If we tell you there is a breed out there with the cutest look, happy demeanor, and skills of a hunter, would you believe it? Well, if you haven’t guessed yet—we are talking about the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed.

This breed can melt your heart with their acts and personality. But to learn more about their grooming and training needs, we have covered everything you need to know!


Height15-18 inches
Weight40-45 lbs
Life Span12-15 years
Exercise Needs2 hours daily
TemperamentHappy-go-lucky, Curious, Stubborn
Grooming: Moderate maintenance
OriginVendée region of France

Origin of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The story goes back to the 16th century when people needed a breed to fit the weather conditions of Vendeé. Only after spending almost 400 years came the breed Bassen Griffon Vendéen, a hound dog in two variants. The two variants were Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen and Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. As the terms suggest, the former is larger than the latter. 

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed has evolved significantly over the years. They originated in the Vendéen region of France and left no stone unturned when it came to winning hearts. The basset hounds and Griffon breeds were bred to give rise to today’s Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens. 

Their primary purpose was to work as hunting dogs and track down rabbits and hares. Also, this breed was a perfect companion for people with slower lives. As their name suggests, the bassets, meaning the ones with shorter stature, could hide and run through the under bushes of the area. Due to their many years of practice, these dogs have excellent scenting and tracking skills. 

At the onset of the 20th century, this dog breed gained popularity among the common folks. As people started to adopt them, this breed proved to be not only a hunting dog but a loyal and affectionate companion. 

Appearance of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The French hounds, Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, have a unique appearance that makes it easy to identify them.

1. Small stature

The basset in their name is for the height of these dogs. They are short in stature, i.e., they stand between 15-18 inches. This makes them a medium-sized breed. Just like in the case of most breeds, Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen’s females are smaller than males. Both weigh around 40-45 pounds. 

2. Robust body

They have a sturdy body with a thick layer of fur coat. The griffon in their name signifies the wirey and hardy coat on their body. You can find these colors in their skins—yellow, tan, black, or orange.

Usually, there is a combination of at least 2-3 colors in these dogs. The color changes in patches, like—a black body with an orangish nose and paws. 

3. Facial features

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed also has long whiskers and bangs that make them even cuter. Like other hound dogs, these dogs have long-hanging years that come all the way to their chins. With their dark, shiny eyes, these breeds can give butterflies to a dog lover at one glance. 

4. Bred for harsh terrains

Moreover, their bodies are built to survive in the harsh terrains and move through the underbushes. They smell their way to the prey with tiny little black noses. So, it will be fair to say that Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens have the bodies that suit their skills and demeanor. 

Personality and Temperament

Knowing about the origin and appearance of a dog cannot alone be the deciding factor for adopting a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen. Here are the details about this dog breed’s temperament and personality traits to give you more insights. 

1. Stubborn

This hunting dog can often pose itself as dominating or stubborn. They have evolved to follow their masters, who usually motivate them. If you want to adopt this breed, you must be more dominant and encourage them for training.

They respect the owner with a strong ground during training. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed can throw tantrums many times, which can be challenging for a first-time dog owner.

2. Energetic 

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens are energetic and always up for outdoor trips! This dog breed will be a perfect companion if you are a traveler. They are adventurous and love to trek. When you get tired, they’ll still be on their toes.

Moreover, as you cannot do adventurous activities daily, you must stimulate their playful demeanor with alternatives. For example- you can take the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed on long walks and jog sessions. Their energy levels also make them a dog with high training needs. 

3. Independent thinkers

These dogs have a rich history of hunting out into the wild and are independent thinkers. Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens can independently make tough decisions in a critical situation. They are courageous and never the ones to cling to their owners all the time.

This dog breed appreciates its “me time.” With proper socialization and positive reinforcement, these breeds can be more confident. Also, as they are quick learners, GBGV can adapt to new situations quickly.

4. Noisy

If you want a dog who can scare away thieves from far away—Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens are for you. This dog is very vocal and never shies away from barking at every other person who passes by them. Such barking instincts can also be annoying and noisy for some people, which is why this is an essential criterion for judging a breed. If you want a barkless dog, consider adopting the Basenji dog breed.

5. Happy-go-lucky

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed is very happy-go-lucky. They gel very well with hooman companions and other animals. So, if you are a cat person looking for a change, this breed will not harm your cats.

However, they need training because their hunting and prey drive is strong. You can give them socialization training and familiarize them with your other pets. This quality makes them excellent companions for dog owners and human families. 

