Dog Lifestyle, Pets and Family

Get to Know the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

You may have recently seen that Buddy Holly, The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, or PBGV, won Westminster Dog Show and became curious win about this small hound breed with a lively and adventurous personality. Originating in the Vendée region of France, the PBGV were bred for hunting small game in dense underbrush. Today, PBGVs are beloved family pets, prestigious dog show winners and active companions.

A brown and white Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen in front of a grey background.

Brief history and origin of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

The PBGV is believed to have descended from ancient French hounds and was developed in the Vendée region of France in the 16th century. They were bred to hunt small game, such as rabbits and hares, in dense underbrush. The breed nearly went extinct during World War II, like other European Dogs such as the Great Pyrenees, but was revived by a group of dedicated breeders in the 1950s.

General Overview of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (PBGV)

PBGVs are small, sturdy dogs with a friendly and outgoing personality. They are known for their keen sense of smell (given they are a hound) and their love of adventure. PBGVs are energetic and playful, and they make excellent family pets for those who enjoy an active lifestyle.


Physical characteristics and traits of PBGV

PBGVs have a distinctive appearance, with a long, shaggy coat and long, drooping ears. They have a square build and a confident, alert expression. The coat can be either rough or smooth, and is usually black, white, and tan, or a combination of these colors.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen infographic describing its appearance and characteristics.

Height, weight, and lifespan

PBGVs typically stand between 12 and 15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 25 and 40 pounds. They have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

Coat types and colors

Buddy Holly, winner of Westminster Dog Show, had a rough coat and is white and tan but PBGVs can have either a rough or smooth coat, which is thick and shaggy. The coat can be black, white, and tan, or a combination of these colors.

A small Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen dog that is black, white and brown.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen can black, white and tan or all three colors.

Grooming needs and maintenance

PBGVs require regular grooming to keep their long, shaggy coat looking its best. This includes finding an expert groomer or learning to groom your pup yourself by brushing and trimming as needed, as well as regular bathing to keep their coat clean and healthy. They also require regular nail trimming and ear cleaning to prevent infections.

Temperament and Personality

PBGV’s personality traits and temperament

PBGVs are friendly and outgoing, with a lively and adventurous personality. They are known for their intelligence and independence, much like the Puli dreadlocked dog and can sometimes be stubborn. PBGVs are affectionate and loyal to their families, and make excellent companions.

PBGV’s energy levels and activity requirements

PBGVs are highly active dogs and require daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, running, and playing fetch. They also excel at various dog sports, such as agility and tracking.

PBGV’s socialization and training needs

PBGVs require early socialization to ensure they get along well with other dogs and people. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and are highly intelligent, making them easy to train.

PBGV’s behavior with children and other pets

PBGVs are generally good with children and other pets when socialized properly. They can be a bit reserved with strangers, but are usually friendly and outgoing once they get to know someone.

Health and Nutrition

Common health problems in PBGV

PBGVs are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain health problems, such as hip dysplasia, ear infections, and eye problems. Regular veterinary care and proper nutrition can help keep them healthy.

Nutritional requirements and feeding guidelines

PBGVs require a high-quality, well-balanced diet that is appropriate for their age and activity level. They should be fed twice a day, with portion sizes based on their weight and activity level.

Exercise requirements and activity levels

PBGV’s behavior with children and other pets

The PBGV is a friendly and affectionate breed that gets along well with children and other pets. They are known for their playful and energetic nature, which makes them excellent companions for kids. PBGVs also tend to get along well with other dogs and pets, making them an ideal choice for families with multiple animals.

Crate training and house training are essential for PBGV puppies, and basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, and come are important for all dogs to know. PBGVs also enjoy learning new tricks and games, and mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise.

Regular exercise is essential for PBGVs to maintain their health and well-being. They are an active breed that enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, walking, and playing in the yard. It is important to provide them with enough exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

A brown and white Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen in front of a grey background.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen are active dogs that love their family but can howl

Living with PBGV

While PBGVs can adapt to apartment living, they do require plenty of outdoor space and exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. They are an energetic breed that requires daily exercise and mental stimulation. PBGVs are also prone to howling, so it is important to keep their living situation in mind when considering adopting one.

Creating a safe and comfortable home for your PBGV is also important. This includes providing them with a comfortable bed, plenty of toys, and a safe and secure space to call their own. It is also important to ensure that your home is puppy-proofed and that any potentially dangerous items are kept out of reach.

Socializing PBGV

Socialization is crucial for PBGVs to help them develop into well-rounded and friendly dogs. It is important to socialize them early on with a variety of people and animals to help them feel comfortable and confident in new situations. PBGVs are a social breed that enjoy being around people and other dogs, so socialization is key to preventing any behavior issues down the line.


In conclusion, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a fun-loving and energetic breed that makes a wonderful companion for the right family. They require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, as well as proper nutrition and grooming.

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Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen FAQs

Are Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Good Pets?

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens can make great pets for the right owner. They are energetic and playful, which can make them a good match for active families who enjoy spending time outdoors. They are also affectionate and loyal to their families, which can make them excellent companions.
However, PBGVs are a hunting breed, and they have a strong prey drive. This means that they may not be a good fit for households with smaller pets like cats, rabbits, or birds or in smaller spaces. They are also independent thinkers and can be stubborn at times, which can make training a bit more challenging.

Are Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Rare?

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens (PBGVs) are considered a rare breed, especially outside of their native France. According to the American Kennel Club, PBGVs are ranked as the 138th most popular breed in the United States as of 2021, out of 197 breeds. While they are not as common as some other breeds, PBGVs do have a dedicated following of owners and breeders who appreciate their unique traits and personality. PBGVs have a distinctive appearance and a friendly, playful nature that can make them stand out from other breeds.

Do Griffon dogs bark?

Yes, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens (PBGVs) are known to be vocal and can bark frequently. They were originally bred as hunting dogs, and their barking was often used to alert hunters to the location of their prey. In a household setting, PBGVs may bark to alert their owners of potential danger or to express excitement or frustration. It’s important to keep in mind that excessive barking can be a behavior issue that needs to be addressed through training and socialization.
Proper training and socialization can help to minimize excessive barking in PBGVs. It’s also important to provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to help channel their energy in a positive way. With consistent training and attention, PBGVs can make wonderful companions that are both alert and well-behaved.