Grand Griffon Vendeen

Other names: Large Vendéen Griffon

Grand Griffon Vendeen

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 :

6

18

11

13

Temperament :

Hunter

Size :

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

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds

Section

Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the Grand Griffon Vendeen

Adult size

Female : Between 24 and 26 in

Male : Between 24 and 27 in

Weight

Female : Between 66 and 77 lb

Male : Between 66 and 77 lb

Coat colour

Black
White
Brown
Blue
Red
Sand

Type of coat

Long
Hard

Eye colour

Brown

Description

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.

Temperament

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    Affectionate

    He is certainly friendly and warm.

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    Playful

    This dog loves a challenge and intelligent interaction.

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    Calm

    The Grand Griffon Vendéen has a strong character that should be channeled to help him be calm at home.

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    Intelligent

    He is a moderately intelligent dog.

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    Hunter

    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.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    If not well socialised, he may be fearful or even aggressive towards humans he does not know.

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    Independent

    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

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      Tolerates solitude

      He prefers company, but may be left alone if his needs have been met.

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      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.

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      Barking

      He is loud and likes to sing and bark, sometimes just because he’s happy being a dog.

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