General Care of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Hound
Coat Care
Training and Management

"The man who rears a dog must complete what the breeder began:
  The breeder can indeed lay the foundations of a good and serviceable dog,
  But the trainer must see to it that he brings to it their highest
  possible development and physical and mental foundations already laid.
Capt. Max von Stephanitz
Founder of the Verein Fur Deutsche Schäferhunde, SV
December 30, 1864 - April 22, 1936

Grooming a PBGV

    The Petit Basset's constitution is hardy and this should be true for most hunting breeds. Since his introduction into the show and pet scene, conscientious breeders have taken on the responsibility of screening for a variety of genetic problems which affect not only the PBGV, but the canine population as a whole. Whether the cause is genetic or environmental, no breed is free of all health problems. All our breeding stock is tested for any known disease(s) reported to have affected the breed. Our stock is screened for hip dysplasia, heart disease, eye anomalies and autoimmune disorders. Although this does not guarantee against any of these problems, we hope it will serve to significantly reduce or eliminate any occurrences in future generations.

    For practicality’s sake this little hunting hound requires little maintenance. He has a double coat. This means he possesses a soft undercoat covered by a harsh top-coat. A combing and brushing once every couple of weeks is enough to keep it in good order. I have found that these double coats are often a problem for people suffering from dog related allergies. As with all dogs, their nails should be kept clipped, their ears should be checked regularly for any dirt/wax build-up or infection, and their teeth kept free of tartar buildup. Often a PBGV will have excess hair growth in his ear canal. This can be easily plucked out to aid in air circulation within the ear.  If you are unable to perform any of these tasks yourself, a visit to a groomer will be necessary. If your hound is used for hunting, there is a higher risk of his contracting a variety of parasites, both internal and external. To maintain his good health, he should be checked regularly for both. A regular visit to your veterinarian at least once a year for vaccinations and a physical check-up is mandatory.


    If you are showing your PBGV, you need only to ensure his coat is neat and clean.  A Petit with a correct harsh coat will need minimal grooming.  A general rule is that the harsher the coat the shorter it naturally grows, therefore, if the dog has a softer coat texture the coat will grow to an impractical length and texture so more grooming is required in order to keep the coat manageable.

    The nail of the Petit grow quite quickly and need cutting often, at least once a month.  Start teaching your puppy to lay quietly for a minute, then two minutes and eventually he will also lay quietly and calmly on his side while you clip his nails.  Start with one foot one day and the other feet subsequent days.  As an adult dog you should be able to cut all the nails on all feet quickly with little fuss.

The correct length & texture is seen in the tri-colored puppy on the right.  This naturally coarse and short coat is designed for working in rough bush and repelling the elements of brambles, rain or snow. 

The puppy to the left  has a coat that is too soft and therefore this puppy will not be used for breeding purposes.  This type of coat will absorb water and the dog will be unable to maintain his body heat if working in wet winter weather. 

It is our goal to produce low-maintenance coats for our future breeding stock and for ease of  care for puppy buyers.


In the winter a combination of mild weather and snow will inevitably cause snowballs to accumulate on your Petit's legs.  During your walk you can pull off the larger ones with your hand but when you return home what can you do?? 
I use a rubber curry brush purchased at a agricultural supply store and just rub the snowballs briskly.  The soft pointed rubber teeth will break apart the snowballs.  I prefer the brush that is designed as a glove so my own gloved hand can fit into it.  Of course, clipping the length of the leg hair also helps.  By the Springtime the hair will have grown back.

 For more information on health issues and PBGV care visit our Breed Information page.



All my dogs are a pleasure to live with, train and compete with.  They are stable natured, confident and happy.   I started training with my first dog when I was 10 years old.  I watched obedience classes at local dog shows and then went home to figure out how I could make my dog do those same tricks.  All my learning came from the trial and error method and developing an understanding of canine behavior, what worked and when it worked, as well as the bond that developed naturally.   I did not learn from books or videos but by watching the effect I had on my own dogs and their behavior and how they all interact with one another.  Our dogs communicate with each other and to us in many ways and we must be open to seeing what their conversation is with us.  One just needs to develop the art of observation.  Our actions speak louder than words.

