Courtesy of the Basset Griffon VendÉen club - UK.

GBGV are Scent Hounds and fall under the Hound group. The GBGV is one of the 6 French Short legged Scent Hounds or Basset breeds. These include the Basset HoundPetit Basset Griffon VendeenGrand Basset Griffon Vendeen; Basset Artesien NormandBasset Blue de Gascogne and the Basset Fauve de Bretagne. Of these 6, only the first 3 is currently found in South Africa, with the Petit and Grand being very rare.


Originally there was only one size of BGV (Basset Griffon Vendeen) that nowadays would look like a mixture between a PBGV and GBGV. They appeared with the height of a Petit but with a long head, a long, heavy body and with mostly crooked or half-crooked front legs, looking like rough-coated Basset Hounds without the extra skin or wrinkle.

It had been common practice to interbreed the Grand and the Petit, therefore it was not uncommon to find Grands in Petit litters and or at least significant characteristics. In theory this practice stopped in France in 1972 and was officially banned by the French club in 1977. Breeders today put great importance on size and type.

It was the Comte Christian d'Elva who attempted to improve the soundness of these hounds. His hounds were taller and straight-legged and the forerunners of the Grand Basset of today. His famous dog "Royal Combattant" is a good example of the quality of his hounds at the turn of the century, where he won the Prix d'Honneur de la République.

Beginning in the late 1890s and then flourishing in next century, the breed made enormous strides under the Dézamy family where the nature and type of the varieties "Grand" and "Petit" were firmly defined and established. The name Dézamy (also Desamy) is virtually synonymous with BGVs in France, where the one family over three generations established the breed(s), formed the Club du Griffon Vendéen, wrote the definitive standards and continuously served as Presidents of the club from 1907 until 1985. At this time M. Renaud Buche took over the Presidency and in 2010 subsequently handed over the Presidency to M. Christian Oustrieres.


General Appearance Well-balanced, medium height, rough coated hound. Slightly longer than height at withers, with straight forelegs. A friendly and intelligent looking hound with noble bearing.

Characteristics A strong, active and courageous hound, possessing great stamina, with a good voice freely used.

Temperament Happy and outgoing. Independent and a little stubborn, not easily agitated, yet willing to please with firm handling.

Head and Skull A noble head, carried proudly. Skull domed, without heaviness, elongated and not too wide. Well cut away under the eyes. Occipital bone well developed. Stop clearly defined. Muzzle square at its extremity, noticeably longer than from stop to occiput. Bridge of nose slightly roman. Nose protruding, well developed with wide open nostrils. Solid colour. Black except in white/lemon, white/orange coats where brown is tolerated. Lips well developed, just covering the lower jaw and giving the front of the muzzle a square shape. Well covered with long hair, forming good beard and moustache.

Eyes Large, dark and oval, showing no white, with a friendly, intelligent expression. Haw not visible. Long eyebrows, standing forward but not obscuring eyes.

Ears Supple, narrow and fine, covered with long hair, folding inwards ending in an oval shape; reaching to just beyond the tip of the nose; set on low, not above the line of the eye.
Mouth Jaws strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck Long and strong, set into well-laid shoulders; thicker at the base; without dewlap.

Forequarters Shoulders clean and well laid back; elbows close to the body, never turning out. Forelegs straight, thick and well boned. Pasterns strong and slightly sloping. Knuckling over is unacceptable.

Body Back of good length, without exaggeration, with level top line. Slight rise over solid, well-muscled loin. Prominent fore chest, brisket broad and deep. Ribs moderately rounded, well let down to elbow and extending well back. Flanks rather deep, belly never tucked up.

Hindquarters Well boned, strong and muscular with moderate bend of stifle. Heavily muscled thighs with well defined second thigh. Hocks turning neither in nor out.

Feet Large and tight padded. Pads firm and solid. Nails strong and short.

Tail Rather long. Set on high, thick at the base, tapering gradually, well furnished with hair, carried proudly sabre-like or slightly curved but never too far over the back or bent at the tip.

Gait/Movement Free with great drive. Front action straight and reaching well forward; hind action easy and elastic, hocks turning neither in nor out.

Coat Rough, of moderate length, with a flat structure, never silky or woolly, fringing not too abundant; thick undercoat. The coat may be tidied, but over-trimming or styling should be penalized.
Colour White, with any combination of lemon, orange, sable, grizzle or black markings. Tricolour.

Size Height at withers: dogs 40-44 cm (15¾ -17½ in.); bitches 39-43 cm
(15½ -17 in.) A tolerance of 1 cm (⅜ in) more or less is permissible.

Faults Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

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