Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen

photoDog breed info
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Weight: 25 — 35 lbs
Height: 11” — 15”
AKC Rank 2008 #117
Lifespan: 11—15 yrs
Group Hound
Origin: France

Dog Breed Info - Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

descriptive text

Breed Overview

Origin: 1700’s. Original function: Trailing hare. Today: Companion dog. Colors: White with any combo of lemon, orange, tri-color or grizzle markings.

Dating back to sixteenth century Europe is an active, busy and inquisitive little hunting dog known as the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, or affectionately, the PBGV. The French name is broken down as such: Petit means “small” and basset means “low,” griffon means “rough coated” and Vendeen is the Vendeen area on the west coast of France where the dog was bred. This area is full of thick brambles, underbrush and harsh, rocky terrain where the PBGV hunted rabbits. She had to have a thick coat to move through the brambles and underbrush and be nimble and strong enough to tolerate the rocky landscape. This was a rugged little dog. Her low height let her go under brush and bushes while on the chase.

On the mod 1800’s the PBGV was shown with the Basset Hound as a wire coated variety but the PBGV has longer legs and is a more nimble hound. In France, the Griffon Vendeen was considered to be one breed with two sizes until the 1950’s. These were the Grand Basset Griffon which was the largest and the Petit Basset, the smaller version. The two sizes were interbred until the 1970’s when that was discontinued and they became two distinctly separate breeds.

The AKC registered the Petite or PBGV in 1990. Many new fans of the PBGV have come on board since then and these admirers enjoy the happy, fun-filled attitude of the dog.


The Basset Griffon Vendeen is usually eager to please and fairly easy to train. It is recommended that you use clicker training and positive reinforcement as your first approach.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Basset Griffon Vendeen? It is a good idea to give her some private space. It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your dog will save many headaches and problems and make the pup happy too.

Potty Training

Basset Griffon Vendeen puppies generally do well and are easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

Basset Griffon Vendeen portrait
descriptive text


This is a small dog that needs something to keep her busy and occupied all the time. She has a lot of energy, is inquisitive, intelligent, eager to please, friendly, very playful and affectionate. This is a sturdy, bold dog that in some ways resembles a terrier, in that she loves to dig, bark and climb, sniff and explore. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is always open to excitement and fun. She needs an extra amount of time with her family and does well with older, responsible children. Human companionship is very necessary for this breed. The dog can be stubborn and independent and needs toys and things to chew on to keep entertained, as she would rather be out chasing hare in the fields. However, the Basset Griffon Vendeen does make a good house pet and affectionate companion, even though she’s a hunter at heart.

If you happen to get a Basset Griffon Vendeen with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Generally okay with other dogs. Not really aggressive, but may pick and choose her dog friends.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

.Not good with cats and small animals. Okay with cats if raised with them.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Good. This is a “people dog” that is friendly all around.


Very playful. Loves a good game of fetch.


Very affectionate, loving little ball of fur.

Good with children

Yes, does well with kids. Older, well-mannered children 6 or 7 and up are best. The dog loves to play and romp with the kids.

Good with Seniors over 65?

The Basset Griffon Vendeen is a good choice for seniors. They are playful, affectionate, easy to care for, great companions, need a close relationship with humans, good with grandchildren and a pretty good watchdog so this is a match for a senior.

Living environment

Apartment, condo, farm or ranch all okay. If in an apartment or condo. make sure the dog gets out for plenty of outdoor exercise as described below.

A house with a small to medium size fenced back yard and a “doggie door” would be ideal so the dog could have the option of indoor--outdoor living.

The Basset Griffon Vendeen has a heavy coat and needs a cool climate, or at least needs to be kept indoors on hot, humid days.

Energy level

Moderately high energy. Rate this about 7 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

Moderate. A walk on leash twice a day and a little play in the yard is all this dog needs. Play some fetch.

Take the dog jogging for a few blocks if you want. Just don't overdo it.


Fairly good. She likes to bark anyway, and an approaching stranger is a good reason to let fly.

Guard dog

No. Too friendly.


Little to no shedding.


Use a stiff bristle brush (from a pet store) and brush 1 or 2 times a week to keep looking neat. Wash as needed and trim the fur to maintain shape every 3 to 4 months as needed.

The Basset Griffon is prone to ear infections so clean the ears weekly. Use a cotton swab and remove oil and dirt. Remove excess hair that traps bacteria. Be VERY careful doing this.

Health Issues For Basset Griffon Vendeens
Below are the illnesses or medical problems listed for the Basset Griffon Vendeen by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Otitis externa—Ear infections—Inflammation and infection of the outer ear, especially dogs with long, floppy ear flaps. Dirt and moisture collect and breed yeast and bacteria. Ear hair and wax contribute to the infection environment. If left untreated it can become a serious infection. If at home treatments with cleaning and meds don't work and the problem worsens, surgery might be the last resort.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs, rear end lameness. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Persistent pupillary membranes—Hereditary. Vision impaired by strands of tissue in the eye left over from before birth. Strands should be gone by 5 weeks age. Strands can bridge from iris to cornea, iris to pupil, iris to lens (causing cataracts) or they can for sheets of tissue. If the dog is young and you see small white spots in the dog’s eyes or the dog seems to have poor vision, see the vet. Forming of cataracts might be the biggest problem but don’t let this slip by. It may be nothing, it may be something.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—(PRA) An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Pannus—A disorder of the cornea of the eye affecting certain breeds in the 4 to 7 year range with an increase in dogs living at higher elevations. Not painful and treatable. If not treated for the remaining life of the dog, the cornea will slowly darken and scar causing visual impairment.

  • Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg, weak legs. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect either rear leg with lameness and pain. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, lame or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation with the Basset Griffon Vendeen. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee side-to-side a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

  • Arthritis - Degenerative joint disease and loss of cartilage covering bones to cushion joint movement. Very painful, causing lameness and inability to move the affected joint.

  • Epilepsy - A serious seizure disorder that usually shows yup at around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in dogs.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Atopy. Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Intervertebral disc disease—Biochemical changes in a young dog of certain breeds like the Basset Griffon Vendeen can cause at least one diseased or mineralized disc in the spine of a dog. A disc that is not functioning properly will cause pain, problems walking, stumbling, severe neck pain and even paralysis. Treatments can go from non-invasive doses of anti-inflammatory steroids, muscle relaxants and bed-rest to surgery. Pain medications are also given as needed. Mess with the spine and you have a serious situation and it’s tough on the dog!

Other health problems could occur with your Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide

Return From Basset Griffon Vendeen To Dog Breeds

Return From Basset Griffon Vendeen To Hound Breeds