This short, long-backed rabbit hunter is a merry soul who loves to dig and bark. He’s terrific in performance sports like agility. The PGBV is charming, stubborn, active, and wildly enthusiastic about everything, especially you. He would rather hunt than come to you, though.
With his low-slung body and longish back, bearded face and wiry coat, and a merry, ready-for-anything expression and attitude, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen — PBGV to his friends — looks and acts like a composite of several hound breeds: a dash of Dachshund, a bit of Beagle, and a smidgen of Basset Hound. But the PBGV is an old breed and a distinctive one, a French scenthound built to move nimbly through heavy, thorny underbrush in pursuit of rabbits. He has many good qualities, including a moderate size of 25 to 42 pounds, but he’s definitely not right for everyone.
The lively PBGV is an outgoing, active dog who is always into everything. He is curious about his surroundings and loves to dig and bark. In fact, his breed standard says that he has a good voice freely and purposefully used. Chasing squirrels, rabbits and other furry prey is a favorite occupation of this hunting hound. PBGVs are active and cheerful playmates for kids, although they are probably too rambunctious for toddlers.
If you’re dedicated, you can channel the PBGV’s enthusiasm into dog sports such as agility, obedience, rally and tracking. He’s also an excellent companion on the hiking trail. Expect to give him several 10- to 20-minute walks or active playtimes daily to help expend all of his energy. Never walk him off leash unless you’re in a safe, traffic-free area. The PBGV isn’t a come-when-called kind of dog. His desire to hunt will always take precedence. For the same reason, he needs a yard that is securely fenced, with a barrier that he can’t dig under or jump over. An underground electronic fence will not keep him contained. If he smells something he wants to chase, a shock isn’t going to stop him.
Be firm, fair and consistent when training this intelligent and independent-minded dog. He may have a short attention span, so keep training sessions brief and interesting. He responds best to positive reinforcement techniques using praise, play and food rewards, never force.
As long as he gets appropriate amounts of exercise and attention, the people-loving PBGV is suited to any size home, including an apartment or condo, but he needs to live indoors with his family. He’ll be unhappy and destructive if he is relegated to the backyard with little or no human companionship.
Other Quick Facts
The PBGV is not related to the Basset Hound. He is lighter, smaller boned, and more active and agile.
The PBGV is distinguished by a rough, unrefined outline and a head that is longer than it is wide. His face is protected from rough brush by a beard and mustache and long eyebrows help protect his large dark eyes. Taken together they give him an alert, friendly, intelligent expression. Long, narrow ears are covered with long hair and hang down, folding inward and ending in an oval shape. The medium-length tail has a slight curve and is carried like a saber. The coat is white with any combination of lemon, orange, black, sable, tricolor or grizzle markings, ensuring that he is easily seen in the field.