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Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen | Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Height: 12 – 15 inches
Weight: 25 – 40 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Colors: Black, white, fawn, gray, sable
Suitable for: Families, active lifestyles, apartments or houses
Temperament: Vivacious, confident, loyal, friendly, curious, alert

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a happy-go-lucky hunting dog originating in France. They were originally bred to hunt rabbits but evolved to become an all-around effective hunting companion as time went on. Today, these dogs are renowned as loving family companions. Because they were bred and raised to live in packs, they tend to get along well with other dogs too.

Considered medium-sized dogs, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen has a rough coat of fur that does shed throughout the year. As adults, they can stand up to 15 inches tall and weigh up to 40 pounds. These dogs can be shy and cautious of strangers, but if they are socialized throughout their life, they will happily warm up to friends that they meet when out in public.

While intelligent, this purebred dog is a bit stubborn and tends not to freely cooperate when it comes to training. It is highly recommended that inexperienced owners and those who don’t have much time for training work with a professional trainer, at least in the beginning. This vibrant medium-sized pooch is a great companion for those who like to adventure in the great outdoors and for active families with busy households.

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Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Puppies


These puppies are tiny and adorable when they are born, but they only stay this way for a few weeks. By the time that they are just a couple of months old, these pooches are lively, curious, and rambunctious and like to test their boundaries. These tendencies can all be easily managed with training, patience, and extensive interaction.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Temperament & Intelligence 🧠

These dogs are full of energy and love. They are extremely loyal to their family members, young and old. They enjoy spending time in the house with human and dog family members. But they rely on time spent outside walking, playing at the dog park, and digging in the yard to thrive. They are born to hunt, so they may see animals such as squirrels and strange cats as prey and try to chase them.

Therefore, they should always be leashed whenever they leave the house. Once they get to know strange humans and dogs, they can be trusted as loyal friends that would rather work as a team member rather than a pack leader. But their independence and confidence means that they won’t back down from a challenge when confronted with one.

Their legs are short, but they are agile, making them quick and efficient on the agility course. What’s more, these dogs don’t seem to be picky when it comes to sleeping arrangements. They’ll happily sleep in a family bed, on their own bed, on a couch, or even in the garage if it makes their owners happy.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen love to be in the company of humans no matter their age. They are playful yet patient with kids, and they want nothing more than to please their adult human family members. They get along well in large social settings if they are comfortable with those around them. They should always be supervised around those whom they are still getting to know.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

They may have hunting tendencies, but these purebred dogs don’t have anything against other dogs. In fact, they were bred to work in packs, so they thrive when they are living in a multi-dog environment. They can go to the dog park without incidence if they start socializing at a young age. They can even live with cats if they are introduced right away and supervised while building a relationship with one another. Animals like hamsters and ferrets could cause a problem due to their prey drive toward smaller beings.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

There is still much to know about actually taking care of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is highly active and as such, tends to eat 2 or more cups of dry commercial dog food each day. The food they eat should be free of chemicals that could be lurking in artificial ingredients and animal by-products. They should also eat their food in two separate meals throughout the day to ensure proper nutritional intake and food digestion.

If owners prefer to serve their dogs homemade food, a qualified veterinarian can provide the insight and guidance to make it happen. Treats are awesome tools for training and can help supplement specific nutrients that a pooch might be deficient in.

Exercise 🐕

These dogs need daily exercise, rain or shine. When it is not raining outside, they should have long walks lasting at least 45 minutes. Rainy days could mean the need for games like hide-and-seek or training practice indoors. Without daily exercise, these dogs can become disruptive and destructive within the household. They need guidance and an outlet for their energy, no matter what the weather outside is like.

Training 🦮

Like every hunting dog, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen has a high prey drive, but it can easily be managed with obedience training. Their training should start as soon as they get home. Even puppies as young as 8 weeks old can start training. Puppies should learn how to come, sit, heel, and stay before learning any tricks, to ensure proper behavior as they age.

These dogs also do well in agility training. They can be taught on a homemade course at home or at a commercial facility. They can also enter competitions and take prizes home with the right professional agility training. While they will let you know when someone is coming to the door, there is no point in guard training, as it just is not in their nature.

Grooming ✂️

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen does shed throughout the year, so they should be combed or brushed a couple times a week to keep shedding to a minimum. They do not typically need baths to stay clean, as they are good at self-grooming overall. However, special care should be taken when dealing with their ears. They are prone to infection, so they should be checked weekly for pinkness, puffiness, and irritation. They should also be cleaned regularly with a damp cloth.

Health Conditions ❤️

There are only a couple of health conditions these purebred dogs are susceptible to, making them generally healthy throughout their lives. Still, potential owners should be aware of conditions that could possibly develop.

Minor Conditions
  • Congenital heart disease
Serious Conditions
  • Chondrodysplasia
  • Spinal problems

Male vs Female

There aren’t many personality differences between male and female Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens overall. Females may be easier to potty train than males, according to some owners. Many breeders believe that males are more independent in puppyhood than females. But in general, both boys and girls are loving, smart, energetic, and curious. They both make great family pets and hunting companions!

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

1. They Make Great Watchdogs

Due to their hunting nature, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen likes to bark at just about anything that moves. Therefore, they can be counted on to let you know when strange people and animals are entering your property.

2. They Aren’t Always Vivacious

These dogs aren’t always the animated fun-loving dogs that they are so well known for being. When the weather is bad outside or if it’s dark and cold on a lazy weekend afternoon, they will retreat to a lap or a bed and “hibernate” until things look good enough to head outside again.

3. They Can Be Stubborn

Although smart and tenacious, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen can be stubborn at times, which can overwhelm their smarts and playfulness in favor of a refusal to cooperate. Therefore, training and discipline focusing on positive reinforcement are crucial.

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Final Thoughts

These adorable dogs want nothing more than to fit in with an adventurous and fun-loving family. They are loyal, affectionate, vivacious, and protective. Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens are also cuddly and generous with their attention, which makes them perfect companies for children. They love other dogs, and they are reliable when left alone. What more could a family want in a dog? Let us know what traits you think are the best and worst of this breed in the comments section below.

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Featured Image: Nadezhda V. Kulagina, Shutterstock

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