The Grand Griffon Vendéen: A Regal Hound

Introduction: Meet the Grand Griffon Vendéen

The Grand Griffon Vendéen is a striking and regal hound that captures the attention wherever it goes. This breed was originally developed in France for hunting wild boar, deer, and other game on rough terrain. Today, Grand Griffon Vendéens are still used for hunting, but they also make excellent companions for those who appreciate their unique qualities.

A Brief History of the Grand Griffon Vendéen

The Grand Griffon Vendéen originated in the Vendée region of France in the 16th century. The breed was developed by crossing local hounds with imported breeds, including the Bloodhound and the English Foxhound. Grand Griffon Vendéens were favored by French nobility for their hunting prowess and were often kept as hunting companions. In the 19th century, the breed nearly became extinct due to changes in hunting practices and the devastation of World War I. However, dedicated breeders were able to restore the breed’s population, and today, Grand Griffon Vendéens can be found all over the world.

Physical Characteristics of the Grand Griffon Vendéen

The Grand Griffon Vendéen is a large breed, standing at 23 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 50 and 65 pounds. They have a long, shaggy coat that comes in a variety of colors, including black and tan, tricolor, and white and orange. Their coat is thick and provides excellent protection from the elements. The breed is known for its distinctive facial features, which include long eyebrows and a beard. They have a powerful, muscular build and are equipped with strong legs that allow them to move easily over rough terrain.

Temperament and Personality of the Grand Griffon Vendéen

The Grand Griffon Vendéen is a lively and affectionate breed that enjoys being around people. They are known for their loyalty and are often described as being "clownish." Despite their friendly nature, they can be quite stubborn and independent at times, which can make training a challenge. However, with patience and consistency, Grand Griffon Vendéens can be trained to obey commands and make excellent companions.

Training the Grand Griffon Vendéen: Tips and Tricks

Training a Grand Griffon Vendéen requires patience and consistency. Positive reinforcement is key, as this breed responds well to praise and rewards. Because they can be stubborn, it is important to establish yourself as the pack leader early on to avoid behavior problems. Socialization is also crucial, as Grand Griffon Vendéens can be wary of strangers and new situations.

Exercise Needs of the Grand Griffon Vendéen

The Grand Griffon Vendéen is an active breed that requires daily exercise. They enjoy long walks, hikes, and runs, and excel at activities like agility and tracking. Without enough exercise, they can become bored and destructive. However, it is important to avoid over-exercising them when they are young, as their joints are still developing.

Health Concerns and Maintenance of the Grand Griffon Vendéen

Like all breeds, the Grand Griffon Vendéen is prone to certain health conditions. Some of the most common health concerns include hip dysplasia, ear infections, and bloat. To keep your Grand Griffon Vendéen healthy, regular veterinary care is essential. Grooming is also important, as their long coat requires frequent brushing to prevent matting and tangling.

Living with a Grand Griffon Vendéen: Pros and Cons


  • Loyal and affectionate
  • Excellent guard dog
  • Active and playful
  • Striking appearance


  • Can be stubborn and independent
  • Requires daily exercise and grooming
  • Can be wary of strangers
  • Prone to certain health conditions

The Grand Griffon Vendéen in the Show Ring

The Grand Griffon Vendéen is a popular breed in the show ring, where they are admired for their unique appearance and hunting skills. They compete in events such as conformation, obedience, and tracking, and have earned numerous awards and titles over the years.

Conclusion: Is the Grand Griffon Vendéen Right for You?

The Grand Griffon Vendéen is an excellent breed for those who appreciate their unique qualities. They are loyal, affectionate, and make excellent guard dogs. However, they do require daily exercise and grooming, and can be stubborn at times. If you are looking for an active and playful companion that is sure to turn heads, the Grand Griffon Vendéen may be the right breed for you.

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