Griffon Fauve de Bretagne

Country of origin:
France
Height (cm):
46-58
Weight (kg):
18-22
Life span (years):
10-12
Colour:
fawn (from golden wheaten to red brick)
Size:
average
Hair length:
short
Recognized by:
FCI, UKC
FCI code:
66
Intelligence:
Good with kids:
Trainability:
Shedding:
Watchdog:
Adaptability:
Allergy:
No
Pros Cons
  • excellent hunter
  • easy to groom
  • friendly
  • devoted friend
  • requires a lot of daily exercises
  • stubborn and independent
  • chases other animals

Overview
The Griffon Fauve de Bretagne is an effective and trusty hunting dog, which was originally developed in Brittany region of France. This truly work-driven breed wants nothing more than to give a good chase in a company of other dogs. It’s rarely kept solely for companionship because of its significant exercise needs.

History

The story of the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne began in the XIII century when French hunters from different regions started to resort to more organised breeding attempting to develop their own unique variety of the hound. In Brittany (France) local hunters managed to produce two separate breeds, one of which was the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne. The direct descendant of this breed is thought to be the Fauve de Bretagne, one of French hounds that was mentioned in the book «La Chasse Royal» («The Royal Hunt») in 1570. It’s also believed that the breed can be related to the Welsh Foxhound. Some dog’s historians assume that all Griffon-type dogs resulted from accidental mutations in indigenous French hounds of the Dark Ages. There is also a version that in the development of French Griffons some foreign dogs such as the Spinone Italiano played a crucial role.

However the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne was originally created, and by the end of the Dark Ages it had been widely used in the north of France by local hunters. This wire-coated, incredibly courageous and tough scent hound was indispensable in chasing and killing the wolf. To accomplish this challenging task it usually worked in packs of other dogs. By the end of the XIX the wolf became extinct across France and the breed lost its primarily quarry. Fortunately it was re-tasked to hunt other game such as deer and boar so it escaped the sad fate total extinction.

The Second World War affected many of French breeds and the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne was no exception. At some point its population shrank in such a way that its complete extinction became a real threat. In 1949 the club was established in order to promote the breed and support its appropriate quality. Since 80s of the XX century its number grew substantially and today the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne is widespread in its native France as a hunting dog. It also excels as a companion dog although it hasn’t yet acquired much acceptance in this role. The breed has recognition of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and United Kennel Club (UKC).

Temperament
The Griffon Fauve de Bretagne is a passionate hunter and possesses temperament, which suites ideally for this role. Nonetheless it can be turned into a loyal and affectionate family dog since it tends to bond strongly to all family members. A well-brought-up specimen is very gentle with children but it’s too energetic for a small child and can accidently tumble it down.

While performing its hunting duties the breed has to coordinate its actions with a hunter. That’s why it’s characterised with rather low human aggressiveness. The Griffon Fauve de Bretagne is an amiable and playful dog that is prone to treat every human being as a potential friend. Thanks to its watchfulness and attentiveness it can become an acceptable watchdog. However, it will rather happily greet an intruder by wagging its tail than show any signs of aggression so it usually makes an awful guard dog.

The Griffon Fauve de Bretagne is usually used for hunting in packs so it rather enjoys being in the company of other dogs. Actually it prefers to co-habituate with one or several other canines, which match its energy level. It’s worth to mention that the breed possesses a dominative nature and it’s quite ready to fight for an alpha-status in a group of other dogs. Its well-developed prey drive makes it dangerous for other species of animals, especially for stray cats. This dog will put up with co-existence of other pets (including a household cat) if it got used to its presence since its puppyhood.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• kidney failure;
• reproductive problems;
• ear infections;
• eye problems.

Grooming
The Griffon Fauve de Bretagne is regarded to be a low-maintenance breed. The owner should regularly spend some time on brushing its shaggy coat in order to remove any dead hair and keep it well-attended. The dog’s drooping ears tends to get infected or irritated really easily so they should be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. The Griffon Fauve de Bretagne is a light shedder.
The dog’s coat also needs to be plucked at least twice a year. Many owners prefer visit a professional groomer when things concern this procedure. However plucking can be performed with little efforts by the owner himself.

Training

The training of the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne poses serious difficulty. The dog is an effective problem solver and got used to depend on its own decision rather than submit somebody’s commands. The trainer should invest a considerable amount of its time and efforts to teach this dog even basic tricks. At the same time the breed requires practically no training as far as it concerns performing its hunting duties.

Due to its obstinate nature the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne also tends to be a selective listener so sometimes it can be simply in no mood for learning. A harsh critique is absolutely unacceptable in the work with this breed and it learns at maximal speed when motivated with reward-based techniques of training.

Exercise
The Griffon Fauve de Bretagne is physically a very capable and an unbelievingly hardy dog with subnational exercise need. Its owner should take it for a lengthy and vigorous walk every single day. Be mindful that this dog won’t be fully happy without a regular opportunity to explore and play in a securely fenced territory. It is very crafty at escaping from supposedly safely enclosed area so make sure that your fence is high enough.

Without acceptable amount of physical activity Griffon Fauve de Bretagne will most likely become an unmanageable, fidgety, destructive and hyperactive animal. The breed is fairly adaptive and as long as its exercise needs are satisfied it will be content with an apartment life.
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