Description & History

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen originated from the French department of Vendée, a region on the west coast south of the Loire.

The exact origin of the breed - which dates back to the sixteenth century - is not known, although it must be presumed that other Griffon breeds in the Vendée area played a large part in its ancestry.

There are four varieties of the Griffon Vendéen - the Grand Griffon Vendéen, the Briquet, the Grand Basset and, the smallest of the four, the Petit Basset.

The PBGV, like the Basset Hound, is a short-legged hound - the term "basset" means low to the ground. In spite of this feature they are a determined and hard working breed which hunt rabbit and hare. Once they have picked up a scent they are quite oblivious to any human command until they have tracked down their quarry.

PBGVs are not generally pack hounds, although in the south of England an enthusiast of the breed has trained a number of hounds to hunt successfully as a pack.

All dog breeds display characteristics in one form or another which make them so appealing to their owners, and because of this devotees will remain faithful to their selected breed all their lives.

The PBGVs, who are often described as "The Happy Breed", would probably win first prize in any character stakes. They are appealing, comical, extrovert, greedy, happy, intelligent, stubborn, yet always willing to please. It is because of all of these features that they are such a delightful and endearing breed.

All hounds should live in the country, and this certainly applies to the Petit Basset. If possible they should be well controlled as, like all hounds, obedience is not one of their stronger points.

The breed first came to Britain 25 years ago, and in 1985 gained championship status.

Rosamund Walters.

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