The Breed History
An ancient hound originating in France, old records there from the 16th century indicate early development of the Griffon VendРµen. Note that the Grand Griffon VendРµen breed also originates from this common ancestor. Basset means low to the ground, and petite is French for small. The term Griffon refers to the wiry coat, and the VendРµen portion of the name refers to the section of France (VendРµe) where this breed is known to have originated. The first breed standard of 1909 differentiated between Petit and Grand varieties in the breed, and the definitive breed standard version was drawn up in the 1950s. It was not until 1975 that interbreeding between Grand and Petit was discontinued. The AKC first admitted the breed in 1990.
Breeding for Function
This is an exceptional scent hound, hardy, with good stamina, bold, and especially bred for rabbit and hare. Well suited for heavy underbrush and rough rocky terrain. They possess a loud voice. Today they are found in obedience, tracking and agility, and bench shows or as a companion.
Height at Withers: 13-15 " (33-38 cm)
Weight: females 31-40 lb (14-18 kg).
Coat: Overall, he has a tousled rough appearance with a long beard and well-defined brows, a large moustache, and an outer coat that is harsh and long. The undercoat is short and dense, but not soft or wooly. Colors include white with lemon, orange, tricolor, grizzle or black markings.
Longevity: 12-14 years.
Points of Conformation: Compact, but longer than tall, strong in muscle and bone, alert and lively, large eyes are dark and the expression is friendly. The low set ears fold and are narrow with rounded tips. The domed skull has a prominent occipital protuberance, the stop is well defined, muzzle is square, and nose is very large, and black, though in light dogs a lighter nose is tolerated. The neck is long, with no throatiness, the topline is level with a slight arch over the loin, and the thorax is moderately deep and rounded. The well-feathered curved high set tail is held erect, and tapers towards the tip. The limbs may be straight but commonly are somewhat bowed, which is acceptable. Dewclaws may be removed. Forefeet may be slightly turned out and are longer than wide. The gait is smooth and ground covering.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Breed characteristics reported in the literature include: Willing to please, loyal, affectionate, extroverted, active, not possessing high heat tolerance, and may argue with other dogs, though they generally get along well with other pets. Needs lots of human contact, like being in packs, independent thinkers, have a moderate to high barking tendency, and need mental stimulation to prevent boredom vices. Off leash exercise should be in fenced enclosures only. They are good with children. They require moderate to high levels of exercise. They have low grooming needs.
Normal Physiologic Variations
Hip Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing degenerative joint disease and hip arthritis. OFA reports 11.2% affected.
Patella Luxation: Polygenically inherited laxity of patellar ligaments, causing luxation, lameness, and later degenerative joint disease. Treat surgically if causing clinical signs. OFA reports 7.7% affected.
Elbow Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing elbow arthritis. OFA reports 4.0% affected.
Persistent Pupillary Membranes: Strands of fetal remnant connecting; iris to iris, cornea, lens, or involving sheets of tissue. The later three forms can impair vision, and dogs affected with these forms should not be bred. Identified in 23.76% of Petit Basset Griffon VendРµen CERF examined by veterinary ophthalmologists between 2000-2005.
Hypothyroidism: Inherited autoimmune thyroiditis. 9.4% positive for thyroid autoantibodies based on testing at Michigan State University. (Ave. for all breeds is 7.5%).
Retinal Dysplasia: Retinal folds, geographic, and generalized retinal dysplasia with detachment are recognized in the breed. Can progress to blindness. Reported in 3.87% of Petit Basset Griffon VendРµen CERF examined by veterinary ophthalmologists between 2000-2005.
Sterile Meningitis/Neck Pain Syndrome: An episodic condition in affected dogs usually between 2-4 years of age where the neck is held extended and low, with pain. Possibly related to necrotizing vasculitis identified in Beagle pain syndrome. Episodes respond to corticosteroids. Reported at a frequency of 3.75% in the 2000 PBGV Health Survey.
Idiopathic Epilepsy: Inherited seizures can be generalized or partial seizures. Control with anticonvulsant medication. Reported at a frequency of 3.28% in the 2000 PBGV Health Survey.
Allergic Dermatitis (Atopy): Inhalant or food allergy. Presents with pruritis and pyotraumatic dermatitis (hot spots). Reported at a frequency of 3.12% in the 2000 PBGV Health Survey.
Cataracts: Anterior, posterior, intermediate and punctate cataracts occur in the breed. Reported at a frequency of 3.28% in the 2000 PBGV Health Survey. Identified in 3.04% of PBGV CERF examined by veterinary ophthalmologists between 2000-2005. CERF does not recommend breeding any PBGV with a cataract.
Lens Luxation: Partial or complete displacement of the lens from its normal anatomic site behind the pupil. Can cause Secondary Glaucoma. CERF does not recommend breeding any PBGV with lens luxation or glaucoma.
Corneal Dystrophy is reported.
Isolated Case Studies
Systemic Hypertension and Severe Arteriosclerosis: A 12-year-old sexually intact male Vendee Griffon Basset was presented for acute pulmonary edema. Severe systemic systolic arterial hypertension (SAH) was diagnosed (290 mmHg). Three months later, the dog underwent euthanasia because of an acute episode of distal aortic thromboembolism. Necropsy revealed severe aortic and iliac arteriosclerosis. SAH related to arteriosclerosis is an uncommon finding in dogs.
Tests of Genotype: none
Tests of Phenotype: CHIC Certification: Hip radiographs and CERF eye examination. (See CHIC website; www.caninehealthinfo.org) Recommend patella evaluation, elbow radiographs, thyroid profile including autoantibodies, and cardiac examination
- Breed name synonyms: PBGV, Small Vendeen Basset, Little Griffon Vendeen Basset, Roughies or Griffs (England nicknames), Petites or Griffs (nickname in Denmark) and in America, Petites. (pl. Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeens)
- Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC, KCGB (Kennel Club of Great Britain), ANKC (Australian National Kennel Club)
- AKC rank (year 2008): 119 (275 dogs registered)
- Internet resources: Petit Basset Griffon VendРµen Club of America: www.pbgv.org
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Fanciers of Canada: www.angelfire.com/bc2/PBGVFC/ClubInfo.html
Basset Griffon Vendeen Club (UK): www.bgvclub.co.uk
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