The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen temperament is amiable, charming and busy. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen (nicknamed the GBGV for short) is a French scent hound with a shaggy coat and a scruffy beard. The name literally translates to, “Large, low, shaggy dog of the Vendee.”
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Traits and Behaviors
If you are thinking about acquiring a GBGV, do as much research as you can about Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen behaviors to make sure this breed is a good fit for your lifestyle.
Of course, not all individual GBGVs are exactly alike, but below are some of the most common characteristics of this breed:
They Love to Follow Their Noses
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen has a very strong sense of smell. They were bred to track their prey by scent. The tracking instinct is still very strong in the breed today.
If your Grand catches the whiff of an intriguing scent, he is likely to follow that scent wherever it may lead.
This can be dangerous for your GBGV if he wanders too far from home or darts into traffic.
Make sure that you train your GBGV to come when called. Even if he is very well trained, do not let him off leash unless he is in a securely fenced area. Even a well-trained hound may ignore commands if he is on the scent of something especially exciting.
“Uses His Voice Freely”
The American Kennel Club breed standard for the GBGV includes the following phrase: “He is active, possessing great stamina for a full days’ hunt and uses his voice freely while on the trail.”
This means the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is known for being a vocal breed.
Some people enjoy the musical baying of a hound dog.
However, if you are not one of those people, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen may not be the right choice for you.
There are certain things that you can do to limit the amount of barking—such as plenty of daily exercise and mental enrichment.
However, at the end of the day, this is one of the more talkative dog breeds. If you cannot handle barking, you may want to consider other breeds.
Likewise, if you live in an apartment and you have neighbors that are sensitive to noise; a Grand probably is not the most considerate choice.
Laid back, but Need Exercise
As long as they have a proper outlet for their energy, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens tend to be laid back at home.
However, they do require daily exercise.
Remember that these dogs were bred to work for hours at a time. They need to channel their working drive into a constructive outlet.
If they do not have a proper outlet for their energy, they will likely get into mischief around the house. For example, if your Grand is digging, chewing, or howling excessively, he probably needs more exercise.
You can provide your GBGV with sufficient exercise by taking him on lots of walks or long romps in the backyard. These dogs also enjoy jogging, hiking, and playing with other dogs.
If you work long hours and live in the city, try bringing your Grand to a doggie daycare while you are at work. Playtime with other dogs is a great form of Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen exercise! Plus you get to pick up a very tired dog at the end of the day.
Naturals at Nosework
Another fun activity for you and your Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is Nosework! Nosework is a very popular canine sport.
In Nosework competitions, handlers and their dogs compete to detect certain scents (often pine, birch, anise or clove). The dogs must locate the scent in different search environments that often mimic professional canine detection searches (vehicles, schools, empty buildings, etc).
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens make excellent competitors in this sport. You can learn more by visiting the website for the National Association of Canine Scent Work.
Social with Dogs and People
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens tend to be friendly with other dogs and people. Of course, it is important to socialize your dog from a young age to enhance these tendencies.
If possible, sign up for a puppy socialization class at the earliest opportunity.
Since scent hounds usually work closely with other dogs, GBGVs tend to enjoy the company of other canines.
If you are looking to add a dog to a multi-dog household, the GBGV would probably be a good choice!
Prey Drive towards Cats
There are certainly some examples of GBGVs living peacefully with cats. However, most scent hounds have a natural desire to chase small creatures such as cats, rabbits, ferrets, and other small pets.
If you have cats or other critters, you will need to be very careful if you introduce a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen into the household.
Take the introductions very slowly. Even if they seem to get along, do not leave them alone together unsupervised.
When you leave the house, always put your Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen into his crate or into a confined room.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen History
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen was developed in France over 400 years ago.
The breed was designed to meet the needs of the hunters in the Vendee region. The hunters needed a hardy hound with a coat that could withstand the weather and brambles of the harsh terrain.
The hunters of the region were lower class and could not afford horses. Therefore, they needed slower hounds with shorter legs so they could keep up on foot.
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is closely related to the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. The two varieties separated into distinct breeds in the 1950s.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Training
You will need to be patient and have a good sense of humor when you train your Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen.
Many owners describe their GBGVs as “stubborn.” If possible, speak with other GBGV owners about their Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen training tips.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens and other pack hounds are bred to make their own decisions while working a scent. Therefore, they can be independent minded when it comes to training.
If you can, sign up for an obedience class with a positive reinforcement trainer at your earliest opportunity.
