Country of Origin: France
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen can be traced back to 16th century France. Their French name translates to ‘large, low, hairy, from the Vendee region’ and this accurately describes the breed and differentiates it from the various French hunting hounds. Developed first by the Comte d’Elva at the end of the 19th Century and refined further by Paul Dézamy who required a shorter dog for hunting hare, originally the Grand and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen would occur in the same litters and crossbreeding between the two occurred regularly. In the 1970’s this was stopped and efforts made to ensure the breeds remained separate. Due to the influence of longer legged hounds in the development of the Grand Basset (Grand Griffon Vendeen and Briquet Griffon Vendeen) there are still occasionally long-legged pups in Grand Basset litters.
In the UK today the Grand Basset is gaining popularity as a pet and show dog, in France they are still used for their original purpose, hunting wild boar, deer, rabbit and hare through rough terrain and harsh undergrowth.