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The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen [pronounced Peh-TEE Bha-SAY Gree-FOHN Vehn-DAY-uhn] is a rough coated scent hound originally bred to hunt rabbits in the Vendeen region of France. Other favorite names for this medium-small, shaggy hound are: PBGVs, Petits, Peebs, or PBs.  They are friendly, out going creatures that make great family pets. They love people, and you can trust them to be friendly to guests of all ages and other dogs. However care should be taken when introducing a small child to a PBGV since it might knock the child down in it's exuberance.

Petits are very busy, gregarious dogs. They need daily interaction with their people, and therefore cannot be expected to spend their life kenneled in the back of your yard. However being a scent hound they do require a fenced exercise area since they are ruled by their noses. If left alone too much of the time, this smart hound tends to become very creative, and unfortunately you will probably not like the results. Things such as giving voice freely (barking) or digging out quarry, flowers, or just under the fence & gone.


1. Energy level ; Need 10 laps around their fenced yard, or a dedicated walker, before coming in to snuggle up on the couch to watch TV.

2. Good with children under 5? Yes, however neither toddlers nor puppies should ever be left unsupervised.

3. Good with children over 5? Yes, as long as the PBGV is taught not to jump and the child is taught not to hurt the dog. Sharing cookies is ok.

4. Good with children under 10? Yes. Both child and dog will enjoy a good romp. Be sure that child knows how to play with an animal and is not abusive.

5. Good with children over 10? Yes. Children over 10 are usually large enough to be thought of as adult by the dog. However, never get a dog with the expectation of the child being the primary care giver for the dog. Children are not responsible enough to be in charge, and the dog is unable to tell you that it has not been fed or watered.

6. Ease of care (grooming etc.): PBGVs have a wire coat that sheds very little. However, they have a very soft, fine undercoat that must be brushed or combed weekly to prevent mats from forming. The coat is softer on the legs and head which attracts and holds such items as leaves, small sticks and other sticky items. The beard and cute fuzzy face holds water very nicely after drinking and can also hold mud and dirt if your Petit decides to investigate a mud puddle or dig a nice hole in which to rest.

7. Housebreakability: In most cases they are easily housebroken. The males might be a little easier to train since the females tend to be more dominant than the males as a result of their working in packs where the female is alpha.

8. Life limiting disorders: The PBGV has fewer health concerns than many breeds. Some juvenile animals may suffer from an aseptic meningitis characterized by lethargy, high fever, teeth chatter, and neck or back pain or painful all over. The syndrome varies in severity among affected animals and in rare instances can be fatal. Most cases respond to steroids given for 3-4 months. If the treatment is stopped too soon, the dog may not respond to treatment when it relapses. This is thought to be a hereditary syndrome which is also found in other breeds as well.

9. Non-life limiting disorders: Ear infections are probably the most common health problem in PBGVs. The problem is usually caused from yeast and the lack of air due to the long ears which cover the ear canal. Petits also have hair which grows in the ear canal similar to that which is found in Poodles. It is important to remove this hair periodically to allow better air circulation. Your breeder should be able to show you how to remove the hair, or you can take the dog to a groomer or your vet and let them do it.

Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM) and retinal dysplasia (retinal folds) are the two most common eye problems. Neither commonly affect vision.

Other disorders which have been reported are:  seizure disorders and epilepsy, hypothyroidism, skin allergies, patellar luxation, and hip dysplasia.

11. Trainability: PBGVs are one of the more trainable of the scent hounds. They are independent, yet willing to please. The trainer is required, however, to have a good sense of humor, lots of patience and a will as strong as the PBGV being trained.

12. Less than lovely breed quirks: Can be barkers, chewers, diggers and occasional climbers usually due to their hunting instinct or boredom

13. Average weight/size: According to the PBGV standard they are supposed to be 13-15 inches at the shoulder with a 1/2 inch leeway on either end. Over 15 inches is a disqualification in the show ring. Average weight is 25-40 pounds. Females usually are smaller than the males.

