Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

by Michelle Jones

What a huge name for a little dog! You may have seen this hound in prestigious dog shows, nicknamed the PBGV. In the show ring, he often appears as a pampered “dog of the week,” yet this little hound is much more functional than he appears!…The PBGV was only recognized by the AKC in 1990, making him a newcomer to the purebred dogs. However, his roots extend back to France in the 16th century where he was widely used as a hunter of rabbits, raccoons and hares that threatened the destuction of fields of vegetables and grains. Despite his diminuative size, the PBGV is a spunky little hound that was bred to withstand rough terrain of brambles and thorns of the French countryside. His long back, rough coat, and short legs allows him to relentlessly pursue maurading mammals that took food off the plates of French common people and nobility alike. His foppish appearance and grooming in the show ring belies the fact that he is a hardy little dog, overflowing with courage and independence.

In temperament, the PBGV is a merry, humorous dog that’s always on the lookout for a scent that will lead him to excitement and fun. He is extremely affectionate with his family and is a superb companion dog. He does well with children and other pets, and is friendly with strangers. He may bark at a stranger’s knock on the door, but has little protection ability. He does well in apartment and city life as long as he has opportunities for exercise due to his high engery. A strenous leashed romp in the dog park several times a week or plenty of play activties in a yard will more than satisfy his energy and exercise needs. He is an extremely sociable dog and needs the companionship of his owner. Left alone too long, the PBGV can become both a nuisance barker and an overly-inclined digger.

Training a PBGV in basic obedience is certainly a challenge. He’s stubborn, independant, and aloof when it comes to training. His obedience and socialization training must be started as a puppy; he needs a firm, confident owner/trainer. There’s lot of ”attitude” packed into his little body!

The PBGV is a very sturdy dog with no major health concerns. Keeping the inside of his fuzzy ears clean and trimmed will prevent ear infections, and he occasionally suffers from hip dysplasia. His wiry coat needs frequent brushing and stripping to get rid of dead hairs and debris.

As a scent hound, the PBGV will quickly trail small mammals with gusto and agility. As a companion dog, his cheerful temperament and affectionate nature makes him an excellent family dog.