Petit Basset griffon vendéen
FCI standard Nº 67
|John Miller and Raymond Triquet
|Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds
|Section 1.3 Small-sized Hounds
|With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
|Tuesday 04 May 1976
Publication of the official valid standard
|Saturday 09 January 1999
|Wednesday 14 February 2001
En français, cette race se dit
|Petit Basset griffon vendéen
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
|Kleiner Basset Griffon Vendéen
En español, esta raza se dice
|Pequeño Basset Grifón vendeano
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
|Petit Basset griffon vendéen
|Devil in the country, angel in the house, that’s our Basset. It’s a passionate hunter, that must, from an early age, get used to obeying. Perfect assistant to the hunter with a gun on territories of medium size, specialist for rabbit, but no other game escapes from it.
Brief historical summary
|For a long time the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen had the same standard as the Grand Basset, only the size was different (from 34 to 38 cm). The result in utilization was not very brilliant, because they were semi-crooked and as heavy as the Grand Basset. That is why that M.Abel Dezamy created a separate standard for them. To define this hound, let us remember what Paul Daubigné wrote : « It is no longer a small Vendéen by simple reduction of the height, but a small Basset harmoniously reduced in all his proportions and in its volume, that is naturally endowed with all the moral qualities which presuppose the passion for hunting ». A team of Petit Bassets won the first edition of France’s Cup on rabbit.
|Small, active and vigorous hound, with a slightly elongated body. Proud tail carriage. Coat hard and long without exaggeration. Expressive head; leathers well turned inwards, covered with long hair and set below the level of the eye, not too long.
Behaviour / temperament
|Passionate hunter, courageous, likes the bramble and scrub. Docile but wilful and passionate.
|Slightly domed, not too elongated nor very broad, well chiselled under the eyes, the occipital protuberance quite developed.
|Frontal indentation defined.
|Prominent, well developed; nostrils open, black apart from the white and orange coats where a brown nose is tolerated.
|Much shorter than that of the Grand Basset but nevertheless very slightly elongated and straight. Muzzle square at its end.
|Covered with abundant moustaches.
Jaws and teeth
|Quite large with an intelligent expression, showing no white; the conjunctiva must not be apparent. The brows surmounting the eyes stand forward but should not obscure the eyes. Eyes must be of a dark colour.
|Supple, narrow and fine, covered with long hair, ending in a slight oval, turned inwards and not quite reaching the end of the muzzle. Well set below the level of the eye.
|Long and strong; well muscled; strong at set on; without dewlap; carrying head proudly.
|Straight, topline level.
|Well muscled and quite wide.
|Not too wide. Rather deep, reaching the elbow level.
|Set high, quite thick at its base, tapering evenly to its tip; rather short, carried sabre fashion.
|Bone structure quite strong but in proportion to size.
|Clean, oblique, well attached to the body.
|Very slightly defined.
|Muscled and only slightly rounded.
|Quite wide, slightly angulated, never completely straight.
|Not too strong, pads hard, toes very tight, nails solid. Good pigmentation of the pads is desirable.
Gait and movement
|Very free and effortless.
|Quite thick, often marbled in tricolour subjects. No dewlap.
|Harsh but not too long, never silky or woolly.
|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
|From 34 to 38 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.
Depigmentation of nose, lips or eyelids.
Leathers set high, long, insufficiently turned in or lacking hair.
Too long or too short, lacking harmony.
Topline insufficiently firm.
Lack of angulation.
Slack in pasterns.
Not dense enough, fine hair.
| Fearful or aggressive subject.
Lack of type.
Overshot or undershot mouth.
Eyes of different colours (Heterochromia).
Lack of space in the sternal region : ribs too narrow towards the lower part.
Crooked or half-crooked forelegs.
Self-coloured black or white coat.
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.