Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Petit Basset looking forward

Quick Facts


25 to 40 pounds


13 to 15 inches at the shoulder

Average Lifespan:

14-16 years

Known For:

Very good companions that go well with the kids and other pets.


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, often affectionately referred to as the PBGV, is a captivating breed that has found a special place in the hearts of dog enthusiasts around the world. With their distinctive appearance and charming personalities, PBGVs have become beloved companions in many households. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at this delightful breed, from its historical roots to its endearing traits.


Popularity: The PBGV may not be as well-known as some other breeds, but it has gained a loyal following among dog lovers, thanks to its unique characteristics.

History and Origin

The history of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a fascinating journey back in time. This breed hails from the Vendée region in Western France and was initially bred for hunting small game. The term “Petit Basset” translates to “small low-set,” which perfectly describes the breed’s appearance and purpose.


Origin: The PBGV’s lineage can be traced back to the 16th century, making it one of the older breeds among hounds. It shares ancestry with the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, which is a larger cousin.


Hunting Heritage: PBGVs were prized for their keen sense of smell and stamina. They were primarily used to hunt rabbits, hares, and other game in the rugged terrain of Vendée.

Famous PBGVs: While the PBGV may not have the same celebrity status as some other breeds, it has made appearances in popular culture. For instance, a PBGV named César starred in the animated film “The Triplets of Belleville,” adding to the breed’s charm and appeal.

Breed Characteristics


Barking Tendency

Dog Friendly

Health Issues

Shedding Level









Cat Friendly

Exercise Needs


Social Needs








App. Friendly

Child Friendly


Energy Level

Stranger Friendly

Watchdog Instincts







Appearance and Size

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a breed that effortlessly captures attention with its unique appearance and size.

Size: PBGVs are small to medium-sized dogs, typically standing between 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing around 25 to 40 pounds. They are compact but robust, with a well-proportioned build that suits their hunting background.


Coat Type: One of the standout features of the PBGV is its rough, tousled coat. This shaggy double coat serves as protection from harsh weather conditions and brambles during hunts.

Colors and Varieties: PBGVs come in a variety of coat colors, including tri-color (black, white, and tan), bi-color (white and any other recognized color), and grizzle (a mix of gray and another color). 


Their expressive eyes and floppy ears add to their endearing appearance.

In the following sections, we’ll delve deeper into the PBGV’s personality, health, care, training, family interactions, and adoption.

Personality and Temperament

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen boasts a personality as distinctive as its appearance. PBGVs are known for their lively and spirited nature, making them wonderful companions for families and individuals alike.


Playful and Energetic: PBGVs are brimming with energy and enthusiasm. They thrive on playtime and outdoor activities, making them an ideal choice for active families.


Curious and Inquisitive: These hounds have a natural curiosity and an excellent sense of smell. They are often seen with their noses to the ground, exploring scents during walks and hikes.

Social and Friendly: PBGVs are social butterflies, often getting along well with other dogs and pets. 


Their friendly disposition makes them great additions to multi-pet households.

Independent Thinkers: While they are intelligent dogs, PBGVs can also be independent thinkers. This can sometimes translate into a touch of stubbornness during training, but their charm more than makes up for it.


Adventurous Spirits: With their hunting heritage, PBGVs have an adventurous spirit. They enjoy exploring new environments and thrive on outdoor adventures.

Health and Lifespan

The health and lifespan of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen are important considerations for potential owners. Understanding their needs and common health issues can help ensure a long and happy life for your PBGV.

  • Lifespan: On average, PBGVs live for around 12 to 15 years when provided with proper care and attention.
  • Common Health Issues: While generally healthy, PBGVs can be prone to certain breed-specific health concerns, including hip dysplasia, eye issues, and ear infections due to their long, floppy ears. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive measures can help manage these risks.
  • Nutrition: Maintaining a balanced diet is essential for your PBGV’s overall health. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best dietary plan for your furry friend.
  • Exercise Needs: PBGVs are active dogs and require regular exercise to stay fit and happy. Daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are crucial to their well-being.
  • In the next section, we’ll explore the specific care and maintenance requirements that will keep your PBGV in top shape.

Care and Maintenance

Petit Basset grooming

Taking care of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a rewarding experience, and with proper attention to their needs, you can ensure a happy and healthy life for your beloved companion.