    Our puppies are raised in our home and integrated with our stable pack of adult dogs at the age of 4-5 weeks old.  Until that time the puppies and their mother are raised with the care of respecting what Mother Nature dictates.  The puppies are always being managed by their mother, then by the other dogs and then by us.  From the time they are born they are being taught limitations and boundaries.  We have watched and studied how our mothers raise their pups and the reactions of the pups in their environment as they grow.  Our puppies are kept warm and fed by their mother in a quiet area of our home for the first 3 weeks.  They are handled daily but very minimally to respect the natural bond of the mother and puppy.  Their bedding in the large whelping box is cleaned daily and at 4 weeks of age they are moved to a large pen in the centre of our busy household.  This is when our pack of dogs and ourselves become a bigger impact on the puppy's management.    At the same time, 4-5 weeks old,  they are given the option of going out of doors with the adult dogs.  By 5.5 weeks of age the puppies naturally go to the door to go outside with the other dogs. 

Bringing Your Puppy Home
    You will receive your puppy no earlier than eight weeks of age.  I feel nine to ten weeks of age is an ideal age for the puppy to leave his/her mother and littermates and start life with his new family.  The puppies benefit a great deal from spending time with their mother as well as with our whole pack.  At 4 weeks of age they are fully integrated into the Chaparral pack and learning how to be a well-mannered dog.  We have started their house-training and their day and nighttime rituals to help make their transition to their new families easy for everyone.

    No matter what the age, it will take two to three weeks for your puppy to learn to adjust to his new owners.  You must observe your puppy and determine his character and temperament and, if necessary, modify certain traits.  During these weeks the puppy is learning to adapt to the sights, sounds and smells of his new surroundings--a new house, a new yard, a new environment outside of the property lines and sometimes new pets that he is also expected to live with.  Besides his new environment he is also learning and adapting to his new human family and the odd and confusing ways we humans run our lives.  On top of all these changes to his young life he is also expected to learn to sleep by himself instead of cuddled up with his littermates, learning to go to the bathroom in a new outdoor area, and learning some basic good manners to be an accepted member of the family.  All these new experiences are a lot of work for a baby puppy, or an adult dog.  A Pyr Shep puppy is very aware of his environment and very affected by his environment so it is important to keep his life simple and calm until he has adjusted and started to bond with his new owners. Your new puppy has a lot of work to do so don't add to his workload by pushing the limits of his endurance.  Make the first three weeks of his life as uncomplicated as possible. There are many, many years ahead of your puppy to start training tricks, etc.   Teach him/her new name, the toys it can play with, the command "no bite", "off",  his housetraining and leash training.  As much as it is tempting to show off your new puppy to your friends and start taking the puppy out and about try to limit such new experiences to the home, property and surrounding area where the puppy is already becoming comfortable with his surroundings. Once the puppy exhibits signs that he is comfortable with his new environment and people you can start to introduce him into new situations. 

     If you feel your puppy is going to be overwhelmed in a situation, like a large family gathering, it is sometimes best to just put the puppy away in a place where he feels safe.  Dog crates, plastic or wire, are excellent training tools.   If he can hear the goings-on or see them from a distance it is enough information to digest.  If you do not have time to be with the puppy and show him the behavior your expect from him in any given situation then it is best if the puppy is not left to his own devices and to put the puppy in quiet area of the house until you have time to deal with him.   Like babies, you shouldn't let a puppy become overly tired and expect him to put on a good performance for everyone.  They too will become cranky and irritable.  Despite all the puppy's efforts to be alert and stay with you it is up to you to know when he should be resting.  Puppies sleep a lot, if allowed.

At 8 Weeks
    Take the puppy for a walk in a pasture off-leash.  This is an excellent way to start bonding with your new pup.  You do not want a lot of distractions from other people or other dogs so this is why a pasture or a tract of undeveloped land is needed.  Encourage it over natural obstacles and praise his efforts.  Walk along just fast enough that it has to be making an effort to follow you along.  Kneel down on the ground with open arms and repeat the puppy's name often to encourage him to come running to you.  Take advantage of the puppy's desire to stay with you and this will be a lesson he doesn't even know he is learning!  The puppy's walk should take between 20-30 minutes.  Do not take your puppy to busy congregations of people and dogs.  This is too much for a youngster to handle.  The puppy is still getting to know his new surroundings and his new owners which is a quite a lot when you think of it!

