Grands Bassets Griffons Vendeens were originally bred in the Vendee region of western France to hunt rabbits, hare and roe deer. They are a lower stationed version of their progentior, the Grand Griffon Vendeen (below left), a larger, stronger hound used to hunt wild boar. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, smaller again and used on rabbits, was scaled down from the fourth of the Griffon Vendeen hounds, the Briquet (top left).
There is a world of difference between the two Basset Griffon Vendeen hounds apart from their size. The PBGV is shorter in every way. He has a shorter foreface, shorter ears, a shorter and more compact body, shorter legs (with a little crook allowed) and a shorter tail. The GBGV on the other hand, should have a longer and more noble head, with a more domed skull, longer ears, pronounced foreface and a proud head carriage. He stands on longer legs but is still 'basset', has a longer body (but not too long, only a little longer than he is tall) with the length in his rib cage, longer legs which should be completely straight in the front, and a longer tail.
Both hounds are rough coated and have been bred to be enthusiastic and willing hunters with a strong chase drive and an independent nature which is inclined to say...'I will go and find something to chase, I'll yell my head off and then you can follow me!'
However, do not think that this means your GBGV is untrainable or can never be let off the leash. He'll be top of the class at puppy training, he learns so quickly and in the right setting, where he will not pick up deer or rabbit scent he can hunt, he loves to run freely and play with other dogs.
Breed Origins and their Legacy.
A Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (left) and a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen
Briquet Griffon Vendeen
Grand Griffon Vendeen