Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen

Breed Group: Hound

Temperament and Behavior

Unlike its name, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (Peh-TEE Bas-SAY Griff-ON Van-DAY-en) is not basset-like in temperament but is more terrier-like. He is curious, enthusiastic, playful, and mischievous. A hunter at heart, PBGVs, as they are affectionately known, love to sniff, explore, trail and dig. They need attention and companionship as well as both mental and physical stimulation. They are social dogs that can live and play peacefully with children and other dogs, although they can be bossy. If left alone, they will create their own entertainment and may be destructive. Giving PBGVs plenty of toys and things to chew on will help. A crate can also provide safety and a special place for this dog. Males of this breed tend to be more compliant while females are more dominant. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s deep bass bark makes him a great watchdog although, beyond the initial bark he is usually friendly with strangers. He will quickly turn into a hunter and follow scents with his strong nose so needs to be on a leash or secured in a fenced yard. Some Petit Bassets are escape artists that can dig under or jump over fences. They need owners who can laugh at their mischief while being firm and assertive at the same time. They are very active indoors but are happiest being indoor-outdoor dogs.

Physical Characteristics

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens are small to medium-sized dogs whose basset-like bodies are low to the ground. Males stand 13-15 inches tall and females stand 12-14 inches. Males weigh between 30-45 pounds while females weigh 25-35 pounds. A correctly proportioned PBGV is about 50% longer than it is tall. They have a wiry double coat with shaggy eyebrows, beard, and mustache. These dogs are white in color with lemon, orange, black, tricolor or grizzle markings. Their ears and tail are natural. Their fuzzy coats need weekly brushing to avoid matting and tangles and occasional clipping of straggling hairs. Pay special attention to the long hair on the bottoms of their feet which should be trimmed and any foreign materials removed from between their pads. Their ear canals need to be kept clean and dry and their bottoms trimmed for cleanliness. They tolerate most climates, although they prefer cooler weather.

Trainer's Notes

A Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is typically intelligent and energetic, but not naturally obedient. Their agendas may not always match their trainers’, who must demonstrate who is “alpha” in the family. PBGVs can be stubborn and resistant to training unless rewarded. They require consistent training and socialization, especially throughout adolescence. They need early socialization and consistent training, including long walks and outdoor exercise.

Photo © by Pleple2000 available under the GNUFDL
Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen

Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen


The Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen is a generally a healthy breed. Hip Dysplasia, with 11% of the breed being affected is the most frequently seen issue. Hereditary eye abnormalities may occur but usually, do not affect vision. A few cases of glaucoma have been reported. Some young dogs may suffer from aseptic meningitis, known as PBGV pain syndrome, which results in lethargy, fever, and neck or back pain. It varies in severity and can be fatal in rare instances. Seizure disorders and epilepsy occur infrequently within this breed. Patellar Luxation, Elbow Dysplasia, and Hypothyroidism each affect less than one dog in 10. Food allergies and skin conditions have also been reported. The PBGV’s life expectancy is 10-14 years.


The Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen ranks 118th in popularity among breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Breed History

The Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen is a small (Petit), low (Basset), wire-haired (Griffon), French (from the Vendeen region) scent hound originally bred to hunt rabbits. It is the smallest of four wirehaired hounds that originally came from the Vendee region in France. The PBGV was first bred as a cross between the white St. Hubert and the white and tan Italian hound. Although the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has been a very popular hunting dog in France for almost a century, the breed is relatively new to the United States, entering the Hound Group of the American Kennel Club in 1991.

However, it is known that after Cortez decimated the Aztecs in the 16th century, a number of these little dogs were left to fend for themselves in South America. In 1850 a group of them was found living in Chihuahua, Mexico. Some of these were brought to the US. In 1904 the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Additional Information

The national (US) breed club is the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America.

Is A Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen THE BEST Dog For YOU?

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