I encourage you to do as much training as possible without the aid of a leash and away from your home and property.  If you earn the respect of your puppy without the help of a leash and outside of his comfort zone then you will truly be developing a bond with your friend.

At 9 Weeks

    Graduating from an open meadow, you can take your puppy into more dense overgrowth such as forests and fields.  Running through dry leaves with your pup becomes a terrific game to play.   Letting your puppy chase after you challenges his motivation to follow.  Coming upon fallen logs or streams arouses his curiosity and lots of encouragement and praise should be given for his efforts to overcome these obstacles and keep up with you.

  The best tugging toy is a stuffed animal attached to a soft rope.
    Playing games and toys are not only great entertainment for your puppy but it will also tire him out!   A young puppy will spend most of the day sleeping if he has an active playtime three times a day.   Certain toys such as balls and tug toys are also good toys for him to become accustomed to in the event that he is going to learn agility or flyball in the future.  One of the most entertaining toys we play with is a stuffed toy tied to a 2m (6') rope. This cotton rope is actually a horse lead rope.  We run around the house and the yard with the puppy chasing and catching, pouncing and pulling until we can't run any more. 

At 10 Weeks
    Now that the puppy is confidently following you along you can start to challenge him.  You've been bonding with your puppy for a couple of weeks now and he is getting accustomed to your body language so now you can start to challenge his senses a little.    Follow the same program as at nine weeks, but make it a bit more challenging. Occasionally hide from the puppy when it is distracted in the woods.  Watch the puppy - does it notice that you are missing? If it does and starts looking for you, come out from hiding and praise it profusely. If the puppy does not look for you, toss a pebble to make it notice you are missing, then call from your hiding place. When the puppy starts to look for you, come out and praise it. This will teach the puppy, it is repeated time and time again, to watch you when you are out in the woods instead of you constantly watching the puppy. Play this game with the puppy over and over again until you find it nearly impossible to hide because it is always watching you. Don't spend your entire walk calling the puppy's name.  Being able to rely on your dog taking the responsibility of staying with you and keeping his focus on you is an attribute you will appreciate when he is older and is one that he must learn as he is growing.   Please note that this only works effectively if the puppy is trained at an early age.

    When meeting strangers on your outings we hope they will first ask to pet your puppy.  But, in most cases, they do not ask but just assume it is appropriate.  This is unfortunate because a large strange hand coming directly towards the puppy's head will usually make him shy away.  It is best to hold your puppy while you carry on a conversation with the people (usually explaining what breed the puppy is) and ask the people to just wait a few minutes before they touch the puppy.  While standing conversing your puppy is starting to adjust to the stranger and gaining his confidence through your casual air.  When you feel the puppy is relaxed, or he gives you a signal such as struggling to come out of your arms, put the puppy on the ground.  The new person may then bend over and offer a friendly hand.  The puppy will usually, quite happily, greet the stranger.  You can encourage the greeting or just allow the puppy to be part of the group thus it learns that other people (and sometimes their dogs) pose no threat.  Try to keep the encounter brief so the puppy happily trots away with you and has experienced a positive encounter.  Always leave with the puppy wanting more!

    For the first two weeks it is best to keep a low profile with the puppy.  Although the desire is to show off your new family member to all your friends is strong, it is a good idea to first earn the trust of your puppy.  If you take the puppy to stressful venues and it has not had enough time to start bonding with you then you are letting your puppy down and the puppy feels that it has nobody that it is by itself and has nobody it can rely on.  If you watch your puppy carefully and learn how the puppy communicates it will show you when it is ready to explore the world further.  It only takes time and patience to build a solid foundation of trust and respect--be patient! 

