The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen was originally considered the same breed as the Grand Basset Griffon, and both were known as the Basset Griffon Vendeen. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has always been smaller, shorter, and shorter-snouted than the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen. Additionally, the breed sometimes has bent or crooked legs, which do not appear in the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen.
For the majority of its existence the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen was considered to be one in the same with the Grand Basset Griffon, and both breeds were generically referred to as theBasset Griffon Vendeen. Always the smallest, shortest and shortest-snouted of the two, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen also sometimes has bent or crooked legs, features which do not appear in the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen. In 1950, separate standards were created for both breeds, although interbreeding was allowed until 1975. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen began to develop a large following as a show dog outside of France in the late 1980’s. This popularity continues to grow. Recently, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is also growing in popularity as a companion.
The breed is now probably the most well-known and recognized of all French hounds other than the Bloodhound. In America, the breed is affectionately known as the PBGV. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America was founded in 1984 at an American Kennel Club event in Philadelphia. The AKC itself first recognized the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen in the hound group in 1990. The United Kennel Club followed in 1992. Although the breed’s numbers are increasing in the United States, the breed remains comparatively rare, ranking 129th in AKC registration rankings in 2010.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has a charming and distinctive appearance which is in part responsible for the breed’s increasing popularity. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has the traditional appearance of a Basset Breed, with an elongated body, short, often kinked legs, and a long-snouted, droopy-eared hound face. These dogs are different from most other Basset Breeds such as the Basset Hound by their wiry coats.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is short in stature, but medium sized in terms of weight. Both males and females of the breed should be between 13 and 15 inches in height. A 15 inch tall dog should weigh no more than 45 pounds. A Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s weight should be proportionate to its height.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has a long snout and nose. The increased snout size also increases the available area for smell receptors. The breed has long, droopy ears which are said to trap scent particles and buffet them towards the nose, although this has not been proven. This breed should have ears that are so low-set on the head that they are attached below the eye-level of the dog. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens have pendulous lips which make it appear as though the dog has a square muzzle.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is the breed’s wiry coat. The coat gives the dog protection from the elements and makes the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen a more capable and durable hunter. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s coat has two layers. There is a dense undercoat and a coarse outercoat. There is a saying among hunters that, “A good hound can come in any color.” The original developers of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen must have believed this as the breed can be found in several color varieties, although not as many as the larger Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens are white with any combination of lemon, orange, tricolor, or grizzle. The coat forms pronounced eyebrows and mustaches, which may partially cover the eyes but should never fully cover them.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is less robust and thick than most other Basset breeds. The breed is known for its very short legs, which are oftentimes bent or kinked. This is unlike the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen which always has straight legs. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens have a typical long hound tail, which is often held in an upright saber-like position.
The temperament is fairly uniform across the three types please see the "Basset Griffon Vendeen Main Page" for more information.
The grooming requirements are fairly uniform across all three types please see the "Basset Griffon Vendeen Main Page" for more information.