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Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen: Info, Pictures, Care, Traits, & More

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

Grand basset griffon vendeen dog

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen: Info, Pictures, Care, Traits, & More

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen or “GBGV” for short is a French scenthound with a unique appearance. Their lengthy name is pronounced as “Gran-Bah-Say Gree-FOHN VON-day-uhn.”

These shaggy dogs are highly active with hunting origins tracing back to the 16th century. With a long body, short stature, and keen sense of smell, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is a loyal companion and eager hunter.

Breed Overview


15.5–18 inches


40–45 pounds


13–15 years


White, gray, sable, orange, tan, black, lemon, and fawn

Suitable for:

Active families looking for a busy dog


Intelligent, loyal, independent, stubborn, and active

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is a purebred dog recognized by the AKC in 2018. Despite their recent recognition, these dogs were developed in France a few centuries ago. You can recognize a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen by their shaggy coats available in various colors and patterns.

They are among the tallest members of the Basset breeds and their low stance accentuates their long bodies. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen has all the desirable traits of a working dog and requires a bit more exercise and mental stimulation to thrive.

Keep reading to find out more about the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen and what makes this breed so unique.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen Puppies

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen
Image By: Paul Steven, Shutterstock

You can get Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen puppies through adoption, rehoming, and breeders. Your best bet at finding Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen puppies is through a reputable breeder who specializes in this French breed. These dogs are seldom found up for adoption through shelters or rescue organizations.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen puppies are small and energetic, yet eager to be trained. It’s not uncommon for them to be stubborn and boisterous at times, which might hinder training. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen puppies benefit from early socializing and obedience training to become well-mannered adults.

You might find that older Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens are difficult to train and won’t easily let go of old habits. Training your Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen puppy should begin within the first week you bring them home.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen’s temperament can come off as strong at times, which is why they are not the right breed for everyone. Although they have many good temperamental traits such as loyalty and intelligence, they also have their fair share of bad traits.

For starters, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens are stubborn and seem to have a mind of their own. They also have a high prey drive because of their hunting instincts and may bark at even the slightest disturbances. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens don’t get tired easily, so you should expect to spend more time exercising and playing with them than some other dog breeds.

Despite all this, Grand Basset Griffons are sweet-natured dogs that can be loving toward their family.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens can make great family dogs with older children. They aren’t the best match for families with young children since they are active and require proper handling. Older children will find it easier to learn how to handle, play, and train Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens so that they can get along in the home.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen walking outdoors
Image By: Ian Dyball, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens seem to get along best with other dogs rather than cats. Unless they have been properly socialized with cats from a young age, they are known to bark and chase cats. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens pair well with similarly aged dog breeds, ideally with similar activity levels too.

Most Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens do not get along with small animals such as birds, rodents, rabbits, and reptiles. This is because their hunting instincts are strong, and they can be unpredictable around prey animals.

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Things to Know When Owning a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Like other dogs, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is an omnivore. Their ideal diet should consist of both animal and plant-based foods. They need to eat foods that contain a blend of vitamins and minerals needed for basic health.

A healthy and balanced diet is essential for these dogs and is necessary for their active lifestyles. You have the option of feeding them a kibble, wet, raw, or homemade diet as long as it follows AAFCO guidelines.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen looking
Image Credit: Ian Dyball, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

As a working dog breed, it’s no surprise that Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens are active dogs with demanding energy needs. These dogs always seem eager to work and exercise, so you can expect to spend a lot of time meeting these needs. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens can engage with park runs or evening jogs with you, and benefit from daily walks.

Other forms of exercise for this breed include a game of fetch or frisbee. When a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is not exercising, they are usually seen playing with their toys or other dogs.

Training 🎾

Due to the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen’s stubbornness, you might find them resistant to training if it isn’t done right. You want to train this breed from a young age and consistently use proper training techniques. If you find it challenging to train them yourself, a reputable dog trainer or canine behaviorist will be helpful.

Fortunately, most Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens excel at training once they get the hang of it.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen running on the beach
Image Credit: Ian Dyball, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens have low grooming requirements. Their coats are easy to manage with a few grooming sessions each week. Grooming this dog breed usually involves regular brushing using a brush or comb that can reach the entirety of their dense double coat.

You will also need to have their fur trimmed around their eyes, mouths, and paws so it doesn’t affect their vision or mobility. Bathing is usually only necessary for this breed when they become visibly dirty. However, you can use dog-safe wipes to keep their body clean in between washes. You will also need to clean this breed’s ears as they commonly get ear infections.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens are a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan between 13 to 15 years. However, they are still prone to certain health conditions that require veterinary intervention.

Let’s look below at the health conditions commonly associated with this breed.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Dermatitis
Serious Conditions
  • Elbow or hip dysplasia
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Kennel Cough
  • Ear mites
  • Epilepsy

Male vs Female

There are several differences between a male and female Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen’s behavior and appearance. The main differences would be their hormonal behaviors. Males may show an interest in roaming and escaping once they are sexually mature. It’s common for them to urine mark if a female dog is in heat, as it’s their way of attracting a potential mate.

Female Grand Basset Vendeens go into heat on average every 6 months. This is when they are fertile and receptive to male dogs. Their differences in appearance are slight, but males are thought to be slightly taller and slimmer than their female counterparts.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen

1. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens were bred to have short legs.

It is hard to imagine a strong hunting dog bred to have short legs, but it was purposeful. The shorter stature allowed them to be slower alongside their huntsmen who were on foot.

2. They were originally used to hunt deer and wolves.

Deer and wolves are incredibly fast, but these short-legged dogs work together in packs to help take down these swift beasts.

3. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen only became separate breeds in the 1970s.

Breeders had begun to realize that litters produced by the Grand and Petit would have enough varied characteristics that in 1977, the two Bassets became separate breeds. The GBGV has longer features (muzzle, ears, body, and tail), whereas the Petit has shorter features. It is subtle but clear enough that they need to be recognized as different breeds.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen running in a basket
Image Credit: Wild Carpathians, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is a French breed originally used for hunting purposes. This breed is highly intelligent but stubborn at times. They benefit from frequent and consistent training from a young age and enjoy plenty of exercise. Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen usually gets along well with families with other children and dogs but doesn’t do well with small pets or cats.

Once a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen has been socialized and trained well, they make loyal and loving companions.

Featured Image Credit: Wild Carpathians, Shutterstock

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