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Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
History
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The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, one of many small varieties of the French hounds, is of ancient origin. The breed can be traced to the 16th century and to the Griffon Vendéen, his larger, more powerful ancestor. His name in French reveals much about him: Petit-small; Basset-low to the ground; Griffon-rough or wire coated; and Vendéen-the area of France in which he originated.

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a hound developed to hunt game by scent. Furthermore, his physical evolution is directly related to the environment and terrain on the western coast of France-the Vendéen, characterized by thick underbrush, rocks, thorns, and brambles. This difficult terrain demanded a hardy, alert, bold, determined, intelligent hunter with both mental and physical stamina.

Most French hound breeds came in large and small versions and were used for different prey. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen was used for such large game as roedeer and wolf, while the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen was used to trail and drive smaller quarry such as rabbit, hare and sometimes even feathered game. The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen are used especially to hunt hare and rabbit, in France, other European countries, as well as the United States and Canada.

Paul Dezamy-the first president of the newly founded Club du Basset Vendéen (1907), is known for having devised the first standard. The same standard described the Petit and Grand, both of which came from the same litters at the same time. It was not until the 1950's that the Societé de Venerie published a new book of standards in which the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen was given an official standard of its own and considered a separate breed. In 1975 the interbreeding of the Grand and Petit was disallowed.

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Club of America was founded at the AKC Centennial Dog Show in 1984 to protect and promote the breed in this country. The breed was admitted to AKC registration effective December 1, 1990, and became eligible to compete at AKC-licensed shows effective February 1, 1991.





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