This year, two new breeds are making their debut at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen (GBGV), a member of the Hound group, and the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje(“Kooiker”), a member of the Sporting group.
Hailing from Vendée, France, the GBGV is more laid-back than his Pcounterpart. He makes a good family dog, but requires a fenced-in yard or his natural hound dog instincts will take over. Keep reading to learn more about this new dog breed in advance of the 2019 Westminster Dog Show.
History of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
The GBGV was originally developed in Vendée for lower-class hunters who could not afford horses. Thus, they needed a slower hound they could keep up with on foot. The breed’s mental and physical stamina allowed them to adapt to the dense, thorny and rocky terrain, with a bramble-resistant coat.
The breed evolved over 400 years, eventually producing the four griffon-coated French hounds we know today:
- Grand Griffon Vendéen
- Briquet Griffon Vendéen
- Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
- Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
Club du Griffon Vendéen, founded in 1907, recognized two varieties of the Basset Griffon Vendéen: the Grand and the Petit. By the 1950s, the Grand got its own standard. Although considered a separate breed, interbreeding between the two was not banned until 1977.
These French hound dogs first came to the U.S. in 1990, with the first litter being born in 1994. It’s still considered a rare breed in America.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen Temperament
Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens are an active breed and need a lot of exercise. Walking them on a lead or letting them play in a fenced yard is the best way to exercise them so they can’t take off following a scent.
Other Facts about the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
Bred to track wolves and deer, this hound dog hunts in packs like Beagles and Foxhounds. Here are a few more facts about the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen:
- Size: Medium, standing 15.5 to 18 inches tall
- Weight: 40 to 50 pounds
- Lifespan: 13 to 15 years
- Color and Appearance: He has straight legs with a deep chest. Longer than he is tall, he has a moderate muzzle, long ears and a long tail.
- Care: As a moderate shedder, he requires weekly brushing and occasional bathing with regular nail trims. Ears should be checked regularly to remove wax and other debris that can cause infection.
Put Your Dog Breed Knowledge to the Test
See the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen in action at the 143rd Westminster Dog Show on February 11 and 12, 2019. Test your dog breed knowledge by filling out a dog show bracket. Choose the seven Group Winners and the Best in Show Champion. If your selections match the actual winners, you could win $1 million!* Make your picks!