    Socializing your pyr shep puppy does not need to involve handling by strange people.  This can all be done in good time.  What the Pyr Shep puppy needs to experience are the sights and sounds of our world and his world.  It is enough for him to see people, see other dogs, see traffic and other strange people activities.  He doesn't need to be thrown into the thick of things.  Let him stand on the sidelines, assess the situation and become relaxed being there.  Remember, the Pyr Shep is very sensitive to his environment--you are his environment!  If you worry how he will react, he will react worried!!  Don't worry, relax, feel confident knowing that you will not put your puppy in harms way and the puppy will feed off of your confidence.

Meeting children should be a privilege for your puppy or dog.  The dog should not be allowed to go up to a child unless you tell the dog it is OK to do so.  Your dog should show his respect with his head and ears lowered and a calm disposition.

At 12 Weeks
    Take a trip to the farm. Let the puppy see cows, horses, chickens and whatever else you can find.   This time you can keep it on leash.  Make sure the puppy is safe from the animals and can get close enough to sniff them.  Be sure to have a positive attitude and act nonchalantly, as if this is what every 12 week old puppy does. All dogs should be respect for other animals and should never be allowed to harass them.

    A properly socialized puppy is far more likely to treat a new experience or object with curiosity and will want to discover and explore it.  If the puppy is fearful then do not belabour the point.  Do not praise fearful behavior such as barking or lunging but show the puppy that you are in control of the situation and in control of him and make it seem to him that you have decided to end the confrontation (or end his barking) by distancing yourselves to a point where the puppy feels more secure and there you can ask him to sit down and be quiet.  If your puppy is off-leash and wishes to place itself quietly off in the distance then allow the puppy to do so.  The more you try to coax him and focus on him the more suspicious he will become and then he will start to worry, you will start to worry and nobody is happy. 

At 13 Weeks
    Take the puppy into town on a leash.  This should be a short outing - perhaps 10-15 minutes as this outing is an exercise for his mind moreso than his body.  Walk on a main street with light to moderate foot traffic. The puppy should see and hear people walking, bicycles, delivery people, etc.   Praise the puppy with a "Good Dog" for positive behavior but if he is showing nervousness try to keep the puppy walking forward and not allow him to dwell on what it was that made him nervous in the first place.  When you get back into the car pile on the praise for the puppy's remarkable feats of courage.  Try to be aware of what the puppy is seeing and smelling from his point of view.  Often what we take for granted is missed by our suppressed senses but is very blatant for a puppy.  Don't forget to take the puppy on his regular romp as well as this daily romp should also be a great place where he can relax and enjoy an outing with his most favorite person in the world--YOU!

At 14 Weeks

    Take a trip to the beach or some other place the puppy has never seen.  Perhaps the local grade school front lawn just when all the children are pouring out. Let the puppy stand and watch all the activity without direct contact with all the children.  It is important for the puppy to see and assess the situation before experiencing any negativity from a crowd of children.  Walk the puppy away from the activity with an air of confidence then praise the puppy when you return to the car.  This exercise can be repeated, not too often, and eventually the puppy will become accustomed the all this flurry of activity.   Do not allow a puppy to bark at children as that is being very rude on his part.

    Pyr Sheps have remarkable memories and each new experience is retained for many weeks so it is not necessary to expose a puppy daily.

At 17-21 Weeks
    This is a bad time to subject your puppy to stress such as airplane trips, a visit with the veterinarian, a boarding kennel or any other threatening situation.  Many puppies are very fearful at this age and this should be a quiet time in their lives.

    In general, Pyr Sheps do not enjoy the company of other boisterous dogs which are often not under the control of their owners.  I recommend exposing your puppy to the presence of other dogs without direct interaction.  Until the puppy has learned to react to the presence of other dogs in a positive manner, his first reaction is often one of fear which will only grow into aggression if left to his own devices.  Your puppy needs to know he can trust your good sense.  Teach your puppy to sit calmly by your side and ignore the other dog(s).  Discourage the other dogs from approaching your puppy unless you are absolutely sure that the other dog will behave quietly around your puppy.  Once your puppy realizes that you are in control of his surroundings and that there is a safe option available to him he will not feel the need to react in a negative manner like snapping and barking at the other dog.  As the puppy grows up and matures he will learn he can count on your good sense to protect him and will eventually learn that strange dogs are not the threat he once perceived them to be when he was a wee little thing.  He will then be comfortable in meeting strange dogs, or better yet, ignoring them completely and allowing you both to continue on your walks without any fuss.  He may even want to have a little play with another dog.

