for active families or individuals who appreciate a dog with a strong personality and distinct appearance. Their adaptability, combined with their playful and independent nature, makes them a popular choice for a variety of households.


PBGVs generally do well with other dogs, especially if they are raised together or properly socialized from a young age.

Yes, they can adapt to apartment living if they receive sufficient daily exercise and mental stimulation.

They can be a challenge for first-time owners due to their independent nature and grooming needs, but with patience and proper training, they can be a good match.

Their thick coat provides some protection against cold, but they may struggle in very hot climates due to overheating.

Training can be challenging due to their independence, but with consistency and positive reinforcement, they can be effectively trained.

Yes, their shaggy coat requires regular brushing and professional grooming to prevent matting and maintain health.

They are generally good with children, but as with any breed, interactions should be supervised, especially with younger children.

Absolutely, their agility and intelligence make them well-suited for agility and other dog sports.

Top Takeaways

When considering a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, here are the top takeaways to keep in mind:

  1. Distinctive Appearance: The PBGV is recognized for its rugged, shaggy coat, long ears, and expressive eyes, contributing to a distinctive and charming appearance. Regular grooming is essential to maintain their coat’s health and appearance.

  2. Energetic and Playful: This breed is known for its high energy levels and playful nature. They thrive in active environments and require regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

  3. Independent and Stubborn: PBGVs are intelligent but can be independent and stubborn, which may pose challenges in training. Consistent, positive reinforcement techniques are effective.

  4. Sociable and Friendly: They are generally sociable and get along well with children and other animals, making them great family pets. Early socialization is important to foster well-rounded behavior.

  5. Vocal Nature: PBGVs can be quite vocal, making them good watchdogs. Training can help manage their barking tendencies.

  6. Hunting Instincts: Their strong hunting instincts and keen sense of smell mean they enjoy scent-based activities and games, but also require secure areas to prevent them from wandering off.

  7. Adaptable to Living Situations: They can adapt to various living situations, including apartments, as long as their exercise needs are met.

  8. Health Considerations: Regular veterinary check-ups are important as they are prone to certain health issues like ear infections, hip dysplasia, and eye conditions.

In summary, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a unique, energetic, and affectionate breed, well-suited for active families or individuals who appreciate a dog with a strong personality and playful charm. Their adaptability, combined with the need for regular grooming and exercise, makes them a joyful and engaging companion.

Top Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Names

These names range from charming and whimsical to strong and classic, suitable for the unique personality and appearance of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen.

Female Names











Male Names











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