14. Personality: Friendly, out going, busy, gregarious, affectionate, willing to please, independent, somewhat stubborn, enthusiastic, extreemly intelligent, curious, confident, engaging

Caring for your dog: Health and grooming
Information was compiled from e-mail postings by PBGV-L members, including veterinarians Kasmin Bittle and Cathy Lustgarden, and from the PBGV Club of America.
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen has fewer hereditary health concerns than many breeds. One of the prime functions of PBGV-L is to discuss and exchange information about health problems in the breed as they arise.
The two most common eye problems in PBGVs are Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM) and retinal dysplasia (retinal folds), neither of which commonly affect vision. To properly screen for these problems, the pups must be examined by a board-certified veterinary opthalmologist around 7 weeks old, as signs of these problems can sometimes disappear later.
Even if you don't register your dog with CERF, the vet sends in a copy to CERF with your dog's breed and age. Checking eyes and hips is the only way to maintain the health of the breed in this genetic area. To get a CERF number, the dog must be over one year old at the time of examination. CERF recommends annual exams.
Some juvenile animals may suffer from an aseptic meningitis characterized by lethargy, fever and neck or back pain. This syndrome varies in severity among affected animals and in rare instances can be fatal. The typical symptoms are neck pain, teeth chattering, or seeming to be painful all over. Many cases respond to steroids, but it is extremely important that they be continued for 3 to 4 months. Stop too soon, and the dog may not respond to treatment when he relapses. The disease definitely runs in families (PBGVs are not the only breed susceptible). Breeders need to take this disease very seriously, and never breed affected dogs or their primary relatives.
Seizure disorders and epilepsy are infrequently reported within the breed. Hypothyroidism, skin allergies, patellar luxation and hip dysplasia also have been reported.
It is wise for individuals planning to import dogs to request that vaccinations for distemper and parvovirus be given prior to shipment as vaccination schedules in Europe may be inadequate to provide protection here in the United States.
Ear infections, or the dreaded yeastie beasties
Ear infections are probably the most common health problem a PBGV owner will encounter. The problem usually is caused from yeast and the lack of air due to the long ears covering the ear canal. The dog will repeatedly scratch the irritated ear, which may smell and have brownish gunk in it. Treatment for ear problems varies among veterinarians and PBGV-L members. Some suggestions are offered here, but consult with your own veterinarian before treating an ear problem.
Puppies often develop yeast infections at about 4 months of age. Treatment with Conofite for 1-2 weeks usually resolves the problem. In older dogs, uncomplicated yeast infections respond nicely to Otomax twice daily for 7-14 days, followed by Conofite 2-3 times weekly forever if recurrence has been a problem.
More difficult cases may require cleansing with a drying ear cleanser, which will sometimes improve response. Conofite is recommended to prevent recurrence in the noninflamed ear as it does not have a corticosteroid component and it is nongreasy.
Another treatment approach: Rinse well with a mixture of vinegar and water a few times a week, wipe out well around the edges -- never put anything down the ear canal unless you know what you're doing -- and use Tresaderm or Otomax from your vet 2 times a day for 3 weeks. Once the problem is cleared up, a weekly rinse with the vinegar water solution is helpful. Here are two other recipes for ear solutions, recommended by list members.
Sometimes Panotic works when Otomax doesn't. You can also try gynolotrimine, the stuff for human yeast infections. But please check with your vet for amounts to use. You may need to use an antibiotic to get the infection under control first.
And another treatment option: Mix in a 1 ounce bottle, 1/2 ounce Panolog and 1/2 ounce of Wax-a-sol. Wax-a-sol loosens and helps dissolve ear wax, while the Panolog has anti-fungals in it to treat the yeast. For a minimum of 3 weeks, apply the solution twice a day. It will cause the hair around the ear to get oily, but if you wash the hair in that area with alcohol you can get off most of the oil.
Epi-Otic is another favorite cleaner. In cases where the ear is very bad, repeatedly flushing the ear with Pervade, an enema preparation, until all the "guck" is out of it, has had good results.
There is also a very expensive and very powerful antifungal pill called Fluconazol.
Some owners advise keeping the hair pulled out from the ear canal -- something your vet may have to do, unless your dog is used to it. Other list members advise against plucking the ears on a prophylactic basis, saying it causes more harm than good. They advise just keeping the ears clean and plucking hairs only if and when a problem develops.
Also, watch out, some PBGVs are allergic to some of the ointments used in treating ear infections.
Recurring or stubborn yeast infections may be related to allergies. So if you have been through a treatment with little or no results, an allergy regimen is recommended. Sometimes the dog may not show any other signs of allergies (scratching, sneezing, watery eyes, scooting, etc.), except for shaking his head and rubbing or scratching at his ears. The irritation in the ear canal sets up a perfect place for yeast to grow. Once yeast is cleared up, it should be followed up with a cortisone drop, HB101 or Burocort.
A final caution: Yeast can become resistant to the drugs it's treated with if the medication is used long term.
In cases of chronic ear problems, don't discount the possibility of ear mites, especially if you've had them in your home/kennel before. Mites can reside very deep in the ear canals.

