Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen – General Description
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (pronounced “peh-TEE bas-SAY grih-FON vahn-day-AHN”), or “PBGV,” is a breed of dog of the scent hound type, bred to trail hares in bramble filled terrain of the Vendée district of France.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 6, Section 1, #67
- AKC Hound
- ANKC Group 4 (hound)
- CKC Group 2 – Hound
- KC (UK) Hound
- NZKC Hounds
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperament
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s are extroverted, friendly, and independent hounds. Sometimes called the “happy breed,” Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s have tirelessly wagging tails and expressive, intelligent eyes. PBGVs are typically active and lively. While good with children, other dogs and pets, they may be unsuitable for very young children because of their energy and tendency to play bite. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen standard states that the dog should “give voice freely” — as is typical of hounds, petits are outspoken dogs. If their ‘pack’ begins howling or singing, the dog will join in, with amusing results. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s may howl alone or with a companion; they may howl to music, for fun, or in protest at being left alone. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen companions report that sleeping dogs have been known to awaken and howl along with favorite songs.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is not a quiet dog. While no PBGV would ever be called “yippy,” their assertive, hound-bay is uncharacteristically loud for their petite stature. The outspoken nature of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen varies from dog to dog, but even the shyest Petit will greet other dogs with a bark or call.
Like other hounds, Petits are stubborn, and sometimes may not respond well to training.
Because they are so extroverted, friendly, and happy, PBGVs make excellent therapy dogs.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s are excellent hunting and tracking dogs. A “Hunting Instinct Test” with associated AKC certification is currently in development as a part of optional breed credentialing. Petits who work in this manner do not hunt to kill. In the Vendee region of France, the dogs are used to flush and track rabbit in the bramble, sending rabbit out into the open where the hunter takes the rabbit with a shot. Skilled hunting dogs work well with other dogs in the pack, alerting the pack to the presence of a rabbit, or to a rabbit in motion down a trail. “Saber tails,” another PBGV nickname, are typically white at the tip of the tail, so the tail is easily identified by a hunter above the bramble and brush.
As a companion animal, this occasionally pronounced hunting instinct may manifest in the home as a dog that gives chase to birds, squirrel, and cats. For some Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s, this instinct may be difficult to overcome with training. Most Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s make fine companion animals, and have suitable manners to live among cats and other animals without assuming a hunting role. Potential PBGV owners are cautioned to be aware of this instinct and, if cats are present in the home, work to acclimate the puppy or dog to recognize that the cat is part of the home “pack.”
As scent hounds, most Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s should be kept on-leash when in open outdoor areas. Even the most obedient dog may give chase when a scent is found. Petits are natural athletes, and they can run fast and long where scent is involved. Scent will typically trump obedience in the mind of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen.
The outspoken nature and erect tail of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen can be misinterpreted by other dogs, as these manners typically express dominance to other dogs. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen’s can inspire a misguided need to express dominance on the part of passing dogs. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen owners need to be alert to this potential misinterpretation, as Petits are easily outclassed in both size and aggressiveness.
For a long time the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen had the same standard as the Grand Basset, only the size was different (from 34 to 38 cm). The result in utilization was not very brilliant, because they were semi-crooked and as heavy as the Grand Basset. That is why that M.Abel Dezamy created a separate standard for them. To define this hound, let us remember what Paul Daubigné wrote : « It is no longer a small Vendéen by simple reduction of the height, but a small Basset harmoniously reduced in all his proportions and in its volume, that is naturally endowed with all the moral qualities which presuppose the passion for hunting ». A team of Petit Bassets won the first edition of France’s Cup on rabbit.
Size & Appearance
Both sexes should be of similar size, range between 12.5 and 15.5 inches (32 and 40 cm) at the withers and between 25 and 40 pounds (15 and 20 kg).
Like the other three Griffon Vendéen breeds: the Grand Griffon Vendéen, Briquet Griffon Vendéen, and the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen; they are solid dogs that appear rough and unrefined yet casual. They have short legs, a sturdy bone structure, and a body that is only slightly longer than it is tall at the withers. The body length is not as extreme as that of a basset hound or dachshund.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has a tousled appearance, with a harsh double coat that is both long and rough.The hair on the face and legs may be softer than body hair. The fur on the face resembles a beard and moustache. They usually have very long eyelashes.
