Common Questions...

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Q: What is a PBGV really like?
A: The PBGV is an active, curious, busy, happy, alert, independent and highly intelligent hound. He's affectionate and willing to please. He's a dog that needs 'people attention' and will demand it if his owner neglects him. The PBGV is basically a pack animal and much of his behavior reflects this heritage.

Q: Is he trainable?
A: You may have heard that PBGV's are hard to train. This is not true! The PBGV is intelligent and can be trained for many purposes. He also has a great desire to please. The problem for the owner is that the dog is so smart that he often has his own agenda (which may not be the same as the owners!)

Q:What can he be trained to do?
A: The first training for any dog should be basic obedience to learn good manners. Today PBGVs are not only Show Dogs, but they also compete successfully in Obedience, Tracking and Agility Trials. Every dog can participate in the Canine Good Citizen program. A few are used in Search and Rescue and as Therapy dogs. Kennel Clubs, some animal supply stores and local Dog Training Clubs can provide you information about Obedience Classes, your local CGC program, and about participating in Therapy work and Visitation programs.

Q: Does he bark much?
A: Our Standard states that "he has a good voice which is freely used." Most PBGV's bark at something rather than just barking for no reason.

Q: Is he destructive?
A: A bored or lonely PBGV will make his own 'entertainment'. Giving your dog a variety of toys and things to chew on, a safe environment and eliminating the opportunity to be destructive will control this potential problem. The use of a crate not only provides this safety, but it also becomes his own special place.

Q: How is he with children?
A: PBGV's generally love all people - size doesn't matter. Most dogs, including the PBGV, seem to have a natural affinity to children. (A child's cookies, goodies, and toys are close to his mouth.) As with any dog, you should never leave a young child and your pet together unattended.

Q: Can my PBGV run loose around the yard and on walks?
A: Sorry! This is one breed that should not be allowed to be off lead. The hunting instinct is too strong. All that is needed is one small scent and your hunter will be off on the chase.

Q: Will I need a fenced yard?
A: If you want to allow your dog to play freely in your yard you will need a secure fence. Some PBGV's are good escape artists so the fence should ideally be 4 to 6 ft. high. This is one place that digging may be a problem. Watch for small holes and/or signs of interest along the fence line. He would as soon go under as he would to go over. Some owners may wish to use a variety of 'invisible fencing'. A PBGV who sees a rabbit or squirrel on the other side of the yard will often ignore the electrical shock to chase this prey. An invisible fence will also not prevent other intruders from coming on your property. A permanent fence is the safest approach!

Q: Can a PBGV live in an apartment?
A: Yes, if the owner is consistent with exercising the dog. A PBGV needs lots of exercise and just taking the dog out to relieve itself is not sufficient. Several half mile or longer walks each day should provide this exercise.

Q: I would like to have more than one. Do several get along together? Will he get along with my current family pet?
A: One PBGV is a marvelous experience. Two are a greater joy. They provide company and entertainment for each other. Any new animal being brought into your home, properly introduced, will usually make friends with the older dog. PBGV's ordinarily get along well with the rest of the family pets and with other dogs that come into their home.

Q: How do I care for a PBGV's coat?
A: His coat should be thick, wiry and somewhat casual looking. A weekly brushing will remove loose and dead hair and help to control shedding. A pin brush, comb and possibly a mat breaker are the only necessary tools. Bathe him as needed.

Q: What about other grooming?
A: Nails need to be clipped regularly. Ear canals should be kept free of excess hair and wax. Teeth should have regular care to keep them clean and free of tarter. Trim long hair on the bottom of the feet and check between the pads for foreign material and mats.

Q: Is the PBGV a healthy breed?
A: In general, this is a very healthy breed. They are subject to the usual 'doggy' healthy problems - most of which can be prevented by vaccination or prompt attention.

Q: Are there any Health Problems that I should be concerned about?
A: Some of the conditions that have been reported are Neck Pain Syndrome, Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, Epilepsy, Heart Murmurs, and some Eye Conditions. The occurrence of these diseases is under investigation by the PBGVCA Health Committee. Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is a severe, blinding eye disease that occurs in a small percentage of PBGVs. Fortunately, a genetic test is available that distinguishes between dogs who are unaffected by POAG, those who are likely to develop the disease, and those who carry the genetic mutation. You can learn more about POAG in the PBGV, click here. Be sure to talk to your dog's breeder about the dog's POAG status as well as all possible health risks. It is important to obtain a PBGV from a reputable breeder and to have your dog examined by your veterinarian for any heart, eye, ear or other abnormalities. Anyone interested in purchasing a dog should discuss the prevalence of these problems in that kennel with the breeder.

Q: How long will they live?
A: You should expect an average life span of 12 years or more.

Q: What does a PBGV eat?
A: Like other dogs s/he will eat most anything put in front of him. Feeding a good quality dog food and dog treats will normally satisfy his/her nutritional needs. Supplements or special foods should be used only on the recommendation of your veterinarian.

Q: Where can I find a puppy if I decide to purchase a PBGV?
A: If there is not a breeder in your area then go to one of the following sources:

Q: Is it possible to get an older, already trained dog?
A: Member Breeders sometimes have older dogs for sale, usually Champions no longer being shown. The Rescue Committee also sometimes has a PBGV rescued from a shelter. These dogs are available for placement.

Q: Will I be able to see a PBGV at a Dog Show?
A: You may not find them at every show, but their numbers are increasing. Take a chance and attend Shows in your area. You may be lucky!

Q: Will I need to spay or neuter my dog?
A: Many breeders will not sell you a pet unless you agree to neuter the animal. Being a responsible owner is assuring that you are not a part of producing unwanted dogs which frequently end up in shelters. If you think you want to "show" your dog in Conformation be sure to discuss this ahead of time with the breeder. Neutered animals can participate in all of the areas of competition except Conformation. Remember: A neutered dog usually has fewer health problems.

Q: How can I find more information about PBGV's?

  • The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen : A Definitive Breed Study by Valerie Link and Linda Skerritt, Doral Publishing,1999. The ISBN is 0-94485580. The authors have obtained previously unexamined kennel records, albums and archives. New information and photos are published here for the first time.
  • A good source of information about this breed is the book, Understanding the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen by Kitty Steidel, Orient Publications, 1987.The ISBN is 0-9618117-0-6. This books give the history, explains standards, discusses training and general care of the dog. It is an informative, interesting and easy to read book.
  • A second book is Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen by Jeffrey Pepper, T.F.H. Publications, 1993. The ISBN is 0-86622-578-1. This book gives recommendations about selecting and caring for a PBGV.
  • Control of Canine Genetic Diseases by George A. Padgett
  • PBGVCA Public Education Committee will send you a copy of the PBGVCA Breed Brochure. You can also download a copy in PDF format. This is a large file 4 MB.
  • Meet the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Brochure Click Here