Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a happy and outgoing hound dog with a small stature. These French hounds love their people and are well-suited for families with kids.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
Breed Group
Dog Size
Other Traits
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
  • 13–15 inches
  • 25–40 pounds
life span
  • 14–16 years
breed size
  • medium (26-60 lbs.)
good with
  • children
  • dogs
  • outgoing
  • friendly
  • willful
  • protective
  • high
shedding amount
  • normal
exercise needs
  • high
energy level
  • active
barking level
  • frequent
drool amount
  • low
breed group
  • hound
coat length/texture
  • long
  • white
  • bicolor
  • sable
  • tricolor
other traits
  • strong loyalty tendencies
  • good hiking companion

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, also known as the PBGV, is a charming and energetic dog breed that makes an excellent companion for active individuals or families who can provide them with the exercise, mental stimulation, and affection they need. With their endearing shaggy coats, droopy ears, and unwavering loyalty, these compact bundles of energy are here to steal your heart. Whether you're seeking a lively playmate or a loyal companion for outdoor adventures, the PBGV's irresistible charm and zest for life will keep you entertained and smiling every step of the way.

Get ready to fall head over paws for the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen—the breed that's always ready to bring joy and adventure to your world.


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen has a compact and sturdy body with a rough, harsh double coat. The outer coat is wiry and dense, while the undercoat is short and insulating. According to the AKC breed standard, the PBGV's coat should have a "tousled" look. The breed comes in a variety of color combinations, including tricolor (white, black, and tan), grizzle and white, or fawn and white.

PBGV Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
Credit: JTGrafix / Getty Images

PBGVs have distinct, puppylike facial features—expressive eyes, bushy eyebrows, and a mustache and beard. They have long, soft ears that hang close to the head. The tail is moderately long and is often held high. In summary, they're pretty darn cute.


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is known for being cheerful, lively, and independent. "These French scent hounds are good-natured and extroverted. Originally utilized in hunting hares, the PBGV is compact and tough, with an alert outlook," says Embark veterinary geneticist Dr. Jenna Dockweiler.

PBGVs are friendly and affectionate with their families, including children, and generally get along well with other dogs and pets if properly introduced. However, their hunting instincts can make them prone to chasing smaller animals, so use caution in off-leash areas.

They can be a bit on the stubborn side when it comes to training, so start socialization and training early to build a good foundation right away.

Living Needs

PBGVs are social dogs that crave companionship. They thrive in households where they have regular interaction with their human family members. Loneliness and isolation can lead to behavioral issues, so it's important to spend quality time with them and provide adequate social interaction.

As stated by the PBGV Club of America, the PBGV typically has a strong prey drive and may chase after small animals if given the opportunity. So it's important to provide them with a securely fenced yard or ensure they are always on a leash during outdoor activities.

This active breed requires regular exercise to stay physically fit and mentally stimulated, so they are not a good fit for people with lower-energy lifestyles. Daily walks, playtime, training, and off-leash activities in a secure area are great ways to meet their exercise needs.

"The breed is a great fit for those looking for a short, happy hound," Dockweiler says. "But, as a relatively rare breed, families should be prepared to get on a waitlist to get a puppy from a reputable breeder."


The PBGV's wiry double coat requires regular grooming to maintain their appearance and prevent matting and tangling. Brush their coat at least once or twice a week to remove loose hair and tangles, especially before bathing. They may occasionally need professional trimming, or you can learn how to do it yourself. Regular nail trims are important to keep the feet healthy. Ear cleaning should be part of the grooming routine in order to keep them free of debris and prevent ear infections.

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen has a high energy level and requires regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. They enjoy outdoor activities like walks, hikes, and play sessions.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen running
Credit: Kyle Reynolds / Getty Images

PBGVs have a strong sense of smell and were historically used for hunting small game, such as rabbits. They can be independent and stubborn at times, so consistent and patient training methods are necessary. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques and may benefit from obedience training classes or other activities that engage their mind. PBGVs are intelligent dogs that thrive when given mental challenges. Engage them in activities like scent work and agility to allow them to put their hunting instincts to work. Obedience training and puzzle toys can help keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom.

