Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Written by: Jamie
Updated: August 3, 2020

This cutie has won the hearts of many pet owners across the world! Find out about the history, personality traits, exercise needs, and more!

Typical Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen in the garden

Height: 13-15 inches
Weight: 11-18 kilos
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Pedigree (registered with the KC?): Yes, this breed is Kennel Club registered

Positives and Negatives

Read up on the common pros and cons related to the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen breed below:


  • This dog can happily live in an apartment
  • Doesn’t drool and easy to groom
  • Very friendly. Suitable around children and the elderly
  • Generally a healthy breed type


  • Likes to bark, can be nippy as a puppy
  • Rather difficult to train, not recommended for first time owners
  • Their independence makes them prone to wandering off
  • Prone to weight gain


This pooch is small yet bold, they have a strong personality and are loved by many across the world. Although a scent hound they are a popular breed.

Many are now choosing to make the PBGV their forever companions. Their name actually stands for “small, low-frame, rough-coated from Vendéen”.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen sitting outdoors

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen requires moderate activity. They are adaptable and can suit an apartment, family life and a senior owner.

If you do have a garden it should be a completely enclosed space. If they escape they will roam off onto an adventure! For those who suffer allergies, the PBGV wouldn’t be the best choice.

Sleep is something we all don’t want being interrupted. Luckily this breed needs around 12-14 hours of rest, so they won’t be bouncing all over the house in the morning! The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen cost will set you back around £500-£800.

It is clear why this dog has become a family favorite. Their constant affection, cute face and well-natured personality makes them the perfect all round dog to have in the home.

In the UK they have been nicknamed ‘roughie’. They have a solid build with short legs and a double coat. The fur on their face tends to be smoother than on their body.

Unfortunately this pooch can have the tendency to bark. Their emotional side allows them to have different barks that all mean something unique. They occasionally may show you their howling too!

Recommended: Though large in size, King Shepherds are often referred to as Gentle Giants.


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen originated in the 1600s from France’s costal region, Vendeen. PBGVs were bred as hunters catching rabbits and hares across the harsh terrain of the land. They would work through bramble bushes, underbrush and rocks.

These scent hounds often hunted in packs and weren’t trained to kill. Instead they would flush out the prey allowing the hunters to take a shot.

The dog has human-like features such as eyebrows, mustaches, and beards. It protects them from the harsh conditions of Vendeen.

Their thick and rough coat is also designed to protect this breed from the underbrush. The PBGV still to this day tracks game through scent.

In the 1950s, France separated the breed into Petit and Grand. The only difference is the prey they catch and size. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen would also hunt in packs catching bigger animals such as roe deer and wild boars.

It was not until 1975 that interbreeding between the Petit and Grand BGV was completely stopped.

In the United States and other areas of Europe, this dog is seen as a companion. Since the 1990s after their acceptance by the AKC, this breed has been performing in dog shows.

Related: Check out the top 15 French dog breeds next.


Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Temperament:

This dog is highly affectionate, which probably explains why they are more sensitive and emotional. They love to play and interact with people, but Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen puppies may be nippy.

This is not aggression and is simply just their way of letting you know they want to play.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen on snow

Although this dog loves people, they are rather independent. They may try to wander off on an exploration. Independence isn’t all bad news!

At least you can leave them alone for a few hours without them having an absolute meltdown!

Recommended: What makes a Bernedoodle a perfect pet for first-time owners? Read our guide here!

Are PBGVs Good With Strangers?

Yes, they are stranger friendly and won’t be timid, fearful or aloof. This breed loves people so it’s safe to say they won’t make a very good guard or watch dog!

Are PBGVs Good With Children?

Yes, this breed can be a loving family pet. As puppies they may nip as a way to initiate play, so do keep an eye out for this.

Overall this dog is very suitable to a family lifestyle and will make an excellent playmate for any child.

Are PBGVs Ok With Other Dogs?

A PBGV loves other dogs. After all they were bred to hunt in packs! These social dogs love to interact with other pooches out on their daily walks.

They can also live with other household pets like cats, but probably best not to have a rabbit! A PBGV is the perfect dog to take on meet ups with other pooches!

Typical Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen in the garden

Recommended: The Bavarian Mountain Hound is often considered as the forever companion – find out why here!


A semi-moderate level of exercise is needed for this dog. Their daily exercise time recommendations are 1 hour for an adult and 1.5 hours when a puppy.

It is not recommended this dog is let off the leash unless you have established recall.

An extendable lead would be the best option. They have the tendency to wander off and can go quite far!

This is why you should always take this pooch to new places, giving them a chance to explore. It is also a great way to mentally stimulate your dog.

2 Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen dogs outdoor

Although PBGVs are scent hounds and used to hunt in packs, they don’t have a high prey drive. They may chase after the odd squirrel but aren’t too interested in cats.


Although this breed is generally healthy, there are a few breed related health issues you should be aware of:

  • Patellar Luxation- The knee cap slips in and out of the groove, stopping the leg from fully extending.
  • Hypothyroidism- An underactive thyroid can easily be sorted with some synthetic thyroid supplements from your vets. Symptoms include fatigue, dull coat and weight gain.
  • Hip Dysplasia- The hip joint/s grow abnormally causing pain, swelling and eventually arthritis.
  • Otitis Externa Cells inside the ear canal become inflamed. This causes odor, redness, swelling, itching and discharge.
  • Pupillary Membrane- Before birth, blood vessels would supply nutrients to develop the eye. They will normally disappear at age 4 weeks, but remain longer in dogs suffering from this. It could slightly alter their vision depending on where the strand is located.
  • Intervertetable Disc Disease- A common disorder which is also age related. The older the dog gets the more susceptible they are to a loss or partial loss of feeling. This will effect their hind limbs.

Intelligence & Trainability

Unfortunately, this scent hound isn’t well-know for its trainability, or intelligence for that matter.

PBGVs can be rather difficult at times to train, which is why they aren’t a good choice for first time owners.

Sensitivity is also another thing that can make training this breed difficult. They can be emotional so harsh training and scolding will get you nowhere.

Instead you will just have a distressed pooch. Positive reinforcement is the best way to progress with a PBGV dog.

It will take time, patience and consistency to bring out the best traits of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. They initiate play by nipping as a puppy, so this is an area that should be focused on first. House training can also be difficult with this breed, so repetition is key.

Careful with how many food treats you use. Replace treats with rewards of affection wherever you can. A PBGV can be prone to weight gain.

Recommended: Want to learn more about the Borzoi or Russian Wolfhound? Read more here!


Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeens are a moderate shedder and are fairly easy to groom. You will need to brush their coat around once or twice a week.

2 in 1 combs and pin brushes are a good choice to use. The comb is a great way to keep their famous facial features in top shape!

Typical Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen in the garden

Bathe them around 6-8 weeks, unless they get really dirty before then. You may need to trim around the urinal area, or occasionally wipe it with a washcloth. If you decide to trim your dogs coat, it would be best to have a professional do this.

You must keep the ear canal clear by removing any overgrown hairs. Nail trimming should be around once every two months. Be sure to also trim any excess fur from the paws, some dogs can become irritated by this.

It is recommended you brush your pooches teeth daily, but weekly is also fine. Getting your puppy used to all types of grooming techniques is important. It is a way for you to bond with your pooch. You don’t want a grooming routine becoming stressful!

About the Author

Hi, I'm Jamie! I've always been around dogs and now writing about them is an absolute joy.
Read more about my story here.
Reach me at or connect with me on LinkedIn below.

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