At 20 Weeks >

Jerome Klapka Jerome

DO  NOT  FORGET  THAT  A  TIRED  PUPPY IS MORE LIKELY TO BE A WELL BEHAVED  PUPPY!   THESE  LITTLE  DOGS  NEED  AT  LEAST  ONE  HOUR  WALK EACH  DAY  TO  BURN  OFF  EXCESS  ENERGY....................then you're left with a dog with manageable energy!  Many behavior problems are a result of  inadequate exercise for this active breed.

Going to and from the area where your dog will be allowed to have a romp off-leash should be done in a calm and controlled manner.  Teach your dog to "heel up" and walk by your side.  Do not allow him to bark at other dogs or people that he may see on the street.  Make an effort to keep his attention on you and not allow his mind to ponder too long on what is going on around him. This will result in him/her being well mannered and obedient when he is eventually off-leash.  It is best to keep your dog walking beside you or behind you.   I encourage obedience training such as, "come", "sit", "stay", "heel", "back", "lie down", etc. to be taught and practiced as much as possible when your young dog/puppy is off-leash.  Although all these commands are not absolutely necessary for the dog to bond and respect you, it does make communication with your pet a little easier and if you are able to accomplish this education off-leash you are also affirming the developing bond with your pup which will grow stronger every day as his confidence in your ability to manage his life is in a positive fashion is demonstrated.  If your puppy is not paying attention to you or being disobedient when he is off-leash then you know you have not earned his full respect and that your work in training him and establishing your relationship with him is not complete.

   When I am walking our dogs and we see another pedestrian or dog walker coming towards us I always call our dogs over to one side and ask them to "sit" or "lie down" and  "stay" & "leave it" so my dogs will ignore the walker & his dog.  We wait for the other person to walk by then continue on our walk.  If I have a very young puppy, <3months, I will often just pick the puppy up and hold him in my arms.

    These actions show your dog what good manners are expected in any given situation.  He is not bothering people that do not have a dog, and he is learning to listen to you, to be patient while awaiting further instruction as well as developing confidence in your ability to take care of his well-being while looking out for his best interests.  He is also learning that strange people and dogs are not to be feared and that you do not need his protection, but instead, you will protect him.  Never allow your puppy to try to figure out how he should react to a person, another dog, or any new situation.  You should always show him how you want him to behave.  Practice makes perfect.  If you having your puppy or adult dog continually practice behavior that demonstrates good manners then the dog will eventually perfect this behavior and it will become the norm for him.  If you allow your puppy or dog to continually demonstrate fearful and aggressive behavior then you are allowing your dog to practice this undesirable behavior and unfortunately, he will only get good at this as well!!

    The puppy will react strongly to praise, especially used in a high pitched voice.  Yelling "NO!", "AH", "LEAVE IT" etc. will not mentally damage your puppy but the excitement in your voice, tone & pitch, when yelling is easily misinterpreted by your dog as excitement and cheerleading him on.  Try to use all verbal communication with your dog in a calm voice.   Establishing boundaries for your puppy is part of responsible pet ownership and the pleasure or displeasure your puppy gives you when he is behaving well or badly is easily interpreted by your puppy in your body language long before you verbally address him.  Allowing your puppy to experience positive reinforcement from you will result in less need of negative reinforcement.  Real life is the flow of positive and negative energy.  You get what you give.  For every action there is a reaction.
    Walking or running on softer surfaces such as trails instead of sidewalks and pavement is nice on your muscles and ligaments and it’s a great precaution to take for your dog’s body too.  If your only choice is to walk or run on a harder surface try to make a point of driving to a trail in the country at least one day a week.  The uneven natural trail is good to keeping the small muscles and ligaments, that are not used on pavement, in good condition and helps avoid muscle injuries.   The variety of places you take your dog will only add to how well-balanced and well behaved your dog will end up through getting fit with you.