Proper socialization from an early age is crucial for PBGVs. Expose them to various people, animals, and environments to ensure they grow up to be well-rounded and confident dogs. This helps prevent shyness or reactivity toward unfamiliar situations or individuals.

Like all dogs, PBGVs require regular veterinary care, including vaccinations, routine check-ups, and preventive treatments for heartworms, fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites. Regular dental care, such as brushing teeth, is also important to maintain oral health.

No two PBGVs are exactly alike—individual dogs may have specific needs or preferences, so it's essential to understand and cater to your dog's unique personality and requirements.


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues. Responsible breeders strive to minimize the occurrence of these conditions through careful breeding practices, but the PBGV Club brochure says that some health concerns are associated with the PBGV.

Hip Dysplasia: This is a common condition where the hip joint doesn't develop properly, leading to joint instability and potentially causing pain, lameness, and arthritis. Screening the parents for hip dysplasia and obtaining health clearances from recognized organizations can help minimize the risk.

Hypothyroidism: PBGVs may experience an underactive thyroid gland, resulting in a range of symptoms, including weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems. This condition can usually be managed with lifelong medication.

Patellar Luxation: Sometimes called a "slipped kneecap," this common orthopedic condition occurs when the kneecap, or patella, slips out of its normal position within the groove of the thigh bone, or femur. This displacement can occur in different directions, including toward the inside or outside of the leg, and it may require surgery to treat.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen puppy
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen puppy
| Credit: Sue Thatcher / Getty Images

Epilepsy: Some PBGVs may develop epilepsy, a neurological condition characterized by recurrent seizures. Affected dogs can often live normal lives with proper management, including medication to control seizures.

Ear Infections: PBGVs have long, droopy ears that can trap moisture and debris, making them more susceptible to ear infections. Regular ear cleaning and inspection can help prevent issues.

Intervertebral Disc Disease: PBGVs, like many other long-backed breeds, can be susceptible to IVDD. This condition involves the spinal discs degenerating or herniating, leading to pain, mobility issues, and, in severe cases, paralysis. Proper weight management and avoiding excessive jumping or rough play can help reduce the risk.

It's important to note that not all PBGVs will develop these conditions, and responsible breeding practices can help minimize the risk. If you're considering getting a PBGV, work with a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings on their breeding dogs and provides health guarantees. Additionally, regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, exercise, and proper grooming can contribute to maintaining the overall health and well-being of your PBGV.


The history of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen can be traced back to France, specifically the Vendée region. This breed is believed to have descended from larger Griffon Vendéen hounds, which were used for hunting small game, such as rabbits, in the rugged terrain of the Vendée.

In the 19th century, breeders in the Vendée region began selectively breeding smaller versions of the Griffon Vendéen to create a compact hunting dog capable of navigating dense underbrush. The result was the development of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen.

The PBGV was primarily utilized for hunting small game on foot, working in packs to track scents and flush out prey. Their sturdy build, keen sense of smell, and agile nature made them well-suited for this purpose.

The breed gained recognition in France in the early 20th century and gradually gained popularity beyond their hunting origins. In 1907, the first breed standard for the PBGV was established by the Club du Griffon Vendéen. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) officially recognized the breed in 1976. The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1991.

Over time, the PBGV's hunting prowess and charming personality endeared them to dog enthusiasts worldwide. Today, they are valued as both hunting companions and beloved family pets. While their hunting instincts may still be evident, their adaptability and lively nature have made them popular in various dog sports and activities, including agility and scent work.

Fun Facts

  • How did the PBGV end up with such a long name? Petit means "small" in French, and it refers to the size of the dog. Basset translates to "low" in French, indicating the breed's short-legged and low-to-the-ground structure. The PBGV's low stature helped it navigate through underbrush during hunting expeditions. Griffon refers to the breed's distinctive wire-haired or rough coat. This coat type provides protection in harsh weather and thorny environments, common in the Vendée region. Vendéen is the region in France where the breed originated and was developed. The PBGV was specifically bred in the Vendée region, known for its rugged terrain and game hunting.
  • A PGBV named Buddy (CH Soletrader Buddy Holly) was awarded Best in Show at the 2023 Westminster Dog Show.
  • A PBGV named Jilly (CH Soletrader Peek A Boo) won Best in Show at the 2013 Crufts.