Let's talk Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

There’s a reason that the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen has been around for centuries: a docile yet outgoing temperament has served them well both in their role as a sport dog and a family pet. Part of the Hound Group, the breed has always been prized for their very keen nose and willing manner. Many in their native France appreciate this dog’s tousled appearance, knowing that the same rough-and-tumble characteristic dwells within. A compact size makes them all the more attractive.

Official name: Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Other names: None

Origins: France

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen lying down on front paws in black and white
 Drooling tendencies:

Very low

Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level: Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Medium
 Physical activity needs (high, low, medium): Moderate Kid-friendly? 
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets: Very high
Can stay alone? Medium

We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches.
Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour.
Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.
Inline Image 15
Illustration of Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
34 - 38 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
11 - 18 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
34 - 38 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
11 - 18 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  10 years onwards

Side view of Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen standing on grass


Get to know the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

All you need to know about the breed

Vivacious is often the first word that comes to mind when describing the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. A French original, they are one of four griffon breeds that emerged in France hundreds of years ago as hunting companions, along with the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, Grand Griffon Vendéen, and Briquet Griffon Vendéen, all valued for their high intelligence and perspicacity.

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen made their mark by being both rugged yet jovial, sporting a wiry, harsh coat that withstood the brambles and underbrush found in their home territory of Vendée, a rocky and invigorating oceanfront region. It’s the breed’s affable manner that still affords them a preferred canine status.

Nowadays, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is content at pretty much any activity. They enjoy being around people of all ages - including children, once they are trained - and other animals, as long as they’re well-socialised. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen breed is quite affectionate and will thrive with demonstrations of such from owners. Those saucer-like eyes make it easy for most humans to comply!

To note: Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen do like to bark, not at nothing, but the trait hails from their hunting days. Firm training will help teach this at-times headstrong dog the behaviour they need to be a super family pet.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen standing on grassy mound


2 facts about Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

1. What’s in a name?

Like many multiple-named entities, an acronym is often utilised when speaking about the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, or PBGV for short. More interestingly, their name lays out exactly what they are: Petit, or small; Basset, meaning a dog that’s low to the ground; Griffon, a term dating to ancient Greece referring to hunting or pointing dogs with wiry coats; and Vendéen, for the western Vendée region of France from which they hail.

2. Diggity-do

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is known to be an escape artist! The breed is prone to digging and, despite their compact size, are also excellent jumpers. So any fence that surrounds the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen’s living quarters should be both high and dug down low to prevent them from digging, and thus following their nose wherever it leads. This breed’s physical traits definitely include persistence, an acute sense of smell, and a dogged determination.


History of the breed

Although well-known now throughout their homeland of France, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen first appeared in the 16th century via their ancestors, the Grand Vendéens, smooth-haired hounds descended from dogs known as Greffiers or “the King’s white hounds.” They went on to develop in the western French coastal region of the Vendée.

It wasn’t until 1898 though that a breed standard was written. When the Club du Basset Griffon Vendéen was formed in 1907, its president, Paul Dezamy, rewrote the standard to distinguish the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen from their larger cousin, the Grand Basset Griffon.

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Club of America was formed during the American Kennel Club Centennial Show in 1984 with the breed then making their debut at the Westminster Kennel Club in 1992. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale didn’t recognise the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen until 1946. The AKC officially registered the breed into the Hound Group in 1991.

Close-up of Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen in black and white


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

1. Ears

Small ears, not too thick, slightly oval, covered in long hair.

2. Body

Namesake petite body, well-proportioned, short legs, straight back.

3. Coat

Wiry and hard topcoat of medium length, soft yet thick undercoat.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen sitting on grassy mound


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
Two Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen puppies leaning over log


Caring for your Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen possesses a thick, harsh overcoat and a soft, thick, short undercoat. Brush once a week to rid them of dead hair. Baths should be had only occasionally. Their eyebrows, beard, and moustache are naturally scruffy so keep them neat with regular trims. Ditto for nails, to prevent cracking, and clean their ears frequently. Brush your dog’s teeth often to prevent tooth decay. Exercise for the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen should be frequent. They’re an active dog and will need twice-daily walks and a good deal of playtime. This breed is very curious as well, and can be a pursuer of small furry animals; secure outdoor areas with a very tall fence that’s also buried deep. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is known to be willful and a little tough to train. It’s their intelligence that gets in the way, but this very placid dog aims to please and will respond to training methods with consistent commands. Start them on an early course of obedience to develop the best behaviour possible.


All about Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

As a dog who is used to being out in the field, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen does possess a low, loud bark. They were bred to live and work in packs, using that voice to alert owners. Their vocal skills make the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen a superb watchdog but apartment dwellers take heed, as that may pose a problem in tight quarters.

As one of France’s beloved breeds, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a common find with breeders in many parts of their native land as well as throughout Europe and North America, with the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Club of America as one particularly vital source.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/