Briquet Griffon Vendéen

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Briquet Griffon Vendéen
Alephalpha /

The Briquet Griffon Vendéen is a medium-sized scent hound of an athletic build with an attractive coat of shaggy hair. They have expressive faces thanks to their dark eyes and bushy eyebrows. Anyone familiar with the Grand Griffon Vendéen will think that their eyes are playing a trick on them, but the two breeds look so similar because the Briquet Griffon Vendéen was bred directly from the Grand Griffon Vendéen in order to create a slightly smaller dog.

Bred within France for the purpose of hunting, these dogs have the stamina to work for hours on end and relish the opportunity to do so. They are not at all suited to apartment life and require ample exercise and plenty of attention.

About & History

While most people will be more familiar with the larger Grand Griffon Vendéen or the smaller Bassett Griffon Vendéen, the Briquet Griffon Vendéen is the medium-sized variant of the three, that comes from the Vendée area in western France. This breed directly descends from the Grand Griffon Vendéen, as breeders selectively chose to mate the smallest of the Grand Griffon Vendéen dogs to produce an entirely new French breed. It is quite possible that other hunting dogs were added to the mix, though records of this are lacking.

Traditionally used for hunting, the reason that the Briquet Griffon Vendéen was created was to assist huntsmen with pursuing smaller game, such as rabbits and hare, rather than the larger game, such as deer, that the Grand Griffon Vendéen was more suited to. This process began in the 1600s within France.

As holds true for a great number of dog breeds, the population size of the Briquet Griffon Vendéen was greatly reduced during the World Wars and their numbers fell dangerously low. Even today, this dog remains a rare breed, and is seldom, if ever, seen outside of France. The UKC accepted the Briquet Griffon Vendéen into its scent hound group in 1996 and is today used as both a hunting dog and a family pet.


Briquet Griffon Vendéen Large Photo
Alephalpha /

As can be deduced from the name, the Briquet Griffon Vendéen is a smaller and lighter version of the Grand Griffon Vendéen and bears a close resemblance to its forefather. The Briquet Griffon Vendéen should be robustly built and medium in size.

They have a narrow skull that is the same length as their long muzzle, and both the muzzle and skull should lie parallel to each other. Their slender ears roll inwards and, if pulled forward, do not quite reach the tip of their nose. Their eyes are round and dark, exhibiting an alert expression. Both their neck and shoulders are long and elegant, giving them a confident silhouette. Their deep chest is relatively narrow and their straight back should not appear elongated. The long legs of the Briquet Griffon Vendéen are well-muscled. Their tapering tail may curve, but not to the extent that it arches over their back.

Possibly the most distinctive feature of this breed is its shaggy coat, which is thick and rough. Their bushy eyebrows and moustache give them a distinctive look. Accepted coat colours are as follows:

  • White and orange
  • White and black
  • Tri-colour
  • Fawn with black

To the withers, male dogs should stand from 49.5cm to 54.5cm, while the females should measure between 48cm and 53cm. The average Briquet Griffon Vendéen weighs 16kg to 24kg.

Character & Temperament

A natural born hunter, the Briquet Griffon Vendéen will perform its work with enthusiasm and good cheer. They are generally very fit and will work for long hours without tiring. A lively dog, this breed will keep even the most active owner on their toes.

Kind and loving towards their family, most breed members will form strong attachments with their owners. They gravitate towards the children of the family, taking advantage of any play-time on offer to them. At times, the Briquet Griffon Vendéen can get carried away and become ‘mouthy’ or ‘snappy’ so caution is advised with young children. The breed’s acceptance of humans extends towards strangers, rendering them rather useless guard dogs.

The Briquet Griffon Vendéen does well with other dogs, having been bred to work alongside them for centuries within a pack. The same tolerance does not extend towards smaller creatures, such as cats and rabbits, who are naturally seen as prey.


