Grand Griffon Vendeen
Other names: Large Vendéen Griffon
Not to be mistaken for the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen (how could you?), the Grand Griffon Vendéen is nonetheless part of that shared extended family hailing from the Vendée region of France. In fact, the Grand Griffon Vendéen is the first and largest of the lot. A long and distinguished-looking mop of a dog, he’s friendly and sociable but can be a little arrogant at times. He has high exercise needs, which - along with his wilful behaviour - makes him an inappropriate choice for all but the most fitting of families.
Key facts about the Grand Griffon Vendeen
Life expectancy :
Origins and history
Traced back to the Gaul’s own hunting doggo of choice, the Canis Segusius, this creature split into manifold griffon-type hunters due to selective breeding in the 16th century; but this remains the main chap, with other griffons and smaller griffon bassets from the Vendée region tracing their lineage to that venerable old man, the Grand Griffon Vendéen. It had almost completely disappeared during the Second World War but the breed was recovered today. However, it is not very widespread, especially because the large packs, in which it was used to hunt wolves, no longer exist.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the Grand Griffon Vendeen
Female : Between 24 and 26 in
Male : Between 24 and 27 in
Female : Between 66 and 77 lb
Male : Between 66 and 77 lb
Black with white spotting, black with tan markings, white with fawn (orange) spotting, charcoal fawn (with or without white variegation).
Type of coat
Bushy and harsh with a dense undercoat.
This is an old breed, and it shows. The Grand Griffon Vendéen has the look of a dusty, cobwebby old sheep, but with warm, friendly, intelligent eyes and ears like the blankets at a forgotten rural B&B. Longer than he is tall, his legs were bred to prevent him wandering too far from the horse-mounted hunters with whom he rode; but he’s still a whopper of a dog, and the real giants of the breed have an almost supernatural sense of enormity in their gait. His face is long and begs repeated attempts at the snoot challenge.
Good to know
The ‘Grand’ in his name refers to the size of game he is suited to hunting rather than his own size. That said, among ‘Grand’ hounds this is one of the grandest.
He is certainly friendly and warm.
This dog loves a challenge and intelligent interaction.
The Grand Griffon Vendéen has a strong character that should be channeled to help him be calm at home.
He is a moderately intelligent dog.
Yes, this dog is a natural hunter and will have a keen eye (and nose) for both small furry moving things and larger game such as fox.
Fearful / wary of strangers
If not well socialised, he may be fearful or even aggressive towards humans he does not know.
As with many a scenthound, this dog can be highly independent, working on his own and making decisions about his general daily life that you may not fully agree with – often on the basis of a passing smell. Nevertheless, he still needs regular human contact.
Behaviour of the Grand Griffon Vendeen
He prefers company, but may be left alone if his needs have been met.
Easy to train / obedience
This dog is pretty clever but that just means he has his own ideas about things. Training is a challenge and requires discipline, perseverance, and kindness.
He is loud and likes to sing and bark, sometimes just because he’s happy being a dog.