Originating from the Vendee region of France, the 'Grand' as it is popularly known, arrived in France in 1990 and has remained low in numbers throughout its existence. Falling within the 'hound' branch of canines, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen shares its classification with the Bloodhound, Greyhound, Whippet and Beagle and was primarily utilised in hunting deer and boar, as well as tracking rabbit, hare and game birds. Equipped with keen senses and stamina, the Grand was efficient in its working fulfillments and earned a reputation as an avid and dependable hunter.
A low to the ground breed, the Grand is recognisable for its compact, medium-sized build, dark inseted eyes, large 'drop' ears and round, black nose. More active than one might expect for its small proportions, the breed retains its natural hunting instinct and desires nothing more than being on the trail of quarry. Dogged in its search, the Grand is a focused and stubborn breed at times, but has high trainability. A descendent of the Grand is the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, originally bred by French hunters for its size functionality, the Petit was introduced from France in 1969.
A typical hound, the Grand boasts sharp sight and smell senses, as well as vigilance and stamina. Despite its early usage, the modern breed is commonly observed as a companion dog, showcased for its gentle and easy temperament. Inherently energetic and curious, the Grand requires careful management, but its fun-loving nature makes it the ideal breed choice for families or the dedicated sole owner. On average, a healthy Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen weighs 18-20 kg, with a life expectancy of 10-14 years when shown appropriate care.
Generally a hardy and long-lived breed, the Grand is prone to limited health complaints. There are, however, documented cases of the breed suffering from optical disorders and failing eyesight, as well as hip dysplasia, arthritis and skin allergies.
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