Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Canis lupus

Last updated: September 25, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Lilly Mreal name: Małgorzata Miłaszewska, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License / Original

A small dog with a big, lively personality.


Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Conservation Status

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Locations

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Locations

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Facts

Fun Fact
A small dog with a big, lively personality.
Alert, friendly, and outgoing
Scent Hound
Common Name
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Physical Characteristics

  • Fawn
  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
Skin Type
14 years
40 lbs

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
At least $1,200
Dog group
Male weight
27-40 lbs
Female weight
27-40 lbs

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The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (or PBGV for short) is a small dog with a big, lively personality.

Originating from the Vendéen region of western France, it descends from a larger breed called simply the Griffon Vendéen. It was then honed over many generations of careful breeding to create an excellent scent hound. This breed has a rough coat that enables it to hunt amid the dense rocks and underbrush near the Atlantic coast. The coat color is usually some combination of light brown, black, and white. Once it came into the possession of French royalty, this breed obtained the nickname of the Chiens du Roi, or the King’s White Hounds.

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In English, this breed has earned the nickname of roughie. In French, this breed has a very descriptive name that refers to the dog’s small size (petit), wiry coat of hair (griffon), and place of origin (Vendéen). Basset also means low set or low to the ground. Despite its popularity in French hunting, it is a relative niche breed that only arrived in the United States in the 1970s. The American Kennel Club finally recognized it on December 1st, 1990.

3 pros and cons of owning a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Energetic and friendly
The PBGV loves to be in the company of people.
This breed has a rather insubordinate streak that makes it a bit tough to train properly.
Athletic and agile
Despite its small size, this breed is good at exercise, sports, and skills-based competitions.
A tendency to bark
The PBGV loves to use its loud voice to express itself.
Excellent scent
The PBGV has one of the most powerful noses of all dog breeds.
Likes to wander off
This breed may need to be restrained on a leash to prevent it from becoming distracted by scents.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen - fun in the snow

©Nathan150, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Size and Weight

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, or roughie, is a small- to medium-sized dog with short legs. There is little difference in the size between males and females.

Height (Male)13 to 15 inches
Height (Female)13 to 15 inches
Weight (Male)25 to 40 pounds
Weight (Female)25 to 40 pounds

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Common Health Issues

The PBGV is a healthy breed with a life expectancy between 12 and 14 years of age. The most common health problems include ear infections, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and primary open-angle glaucoma (damage of the optic nerve resulting in visual field loss). The PBGV is also sometimes affected by an auto-immune pain syndrome that results in pain, fever, and lethargy in dogs six to 18 months of age. This problem usually resolves on its own, but in rare cases, the dog can be stuck with permanent symptoms.

The leading cause of death, as in most breeds, is cancer. A reputable breeder will almost always screen for genetic disorders to ensure that your dog has the best chance at a long, healthy life. To sum up the most common health problems:

Health and Entertainment for your Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

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  • Ear Infections
  • Cancer
  • Eye Disorders
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Epilepsy

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Temperament

The PBGV is also sometimes called the happy breed for its affectionate and exuberant personality. Few other breeds can match this dog for sheer affability. This makes it well-suited as a therapy dog or companion in addition to its superb hunting instincts. It does have a tendency to bark, howl, or wail quite loudly. Although not every owner will find this to be an appealing trait, it does have an important purpose as a greeting or alert call. This breed isn’t all constant noise and motion though. As long as it gets enough playtime and stimulation, it does know how to settle down and relax.

How to Take Care of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

The PBGV is a bit of an attention seeker that thrives in the company of other people or animals. As long as it has companionship, the maintenance and care requirements aren’t particularly high. Like all dogs, this breed should receive an annual checkup at the vet, even if it appears otherwise healthy. For the best behavioral results, you should obtain your dog as a puppy and begin training as soon as possible.

The Best Dog Food for the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

The PBGV requires approximately 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food, preferably divided into two meals every single day. The dog food should be chosen based on its appropriate age (puppy, adult, or senior). This breed does have a tendency to gain weight. The best way to counteract this is to carefully monitor your dog’s calories and limit treats to training times. If you want any special advice on your dog’s diet, then you should consult the vet.

A-Z Animals says the best dog food for the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Adult Dry Dog Food, Wholesome Grains.

This real beef recipe nourishes your dog from the inside out, providing probiotics for a functioning digestive system, which, alongside antioxidants, also yields immune health. Also, taurine is a good nutrient for maintaining clear eyes.

Check out Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Wholesome Grains dog food on amazon.

