What to Know About Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Medically Reviewed by Vanesa Farmer, DVM on June 22, 2022
7 min read

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a French dog bred for rabbit hunting. The breed is known for its happy demeanor and shaggy coat. Since Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens are pack dogs, they do well around other humans and animals. 

The breed has a French name that roughly translates to "small, low, and shaggy dog from the Vendee region". Meanwhile, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen pronunciation is peh-teet ba-suht gri-fuhn von-dee-uhn. 

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens have a hound-like bark and a saber tail, giving them a low-slung appearance. 

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens grow 13 inches to 15 inches in height. They weigh 25 to 40 pounds on average and have a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years. 

The standard Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen colors include white and grizzled, black and tan, fawn, white and gray, white and black, white and orange, white and lemon, white, black and tan, and white and sable. They have no characteristic markings on their coats. 


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen has a rough, long, and shaggy double coat that must be maintained frequently. However, although the coat is shaggy, it does not shed much. 

Similarly, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen does not drool excessively. 


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is an affectionate breed that loves to be around its owner. They are also good with children and other dogs since they were bred to be in a pack. 

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen make friends quickly, even with strangers. They're also very playful, so you'll have to keep them busy with a ball or a toy. 

Despite being gentle and playful, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen has a watchdog nature due to its protective personality. 

The breed also adapts well to changes. 

Like any other dog, you must train your Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen for socialization, especially around strangers and other dogs. It’s relatively hard to train Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens, though, since they don’t always listen to commands. 

The breed has high energy levels and tends to bark very loudly. If you live in a quiet neighborhood, you might want to consider the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen's bark before making them a house pet.

The breed almost always needs some activity since they have high mental stimulation needs.  

Caring for a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is essential to ensure the breed's optimal health and longevity. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a relatively healthy breed, though, with few health risks.


Training a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen can be tricky since the breed is known to have a mind of its own. While they're intelligent, they might not always want to do what you want them to.

One of the best ways to train a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is to provide positive reinforcement. You must ensure that your pet is entertained. The key is to keep the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen interested in what you're trying to teach them. 

It's interesting how the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen loves to please its owners, but then again, they might want to do it differently than you expect, so it's imperative to make them see that your plan is more interesting than theirs. 

You should provide obedience and socialization training to your Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen as early as possible to ensure they're good company for other dogs and humans. Waiting until they're older to start training can make it more difficult.


Whether you buy dog food from the market or make it at home, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen needs a high-quality diet to stay healthy and active.

A good diet for a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen should have the right balance of nutrients. If you're unsure, it's best to speak to a vet. They will help you determine the right diet components based on your dog's age. 

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens are prone to getting obese. Thus, you should watch their calorie consumption and not give them too many treats during training. 

If you're worried about your pet's weight, talk to a vet. Also, ask them which human foods are safe for your Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. 


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen temperament is explorative, which means the dog loves to wander around and needs plenty of space to do so. Since the breed is rather curious and active, they need a lot of exercise. 

If you take your pet out for walks or play with them in the dog park, putting them on a leash is essential because Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens have a strong sense of smell. If they catch a scent, they might follow it and get lost. 

A morning run is a good exercise routine for a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. They also make excellent companions for bikers and hikers.


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen doesn't shed too frequently, but the breed has a thick and harsh coat that must be brushed every week. The comb should run smoothly through the coat after you've brushed it. 

Trim the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen's nails and bathe them once a month. You should also check their ears weekly for signs of excess wax and debris. Removing excess buildup can help prevent infections. 


Consult with a vet to see which vaccinations are necessary for your Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. The standard shots for young dogs are adenovirus, rabies, parvovirus, and distemper

In addition, the following health tests are recommended for the breed: 

  • Ophthalmologist evaluation 
  • POAG DNA Testing (test for a disease that leads to glaucoma) 

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen breeders screen for health conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and cardiac diseases. If not bred responsibly, the breed can develop several health conditions. 

Hip Dysplasia 

Canine hip dysplasia is a condition that affects the hip joint of dogs. It is a congenital disease that can be passed down from generation to generation. 

The hip joint is a ball and socket joint that allows for a wide range of motion. Hip dysplasia occurs when the socket does not fit snugly around the ball or when the ball is not seated correctly in the socket. 

This condition can cause the joints to rub and grind, which leads to pain and inflammation. Hip dysplasia can eventually result in loss of the joint's function. 

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs include: 

  • Decreased range of motion 
  • Decreased activity
  • Pain
  • Limping
  • Loss of muscle mass in the thigh region
  • Difficulty running, jumping, and climbing stairs

Patellar Luxation 

Patellar luxation is a congenital condition in which the knee cap (patella) slips out of place. The knee cap is present under the patellar ligament. The ligament connects the tibia with the large thigh muscles. 

When your dog's thigh muscles contract, they transmit the force via the patellar ligament to pull on the shin bone. As a result, the knee straightens or extends. 

If the patella slips out of place, this process is disrupted, and your dog will have difficulty extending its leg. The vet will specify the extent of patellar luxation in your dog based on a Grade I to Grade IV scale.

Grade I does not require surgery and Grade II may or may not, depending on the severity of the issue. On the other hand, dogs with Grade III to Grade IV luxation need surgery to repair the problem. 

Patellar luxation is more common in small breeds of dogs, such as the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen.

Make sure you only purchase a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen puppy from reputed and responsible breeders with a good track record of breeding healthy and robust dogs. Choose a breeder that performs genetic health testing on their breeding stock and can produce documentation to prove it. The breeder should provide you with a health guarantee for your pet.

While many people think the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen's tousled appearance merely adds to their charm, it does more than that. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens originated in the harsh terrain of coastal France. The breed's rough coat, rakish eyebrows, mustache, and beard protected them from the briars and underbrush they encountered while hunting with their masters.

The president of Club du Basset Griffon Vendéen, Paul Dezamy, was the first person to create a standard for the Basset Griffon Vendéen breeds we see today. This early standard included the Petit and the Grand Vendéen, as both breeds originated from the same litter.

The Grand breed was created to hunt wolves and rodents. Meanwhile, the Petite has a strong sense of smell to hunt rabbits and hares. Even today, breeders in France breed Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen and 27 other breeds of hounds for hunting.  

In 1909, a new standard was created for the Basset Griffon Vendéen dogs that recognized the differences in size between the Grand and the Petit. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen got its own standard in the 1950s. Even then, though, interbreeding between the Petite and Grand continued till 1975.