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Briquet Griffon Vendeen

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Briquet Griffon Vendeen

The Briquet Griffon Vendeen is a medium sized purebred from France, bred to hunt small game like hare. It was developed to be very agile and able to handle difficult terrain, and is an intense and enduring strong breed. It has a life span of 10 to 12 years and is also called the Medium Vendeen Griffon. Out of the four varieties of Griffon Vendeen this one is least well known at least in North America. However in Europe its attractive appearance and good nature are making its popularity there grow.

The Briquet Griffon Vendeen at a Glance
Name Briquet Griffon Vendeen
Other names Medium Vendéen Griffon
Nicknames None
Origin France
Average size Medium
Average weight 48 to 53 pounds
Average height 19 to 22 inches
Life span 10 to 12 years
Coat type Rough and wiry outercoat – soft and dense innercoat
Hypoallergenic No
Color Solid or mixed colors, fawn, light brown, white and orange, white and gray and even tri-colored
Popularity Not a registered member of the AKC
Intelligence High
Tolerance to heat Very good
Tolerance to cold Good to very good
Shedding Average – will be some hair around the home
Drooling Moderate to average - some drool especially after drinking but not excessive
Obesity Average – measure food and make sure it is well exercised
Grooming/brushing Average – brush a couple of times a week
Barking Occasional – does bark sometimes but not frequently
Exercise needs High – needs active owners
Trainability Moderately easy with the right approach
Friendliness Very good – quite social
Good first dog Good to very good
Good family pet Very good with socialization
Good with children Very good with socialization
Good with other dogs Very good to excellent with socialization
Good with other pets Moderate to good with socialization – due to high prey drive
Good with strangers Good to very good with socialization
Good apartment dog Moderate – best with space and a yard
Handles alone time well No – does not like being left alone for long periods, can suffer from separation anxiety
Health issues Somewhat healthy but a few issues including aseptic meningitis, ear infections, glaucoma, hip dysplasia and patellar luxation
Medical expenses $460 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $140 a year for good quality dry dog food and dog treats
Miscellaneous expenses $220 a year for license, basic training, toys and miscellaneous items
Average annual expenses $820 as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $750
Rescue organizations None breed specific, check local shelters and rescues
Biting Statistics None reported
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The Briquet Griffon Vendeen's Beginnings

The Briquet Griffon Vendeen is a French dog that was bred down from the Grand Griffon Vendeen a process that was started in the 17th century in the region of Vendee on the west coast. It is one of 4 rough coated types from that area. The other 3 being the Basset Griffon Vendeen, the Gran Griffon Vendeen and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. The word Briquet translates in fact to medium sized and the Griffon part of its name is thought to come from greffier, a term used for the king's clerk, one of the first breeders. The large version was used to hunt large game like boar and wolves and the Briquet was used in packs to hunt game like wild boar, deer and on its own for small game.

Key in the development of this breed was Comte d'Elva a breeder at the time. He and other breeders took the smaller versions of the Grand Griffon Vendeen and bred them to other small French hunting dogs, though which ones exactly is not known. It is though though that its ancestors include the Gris de St Louis Vendeen hounds and that in the mix were Italian coarse haired dogs. It was kept by many nobles and even in the royal family. In fact several were gifted to King Louis XII and gained the name King’s White Hounds or Chiens Blancs du Rui. The French Revolution had a huge negative impact on its numbers but it survived.

In 1907 a club was formed to bring up the numbers and restore the breed again but because its prime use was as a hunting dog for small prey, at a time when there was less of that kind of hunting going on there was not a lot of success. Then two world wars devastated France, and dramatically impacted dog breeding and dog numbers. The Briquet Griffon Vendeen became very rare even in its own country.

New Lease on Life

It was rescued after the second world war from extinction through the efforts of several fanciers and breeders, but in particular one called Hugh Dezamy who was also a judge of French dog shows. It is recognized by the FCI and the UKC but is not yet recognized by the AKC and there are very few dogs outside of France. Even in France it is still not well known today, though those who have one keep them as companions and occasional small game hunters.

The Dog You See Today

The Briquet Griffon Vendeen is a medium sized dog weighing 48 to 53 pounds and standing 19 to 22 inches tall. It is a stocky dog but is well proportioned and looks very much like a smaller Grand Griffon Vendeen. While it is somewhat muscular it is not as much as many other types of hounds. The tail is held down when it is relaxed and up when it is active. It has a double coat that is bushy, dense underneath and coarse and wiry not wooly. It can be found in a number of different colors including mixed or solids of orange, white, fawn, light brown, grey and white. On the face the hair forms eyebrows and a mustache.

It has a short head with a medium to long muzzle that appears squared because of the extra skin on its lips. The skull is flat and the ears are set low, hang down and are long but not as long as say the Basset Hound. Its eyes are dark and large and the eyebrows above them are pronounced but do not fall over the eyes.

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The Inner Briquet Griffon Vendeen

Temperament

This dog is alert, very active and enthusiastic and generally are good natured though some can be a little snippy. It has an independent side to it so it can be intense, decisive, stubborn and focused which is good out hunting but less so inside as a companion. It is quite a good watchdog being alert and courageous and will bark to let you know if there is an intruder. It is an intelligent breed and while full of enthusiasm and liveliness it should not be high strung if given enough stimulation and activity. It is a hard working dog and attentive too, it can be a great working breed and a great companion.

