History of the Petit Basset
Griffon Vendeen in Canada
Appearance and Character
Health Concerns
Books available
Conformation Standards CKC &FCI


The breed was first introduced into Canada in the late 70’s early 80’s with the purpose of recognition.  Getting the breed established and recognized as a registered breed with the Canadian Kennel Club required 25 dogs distributed in three provinces. This effort was made by half a dozen Canadian dog owners and the growing membership of the Club, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Fanciers of Canada that was founded in 1983.

The Canadian Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1985.  When recognition by the Canadian Kennel Club was granted the exposure into the show ring and the novelty of a new, rare breed quickly increased their popularity.   More people took a fancy to the breed and over the years a few more dogs were imported from England and France to increase breeding stock.  As of 2005 there have been just over 600 dogs registered with the CKC.    Over the years, the main interest and activity has been in the show ring where several dogs have won Best in Show honors and there are also some with obedience titles

<For five years I organized official Canadian Kennel Club hunting trials for the PBGV that ran under similar guidelines and rules used for the Basset Hound Field Trials already in place.   Unfortunately, before any dogs accumulated enough points and standings to obtain a hunting title the interest waned and the trials ceased.   The success of holding a field trial should not be gauged by the accumulation of titles on the dogs but by the number of people who, after experiencing the dog working at the trial, still have the desire to go out and work with their hounds because a field trial alone will not sustain the working qualities of the breed.

By the late 1990s the number of breeders of the PGBV started to decline year by year.  Although the club formed in the early 1980s the drop in membership by the year 2000 resulted in the club being dissolved and, other than myself, there are no original members involved in the breed.   But, there are new fanciers that have taken up stewardship of the breed and we are spread out across our very large country so this raises its own difficulties.  At the moment there are only a few people that are breeding the PBGV in Canada.


Physically, the PBGV should give the impression of being a strong athlete. His rough coat gives him a rustic, unsophisticated look while the glint in his eyes and fuzzy face convey an endearing quality of perpetual puppy hood. Averaging 36 cm (14”) tall at the shoulder, his body is slightly longer than it is tall, and he weighs about 12 to 14 kilos (30-35 pounds).  To learn more about the coat of the Petit please visit

To understand the nature of the PBGV you must look to his original purpose as a hunting hound. These instincts have been bred into him for centuries so don’t expect to change certain behavior patterns. As they say, "You can’t change the spots on a leopard". He was bred to work away from the hunter and make decisions on his own. It is always challenging to work with free-thinkers like the PBGV. You must have patience. He is always looking for something exciting to happen. His antics and comical air are the qualities which captivate us.

As a pack hound, he has a natural tendency to define himself within a hierarchy. He will interpret any weakness on your part as an invitation to take over the leadership of the family pack. He is at his best in his subordinate station in life as the family dog . Obedience training is a must for this hound to maintain your dominance, and his respect for you. The PBGV is extremely intelligent and easy to train. Putting the training into practice is where it sometimes becomes a battle of wills.

The PBGV makes an excellent family pet.  His stable, curious, and playful nature makes him an entertaining, wonderful playmate with children or other family pets.  He loves to be in the centre of activity. A good play in the yard, an array of doggie toys, and at least two walks a day will help expend some of his youthful energy which lasts for many, many years.

Jerome Klapka Jerome


    There are a few medical anomalies and ailments that the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen has been found to suffer from since his arrival to North America.  None of these are unique to the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen breed alone, and are found in the general population of many canine purebreds.  All breeders should become familiar with these diseases and take steps towards their prevention to ensure the Petit does not follow the same route as some purebred dogs  who have lengthy lists of genetic disorders which keeps getting longer.  Hopefully, the future will bring about more thorough genetic tests which will aid in eliminating some of these problems before they are passed on to future generations.  In the meantime, some of these disorders will be passed along unknowingly, or knowingly, and it is up to the breeders to take responsibility for each puppy he produces and deal with that puppy in an appropriate manner.

   If you are purchasing a PBGV discuss these health issues with the breeder to learn how you can raise your hound with the best intentions towards his well-being. If your Petit is affected by one of these diseases or ailments your breeder would appreciate hearing from you and may also be of assistance to you and your veterinarian.

    If you are purchasing a Petit discuss health issues with the breeder to learn how you can raise your shepherd with the best intentions towards his well-being.  A breeder that has the best interests of the breed at heart will be happy to discuss these issues with you. If your Petit is affected by any malady your breeder would appreciate hearing from you and may be of assistance to you and your veterinarian.

        Health issues occasionally found to be affecting the Petits are heart anomalies, seizures, eye anomalies and hip dysplasia. 
Many heart problems and eye anomalies can be detected before a puppy leaves the breeder and all breeders should have their pups thoroughly examined by a suitable veterinarian.  Do not be fooled by claims of adult dogs  having a "CERF" test or "CHIC" title accompanying their name as both of these only show that the dog has been tested and met the requirements of receiving the actual examination but may not have received "normal" results. Many of these health issues may not affect the life span or lifestyle of a dog and can be a wonderful companion to you and your family. 

    Independent of any Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club an International Database for Petits has been established.  You can help breeders of Petits by filling in information about the Petit that you already own by going to this site:  http://members.aol.com/pbgvhealth/
Information gathered on this site will aid in future breeding decisions to help produce the healthy pets now and in the future.

Health concerns that PBGV breeders are currently addressing:

Retinal Dysplasia, PPMs, Glaucoma & Cataracts - see "Ophthalmology" web site below for details.   There is now a DNA Test for Primary Open Angle Glaucoma so all breeding animals can be tested.
Hypothyroidism - see "Canine Health" or "Martindale References" web site.
Heart Disease - see "Canine Health" or "Martindale References" web site.
Hip Dysplasia  - see "OFA" web site below for full details.  The Institute for Canine Biology offers charts with regard to Hip Dysplasia and the PBGV.  If you dog is suffering from any type of joint issues here is site with some helpful information:  http://www.workingdogs.com/doc0039.htm
Epilepsy - see ""Canine Health" or "Martindale References" web site.
To read more about the genetic research into the inheritance of epilepsy go to http://www.canine-genetics.com/epilepsy.htm
"Neck Pain Syndrome" - Still yet to be specifically diagnosed, it is similar to necrotizing vasculitis and pain syndromes seen in beagles and Scottish Deerhounds and other breeds.  This syndrome is becoming documented in the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. The cause is still unknown, often times has a familial link, although not always.

  Martindale References - Virtual Veterinary
  Local Vets
Canine Epilepsy Network
  Canine Ophthalmologist - an web site of eye anomalies which have ben
        reported to affect the PBGV such as, PPMs, retinal dysplasia and glaucoma.
  Hip Dysplasia - OFA
        Hip Dysplasia in the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen