Medium Griffon Vendeen
FCI standard Nº 19
|John Miller and Raymond Triquet
|Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds
|Section 1.2 Medium sized Hounds
|With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
|Saturday 02 October 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
|Saturday 09 January 1999
|Friday 18 February 2000
En français, cette race se dit
|Briquet griffon vendéen
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
|Briquet griffon vendéen
En español, esta raza se dice
|Briquet grifón vendeano
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
|Briquet griffon vendéen
|Scenthound for hunting with the gun of large game, and also of fox and hare, usually working in a small pack.
Brief historical summary
|It is the only breed having kept this name « Briquet », which means « medium-sized dog ». Selection dates from before the first World War by the Comte d’Elva. It is a harmonious and improved reduction of the Grand Griffon Vendéen, distinguished, rather stocky in its construction. Decimated several times because of wars, the Briquet type reappeared in Fontenay le Comte (Vendée) in 1946. At present, one finds numerous subjects of quality; a team of Briquets won the trophy of France on roe deer in 1995 and numerous teams are unleashed on wild boar.
|Griffon of medium size, receptive and very determined. Rather stocky and well proportioned.
Behaviour / temperament
|Behaviour : Fine nose; fast dog with pleasant voice, does not refuse bramble; very nimble on rough terrain, hunts rather with nose to the wind.
Temperament : It takes a lot of initiative, has stamina and is robust. It must be equally good at working a cold track, at starting game and at driving it. The Briquet is a passionate hunter; it is up to his master to make im obey.
|Quite light, the lines of the skull and the muzzle should be parallel.
|Slightly domed, rather short, not very broad.
|Strong, black, except for white and orange coats where a brown colour is tolerated; well open nostrils.
|Straight, rather short, practically of equal length with that of the skull, not too broad at its extremity.
|Not too developed, but covering well the lower jaw; covered with abundant moustaches.
Jaws and teeth
|Scissor bite. Incisors set square to the jaws.
|Dark, large and lively, the eyebrows well pronounced but not covering the eye. The conjunctiva must not be apparent.
|Supple, narrow and fine, covered with long hair, ending in a point, well turned inwards and not reaching the end of the muzzle, set low, below the level of the eye.
|Long and elegant, without dewlap.
|Solid and short, straight or very slightly rising.
|Straight, muscled and well coupled.
|Not too wide, quite deep, reaching the level of the elbow.
Underline and belly
|Underline very slightly raised towards the rear.
|Thick at the base, tapering progressively, set high, sabre carriage, but never as a sickle; rather short.
|Quarters quite strong but without being heavy, vertical and parallel.
|Long, clean and slanting.
|Low set and close to the body.
|Strong bone structure and straight.
|Well developed, vertical and parallel.
|Long and muscled.
|Large and well let down. Seen from the back, never cow-hocked nor bandy-legged. Seen in profile, angle of hock moderate.
|Not too strong, pads hard, the toes well arched and tight, nails solid. A good pigmentation of the pads and nails is desirable.
Gait and movement
|Active and supple, not jerky nor bouncy.
|Rather a little thick but supple. Often marbled in the tricolour subjects. No dewlap.
|Long without exaggeration, sometimes bushy, harsh to the touch; undercoat well furnished; the belly and the inside of the thighs must not be bare; eyebrows well pronounced but not covering the eye.
|Black with white spotting (white and black). Black with tan markings (black and tan). Black with light tan markings. Fawn with white spotting (white and orange). Fawn with black mantle and white spotting (tricolour). Fawn with black overlay. Pale fawn with black overlay and white spotting. Pale fawn with black overlay. Traditional names : hare colour, wolf colour, badger colour or wild boar colour.
Size and weight
Height at withers
|Males from 50 cm to 55 cm, females from 48 cm to 53 cm, with a tolerance of 1 cm more or less.
|• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.
| Head too strong, recalling that of the Grand Vendéen.
Depigmentation of the nose, lips or eyelids.
Muzzle too long.
Leathers too long, flat, smooth haired and high set.
Body cylindrical or whippety.
Back not firm enough.
Tail too long or deviated.
Angulation too straight.
Slack in pasterns.
Toes not tight enough.
Coat insufficiently dense, hair fine.
| Fearful or aggressive subject.
Lack of type.
Prognathism (overshot or undershot mouth).
Wall eye, eyes of different colours (Heterochromia).
Lack of width in the sternal region.
Ribs narrow towards the lower part.
Self-coloured coat black or white.
Size outside the standard.
Noticeable invalidating fault.
|• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.
|If the standards of these three breeds (there is a Petit and a Grand Basset) established by the Central Canine Society and the FCI, are not at all open to challenge, it is not the same for their origins.
The only names of these dogs are sources of uncertainty. As for the term "lighter", it can be said that it is derived from "braque", but ... there is Braque and Bracke, who, on each side of the Rhine, do not apply to the same dogs. And Briquet was also the name of one of the favorite dogs of the Duke of Orleans, in the fifteenth century. It is only from the 16th century that one finds serious documents on the current dogs. In fact, in the old treaties, the terms "lighter" or "barbet" meant indifferently dogs whose hair is long and curly all over the body. Nowadays, specialists in cynology have defined very different standards for each other.
As for the name "basset", it is sufficiently clear. However, we will refer to the standards to understand why we speak of the Grand Basset, which is of intermediate size between the Lighter and the Petit Basset.
One thing seems certain, however, is that the three breeds come from the Grand Griffon Vendéen, a dog trained in this region of hedgerow where venery is an old tradition.
Where does the word "griffon" come from?