The skull is domed, with drop, oval ears like many hounds share, though dogs tend to have higher domes than bitches. The ears are set low and hanging, and if stretched out should reach the tip of the nose. The tail is usually held upright, and is long and tapered to the end, similar in shape to a saber.
The coloring is primarily white with spots of orange, lemon, black, grizzle (gray-and-white hairs), or sable, sometimes with tan accents. They may be bicolor, tricolor, or have grizzling.
Health & Maintenance
The UK Kennel Club conducted a health survey of Basset Griffon Vendeens (both Petit and Grand varieties combined) in 2004. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (PBGV) Club of America has conducted two health surveys, one in 1994 and one in 2000. The club is currently conducting another survey. These are apparently the only completed or on-going health surveys for Basset Griffon Vendeens  (as of July 2007).
Average longevity of PBGVs in the 2000 Club of America survey was 12.7 years (standard deviation 3.9). Sample size was not clear, but it appeared to be 45 dogs. No longevity data were collected in the 1994 survey. There was no information on causes of death.
Average longevity of 76 deceased Basset Griffon Vendeens (both varieties) in the 2004 UK Kennel Club survey was 12.1 years (maximum 17.3 years). Leading causes of death were cancer (33%), old age (24%), and cardiac (7%).
Compared to surveyed longevities of other breeds of similar size, Basset Griffon Vendeens have a typical or somewhat higher than average life expectancy.
In the PBGV Club of America 2000 survey, the most common diseases reported by owners of 640 dogs were persistent pupillary membranes, recurrent ear infections, hypothyroidism, neck pain, and epilepsy.
Among 289 live Basset Griffon Vendeens (both varieties) in the 2004 UKC survey, the most common health issues noted by owners were reproductive, dermatologic (dermatitis and mites), and aural (otitis externa, excessive ear wax, and ear mites).
They should have daily walks to burn off excess energy. They need to be brushed regularly, but not daily, to avoid matting and tangles. To keep the coat well groomed it must be stripped. Hairs must be pulled out of the coat using either a special stripping tool or the finger and thumb. The coat is shallow rooted and is made to come out if trapped, so this grooming method causes no pain. They need regular ear cleanings to prevent yeast infections and clipping of the claws is normally needed once or twice a month.
Part of the charm of a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is its tousled, unkempt appearance.
- http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/570 Kennel Club/British Small Animal Veterinary Association Scientific Committee. 2004. Purebred Dog Health Survey
- http://www.pbgv.org/PBGVCA/Committee/healthSurvey.html Kovaleff, L. 2001. Report on the state of health of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. Based on the 2000 Health Survey unterdaken by the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America. (No direct link to the 1994 survey, but includes a comparison between the 1994 and 2000 survey)
- http://www.lkhopkins.com/pbgv/ PBGV Club of America Comprehensive Health Survey (in progress).
- http://users.pullman.com/lostriver/breeddata.htm Dog Longevity Web Site, Breed Data page. Compiled by K. M. Cassidy.
- http://users.pullman.com/lostriver/citations.htm Dog Longevity Web Site, Citation page. Compiled by K. M. Cassidy.
- http://users.pullman.com/lostriver/weight_and_lifespan.htm Dog Longevity Web Site, Weight and Longevity page. Compiled by K. M. Cassidy.
- Lilly M real name: Małgorzata Miłaszewska (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Sannse [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Pleple2000 (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Dogs 101: Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
FCI-Standard N° 67 / 14. 02. 2001 / GB
TRANSLATION : John Miller and Raymond Triquet.
ORIGIN : France.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 09.01.1999.
Devil in the country, angel in the house, that’s our Basset. It’s a passionate hunter, that must, from an early age, get used to obeying. Perfect assistant to the hunter with a gun on territories of medium size, specialist for rabbit, but no other game escapes from it.
- Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds.
