5 Facts About the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen: Westminster Kennel Club’s Newest Winning Breed

| CJ Silvasi

A Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is Westminster Kennel Club’s newest prize-winning dog. Here are 5 facts you should know about this unique and fascinating dog breed.


Buddy Holly, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, is Westminster Kennel Club’s newest champion. While we at AKC Pet Insurance (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company) think all dogs are champions, there’s something special about winning Best In Show at a prestigious national dog show.

We’re excited to see a little-known breed like the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen take the top slot this year, and if you’re anything like us, you want to know more about this show-stealing dog. Here are 5 interesting facts about the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed.

1. Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens Hail from France

Originally bred in France, these small, happy pooches were first bred for rabbit hunting. Like Beagles and other rabbit dogs, this breed is pack-oriented and typically does well with other dogs. Their name literally translates to Small Low Rough-Coated Vendéen (a region in France), which is on the nose for the physical nature of these dogs.

2. They Are Longer Than They Are Tall

Their build of 13-15 inches at the shoulder, rough coat, and strong legs make them great rabbit chasers. They are brave and will chase rabbits at top speed into the rough brush of the French countryside, so they need the powerful legs and fur that keeps sticks and brambles at bay to keep up with rabbits.

Their build and long back can lead to health issues down the line. Injuries from their high-energy and long body can develop into chronic issues like arthritis as they age, so keeping their joints, bones, and muscles healthy from an early age is important. Getting pet insurance through a reputable company like AKC Pet Insurance is also a great way to help give them the best medical care at all stages of their life and potentially avoid any preventable medical issues.

3. Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens Are Extroverts

Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens are clever and eager to please. Their pack-instincts make them social with people and other dogs. Their working-dog pedigree causes them to have a lot of excess energy, so combined with their outgoing nature, they will do well in a home with a lot of training and activity to keep them stimulated.

They love to play and can get protective of their family and home, so training is a must. While they aren’t necessarily difficult to train, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen will do best with an experienced trainer due to their clever mind and high-energy nature.

4. They Have Wanderlust

Don’t let their small size fool you, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is fast! Their thirst for adventure and a good chase can inspire them to bolt out any open door. Training, play, exercise, and microchipping are all important parts of owning one of these rascals to ensure they stay in your home.

If you can meet their exercise needs though, these small dogs do well in apartments. They are adaptable to the smaller space, but keep in mind their high energy levels and make sure they get long walks and off-leash time to run off all that playful energy. 

5. They Are Loud and Love to Bark

Like hounds, they have a loud bark to alert their human hunting companions to the location of their prey. If you want to bring a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen into your home, be prepared for bark training to avoid noise complaints from neighbors.

Inspired by Buddy Holly’s victory and interested in adding a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen to your family? Ultimately, if you’re looking for a partner to join you on long hikes or daily runs, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a perfect companion for you. But, if you’re a new dog owner or prefer a more laid-back lifestyle, you may want to find a dog with lower energy to join you in your couch snuggles.

Pet insurance is an important part of keeping your dog happy and healthy throughout their life. AKC Pet Insurance is the insurance of champions, no matter the breed. Get a quote now for your dogs and cats.

CJ Silvasi

CJ has always wanted to be a writer. She even threatened to drop out after her first day of kindergarten when they weren’t immediately going to teach her to read and write. Fortunately, she stayed in school, earned her degree in Creative Writing from Christopher Newport University, and now gets to live her best life with her husband, 3 Japanese Chins, and cat writing for AKC Pet Insurance.