  • Exercise Requirements: PBGVs need daily exercise to burn off their energy. Engaging in activities like brisk walks, playtime, and even dog sports can help keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
  • Grooming: Regular grooming is necessary to maintain their distinctive coat. Brushing a few times a week helps prevent matting and keeps their coat in good condition.
  • Ear Care: Due to their floppy ears, PBGVs are prone to ear infections. Cleaning their ears regularly and keeping them dry is crucial.
  • Dental Health: Dental hygiene is vital for their overall well-being. Regular tooth brushing and dental treats can help keep their teeth clean.
  • Training: Early socialization and obedience training are essential to ensure a well-behaved PBGV. Positive reinforcement methods work well with their independent nature.
  • Safety: Because of their hunting instincts and curiosity, it’s important to ensure a secure outdoor environment to prevent them from chasing after scents and getting lost.


In the following sections, we’ll delve into training and behavior specifics, how PBGVs interact with families and other pets, and provide guidance on adopting one of these charming dogs.

Training and Behavior

Training a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen can be both fun and rewarding, thanks to their intelligence and spirited personality. Understanding their unique traits and quirks is essential for successful training.


Intelligence: PBGVs are intelligent dogs, but they can also be a bit headstrong. Consistent, positive reinforcement training methods work best. Be patient, keep training sessions engaging, and offer rewards for good behavior.


Housetraining: Due to their hunting instincts, PBGV puppies may have a tendency to chase scents outdoors. Be patient during housetraining and ensure they are leash-trained for walks.

Socialization: Early socialization is crucial. Expose your PBGV to various people, animals, and environments to ensure they grow up to be well-adjusted and confident adults.


Behavioral Challenges: Some PBGVs may exhibit stubbornness or a strong prey drive. Professional training assistance can be valuable in managing such behaviors.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen and Families

Petit Basset with people

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen makes a wonderful addition to families of all sizes and compositions. Their lively and sociable nature ensures they thrive in family settings.

Children: PBGVs are generally great with children. They have an affectionate nature and can be playful companions for kids. However, as with any dog breed, it’s essential to teach children how to interact safely and respectfully with dogs.


Other Pets: PBGVs tend to get along well with other dogs and pets, especially if they are socialized from a young age. Their friendly demeanor often makes them excellent companions for other furry family members.


Companionship: PBGVs love being part of a family and thrive on human interaction. They enjoy being included in family activities and will often seek out your company.

Adopting a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

If you’re considering adopting a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, you’re in for a delightful journey. Here are some steps to guide you in bringing one of these charming dogs into your home:

  1. Research: Learn more about the breed, their needs, and whether a PBGV is the right fit for your lifestyle.
  2. Find Reputable Breeders or Rescue Organizations: Look for reputable breeders or rescue organizations that specialize in PBGVs. They can help match you with the right dog based on your preferences and lifestyle.
  3. Ask Questions: When communicating with breeders or rescue organizations, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the dog’s health, temperament, and background.
  4. Prepare Your Home: Make sure your home is ready for a new furry family member. Ensure you have all the necessary supplies, including food, bowls, a leash, and a comfortable bed.
  5. Training and Socialization: Once you bring your PBGV home, invest time in training and socialization to help them adjust to their new environment.
  6. Regular Vet Check-ups: Schedule regular vet check-ups to monitor your PBGV’s health and address any issues promptly.
  7. Love and Care: Shower your PBGV with love, care, and attention. They thrive on companionship and will become a cherished part of your family.
  8. Enjoy the Journey: Embrace the joy and companionship that a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen brings into your life. They are sure to bring laughter and love to your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the temperament of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen?

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens are cheerful, friendly, and stubborn. Known for their vivacious and inquisitive nature, they are great hunters and companions.

How much grooming does a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen require?

Their rough, shaggy coat requires regular grooming to prevent mats and remove debris, along with periodic trimming to keep them looking their best.

Are Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens good with families?

Yes, they are excellent with children and make wonderful family pets. Their playful and sociable nature makes them great companions.

What health issues are common in Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens?

They can be prone to ear infections due to their long, floppy ears, as well as eye conditions and hip dysplasia. Regular health checks are advised.

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