The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Breed is a short and stocky dog. They stand 13-15 inches high and weigh between 31 and 40 pounds, there is little size difference between the male dog and the female bitch. They are a little wide in body, wit well muscled hindquarters. They have a fairly short but shaggy coat, with their floppy ears and a moustache like nose appearance. They have a look somewhere between the total ruffian and a dog version of Oliver twist. Their head and facial hair gives them a somewhat soulful expression. The short hair may have a somewhat scruffy appearance and on looking at these dogs they seem to have no sense of vanity; you'd easily imagine it dragging itself through bushes and hedgerows with no problems at all. This breed of dog is definitely the little Scruff from next door, which everybody loves.
History. The origins of this breed can be traced back to 16th century France, when the dogs were bred from the grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, deliberately attempting to produce a shorter, smaller dog. First bred in the area of Vendeen, as you may have guessed, for hunting rabbits and vermin, rats, mice, etc. Due to their origins, unusually, it is possible for the grand Basset and petite Basset to be born in the same litter, although breeding restrictions have reduced the occurrence of this.
Temperament. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen are a friendly cheerful intelligent dog, that can be very entertaining to watch. Given their general scruffy appearance, and their somewhat inquisitive nature, they can provide endless fun when walking through the park, or in country areas, as they shoot around trying to make themselves look even scruffier.
They are bold and confident and thoroughly enjoy digging, for this reason it may be necessary to extend fencing a short distance below the surface of the garden, as they are also known as quite accomplished escape artists. Their natural temperament and breeding will make them believe they are master of a home in which they live. Training and asserting yourself over this dog is very important, if the dog believes they are in command this will cause problems in the future.
Accommodation must be given to their natural instincts, of being lord over all they survey, so you should assert yourself in a gentle fashion. Do not be distracted from you training by their lovable rogue appearance and behaviour; you must all be happy in the home together.
Health issues. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is a mostly healthy dog, with a life expectancy of 14 years and sometimes more. However, they are predisposed to some eye conditions, including glaucoma. The main issues with this breed are epilepsy and hypothyroidism. Skin and food allergies are also not uncommon.
Grooming. For The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen dog, grooming is a reasonably easy task. A weekly brushing, or combing, will remove any debris from their coat. Care should be taken to keep the ears clean, along with nail clipping, and teeth cleaning. The only other real consideration is to keep the hair in their paws well trimmed, and bath as required, but not too frequently as this can destroy the natural oils of their coat.
Living conditions. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen can live pretty much anywhere, including an apartment, as long as they are adequately exercised. They are an active dog and prefer cooler weather, although they will do fine in warm weather as well. When exercising the dog should not really be let off the lead, their hunting instincts are so strong they will chase any small animals they see.
Consideration must be given in the family home to any other pets, as you don't want your child's favourite rabbit presented to you, after dogs play time. For this breed, hunting is an instinct, there is no malice, but if you have smaller pets in the house expect them to be hunted.
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