The term ‘not quick to obey’ is in the breed standard of the Briquet Griffon Vendéen, which should give owners an indication of what they have got themselves into with this breed. They are known to be willful and stubborn, often needing ample coercion to perform even simple tasks. They do respond well to praise and reward-based training, and their intelligence means that they can potentially become trained to a high standard despite their independent streak.


Generally accepted to be a healthy breed, the fact that these dogs have mainly been used for working in the past, has likely stood them in good stead. There are a number of conditions that are worth mentioning, however, and these include:


Epilepsy is what is known as ‘a diagnosis of exclusion’, meaning that if a dog starts to have seizures and there is no underlying cause found, they are said to be suffering from epilepsy. While seizures can be very distressing for owners to watch, they do not often last for long and rarely cause any lasting effects. A seizing dog should be left in a dark, quiet room and owners should never approach their mouth, as they may unconsciously bite someone who approaches them.

There are medications available to stop the fit, and most owners of an epileptic dog will have these in their home to use when necessary. If seizures are mild, they may not necessitate the use of medication to prevent them, however, many epileptic dogs are managed with daily tablets.

Otitis Externa

Ear infections are a common issue for most dogs whose ears do not stand erect. As there is inadequate airflow and as water and dirt can get trapped within the canal, the ears of the Briquet Griffon Vendéen can harbor excessive numbers of bacteria and yeast.


An underactive thyroid is a condition more frequently seen in middle-aged to older dogs. Owners may notice that their pet has ‘slowed down’, has lost muscle mass and gained fat and has developed skin disease and lacklustre fur. A blood test can diagnose the condition and it can be well-managed with medication. Periodic blood tests are needed to ensure that the medication dose is correct.


Allergies are one of the most common conditions treated by vets, regardless of breed. Dogs can be allergic to foods (such as chicken, wheat or peas), as well as to substances in their environment (such as house dust mites or ryegrass). While allergies can develop at practically any age, it tends to be a disease first seen in young adult dogs.

Affected Briquet Griffon Vendéen dogs may itch excessively, develop red and infected skin and may also suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. When an allergen cannot be avoided, most animals will be medically managed. Allergic disease can be incredibly frustrating to accurately diagnose and to keep under control, and it tends to be a lifelong issue.

Exercise and Activity Levels

An animal that truly loves its job, the Briquet Griffon Vendéen should be provided with the opportunity to track and hunt wherever possible. Not only will this allow them to exhibit their natural behavior and experience a feeling of accomplishment, it also keeps them stimulated and can provide them with a large proportion of the exercise that they need.

This dog relishes its time outdoors and should be allowed to have time off the lead to roam around and trail scents. A large house with lots of land would be an ideal home, though the land must be securely fenced to avoid the Briquet Griffon Vendéen travelling long distances after a tempting scent. If the exercise requirements of this breed are not adequately met, it is not unlikely that they will become unpleasant pets – digging up your garden, barking incessantly and acting hyper within the home.


For those owners searching for a pristine pooch that never has a hair out of place, the Briquet Griffon Vendéen is just not the breed for them. The wiry hair of this dog is meant to look somewhat disheveled, even after grooming. They need a good brush once or twice a week to prevent matting. A wire brush should be used to ensure the thick double coat is brushed through. Dogs used for hunting should be checked for sticking burrs or similar debris that can become trapped in their fur after being outdoors for long periods of time. Some owners will find that they have to trim overly long facial hair if it is causing the dog issues.

The ears of the Briquet Griffon Vendéen will definitely need lifelong care to keep them in good condition. As with many similar breeds, the drooping ears of this breed mean it is predisposed to developing ear infections without regular ear cleaning.

Famous Briquet Griffons Vendéen

With such a small population, there are no famous Briquet Griffon Vendéen dogs to speak of just yet. You can, however, enjoy some photos of the 'every day' Briquet Griffon Vendéen on Instagram.


There are no well-established Briquet Griffon Vendéen cross-breeds at this moment in time.

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