Best with Natural Ingredients
Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Adult Dry Dog Food, Wholesome Grains
  • Real angus beef and barley recipe for adult dogs
  • Recipe uses 8 ingredients for dogs with sensitivities
  • Antioxidants and probiotics for healthy digestion and immune system
  • Blend of vitamins and minerals to support healthy joints, skin and coat
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Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Maintenance and Grooming

The PBGV has a rough, wiry coat that may require weekly brushes to remove loose dirt and hair, followed by the use of a comb. It is not hypoallergenic, so people with allergies may want to be wary. Nail trimming and ear cleaning should be done on a regular basis, but only bathe the dog when it is particularly dirty after an outdoor excursion.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Training

The PBGV is a stubborn breed that has a mind of its own, but with a bit of patience, this dog can excel at tricks, performances, and basic commands. A gentle but firm approach should be sufficient to keep the dog’s attention. Do not lash out at it, or the dog might become discouraged. If the dog’s attention appears to be wandering, then you should try to stay one step ahead and refocus its attention with games, treats, or other incentives.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Exercise

The PBGV is a highly energetic breed that requires up to an hour of excise every single day. When you’re outside on a walk, run, or hike, it is a good idea to keep this breed on a leash, because it has the tendency to follow scents everywhere. When inside, toys, games, and tricks should keep it busy for a long time. This breed is also able to learn tricks and sports with ease as long as its attention is focused. Due to the long coat, this breed has a tendency to become warm, so make sure it has frequent rests and water breaks in hot weather.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Puppies

Socialization and training from an early age are very important for this breed. The dog may never entirely overcome its tendency to follow its nose, but this instinct can be greatly minimized and reduced. It is a good idea to buy the puppy from a high-quality breeder who takes special care of the health of its dogs. You should also take the dog to the vet for an early checkup and health screening.

An adorable puppy of Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen sitting on a sofa

©Nadezhda V. Kulagina/

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens and Children

The PBGV gets along very well with children and doesn’t mind a little noise and rough play. But no matter how friendly they seem, you should never leave the dog alone with your young children for long periods of time in case the interaction goes poorly. An adult should always be around to supervise them. The PBGV will rarely turn aggressive, but a poor experience might upset your children or sour their relationship.

Dogs Similar to the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

If you enjoy the company of scent hounds, then you might want to check out the following breeds:

  • Basset Fauve de Bretagne – Originating from the Brittany region of France, this basset is another lively, intelligent, outgoing breed with fawn-colored, wiry hair and drooping ears. Read more here.
  • Basset Hound – This popular English breed has all the hallmarks of a basset: the short legs, the big droopy ears, and the powerful scent. It is outgoing, loyal, very vocal, and tolerant of children. The wrinkles and drooping skin make it appear perpetually older than it is.
  • American Coonhound – This is a group of dogs that includes the black and tan coonhound, the redbone coonhound, and the treeing walker coonhound. It exhibits the same dichotomous personality as many other scent hounds: it is a diligent and alert worker outdoors but sensitive and friendly at home.

Famous Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens

The PBGV is a relatively niche dog, but a few individuals stand out.

  • King Louis XII, who ruled France between 1498 and 1515, owned a pack of PBGV dogs.
  • In 2013, a four-year-old PBGV called Jilly (also known by the more extravagant name of Soletrader Peek A Boo) made waves at Crufts, the largest international dog show, by winning both the Hound Group on the first day of the competition and Best in Show on the fourth day. Jilly was previously a reserve to the Best in Show winner of 2011.

According to the website Pet ID Register, these are the 10 most popular names for the PBGV, split between five males and five female names:

  • Max
  • Cooper
  • Buddy
  • Jake
  • Henry
  • Bella
  • Lucy
  • Molly
  • Rosie
  • Lulu

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
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Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen?

A PBGV is a small scent hound with a strong, independent but friendly personality and a wiry coat of hair. You do not necessarily need to be a hunter to enjoy what this breed has to offer, but you should be aware that the powerful instinct to follow scents may assert itself at any time, especially if it hasn’t been trained to overcome this. Sometimes this instinct may even overwhelm its training.

Do petit basset griffon Vendéens shed?

Yes, but the dog is a relatively light shedder that requires only weekly brushing. It is not hypoallergenic.

How do you pronounce Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen?

The long name of this breed may seem intimidating, but any English speaker should be able to achieve a rough pronunciation. Petit is pronounced like puh-tee (the last “t” is silent). Basset is an English word as well, but you can also use the French pronunciation (bah-say) for consistency. Griffon is pronounced with a long “i” sound and a shorter “o” sound (gree-fon). Vendéen is pronounced like von-day-uhn. If you are having trouble with pronunciation, then you can simply call it the roughie.

Are Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen good family dogs?

The PBGV is an excellent family dog that gets along with everyone, including adults, children, and other pets. It is important to be aware that this breed may have a tendency to chase small animals around the home. If you have a cat, then you should make it clear that it is part of the family or “pack.”

How long do Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen dogs live?

The typical life expectancy of a PBGV is 12 to 14 years. If the dog manages to avoid any health complications, then it has the capacity to live a few years longer.

Are Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens belong to?

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What is an interesting fact about Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens?

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a small dog with a big, lively personality.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

  1. American Kennel Club, Available here:
  2. American Kennel Club, Available here:

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