Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

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Breed: Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Temperament: loyal, fun-loving
Lifespan: 17 years
Recommended for: families
Maintenance: medium-high

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen falls into the small-cute-scuffy-dog category but is one of the rarer members found here. There are probably less than 20 in Australia today, although their attractive appearance and outgoing temperament could spark a big demand.

Appearance: To the lay-person the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen looks like a cross between a Beagle and a Wire-coated Dachshund, standing 34-38cm (13.5-15") and weighing 14-16kg (31-35lb). It is essentially a dwarf (normal body, short legs) rather than a miniature breed (eg: Tenterfield Terrier which has legs in proportion to its body). The coat is wiry and comes in typical hound markings of white with cream, black and tan. Very long eyelashes are a feature of the breed, possibly to keep hair out of their eyes. They have a rounded head and drop ears.

Temperament: Australian owners say they are known overseas as the "happy hound", being extremely friendly and playful, enjoying company, but are boisterous as puppies. Owners say they are very fast and will still chase rabbits given the chance. They get along well with other dog breeds.

Health: The condition causing the shortened legs, chondrodysplasia, is associated with back problems, and is seen in dogs like Dachshunds. While careful selection can reduce potential problems, the breed is too new in Australia to have a real chance of predicting any future difficulties.

Grooming: Breeders recommend the outer coat be stripped (pulled out) by hand. A thorough brushing each week should remove most of the dead hair which otherwise may shed on clothes and furniture.

Breeding: While this is not yet an option for the average person given the breed’s rarity in Australia, breeders say they have had no trouble whelping, with litters of 4-6 puppies.

Space & exercise: Not a breed for a flat or unit, but a suburban backyard and a few children to play with, or a 30-minute walk a few times a week, should provide adequate exercise.

Ideal Owner: These dogs thrive on attention and if left alone for much of the day may seek out company elsewhere! If a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is to be alone much of the day, a second dog could be a very good idea. Some owners feel they may be too boisterous for toddlers and pre-schoolers, although ideal for school-age children.

History: Breeders say the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen was developed as a French hunting dog in the 16th century. The name defines the dog: Petit – small; Basset – low to the ground; Griffon – rough or wire-coated; and Vendeen – the region of origin.

National contacts

To find up-to-date contacts for breeders, contact the following organisations.

Dogs NSW
Phone: 1300 728 022 (NSW only) or (02) 9834 3022
Fax: (02) 9834 3872

Dogs Victoria
Phone: (03) 9788 2500
Fax: (03) 9788 2599

Dogs ACT
Phone: (02) 6241 4404 – Fax: (02) 6241 1129.

Dogs West
Phone: (08) 9455 1188
Fax: (08) 9455 1190

Dogs SA
Phone: (08) 8349 4797

Canine Control Council of Queensland
Phone: (07) 3252 2661
Fax: (07) 3252 3864

Tasmanian Canine Association
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Fax: (03) 6273 0844

Dogs NT
Phone: (08) 8984 3570
Fax: (08) 8984 3409