A 16th century shorthaired breed called the Grand Vendeen was said to have been bred down from the white hounds of the King of France. This breed was crossed with several other ancient Griffon breeds, which gave rise to the Grand Griffon Vendéen. The Grand Griffon Vendéen is a breed of dog that originated in the Vendée region of France. The breed was primarily used for hunting small game, such as rabbits and hares, as well as larger game like boars and deer. Their exceptional scenting ability and determination made them valuable assets to hunters. The Grand Griffon Vendéen is a medium to large-sized breed, characterized by a robust and sturdy build. They have a distinctive rough coat that provides protection from the elements while hunting in challenging terrains.
Little is known about genetic conditions that may be associated with the Grand Griffon Vendéen. However, degenerative myelopathy, hip and elbow dysplasia, and progressive rod-cone degeneration are common conditions from which many other dog breeds are known to suffer. This includes some of the other Griffon breeds, such as the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. As for all breeds, genetic screening is recommended to assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.
Grand Griffon Vendéens are known for their lively and energetic nature. They are intelligent, independent, and possess a strong hunting instinct. Due to their history as hunting dogs, they may exhibit a high prey drive and should be supervised around smaller animals. They are generally friendly, social, and form strong bonds with their families. Early socialization and training are essential to channel their energy and maintain good behavior.
The breed's long, shaggy eyebrows and mustache-like beard give them a unique and distinguished appearance, making them easily recognizable among dog enthusiasts.
While popular in France, the Grand Griffon Vendéen is considered a relatively rare breed outside its home country.
The Grand Griffon Vendeen was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) on January 1, 1996.