Choosing a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

The petit basset griffon vendeen is a small ancient French hunting hound. This breed is a loyal, devoted family companion, with a history beginning in the 16th century.

History and Origin

The petit basset griffon vendeen (PBGV) is an old breed of scenthound developed to hunt small game on the west coast of France. The name reveals that he is a small, low to the ground, rough haired dog, and that he was developed in the Vendeen region of France. Vendeen is an area characterized by rough terrain, thick underbush and lots of brambles. This resulted in the development of a breed that is sturdy, strong and determined.

The PBGV's history can be traced back to the 16th century. As with many French hounds, there were large versions and small versions and much interbreeding occurred. The larger dog of this breed was referred to as the grand basset griffon vendeen and little effort was made to separate the petit and grand versions until the late 1800s. By the early 1900s, separate breed standards were developed but it was not until 1950 that the grand basset griffon vendeen was considered a separate breed from the petit basset griffon vendeen. The primary difference between the breeds is their height. The petit stands 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder. The grand stands 15 to 17 inches.

Eventually, in 1975, interbreeding between the grand and petit was no longer allowed. But, since interbreeding had occurred for centuries before this, litters will continue to have both grand and petit versions for years to come.

In 1984 the PBGV Club of America was founded and, in 1990, the American Kennel Club accepted the breed and eventually placed him in the hound group.

Appearance and Size

The PBGV is a relatively short, compact little dog. Standing a mere 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder, these dogs weigh 30 to 40 pounds. As a scenthound, the PBGV was developed to hunt rabbits and birds, primarily over rough terrain. For this reason, this breed is a tough little dog. They have a square, muscular body with a face framed by long eyebrows, a beard and moustache. The PBGV has large, dark eyes and narrow ears covered with long hair that fold forward. The tail is tapered and often wagging. The hair coat is long, rough, and appears unkempt with a thick, short undercoat. The coat comes in combinations of white and lemon, white and orange, white and black or tri-colored.


The PBGV seems to be perpetually in motion. He is a happy, loving dog that lives to please his family. As with other hounds, some can have a streak of independence and stubbornness.

Home and Family Relations

The PBGV is a smart and friendly breed but can be a little stubborn. Devoted to their family, this breed can be somewhat vocal and may be leery of strangers. The PBGV gets along well with other pets. They love to be with their family and need plenty of activity or they may find destructive ways to expend their pent up energy.


The PBGV is an intelligent and eager little dog. He is easy to train to be a hunter or an excellent family pet.


The PBGV requires weekly brushing to keep his rough hair coat in tiptop shape.

Special Care

Because of their hair coat, the PBGV prefers cool weather.

Common Diseases and Disorders

Intervertebral Disk Disease is a disorder that affects the spinal disks resulting in pain, difficulty walking and possibly paralysis.

Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that develops between the ages of 2 and 5 years.

Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain and lameness.

The PBGV is also prone to arthritis and allergies.

The life span of the petit basset griffon vendeen is 10 to 14 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.