What is a GBGV you ask? The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, a French Scent Hound, is a new AKC breed since January 2018. Because of the long name, most people call them simply, GBGVs.
They are a pretty rare breed in the USA with the total number being around 450 at this time. The first GBGV arrived in the USA in 1990, and the first litter was born in 1994.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen actually means something! There are four sizes of BGV’s, the Grand is the larger one. Basset is for the long, low body and shorter legs. Griffon is the type of wire hair coat they have. Vendéen is the area in France where the breed originated.
The GBGV is a medium sized dog being 40 – 50 pounds, and around 18 inched tall at the withers. Their coats are tri or bi color, with white, fawn, black, sable, lemon, orange, and grey combinations.
Litters often have 6 to 10 pups, although one of my three is from a litter of 14. In most litters several will be either too tall or too short for the breed standard, but that only matters if you are looking for a show hound. Most puppies are born with dark colors, but by six months the fur starts to fade to their final adult colors.
Common nicknames for the GBGV are the happy breed, or clown dogs. They are always very happy and enthusiastic, but the way they move, and their super cute looks, with a lot of butt wiggle give them a clown-like appearance. Being hounds, quiet is not something they understand. These dogs love to howl whether they are alone or with a pack, and it can get pretty loud!
They were bred to hunt hare, wild boar, and deer. Once they give chase, you can’t miss it as they let out their hunting call which is a loud, high-pitched yelping noise.
For the most part, the GBGV is low maintenance. There are varying degrees of the wire coat from soft to hard. The softer the coat, the more grooming required. The coats are never shaved or trimmed, they must be hand stripped, with a thinning shears being used around the face, and paws. GBGVs don’t really shed which makes them great indoor companions.
Don’t let the short legs and long bodies fool you! The GBGV can be super fast, they are energetic, and need a lot of exercise. Dog driven sports such as nose work, barn hunt and tracking are made for the GBGV, but they can also do well with agility, or rally if you have enough patience to train them.
The breed is very independent thinking, and can be very challenging to train. They are smart, but stubborn, and if they don’t want to do something they won’t. Most of them are only allowed off leash in fenced areas. They might have good recall, but only when there is nothing better for them to do!
If you are looking for a hound who loves their humans, is super cuddly, funny, and energetic, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen may be the right breed for you. If you are looking for a dog who aims to please, and is obedient, you might want to consider a different breed. Find out more about life with a GBGV on my website, My GBGV Life.
About the Author:
Joy Schneider is a pet parent to GBGV’s, Emma, Bailie, Madison, and two cats, Bert and Sophie. She is passionate about health and fitness for herself and her pets. Joy’s hobbies include photography, writing, running, as well as nose work, tracking, barn hunt, and agility with her hounds.
Joy is the human behind the humorous and informative blog, MyGBGVLife.com, which is written from the viewpoint of Emma the GBGV. To earn a living and keep herself and fur kids in the lifestyle they have come to expect, Joy runs her own Real Estate Transaction Coordinator business.
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