The PBGV is pretty much an easy care, wash-and-wear dog. The coat should be harsh and rather thick, the texture similar to that of a goat. To prevent matting of the coat, dogs should brushed, followed by combing, once weekly. Small mats will be easily removed in the process of combing. Only neglected coats will mat severely. For help with mats, you might try something called The Stuff. Spray on a wet coat and watch mats magically disappear (almost!).
Some temporary softening of the coat will occur following the bath. Trimming is rarely necessary in the properly maintained coat. One shake following brushing and combing should return the dog to his tousled state!"
As a puppy grows up, some people advocate removing the softer puppy coat to allow the adult coat to come through fully and to encourage the harshening, but a really soft coat will stay that way regardless.
Most PBGV-L members do not believe in stripping -- the breed standard states that PBGVs are to be shown untrimmed -- but some who show do a bit of stripping and snipping to clean up the lines, get rid of the old, dead coat and enhance the line of the dog.
Some use Harsh Coat shampoo by BioGroom. Another thing that helps to bring back the coat after the bath is making the last rise a vinegar rinse. Mix some vinegar and water in a small bucket make sure it gets all over the coat. It changes the PH and brings back the natural condition of the coat.
To make the coat as white as possible, some PBGV-L members shampoo with Plum White, by Laube, the clipper company; or Shimmer Lights Shampoo (for people) by Clairol. Others recommend #1 All Systems shampoo.
When you can't do a complete bath, Self-Rinse Plus is a useful product: a shampoo that doesn't use any water. You just rub it in, let it sit for a few seconds and towel off or blow dry depending on the coat's needs.
The only problem with any of these kinds of in-between shampoos is, you will notice that they are blue, and if you've done anything like bleach the coat (heaven help us!) and then leave it on too long, you'll have a lovely, blue dog!
Some of those who show dogs use a coat cleaner such as Foo-Foo Powder, which is put into the coat the evening before a show, and next morning, the stains in the coat are pretty well gone. If you use any type of chalk or other whitening powder, you must wash between shows, because leaving in chalking for any length of time tends to make the coat brittle and break more easily.
The American Kennel Club breed standard
(You'll also find the French Standard here. Casual fans may be more interested in the owners' version of the breed standard. )
General Appearance: The Petit Basset Griffon Vend�en is a scent hound developed to hunt small game over the rough and difficult terrain of the Vend�en region. To function efficiently he must be equipped with certain characteristics. He is bold and vivacious in character; compact, tough and robust in construction. He has an alert outlook, lively bearing and a good voice freely used. The most distinguished characteristics of this bold hunter are his rough, unrefined outline; his proudly carried head displaying definitive long eyebrows, beard, and moustache; his strong, tapered tail carried like a sabre, alert and in readiness. Important to breed type is the compact, casual, rather tousled appearance, with no feature exaggerated and his parts in balance. Any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Structural faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the PBGV as in any other breed regardless of whether they are specifically mentioned.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Both sexes should measure between 13 and 15 inches at the withers, with a 1/2 inch tolerance in either direction being acceptable. Height over 15 1/2 inches at the withers is a disqualification.
Proportion: Somewhat longer than tall. A correctly proportioned dog will be approximately 50% longer than tall when the entire body is measured from sternum to buttocks as compared to withers to ground.
Substance: Strong bone with substance in proportion to overall dog.
Head: The head is carried proudly and, in size, must be in balance with the overall dog. It is longer than its width in a ratio of approximately 2:1. A coarse or overly large head is to be penalized.
Expression: Alert, friendly and intelligent.
Eyes: Large and dark, showing no white. The red of the lower eyelid should not show. They are surmounted by long eyebrows, standing forward, but not obscuring the eyes.
Ears: Supple, narrow and fine, covered with long hair, folding inward and ending in an oval shape. The leathers reach almost to the end of the nose. They are set on low, not above the line of the eyes. An overly long or high-set ear should be penalized.
Skull: Domed, oval in shape when viewed from the front. It is well cut away under the eyes and has a well developed occipital protuberance.
Stop: Clearly defined.
Muzzle: The length of the muzzle is slightly shorter than the length from stop to occiput. The under jaw is strong and well developed.
Nose: Black and large, with wide nostrils. A somewhat lighter shading is acceptable in lighter colored dogs.
Lips: The lips are covered by long hair forming a beard and moustache.
Bite: It is preferable that the teeth meet in a scissors bit, but a level bite is acceptable.
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is long and strong, without throatiness, and flows smoothly into the shoulders.
Topline: The back is level with a slight arch over a strong loin. Viewed in profile, the withers and the croup should be equal distant from the ground.
Body: Muscular, somewhat longer than tall.
Chest: Deep, with prominent sternum. Ribs: Moderately rounded, extending well back. Loin: Strong. Muscular and rounded about the lateral axis of the dog.
Tail: Of medium length, set on high, it is strong at the base and tapers regularly. It is well furnished with hair, has but a slight curve and is carried proudly like the blade of a sabre; normally about 20 degrees to the aft of vertical. In a curved downward position the tip of the tail bone should reach approximately to the hock joint.
Forequarters: Shoulders: Clean and well layed back. Upper Arm: Approximately equal in length to the shoulder blade. Elbow: Close to the body. Legs: The length of leg from elbow to ground should be slightly less than 1/2 the length from withers to ground. Viewed from the front, it is desirable that the forelegs be straight, but a slight crook is acceptable. The leg is strong and well boned.
Pasterns: Strong and slightly sloping. Any tendency to knuckle over is a serious fault.
Dewclaws: May or may not, be removed.
Feet: Not too long, with hard, tight pads. Slight turnout of the feet is acceptable. The nails are strong and short.
Hindquarters: Strong and muscular with good bend of stifle. A well defined second thigh. Hocks are short and well angulated, perpendicular from hock to ground. Feet are as in front except that they must point straight ahead.
Coat: The coat is rough, long without exaggeration and harsh to the touch, with a thick shorter undercoat. It is never silky or woolly. The eyes are surmounted by long eyebrows, standing forward, but not obscuring the eyes. The ears are covered by long hair. The lips are covered by long hair forming a beard and moustache. The tail is well furnished with hair. The overall appearance is casual and tousled. HOUNDS ARE TO BE SHOWN UNTRIMMED. Indications of scissoring for the purposes of shaping or sculpturing are to be severely penalized.
Color: White with any combination of lemon, orange, black, tricolor or grizzle markings.
Gait: The movement should be free at all speeds. Front action is straight and reaching well forward. Going away, the hind legs are parallel and have great drive. Convergence of the front and rear legs toward its center of gravity is proportional to the speed of his movement. Gives the appearance of an active hound, capable of a full day�s hunting.
Temperament: Happy, extroverted, independent, yet willing to please.
Disqualification: Height of more than 15 1/2 inches at the withers.

