Q: What is a PBGV really like?
A: The PBGV is an active, curious, busy, happy, alert, super friendly, independent and highly intelligent hound. He's affectionate and willing to please. He's a dog that needs 'people attention' and if his owner neglects him, he will be sure you know it! This is because the PBGV is basically a pack animal and likes being social and having others around.
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 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 also compete successfully in obedience, rally, tracking, scent work and agility trials. Every dog can participate in the AKC Star Puppy and Canine Good Citizen (CGC) programs offered in almost all communities. A few are used in search and rescue and as therapy dogs. Kennel clubs, local dog training clubs and some animal supply stores can provide you with information about obedience, rally and agility classes, and about participating in therapy work and visitation programs.
Q: Does he bark much?
A: Our breed standard states that "he has a good voice which is freely used." Rarely do PBGV's bark for no reason. Usually it is someone ringing the doorbell or maybe a loud noise in the street.
Q: Is he destructive?
A: A bored or lonely PBGV (like most dogs) will make his own 'entertainment'. Giving your dog a variety of toys and dog chews, 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 with children. As with any dog, you should never leave a young child and your pet together unattended. Particularly when a child has cookies, goodies, or is playing with their toys at the same level as the dog.
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'. This is not recommended. 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 also will 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 the necessary 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 PBGV's are a greater joy. They provide company and entertainment for each other and for you! Any new animal being brought into your home and properly introduced will usually make friends with the current 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: The 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 (be careful not to nick the pads) and check between the pads for foreign material and mats. Also you may go to your local vet once a month and have this done.
HEALTH & NUTRITION top
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: The PBGV is a very healthy breed often living to be 14+ years and experiencing the normal sorts of health issues that dogs of all breeds experience. One health concern, Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) which is a severe, a blinding eye disease, occurs in a small percentage of PBGVs. The PBGV Club has been very aggressively working to eliminate this problem in the breed with great success. 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 dogs who are unaffected by POAG, from those who are likely to develop the disease, and from those who carry the genetic mutation. To 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. Your PBGV's sire and dam should have received eye exams as well as evaluations of thyroid and heart function, hips, elbows and patellas. It is important to obtain a PBGV from a breeder of merit which can be found on the PBGV club website 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 12-14 years.
Q: What does a PBGV eat?
A: Like other dogs s/he will eat most anything put in front of him. Feeding a complete and balanced dog food (one that meets the minimum amounts established by the AAFCO for the appropriate life stage) will normally satisfy his/her nutritional needs.
OBTAINING A PBGV top
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:
- PBGVCA Member Breeders LIST
- Public Education Committee can recommend breeders in other areas
- Rescue Committee
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 will sometimes, but rarely, have 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. Take a chance and attend shows in your area. You may be lucky! Check the AKC event calendar for local listings.
Q: Will I need to spay or neuter my dog?
A: Many breeders will not sell you a pet unless you agree to spay or neuter the animal. Being a responsible owner is assuring you are not producing unwanted dogs that 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 or spayed animals can participate in all of the areas of competition such as agility, rally, obedience and hunt except for conformation. To show a dog in conformation, like Westminster, the dog must be "in tact" and not altered.Remember: A neutered or spayed dog usually has fewer health problems.
MORE INFORMATION top
Q: How can I find more information about PBGV's?
- The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen by Jeffrey G. Pepper, Companion House Books; Limited edition. 2005. Available through Amazon. This book gives recommendations about selecting and caring for a PBGV.
- The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen: A Definitive Study by Valarie Link and Linda Skerritt, Doral Publishing, 2000. Available through Amazon.
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: Rustic French Hound by Kitty Steidel, Orient Publishing, 1st edition, 1987. Available from Amazon. This books give the history, explains standards, and discusses training and general care of the dog. It is an informative, interesting and easy to read book.
- Hounds of France: Disciples of Diana by George Johnston and Maria Ericson, Spur Publishing Company. 1979. Available through Amazon
- Hounds in Old Days by Sir Walter Gilbey Series, 2nd Edition, Xs Books, 1979. Available through Amazon.
- 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