PBGV: Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen

Recently youngest sister and her two boys have moved into a new neighborhood. My eight year old nephew hasn’t been keen on meeting the other children – he’s not big on change and there’s been a lot of changes lately. So the other afternoon when my sister took him to a nearby park and he excitedly said, “Hey! There’s Bob and Mikey” she was hopeful about new friends he was making in the area. It turns out that Bob and Mikey were PBGV. My sister asked, “How do you know them?” and my nephew shrugged and said, “I just do.”

Yup. Seems like my nephew and I have something in common. Meeting the dogs in your new neighborhood is always an important first step of settling in.

 My sister asked me if I had ever heard of the breed…well of course…but her question helped me realize that not everyone is aware of the breed and their fantastic personality – and need for exercise. I’m glad Bob and Mikey’s family get them to the park regularly because this breed needs a chance to move.

 This isn’t just another adorable breed, this is a breed that was bred to hunt and requires daily exercise periods. If you’re looking for a breed suited to an active lifestyle that doesn’t take up a lot of floor space – because they’ll be on the couch – than this is a breed worth considering.

The name really explains a lot about the breed: Petite (smaller) Basset (low to ground) Griffon (wire/roughed haired) Vendeen (the area of France they originate from.) The PBGV has been hunting small game in France for hundreds of years and maintains it’s active, and sometimes independent nature.

This is one dog that will take off running if they get a sniff of rabbit so they shouldn’t be exercised off leash unless you have them in an enclosed area. Lots of PBGV people lament that just when they thought they had their dog’s recall perfected the dog will get a scent and be gone.

Remember – dog’s brain operates on 75% scent and 25% sound. If a hunting breed gets a wiff of game they aren’t going to hear you calling them no matter how loud or long you yell and call. The dog will track that trail as far and as fast as he can. Don’t let the PBGV’s low slung stance fool you, this is a breed that can move.

 This is also a cheerful if stubborn breed that is very fun to live with. Expect a lot more get up and go than the sort of Basset – low to ground – breed you more commonly see. The Basset Hound far outnumbers the PBGV perhaps because they have been used for home vs. hunting a lot longer. The
PBGV is still closer to his hunting roots and still enjoys lure coursing for fun. This breed is too active for families that don’t have time to give them three walks/exercise periods a day.

 If you want a lovable, active, short yet nimble dog that people might not recognize but that almost everyone will tell you is adorable, then here’s a breed worth considering. Be prepared to spend time with them because like basically every member of the hound family if the PBGV is left alone too much they will get loud and let the world know they are unhappy.

You’ll also want to keep your leash and your running shoes handy because this breed likes to get out there and move it. You will have to look long and hard to find a cuter dog that has this kind of personality plus.

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