The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, also known as the Petit, the Roughie, the Griffon or the PBGV, dates back to the 16th century. Its name well suits this endearing dog: Petit (meaning “small”), Basset (meaning “low to the ground”), Griffon (meaning “rough or wire-coated”), and Vendeen (referring to the region where the breed originated on the western coast of France). Several PBGVs were given to King Louis XII, and the breed was once called Chiens Blancs du Roi, or the King’s White Hounds. This is an active, extroverted and vocal breed that requires regular exercise and is not well-suited to those wanting a sedate pet. Bred to hunt in packs, the PBGV continues to socialize well with other dogs and seems to enjoy their company immensely. PBGVs are known for their low-slung rumpled appearance, bushy eyebrows, beard and mustache. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1989, and was admitted for full registration as a member of the Hound Group in 1991.
The mature Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen of either sex should measure between 13 and 15 inches at the withers. Dogs and bitches outside of this range are disqualified under the American breed standard. Their average weight is between 35 and 45 pounds. Their coat is rough, fairly long and harsh to the touch. It should never be silky, soft or wooly and should appear tousled in its natural state. Acceptable colors are white with any combination of lemon, orange, black, sable, tricolor or grizzle. Weekly grooming is important to maintain the coat of this breed.