The ‘GBGV’ is the larger version of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. They are just as popular as family pets in the north of Europe, just their little sibling, the PBGV, but in Spain they are seen as mere hunting dogs and as such often treated quite badly. While in reality, the Grand Basset Griffon is a friendly and very empathic dog that loves fun and company.
First there was the Grand Griffon that was bred in the Vendéen region and used for hunting wolves, boar and other big game. Then someone decided they wanted a shorter version that could hunt hare. That is when the Basset Griffon Vendéen was born. For a long time a litter would contain both smaller and bigger dogs. But at some point it was decided that the smaller and bigger ones should each become their own breed.
The difference between the Petit and the Grand is of course their size, but if you look well you can also see that the Petit Basset resembles the Briquet Griffon Vendéen in having a shorter muzzle and shorter ears and finer feet, whereas the Grand Basset has the longer and more pronounced muzzle of the Grand Griffon Vendéen, the long ears and the large feet. For the Petit the breed standard says they should have a height between 32 to 40 cm, whereas the Grand should not be higher than 43 cm. But the breed standards are for show dogs and people who only care about pure bloodlines, whereas hunters do not really care so much about that.
Hunters want a healthy dog that works superb. Therefore the hunting GBGV’s are often
taller, and it is not strange to find individual dogs that are up to 47 cm or even slightly higher. Hunters are more inclined to cross-breed their working PGBV’s with other breeds to make them faster, hardier, braver… And this is actually a good thing because working GBGV’s and PBGV’s are in general much healthier and suffer less from eye diseases, epilepsy and other breed related genetic diseases.