The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen: All You Need to Know

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a sweet-faced and hard-working French Scenthound with an outgoing, happy, and independent personality. 

In this article, we’ll dive deep into what makes the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen so special – its unique history, physical characteristics, and temperament. 

History and Origin of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

Before we get into the details of this breed, it’s important to understand where it came from. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a French scenthound that was originally used to hunt rabbits. Its ancestors can be traced back to the 16th century.

The Breed’s French Roots

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen comes from the Vendée region of France, which is located on the country’s west coast. The region is known for its rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, and dense forests.

The breed was developed by crossing various local hound breeds, including the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen and the Grand Griffon Vendéen. These breeds were known for their excellent hunting skills.

Development of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

In the 19th century, a standardized breed of Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen was developed for hunting rabbits in packs. This breed was boasting stamina, agility, and a keen sense of smell.

The dogs were trained to work together to track and corner rabbits, making them easier for the hunters to catch. Today, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is still used for hunting, but it also makes a great family pet. 

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

One of the most striking things about the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is its appearance. This breed has a unique combination of physical traits that make it stand out from other dogs.

Size and Weight

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a medium-sized dog that weighs between 40 and 45 pounds on average. It stands around 15.5 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder. Despite its size, this breed is agile and enduring.

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen has a muscular build and a strong bone structure that allows it to run and jump with ease. It is well-proportioned and has a balanced gait that is both graceful and efficient.

Coat and Colors

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen’s coat is thick and rough to the touch. Accepted coat colors include white & black, white & gray, white & grizzle, white & lemon, white & orange, white & sable, white black & tan, black & tan, and fawn. 

The coat is an important part of the breed’s hunting heritage, as it helps protect the dog from thorns, briars, and other hazards while tracking game. The coat is also water-resistant, which makes it ideal for hunting in wet conditions.

Distinctive Features

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen has several distinctive features. Its long ears, which can be up to 5 inches long, are covered in fur and help with scent tracking. The breed also has a long, low-set body that is well-suited for its hunting role.

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen’s eyes are large and expressive, with a friendly and intelligent expression. The breed’s tail is long, tapered, and typically carried upright when the dog is alert or excited.

Personality and Temperament

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a skilled hunter and a great companion who loves to be around people. They are loyal and devoted to their owners, making them great family pets.

One of the defining traits of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is its love for adventure. Breed members are curious and always eager to explore, which can sometimes lead them into trouble. 

Intelligence and Trainability

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a highly intelligent breed that is quick to learn new things. It is eager to please its owners and responds well to positive reinforcement training.

However, their strong hunting instincts can sometimes make training a challenge. It’s important to start training early and be patient and consistent with your approach. 

Socialization and Interaction

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a social breed that thrives on interaction with other dogs and people. They are friendly and outgoing, and they love to play and explore with their canine companions.

However, they can also be independent at times and may prefer to do their own thing. Early socialization is important for this breed to ensure that they are comfortable around other dogs and people. 

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is an active breed that requires plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks and playtime are essential to meet their energy needs. They also enjoy activities such as hiking, swimming, and running in open spaces.

It’s important to provide mental stimulation as well, as this breed is intelligent and easily bored. Puzzle toys, interactive games, and training sessions can help keep their minds engaged.

Health and Lifespan

As with all dog breeds, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is prone to certain health issues. However, with proper care and veterinary attention, this breed can live a healthy and happy life.

Common Health Issues

Common health issues in the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen include: 

  • Orthopedic Problems: Hip dysplasia and luxating patella are widespread joint problems among breed members 
  • Eye Conditions: The breed is prone to eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy 

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

In addition to regular veterinary checkups and preventative care (vaccination, parasite control), there are several things you can do to keep your Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen healthy. This includes providing a healthy diet, regular exercise, and grooming. 

Expected Lifespan

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen has an average lifespan of around 13 to 15 years. With proper care and good genetic makeup, many breed members can live long and healthy lives. 


The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a unique and charming breed. With its distinctive appearance, friendly personality, and impressive hunting abilities, it is easy to see why it is so beloved.

If you are considering adding a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen to your family, be sure to do thorough research and work with a reputable dog breeder or rescue group to find the perfect match.

Scroll to Top