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PBGVs are extroverted, friendly, and independent hounds. Sometimes called the "happy breed," PBGVs have tirelessly wagging tails and expressive, intelligent eyes. PBGVs are typically active and lively. While good with children, other dogs and pets, they may be unsuitable for very young children because of their energy and tendency to play bite. The PBGV standard states that the dog should "give voice freely" -- as is typical of hounds, petits are outspoken dogs. If their 'pack' begins howling or singing, the dog will join in, with amusing results. PBGVs may howl alone or with a companion; they may howl to music, for fun, or in protest at being left alone. PBGV companions report that sleeping dogs have been known to awaken and howl along with favorite songs.The PBGV is not a quiet dog. While no PBGV would ever be called "yippy," their assertive, hound-bray is uncharacteristically loud for their petite stature. The outspoken nature of a PBGV varies from dog to dog, but even the shyest Petit will greet other dogs with a bark or call.Like other hounds , Petits are stubborn, and sometimes may not respond well to training .Because they are so extroverted, friendly, and happy, PBGVs make excellent therapy dogs .PBGVs are excellent hunting and tracking dogs. A "Hunting Instinct Test " with associated AKC certification is currently in development as a part of optional breed credentialing. Petits who work in this manner do not hunt to kill. In the Vendee region of France, the dogs are used to flush and track rabbit in the bramble, sending rabbit out into the open where the hunter takes the rabbit with a shot. Skilled hunting dogs work well with other dogs in the pack, alerting the pack to the presence of a rabbit, or to a rabbit in motion down a trail. "Saber tails," another PBGV nickname, are typically white at the tip of the tail, so the tail is easily identified by a hunter above the bramble and brush.As a companion animal, this occasionally pronounced hunting instinct may manifest in the home as a dog that gives chase to birds, squirrel, and cats. For some PBGVs, this instinct may be difficult to overcome with training. Most PBGVs make fine companion animals, and have suitable manners to live among cats and other animals without assuming a hunting role. Potential PBGV owners are cautioned to be aware of this instinct and, if cats are present in the home, work to acclimate the puppy or dog to recognize that the cat is part of the home "pack."As scent hounds, most PBGVs should be kept on-leash when in open outdoor areas. Even the most obedient dog may give chase when a scent is found. Petits are natural athletes, and they can run fast and long where scent is involved. Scent will typically trump obedience in the mind of a PBGV.The outspoken nature and erect tail of a PBGV can be misinterpreted by other dogs, as these manners typically express dominance to other dogs. PBGVs can inspire a misguided need to express dominance on the part of passing dogs. PBGV owners need to be alert to this potential misinterpretation, as Petits are easily outclassed in both size and aggressiveness.

* Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PBGV

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