6. Curious

Try hiding some blueberries; we bet this breed will sniff the whole floor to find those! Their curiosity makes them more admirable for dog enthusiasts. They love to scent trails of evidence and track the prey- be it blueberries or rats. It would be best to encourage their abilities to keep behavior problems at bay. As we say- mental stimulation is equally important as physical.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen’s scenting sense is so strong that you will need to lock all the treats in so they don’t track and hunt them.
a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen on a hill

Grooming Needs of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed has comparatively lower grooming needs than other breeds like Afghan Hounds or American Eskimo Dogs. Every dog has specific grooming needs that should be fulfilled. To adopt this breed, you must cater to all their requirements. 

This guide will help you with that!

But first, ensure you have all the dog supplies with you! For example, for grooming Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, you will need these items in the kit:

  • Soft bristle brush
  • Mat remover
  • Dog-friendly shampoo, conditioner and soap
  • Fleas and ticks repellant
  • Clean cloth or towel
  • Trimming scissors

1. Brush 2-3 times weekly

You must brush these dogs at least 2-3 times a week. As they have a dense and thick coat, it is resilient to dirt, but the hair can get tangled. For detangling, you can use a wide-teeth comb, and later, you can use a soft bristle brush to smooth the coat. 

2. Clean with a damp cloth

You can use a mat remover as you might even see a shower of hair shed and matting. You must keep those loose hair and fur out of their skin. Talking of dog’s skin, they can be very susceptible to skin infections.

Due to debris or dirt build-up, dogs can develop rashes and skin tears. You must keep cleaning their necks and paws with a damp cloth. 

3. Ear infections

Moreover, this breed is prone to ear infections. As they have long-hanging ears, you must keep a check and prevent earwax build-up. Similarly, excessive eye boogers can also be a sign of eye infections. 

Lastly, one of the common problems in dogs are fleas and ticks. These bacteria infect the skin and can make the dog physically and mentally sick. You must use a prescribed (by your vet) repellant. 

Exercise and Training Needs

Basic obedience is one of the first things you should train Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen for. This includes teaching them the commands and encouraging them to respond to them.

1. Positive training

If you start it early, it will be easier for this to adapt. You can begin with the accessible commands like- “sit,” “stay,” or “run.”  With the help of positive reinforcement training and a reward system, you can motivate them to maintain a consistent training schedule.

For rewards, you can toss them their favorite treats. This can include dog treats or human foods like- blueberries, cashews, apples, melons, etc.

2. Mental stimulation

Mental stimulation is another training essential for the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed. These dogs thrive on their scenting and tracking abilities. You can play hide and seek or treasure hunts with them. Believe us- the last thing you want is a bored Basset Griffon Vendéen. 

3. Interactive games

You can also indulge them in interactive games with toys, fetching, or racing. Apart from this, daily walks should be a part of their daily routine. As these dogs are highly energetic, you must go the extra mile to fulfill their training needs. This is one of the reasons why we do not recommend this Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens for first-time dog owners.

They need at least 2 hours of exercise per day. This should include:

  • Dog Walking
  • Obedience training and positive reinforcement
  • Leash training
  • Socialization training
  • Physical training
  • Mentally stimulating activities


Our final thoughts on the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog is that it is a versatile dog breed. From hunting and scenting to loving and being stubborn- they have it all in them! We do not recommend them for first-time owners solely because of their high training needs. They have average grooming needs and a fun temperament, which are great for new dog owners. 

Hence, if you are willing to give in the effort for training, you should go for this breed!

Frequently Asked Questions

How big does Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen get?

As for height, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed can stand at 15-18 inches and weighs about 40-45 pounds. Females are slightly smaller than males. It also depends on the health and nutrition of the dog.

What are the health problems with Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen?

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a healthy dog with no significant record of health problems. But you can expect Hip dysplasia or eye infections in their lifetime. Also, as they have long-hanging ears, these dogs can have frequent earwax build-up and debris, leading to skin allergies. Hence, you must clean their eyes and ears from eye boogers and debris.

 Are Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed is not hypoallergenic. If you are sensitive to allergens, this breed is unsuitable. Even though they do not shed like other hounds, like Afghan hounds, they shed enough to spread the allergens. Also, this can be a problem if you have other pets at home.

Do Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen shed?

There is minimal to average hair shed that you can expect from the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed. They shed the most during seasonal changes or shedding seasons. By grooming and brushing them regularly, you can remove the loose fur before it makes a hairy trail in your home.

Do Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen bark a lot?

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is known for its excessive barking habits. Although they are good with strangers and consider everyone their besties, you may find them barking at every other person. It would help if you did not associate their barking with aggression. Due to their hunting history, they have evolved this habit of barking or being very vocal. You can also train them to bark less with the help of positive reinforcement.

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