Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen)
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is a gregarious, energetic and stalwart dog that was created in France in XVI century to hunt various type of game. Hunting instinct is still well-expressed in this breed although presently most of its specimens are acquired solely for companionship. Because of its considerable exercise requirements this dog suits well only for active families and individuals.
The Basset Griffon Vendeen is an old French breed that was developed by sportsmen somewhere in the Middle Ages. The hunting grounds of this country are covered with thick and almost impenetrable vegetation as well as it’s rich in dangerous rocks. In order to function effectively in such a challenging terrain a hound must be quick-witted, persistent, docile, low-slung and physically tough. Additionally it requires a thick and rough coat as defence against nasty weather and thorns. It’s believed that such a dog appeared as the result of crossing the Basset-type dogs with the Grand Griffon Vendeen and eventually became known as the Basset Griffon Vendeen.
The popularity of this and other Basset breeds received a great boost after the French Revolution. Hunting turned into a fashionable entertainment for broad masses of French population. As keeping of a horse was an expensive treat lots of hunters began to prefer Scent Hounds that could be followed on foot rather than on a horseback. Since lots of people moved from countryside to cities, relative compactness of the Basset Griffon Vendeen earned its numerous fans in the role of a companion animal. Nonetheless the breed remained very rare outside its homeland until the late XIX century.
For decades the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen and the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen were treated as one breed. These two varieties were repeatedly interbred with each other. Separate standards were drawn up only in 1950 but interbreeding was considered as a norm until 1975 when it was finally prohibited by French Kennel Clubs.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen differs from its close relative, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, by smaller size and more square constitution. Moreover some of these dogs possess uniquely bent or crooked legs. Today it’s one of the most widely known French hounds (after the Bloodhound). The breed received recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1990. The United Kennel Club (UKC) officially accepted it in 1992.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen possesses an inquisitive and cheerful nature and usually behaves itself as a representative of a Terrier family. It gets very much attached to its entire family and can’t stand being separated from it for long period of time. This breed is completely fine with children if they don’t handle it too roughly. Anyway, make sure to teach your kids to respect personal space of the dog.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has amicable attitude towards unknown people and will never demonstrate unreasonable aggression. Although this breed usually will warn you about the presence of a stranger nearby most of its specimens lacks territorial instinct to become a good watcher. It also shouldn’t be trusted with guarding duties, as it would rather cordially follow an intruder into the house than display any sign of hospitability.
For several centuries this dog was bred as a pack hunter so it gets used to find the common ground with other dogs. It will be absolutely excited to have one or several permanent canine friends and the more the merrier. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen constitutes a lethal danger for all types of street animals and especially cats. But the odds are that it will tolerate those individual non-canine animals (including household cats) with which it has been reared up since a very young age.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is so vocal that the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard mentions it. You can reduce (but not completely eliminate) this problem by providing your dog with enough exercise.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· cardiac problems;
· ear infections;
· ear mites;
· otitis externs;
· reproductive problems;
· persistent pupillary membranes.
The maintenance of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is usually very time-consuming. Its dense and wiry coat should be brushed at least several times a week. It also requires trimming three-four times a year. Professional grooming is the best way to keep the hair of this dog in a splendid condition.
The owner should regularly check and clean the ears of his pet since the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen easily catches ear infections. Additionally it’s important to periodically trim the dog’s nails; especially if it doesn’t wear them off naturally. Bathe your dog only when it’s absolutely necessary.
The training of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen commonly turns in a true test of your patience and good humour. This breed is a slow learner and has very refractory disposition. It likes to rely on its own opinion rather than to follow someone’s orders. It’s impossible to train it successfully without plentiful of positive reinforcement in the form of its favourite treats and encouraging words.
Harsh discipline doesn’t work for this dog and will only make it more rebellious and disobedient. Housebreaking of this breed is associated with serious difficulties and may take longer than majority of other canine varieties.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has substantial reserves of energy that should be channelled in some constructive way. It’s by no means a coach potato and needs more than a daily short walk. Of course the perfect exercise for this dog is hunting but it will be still happy to play fetch and other vigorous games in a safely secured area.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is highly keen on digging and barking and without proper physical stimulation usually becomes very destructive and noisy. Nonetheless after an hour or two of strenuous exercise it commonly behaves itself calm and relaxed in the house and can be successfully kept even in a small city apartment.