The Grand Griffon Vendéen is the largest griffon in the Vendéen family, and also the oldest member of the Vendées. The earliest written mention of the breed goes back to the 16th Century, but probably it is even older. Like all French griffon breeds, the Grand Griffon Vendéen is a descendant of the Segusii hounds of the Gauls.
The Grand Vendéen existed a long time before the first griffonised versions of the breed were introduced. These hounds were crossed with Greffier, the Chiens Blancs du Roi, Chien Gris de St. Louis, Griffon Fauve de Bretagne and the Griffon de Bresse all seem to have played a part in the creation of the Grand Griffon Vendéen.