Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen: Dog Breed Info

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, also known as the “Grand” or “GBGV,” is a scent hound breed that originated in France. This breed is characterized by its large size, low stature, and shaggy appearance. It has medium-length legs, making it look like a larger dog rather than a medium-sized one.

 The GBGV has a weather-resistant and rough coat, which hides its solid and robust build. Its expressive face is enhanced by the distinctive hair over its eyebrows, beard, and mustache. Originally bred for hunting large game, the GBGV has become a popular companion for active families and owners with other dogs.

 They have a gentle and calm temperament, making them suitable as house pets and human companions. Their outgoing nature makes them great for active families who enjoy outdoor activities.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Hound
ORIGIN: France
HEIGHT: 15.5 to 18 inches at the shoulder
WEIGHT: 40 to 45 pounds
COAT: Rough, scruffy, and shaggy with extra length around the eyes and chin; double-coated with a long, rough outercoat and a soft, thick undercoat
COAT COLOR: A variety of colors, including tri-color, yellow, orange, black, and sable
TEMPERAMENT: Alert, energetic, loyal, lively, attentive, fearless, stubborn, sweet-tempered
LIFE SPAN: 11 to 15 years

Characteristics of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The GBGV is a distinctive breed of basset dog known for its long body, legs, and ears. They have an elegant appearance, boasting dignified heads, charming facial hair, and long necks. Despite their short legs, they are agile and quick due to their sturdy build. They have a soft and dense undercoat, and their coats come in various colors, including orange, yellow, sable, tan, black, and tricolor. Some individuals even have white coats with lemon, black, or grizzle markings.

 Similar to other hound breeds, GBGVs are prone to barking loudly and frequently and may be stubborn if not trained properly. They enjoy following scents, so having a securely enclosed area to roam is important. Keeping them in confined living spaces is not advisable as they require ample exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

History of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, a breed of French hound, underwent a 400-year-long evolutionary process along with other griffon-coated hounds. Originating in the Vendéen region during the 16th century, it is one of four Griffon Hound breeds that were carefully developed. Although originally from France, they are now found throughout Europe and used for hunting animals like rabbits and boars.

 In 1907, the Club du Griffon Vendéen recognized two varieties within the Basset Griffon Vendéen breed, but the Grand Basset split off in the 1950s. Crossbreeding between the Grand Basset and the Petit Basset was forbidden in 1977, and the American Kennel Club granted recognition in 2018.

While gaining popularity as pets and show dogs in the UK, in France, they are primarily used for hunting boars, deer, rabbits, and hares in challenging terrains.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen Temperament

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen (GBGV) may be smaller but is a strong and agile breed. Despite their tendency to be stubborn during training, these animals typically maintain a calm demeanor and are not easily bothered. This makes them a great choice for a household pet.

GBGVs are typically calm, content, and pleasant when not on duty as dedicated pack hounds. They also show loyalty attentiveness, and are eager to please their owners. Unlike some breeds, they do not usually experience separation anxiety when left alone. However, like other hounds, they may sometimes display independent behavior. GBGVs were specifically bred for work, so they have a lot of stamina and energy, which is why many owners still use them as hunting dogs.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen Care


Larger dog breeds have unique nutritional needs, including specific minerals and vitamins that differ from smaller breeds. It is crucial to monitor the food intake of your Grand Basset Griffin Vendéen and make adjustments if they start gaining excess weight. Seeking guidance from a veterinarian can assist in determining the most suitable nutrition and feeding recommendations for your dog.

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Training the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen can be tough due to their independent and stubborn nature. If you have little experience or are a first-time dog owner, consider whether the GBGV is the right breed. Patience is essential when training them, and it’s recommended to use reward-based methods with treats and toys as motivation. However, it’s important to note that their instinct to bark and chase prey cannot be fully eradicated, especially when off-leash or in an open area.


Regular physical activity would greatly benefit the energetic breed of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen. Games like fetch, hide and seek, or tug-o-war can keep them mentally stimulated and healthy. As they have strong hunting instincts, keeping them on a leash or in a secure area while outdoors is important. Their energy levels remain high as they age, so exercise should be provided throughout their lives.


Maintaining the short and straight coat of a Grand Basset Griffin Vendéen is manageable, but some hounds may have drool and food particles in their beard and chests. Regular cleaning and brushing are necessary to prevent matting. Baths help maintain the fur’s condition due to the breed’s outdoor activities. Daily checks of the ears and paw pads are important to avoid infections caused by debris.

Health Problems to Watch for With a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The GBGV dog breed is usually healthy, but like any other breed, they may have certain inherited medical conditions. Due to this reason, responsible breeders perform genetic testing on their dogs to reduce the likelihood of passing on these disorders to future generations. However, your puppy is not guaranteed to be free from such health issues. If this occurs, it is important to consult with your veterinarian, who will recommend the appropriate treatment based on your pet’s condition.

Hip Dysplasia

In dogs, this genetic condition can weaken the ball and socket joint in their hips, causing discomfort and difficulty in walking. A veterinarian might recommend surgery as a treatment option in more severe instances.


If not treated, this ailment can cause itchiness, irritation, and inflammation in a dog’s skin, impacting their appetite, sleep, and overall well-being.

To minimize the likelihood of encountering such problems, your Grand should undergo the following health tests suggested by the National Breed Club.

  • Hip evaluation
  • Thyroid evaluation
  • Patella evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation
  • Cardiac exam

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a remarkable dog breed known for its charming appearance, friendly nature, and unmatched hunting skills. This post has provided a comprehensive breed overview, including its origin, characteristics, temperament, and exercise requirements.

As a low-maintenance breed, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen can adapt to various living conditions and make a great family pet. However, it is crucial to remember that they still need consistent physical activity and mental engagement to maintain their happiness and well-being.

If you are considering adding a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen to your family, be prepared for their lively and mischievous personality and strong hunting instincts. If provided with appropriate care, training, and affection, this breed has the potential to become a devoted and affectionate companion for many years.


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