The Briquet Griffon Vendeen is a playful and happy dog who is loyal to its owners and dependable. It likes to get lots of attention and while it does bark it does not do so excessively. It likes to please but when it gets anxious or scared it can become snappy so training is important. It needs lots of attention and reassurance but do not over spoil it, it needs to know you are its pack leader. It does not like being left alone for long periods and can suffer from separation anxiety. It is fine with strangers in general with socialization.

Living with a Briquet Griffon Vendeen

What will training look like?

Training the Briquet Griffon Vendeen should be moderately easy with experience and the right approach. It does have a stubborn side though and its independent nature means it can slow things down sometimes. Be patient, stay confident and positive and make it clear you are the leader and your rules are to be consistently followed. Avoid being negative or physical, these are not effective training methods. A useful tip about Griffons is that they are very happy to be bribed into doing what you want! Start training and socialization when it is still a puppy and things will go a lot better. Socialization includes introducing it to people, places, situations, sounds and animals and teaching it how to react appropriately to them.

How active is the Briquet Griffon Vendeen?

This is an a very active dog and needs owners who are also active so that there is no resentment about the time needed to take it out. It should be taken for a couple of long walks a day and then have some follow up physical play with you. It also needs off leash run time somewhere safe like a dog park or somewhere rural. It can join you for a jog or hike too and being a curious dog it will want to explore everywhere it goes. It loves to play so make sure it has plenty of toys to rotate through and also make sure it gets enough mental stimulation. It is not a dog suited to city life or apartment living, it needs at the minimum a yard to play in. Be warned though it likes to dig. It also has a lot of stamina and endurance.

Caring for the Briquet Griffon Vendeen

Grooming needs

This dog has low to moderate needs in terms of grooming and care. Its wiry coat is low to moderate in terms of shedding so there may be a little hair in the home but not a lot. The coat does tangle easily though so it needs regular brushing to keep it in good shape. A couple of times a week at least using something like a wide paddled brush. It should be bathed as needed using only a dog shampoo. It does not need to be trimmed professionally but other grooming needs include keeping its ears cleaned using a damp cloth or dog ear cleanser once a week, and checking for infection signs like redness, swelling, a bad odor and irritation. Its nails need to be trimmed as needed careful not to cut too close to the quick in the lower part of the nail. This is where the blood vessels and nerves are and it will curt the dog and cause bleeding cutting there. Also give its teeth a brush two to three times a week.

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Feeding Time

The Briquet Griffon Vendeen will eat about 2½ to 3 cups of a good quality dry dog food a day split into at least two meals a day. The amount can vary from one dog to another depending on its age, metabolism, level of activity, health and size though. It also needs access to water that is freshened often.

How is the Briquet Griffon Vendeen with children and other animals?

With children the Briquet Griffon Vendeen is playful, good natured, affectionate and can form close bonds with them, with socialization and especially if raised with them. However because some can become snappy when scared it is best with older children rather than younger ones who do not know how to touch and play nicely. It gets on well with other dogs, as it was once bred to be a pack dog. It does have a high prey drive though and sees small animals as something to chase so while good socialization may help with that, it may still be best to not have other small animals around it.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

These dogs have a life span of about 10 to 12 years and while bred to be quite hardy there are some issues to be aware of. These include aseptic meningitis, hip dysplasia, ear infections, glaucoma, patellar luxation, eye problems, epilepsy, skin and food allergies, hypothyroidism and deafness.

Biting Statistics

In reports of dogs attacking people in North American over the last 35 years and doing bodily harm, there is no mention of the Briquet Griffon Vendeen. It is not a dog really kept other than in France right now though, so reports if it elsewhere are unlikely. However it is not a people aggressive dog so is not likely to be dragged into such incidents, but there are no breeds that would could never act in such a way, fear, danger, no training or socialization are just a few things that can turn a dog to violence. Make sure you raise yours the best you are able and you can lessen the risk.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

A Briquet Griffon Vendeen puppy will cost around $750 and then there will be other costs for shipping and traveling if you are not living in France, and the puppy price goes up for top breeders of show dogs. Avoid buying anything from a puppy mill sourced place, pet store or backyard breeder though. If you are able to consider a mixed breed there are lots of dogs in shelters and rescues looking for new homes and loving owners. Consider checking them out, adoption fees are $50 to $400 and some medical needs are dealt with.

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When you are ready to bring your dog home there are some items you will need to get like a crate, carrier, leash and collar, bowls and such for about $200. Once you have it home you should take it to a vet for a good check ups and some procedures and tests like deworming, blood tests, shots, spaying or neutering, micro chipping and a physical. This will cost about $270.

Other ongoing costs include basic health needs like shots, flea and tick prevention, check ups and pet insurance for about $460 a year. A good quality dry dog food and dog treats will cost another $140 a year and miscellaneous items, toys, license and basic training is another $220 a year. This gives an annual total starting figure of $820.

Names

Looking for a Briquet Griffon Vendeen Name? Let select one from our list!

The Briquet Griffon Vendeen is not an easy dog to find even if you live in France where it is from. It was bred for hunting small game but can be a great companion for active couples, singles or families. It needs a certain level of attention and its coat mats easily if you do not brush regularly. It can also be snappy when scared or annoyed so that will need training out of it, and it should be well socialized.

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