    It is important for you to be patient with your pyr shep puppy.  They are very, very intelligent and very aware of what is going on around them.  This makes for a sensitive puppy that is picking up everything that is going on around him and it is your job to guide him through these adolescent times having good experiences and looking to you as his master for general guidance.  Often times people miss how a puppy may be interpreting an event in his environment.  Spend a lot of time just watching how your dog is reacting to his environment and the people and animals around him.  Learn to look for signals in his body language that can provide you with information about what he is feeling.  Undesirable behaviors such as pulling on a leash, jumping up on people, jumping on counters, stealing food, or barking are actually the end result of a thought the the dog was having minutes before he actually manifests the behavior.  It is at the early stage of the thought process that the dog should be corrected to have the most positive effect than after the dog has stolen your sandwich off the counter.
Usually a simple "Ah, ah!" or "Leave it" is enough to change his thought process.   Once he is mature, at around three years of age, everything seems to fall into place for him.  He has experienced the basics and you have provided him/her with an excellent foundation to continue to grow and end up being a confident, well-behaved companion that is a pleasure to take along with you and your family wherever you go.   

    Basic obedience and good manners can begin once you get your new puppy and be reinforced throughout his first year.  After his first year, and he possesses a solid basis for learning, then you can start training him for performance events such as obedience, herding, agility and flyball competitions.  The breed is very smart, full of energy and a zest for activity.  They are long lived so you have many, many good years ahead of you and you will have raised a happy stable youngster that is now ready to take on the world and dazzle everyone as only a Pyr Shep can do!   If you would like to pyrsue the above activities with your Pyr Shep visit the "Work and Play" page to learn what your puppy needs to learn to enjoy all the canine sports offered.

    It is not unusual for the Petit Basset to become spoiled by his family and environment.    If his owner/master/care-giver is not respected for the running of his daily life he will often become OVER-PROTECTIVE  and sometimes JEALOUS of intruders into the family.  This can ultimately lead to your dog BITING.  A very good article on his type of behavior is written on this website:  .  This article applies to all dogs and I urge you to contact us if you are starting to have this problem

Chaparral Pyr Sheps & PBGVs

If we haven't answered your questions on this webpage
then do not hesitate to email us or visit our Facebook Page
and make an inquiry.  We are happy to share our expertise.


          Your puppy will need a flat buckle collar or flat adjustable clip collar and a six foot leash.  An identification tag is also recommended.
Your Petit needs to be exercised rain or shine so be prepared.  These are terrific boots that I own and highly recommend.

  In the U.S.A.


A handy little boot for the wet grass.

My personal favorite full-sized boot is:

A walking partner, especially one with a well-mannered dog, will be an excellent socialization exercise for a puppy, as well as make the time fly by chit-chatting!

  Either of these types of metal combs will keep his coat in order if you comb on a weekly basis.

<>  Search for "curry brush" or "gel scrubbie curry comb" for the winter snowball removal.  Or they are also wonderful for massaging your best friend.

Any type of dog nail clippers are suitable.  You can use the clippers or the electric type which sands the nail down.  Start a puppy by clipping his nails when he is exhausted from a long walk.  Lay him on his side, tell him to "stay" still, clip the nails on one foot, then praise, and leave the other feet until the next day.  It won't be long before you'll be able to tackle all four feet at once with no struggle.  Always remain very calm and do not talk excessively to the puppy except to reinforce "stay" still. 
    I've found that they gravitate toward this type of "donut" bed.  A metal or plastic crate is good for containing a puppy or dog when you take him to friend's homes, dog shows/trials and to keep a puppy out of mischief if you are busy and cannot watch the puppy in the house.

DO NOT FORGET THAT A TIRED PUPPY IS MORE LIKELY TO BE A WELL-BEHAVED PUPPY!   THESE LITTLE DOGS NEED AT LEAST ONE HOUR WALK EACH DAY TO BURN OFF EXCESS ENERGY....................then you're left with a dog with just nominal energy! Many behavior problems are a result of  inadequate exercise for this active breed.

Jerome Klapka Jerome


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