Species group: Hound Group dogs
Other name(s): PBGV
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is a French hound of ancient heritage dating back to at least the sixteenth century. The name roughly translates as to "small, low to the ground, rough-coated dog from Vendeen," and that's a pretty decent description. Trained to hunt hares by scent, the PBGV needed to be able move through the thick underbrush, rocks, and thorny bushes of the Vendeen region, resulting in its unique appearance. Like most hounds, this cheerful dog loves to please its people, and it can make a family pet that the American Kennel Club (AKC) describes as "vivacious."
The PBGV is related to the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, which is the larger version of the same basic idea. In fact, they were considered to be the same breed until the 1950s.
Appearance / health:
The long eyebrows, beard, mustache, and tapered tail characterize the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen breed. The natural look is casual and tousled. The eyes are large and dark, and somewhat oval. The nose is large and black with wide nostrils.
Weekly brushing with a pin brush, comb, and if required a mat breaker, is sufficient to remove dead and loose hair. Nails are clipped regularly.
Daily long walks are necessary to keep the breed fit and happy.
Some of the conditions found in the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen include eye problems, neck pain syndrome, hip dysplasia, and luxating patella.
Behavior / temperament:
The Petit is a pack animal by nature and thrives in human company. Dogs may become destructive out of sheer boredom, so be sure you will have enough time to spend with this people-centered dog.
The Petit is extremely intelligent and eager to please. However, their independent minds may pose a challenge during training.
Petits do not bark without reason.
Jack the Pampered Gentleman
I want to begin with, Jack ultimately, was the right choice for us. I think my bigger concern is with getting an adult dog from a rescue/fostering group. It's important to do your research, ask questions, and make sure you get a full medical history.
We wanted to get a dog after I found out I was pregnant with our second child. Our eldest was four and we thought having a dog would make the transition to a new baby a little easier. We had some requirements, though. The dog needed to be out of the puppy stage. We didn't have time to train a potty train a dog and the excessive playfulness concerned us. We wanted a well-mannered dog that would adapt to our lifestyle. We wanted something easy to groom. We have a cat who sheds all the time, we didn't want to add more hair to the rugs!
After a load of research on breeds, I fell in love with the PBGV. They are smaller, with a long body like a basset hound but have the furry, cute face and they scarcely shed. They are known to be happy dogs, that love to run, play and are exceedingly smart. As soon as we found a posting for Jack, we visited and fell in love. From his history, we determined he was once a stray dog roaming with a pack of strays. At the time, we thought this was rather cool, it gave Jack a John Travolta T-Birds tough guy image! We was great on the leash and very sweet. We purchased him that day!
Maintenance/Care: PBGVs have long wavy, beautiful coats. Jack’s is a beautiful red and white. When it’s longer (which is typical of the breed), he looks very elegant. We sometimes twist the ends of his mustache like a proper gentleman. Shorter, his coat looks like a completely different dog. If you keep their coat long, which we do during the winter months, brushing is very important! Otherwise, you'll have Jack puffs of pulled hair rolling around. Not to mention the matting! If you PBGV has itching issues, you’ll have matting issues. If you dog, gets in the dirty and mud, you’ll have matting issues. Basically, frequent brushing is essential. Otherwise, you’ll be cutting knotted hair from their coat. We usually take him to the groomers once every 5-6 months with minor trimming in between.
Personality & Behavior: Jack has the perfect personality for the dog we needed. He’s happy, playful, and very loving. We have two children that chase and play with him and Jack shows a very patient spirit. He seems to have fun with them too! Jack also loves to curl up next to you on the couch, he’ll get very friendly too. Don’t be surprised if a PBGV jumps right up on your lap while you have a computer and cup of coffee! It happens almost daily!
The breed is very aware of anyone not apart of the family. He’ll bark at anyone who comes to the door, anyone who walks down our street, and most definitely anyone who comes into the house. It’s never aggressive. He’s always wagging his tail and wanting to greet them. It makes for a great guard dog.
Furthermore, the breed is highly intelligent. They are nearly impossible to train. When we first got Jack from the shelter, he had an occasional issue with using the bathroom outside. Instead of going during frequent walks, he’d run down the stairs and go on the concrete floor in front of our washer and dryer. This is still a problem we are working on. This, again, probably has to do with his history at the shelter but despite our rewarding and training, he is very stubborn.
PBGVs were known as the ‘white hound,’ in France and were used for hunting. I see a lot of that thrill to chase still in Jack’s blood. He’ll run a squirrel down houses away but also be very good on a leash. He’s also a genius escape artist -- if he wants to leave. We have a fenced in backyard, and after the neighbors repeated returned him to our front door, we realized that Jack had learned how to unlatch the gate and wiggle his way through the opening. When we chained the gate, he just started jumping it. If Jack wants out, he’ll get out!
Health: PBGVs come with a surprising amount of health issues. Jack has topical dermatitis. It took us two years to figure out why Jack itched and suffered so terribly. At first it was seasonal and after minor medication, it went away. Suddenly, Jack’s health took a turn and his personality changed. He didn’t want to play, he was in pain and yelped frequently. His itching got so bad that he could get down the hallway without stopping to itch four or five times. His skin was splotchy, inflamed and bleeding. His hair was falling out and the color was muted. We tried several vets, specialists, trials meds and creams, and food trials. Finally, we found his problem. Currently, he is properly medicated and his hair/color has returned!
In the end, Jack is a great dog but I will say research is important. Medical history should be obtained and a Veterinary appointment should be conducted thoroughly. We had to pay a costly price to find out that Jack is highly sensitive to the change of seasons and certain foods..
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