- Section 1.3 Small-sized Hounds.
With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
For a long time the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen had the same standard as the Grand Basset, only the size was different (from 34 to 38 cm). The result in utilization was not very brilliant, because they were semi-crooked and as heavy as the Grand Basset. That is why that M.Abel Dezamy created a separate standard for them. To define this hound, let us remember what Paul Daubigné wrote : « It is no longer a small Vendéen by simple reduction of the height, but a small Basset harmoniously reduced in all his proportions and in its volume, that is naturally endowed with all the moral qualities which presuppose the passion for hunting ». A team of Petit Bassets won the first edition of France’s Cup on rabbit.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
Small, active and vigorous hound, with a slightly elongated body. Proud tail carriage. Coat hard and long without exaggeration. Expressive head; leathers well turned inwards, covered with long hair and set below the level of the eye, not too long.
BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT :
Behavior : Passionate hunter, courageous, likes the bramble and scrub.
Temperament : Docile but willful and passionate.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Slightly domed, not too elongated nor very broad, well chiseled under the eyes, the occipital protuberance quite developed.
Stop : Frontal indentation defined.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Prominent, well developed; nostrils open, black apart from the white and orange coats where a brown nose is tolerated.
Muzzle : Much shorter than that of the Grand Basset but nevertheless very slightly elongated and straight. Muzzle square at its end.
Lips : Covered with abundant mustaches.
Jaws/Teeth : Scissor bite.
Eyes : Quite large with an intelligent expression, showing no white; the conjunctiva must not be apparent. The brows surmounting the eyes stand forward but should not obscure the eyes. Eyes must be of a dark color.
Leathers : Supple, narrow and fine, covered with long hair, ending in a slight oval, turned inwards and not quite reaching the end of the muzzle. Well set below the level of the eye.
Long and strong; well muscled; strong at set on; without dewlap; carrying head proudly.
Back : Straight, topline level.
Loin : Muscled.
Croup : Well muscled and quite wide.
Chest : Not too wide. Rather deep, reaching the elbow level.
Ribs : Moderately rounded.
Set high, quite thick at its base, tapering evenly to its tip; rather short, carried sabre fashion.
Overall view : Bone structure quite strong but in proportion to size.
Shoulders : Clean, oblique, well attached to the body.
Forearm : Well developed.
Wrist (carpus) : Very slightly defined.
Thigh : Muscled and only slightly rounded.
Hock : Quite wide, slightly angulated, never completely straight.
Not too strong, pads hard, toes very tight, nails solid. Good pigmentation of the pads is desirable.
GAIT / MOVEMENT :
Very free and effortless.
Quite thick, often marbled in tricolor subjects. No dewlap.
Harsh but not too long, never silky or woolly.
Black with white spotting (white and black). Black with tan markings (black and tan). Black with light tan markings. Fawn with white spotting (white and orange). Fawn with black mantle and white spotting (tricolor). Fawn with black overlay. Pale fawn with black overlay and white spotting. Pale fawn with black overlay. Traditional names : hare color, wolf color, badger color or wild boar color.
Height at withers : From 34 to 38 cm.
With a tolerance of 1 cm more or less.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
- Too short.
- Flat skull.
- Depigmentation of nose, lips or eyelids.
- Short muzzle.
- Pincer bite.
- Light eye.
- Leathers set high, long, insufficiently turned in or lacking hair.
- Too long or too short, lacking harmony.
- Topline insufficiently firm.
- Slanting croup.
- Deviated stern.
- Insufficient bone.
- Lack of angulation.
- Slack in pasterns.
- Not dense enough, fine hair.
- Timid subject.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
- Fearful or aggressive subject.
- Lack of type.
- Overshot or undershot mouth.
- Wall eye/Eyes of different colors (Heterochromia).
- Lack of space in the sternal region : ribs too narrow towards the lower part.
- Kinky tail.
- Crooked or half-crooked forelegs.
- Woolly coat.
- Self-colored black or white coat.
- Important depigmentation.
- Size outside the standard.
- Noticeable invalidating fault. Anatomical malformation.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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