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Breed profile: Petit basset griffon Vendeen (PBGV)

The petit basset griffon Vendeen (small, low, rough-coated Vendeen) is a friendly dog, but it is not very common in the United States. PBGVs are often mistaken as mutts because of their shaggy appearance and awkward bodies. But PBGVs have been around for a long time.

They are scent hounds, originally bred in France for hunting rabbits during the 1700s, according to The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds by D. Caroline Coile. Their coats are rough and able to tolerate thorns and brush while hunting. They are still used for hunting in France. In the United States where they are less common, they are primarily pets.

PBGVs are similar to the basset hound and at one point were even shown as a wire-coated version of the basset, according to Coile. However, PBGVs have longer legs and are more athletic than bassets. They weigh between 25 and 35 pounds and come in white mixed with any other color such as gray or gold. In 1990, the PBGV became recognized by the AKC. Today the breed makes a good pet because of its gentle, upbeat personality.

Peitit basset griffon Vendeen dog PBGV

Advantages to owning a PBGV:

1. PBGVs are good with children, dogs and pets.

2. Their coats do not require much grooming. PBGVs shed, but not as much as most breeds.

3. PBGVs have no major health issues.

4. They are playful and friendly with strangers. They can be barkers, but they are gentle and want to make friends with everyone. Because of their personality and goofy appearance, they make great therapy dogs.

5. They don’t drool a lot, but water clings to their beards when they drink.

Disadvantages to owning a PBGV:

1. PBGVs like to dig.

2. They are smart dogs, but smart does not mean obedient. They aren’t the easiest to train, and you might find your PBGV getting distracted by a scent. A PBGV will follow her nose wherever it takes her!

3. PBGVs bark at approaching strangers or people they know. They don’t have a yappy bark, it’s a big-dog’s bark in a little body.

4. The breed is high energy and needs a long walk each day.

5. PBGVs coats are wiry, not soft and cuddly.

If you would like to write a profile of your favorite breed, send me an email at I’ll use pictures of your dog and link to your site. I’m happy to feature any breed, including mixed breeds!

Peitit basset griffon Vendeen dog PBGV

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Thursday 30th of October 2014

I'm looking around at various breeds that might be compatible with standard Poodles (want a 2nd dog but not 2 times the grooming of a std Poodle). These PBGVs sound and look so adorable but I'm wondering about the "smelly" comments. I'm accustomed to bathing my dogs every other week. What do the PBGVs need?

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 31st of October 2014

I don't have one, so I'm not sure how often most people bathe them. I would think every other week would be more than enough (if that's what you're used to already). I don't know that they are more smelly than other dogs. I'm curious what others think.


Sunday 30th of October 2011

I have recently found myself that I own a PBGV, met two breeders recently who told me what she was, i got her as a rescue dog at 4 months and always thought her to be a "MUTT" but was surprised to find I was wrong, never met a breed let alone another dog with more personality

Brad I

Monday 23rd of April 2012

Same thing with me. I rescued my dog from a shelter the day they were going to put him down. I found out this Christmas that he is a PBGV. Abner has the best personality and is so outgoing and friendly. Everyone that meets him falls in love immediately. It is almost as if there is a little human soul inside of these dogs! I don't find them to be difficult at all, but they are definitely led by their scent, and are crazy for squirrels!!!!

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 31st of October 2011

Awww. Sounds like you have a great dog!

Michael Young

Saturday 26th of February 2011

Hello I have a dog that fits all same characteristics, but his legs are longer. We have been trying forever to know what breed his is. Can I get help I can send pictures. Thank you.

Lindsay Stordahl

Sunday 27th of February 2011

Absolutely! Send a pic and I'll give you my best guess.

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 22nd of February 2011

Thanks for sharing this story about the breed and about your sweet dog! They are characters, aren't they?

Maryann Harvey

Monday 21st of February 2011

Our PBGV Rascal lived for almost 14 years. He was cantankerous, mischievous, and contrary and we loved him unconditionally! He came into our lives when we were sad about losing two beautiful golden retrievers within three months of each other and at a young age. So we needed a dog to fill this giant void. Well, we couldn't have chosen a better friend. Rascal was an alpha dog, and he had his own ideas about what should and shouldn't be rules about the house. We loved his playful nature and laughed at his antics which were many! He was walked 3 times a day and often for several miles. This breed requires exercise and they hate the heat! He left us in October and I can't think of another breed that could the place of this fun irascible pooch!