Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

PetMD Editorial
By PetMD Editorial on Jul. 16, 2009

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a French scenthound. Bold and vivacious, compact, tough and robust, the breed has an alert outlook, lively bearing, and a strong voice.

Physical Characteristics

The true nature of the PBGV can be seen in its friendly and alert expression. And though the dog’s appearance might confuse people into thinking it is Basset Hound, but the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (or PBGV) has longer legs.

A strong-boned and well-proportioned dog, the PBGV is roughly 50 percent longer than its height, which allows it to move easily through thick bushes. This incredibly nimble breed also has a free gait, which makes it a dog capable of spending the whole day in the field.

Personality and Temperament

Having a tendency to bark and dig, the independent and stubborn Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is generally friendly and playful with children, other dogs, most pets, and even strangers. A real hunter, it enjoys exploring, sniffing, and roaming trails.

This tough, curious, and actively busy breed always searches for excitement and occasions to frolic.


The coat of Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen requires weekly brushing; you may also need to arrange its straggling hairs in place on occasion. Its temperament is at its best when it can enjoy equal time indoors and outdoors.

Because the PBGV abhors sitting idle, it should be exercised regularly. An energetic romp in the yard and a nice walk on a leash are sufficient to satisfy the dog.


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, which has an average lifespan of 11 to 14 years, is not afflicted by any major health issues. However, it is prone to Persistent Pupillary Membrane (PPM), otitis externa, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and corneal and retinal conditions, as well as intervertebral disk disease, meningitis, patellar luxation, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend hip and eye exams for the dog.

History and Background

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeén is French for "small, low, and rough-coated from Vendéen." Also known as PBGV, the dog was bred during the 1500s in Vendéen, located in western France, where the land is covered in rocks, thick brambles, and underbrush.

Hunting in this kind of terrain required a dog that had a thick, tough coat and short legs to run fast through dense underbrush while chasing rabbits, and which was nimble enough run over logs and rocks without getting tired. Therefore, the PBGV was chosen as it had all these properties.

The PBGV may have been associated with the Basset Hound during the mid-1800s in England, but this hound was more nimble and had longer legs.

Until the 1950s, the PBGV was classified as two distinct types (differing only in size) until they were the Grand and Petit varieties were interbred in the 1970s.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1990, and since then, the dog’s carefree appearance and jovial nature has attracted many dog lovers.

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