All the etymological works derive the name of these very friendly dogs from that of that species of mythical monster which the Romans called gryphus and the Grecs grups, but the report is difficult to establish; also, more satisfying is the hypothesis put forward by Dr. Guillet according to which the Vendée Griffons would be for ancestors the dogs registrars of Louis XI. And, if K. Reille is to be believed, the Vendée Griffins (today classified into four races) are descended from the "White Dogs of the King" that François 1st maintained in Evreux. We must also mention the opinion of Desmarest, who was a professor at the Veterinary School of Alfort and who specifies, in the Dictionary of Natural History published in 1817, that "the Griffons are a breed of dogs that comes from England and which is remarkable for the hairs which are hard, black and not numerous, as well as those of the head, which are long and mingled in a singular way ". A few long-haired English dogs may have been crossed with Vendee Griffons or with their ancestors before the soldiers from across the Channel were driven out of La Rochelle or Aquitaine, but this would not be enough to explain the situation. the appearance of the Nivernais Griffon, very close to the Vendéen, or the Griffon de Grip, a race that the Count d'Andigné was able to maintain from 1850 to 1914 on his Durtal estate: now extinct, it was then called the French Grip Griffon.
To come back to less conjectural facts, we can say that the Griffon Lighter Vendéen was created by the Earl of Elva, who mounted his breeding in 1871 at the castle Ricoudet in Mayenne, from the old dogs of Vendée - such as those of MM. Baudry d'Asson and Bailly du Pont, who were probably close to the current Great Griffons.
Hunting in the path of the hare, or the shooting dogs, the Count of Elva did not need dogs as fast as those of these crews who hunted deer, wild boar or deer. It was by a very strict selection, without any contribution of external blood, that he formed his packs. In 1885, he beat the other packs of his category in all exhibitions, but it was in 1894 that he presented his best dog lots: 30 lighters white and orange and 20 Bassets of the same color. He used the first to run the hare, the second to hunt all game. According to the chroniclers of the time, these dogs were more homogeneous, both in size and dress, than those who had won President Jules Grevy's cup nine years earlier.
When the First World War came, which was fatal to so many crews, the count raised a hundred dogs a year, which had allowed many other crews to get lighters. First of all that of Leon Gourraud, who, after having disputed the prizes to the Count of Elva in 1898 and 1900, disappeared from the annals before 1914.
Count Ernest de Ferrier de Montal was to keep the race longer. With Carita's crew, he hunted wild boar and hare in the Vaucluse (Carita's castle is located near Orange), and especially at L'Epine, in the Hautes-Alpes, where the relief would make the race particularly sporty. But it is especially Paul Dezamy, who was installed in Vendée, in La Chaize-le-Vicomte, who did the most for the maintenance of Lighters and Bassets Griffons Vendéens. Founded in 1898, the Levraudière rally was to be transformed after the 1914-1918 war into a Bocage rally. Composed of about fifteen Bassets and taken over by Hubert, son of Paul, he still took hares in the forests of Detroit, Bougrières and Poirons.
Nowadays, the Rally Bocage has disassembled (it is dissolved), and Hubert Dezamy has been replaced at the presidency of the Griffon Vendéen Club by Renaud Buche, who is the louvetier in the Eure. He uses Little Bassets to hunt rabbits. Another crew, ridden by Jean-Michel Duperrey, hunts the hare with Grands Bassets. But, above all, countless shooting fighters use Lighters and Bassets today, and if each of them generally only has two or three dogs, it is in the hundreds that the Vendée Griffons are presented in large dog shows.
The interest of these dogs is above all the delicacy of the nose, which makes them excellent matchers and allows them to lead their hunting animals as well in streams and ponds as in the driest terrain. In addition, very demanding and enterprising, Lighter and Grand Basset are perfect dogs to hunt hares. If we quote Le Verrier de La Couterie, we learn that the animal is expert in the art of beating while holding his feeling (shave on the ground while retaining its smell). And yet, in this case, "the hare, in a word, is somewhere and is not melted (gone). It is therefore necessary to look for it without being put off: the way to have good dogs is to be enterprising oneself to teach them how to become good. There is no doubt that in this area the Vendée Griffons are excellent pupils ...
But they have the flaws of their qualities: their enterprising mind makes them difficult to stab in the change, or even to credit in the way of a single animal. This is one of the reasons that have undoubtedly pushed the breeders to create smaller breeds than the Grand Griffon Vendéen, which hunts with so much enthusiasm that it often happens to run out of breath after one hour or two. Another reason is that the Vendee, the Mayenne (where the Earl of Elva hunted) and most of the departments of the West were; before the consolidation operations are involved; country of hedgerow. For the huntsmen, who usually have problems with passing through the hedges, the dogs had to be slowed, which was done by selecting the shorter ones. The origin of Lighters, then Bassets, from the Great Griffons Vendéens seems confirmed by the fact that even the Petit Basset has straight legs, unlike most other breeds of Bassets who have twisted legs. The Petit Basset is also not fast enough to hunt another animal than the rabbit.
In addition, the small Griffons have the hair hard and tough enough to pass without damage in the bushes more thorny. In Vendée, the Petit Basset is also called "piagru", which means "badly combed". But this is one of the qualities that make him appreciate those who use it in regions where the canopy is dense and thorny.
This is not a pet that wanted to create all those who contributed to the selection of Lighters, Large and Small Bassets Griffons Vendéens. Nevertheless, these dogs are playful and affectionate: at the present president of the Club, it is often the children who take care of the kennel ... Moreover, many shooting hunters keep their Griffons at home, and in this case, it is the Petit Basset which is the most appreciated, because of its pretty expressive head.