A popular hunting breed in its native France, its name can be translated as follows: Petit (small), Basset (low), Griffon (wire-haired), Vendeen (French region of Vendee from where it originated). It was bred down in size coming from the larger Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, with bloodlines of the White and Tan Italian Hound and the now extinct White Bloodhound. Its distinct characteristic is its “Saber Tail” – set high and carried like a saber with a white tip. It weighs from 31 to 4o pounds, and stands at a height of 13 to 15 inches. This small dog is a solid, hardy dog with a rough and casual appearance. Its body is slightly longer than it is tall. It has a domed skull, a well pronounced stop and a large, black nose with wide nostrils. Its eyes are also large and dark and the ears are oval-shaped, long, drop and covered with tousled hair. It has shaggy eyebrows, a beard and a moustache and long eyelashes. It has a double layer of coat with a topcoat that is long and harsh and a thick, short undercoat. The coat colour is white background with spots of lemon yellow, black, orange, grizzle, sable and sometimes appearing with tan accents.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is sometimes called the “happy breed” and this is because they do have an extroverted, friendly and cheerful character. They are a boundless source of amusement for their owners and families as they love to please their human companions. They are good with children and other pets, however they may need supervision when with young children and small, non-canine pets because of their hunting instincts. This is not a quiet dog – on the contrary, it is given to an assertive, hound bray that is loud for its small stature. They make good therapy dogs as well as hunting and tracking dogs. They can live for 14 or more years.