Use tasty rewards to motivate your dog and keep training sessions short and lively.
Never use harsh physical punishments with these dogs. This will damage your relationship with your new pet.
If you encounter serious behavioral issues, consult with a professional force-free trainer as well as your veterinarian.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your GBGV dog take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Size and Appearance
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is a medium-sized, wire-haired hound.
The average Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen weight is between 40 and 45 lbs. Males tend to be towards the larger end of the spectrum, while females are smaller.
The average Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen height is between 15 and 18 inches.
The typical Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen colors are tri-color, bi-color, or black and tan. Solid colors are disqualified from the show ring.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Grooming
Although the grooming for this breed is fairly low-maintenance, some grooming is necessary.
The coat needs weekly brushing with a slicker brush and comb. Professional grooming is recommended every few months.
Make sure you find a groomer that understands how to trim and style wirehaired breeds.
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen’s long, droopy ears need frequent cleanings to prevent infection.
Is the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, no, this breed is not considered hypoallergenic. However, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen shedding is minimal and manageable.
Staying Healthy: Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Health Issues
Like all purebred dogs, the GBGV is prone to certain health conditions. Discuss these health issues with your veterinarian prior to adopting a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen. Make sure you know how to watch for the early warning signs of the following conditions:
It is important to establish a relationship with a veterinarian and bring your Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen for an annual checkup and vaccinations every year.
It is also crucial for your Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen to be on heartworm prevention for life.
Spaying and neutering is highly encouraged.
With good care, the average Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen lifespan is between 13 and 15 years.
Note: if you agree that your health and your dog's health should be a top priority then get a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health. Your GBGV friend will love you for it. This guide will help save you money, time and most of all help you keep your dog healthy.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Rescue and Adoption
If you would like to add a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen to your family, try looking into rescue options first.
There are quite a few groups that specialize in rescuing and rehoming this breed. You will notice that most of these rescue groups actually cater to the Grand as well as the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen.
When you are searching for a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen for adoption, try searching for both the large and small varieties. You will probably have more luck finding rescue groups that work with both breeds.
You can use internet resources such as Google, Facebook, Petfinder, and Adoptapet to conduct your search.
Also, be sure to stop by your local animal shelter or humane society and let them know that you are looking for a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen or a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen mix. Ask to leave an application on file so you can be notified if a GBGV or a similar breed becomes available.
Finding a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen for Sale from a Reputable Breeder
If you decide to purchase a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen puppy from a breeder, you will need to make sure that you find a responsible breeder.
You can start your search by contacting the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America. The members of the club can provide you with a list of ethical Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen breeders around the country.
The list will provide you with a good place to start. However, you will still need to do further research.
Contact the breeders and ask them more about their breeding practices. If you find a promising breeder, ask to make an appointment to visit the breeder in person.
Visit the Breeder
Check out the property and make sure the breeding dogs are healthy, friendly, and treated like part of the family.
Ask to see the parents’ medical records and talk about potential health issues.
A good breeder will welcome your visit and will want an opportunity to meet you and ask you questions as well. Responsible breeders want to ensure that their puppies go to good homes.
Your breeder will probably ask you to sign a spay/neuter agreement promising to get your dog altered at the appropriate age.
They will probably also ask you to return the dog to them if things do not work out for any reason.
If a breeder does not ask for these things and/or does not allow you to visit the property, be very cautious. You may not be dealing with an ethical breeder. You will probably want to keep looking for other options.
Avoid Puppy Mills
Never purchase Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen puppies over the internet or through a pet store. You could inadvertently get a puppy from a puppy mill or a backyard breeder.
Puppies from these sources tend to be unhealthy and they often have behavioral issues due to a lack of socialization.
How Much Does a GBGV Cost?
When you work with a high-quality breeder, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen price is usually between $600 and $1000 depending on the breeder.
If you choose to adopt your GBGV from a rescue group, the adoption fee is usually substantially less.
Conclusion: Why the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen?
The endearing Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen temperament makes this breed an ideal pet for many households.
If you are looking for a sweet, cute and lovable hound, the GBGV may be the perfect choice for you.
Just be sure to do your research to make sure that you can provide the right environment for this active and intelligent working dog.
If you are interested in learning more about this breed, contact the national breed club to talk with owners and breeders about their experiences with the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen.
Allie has worked in the field of animal welfare for over ten years and as a freelance writer the space for many years. She has had many different kinds of dogs (and cats) throughout her life—all adopted. She currently shares her home with a lovable pit bull mix named Huckleberry.