The Briquet Griffon Vendeen is a member of the Griffon family that originates in the La Vendee region of France. The other Griffons are the Grand Griffon Vendeen, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. Briquet Griffon is the medium sized dog in the Griffon family. The dog has a medium sized head, medium sized body, medium sized snout and legs. But nothing is medium about the dogs personality. This dog is much valued in its country of origin because of its outstanding hunting abilities in fact a team of Briquets bagged the trophy of France for roe deer hunting in 1995. This dog can rouse any kind of game on any kind of terrain. Nothing can deter a Briquet when it is following a scent. A Briquet in hot pursuit of a prey would not hesitate to cross even a flooded area. When it comes to hunting a prey, this dog has a one track mind.
A Briquets has been primarily considered as a working breed, the dogs prowess in the field of hunting can not be doubted. However, these dogs have other talents too. These dogs excel in agility competitions and above all a Briquet Griffon Vendeen makes a valuable addition to the family. The Briquet Griffon Vendeen was dubbed as the Happy Breed by the British because this is really a happy hound, one that is prone to too much tail wagging and one that will never fail to warm the heart of any dog lover. These are naturally friendly dogs, always eager to please and always ready to receive the attention and love of its human family. This is probably the reason why this dog does well with children. Children are playful, exuberant and active. A Briquet Griffon Vendeen has these qualities too.
A Briquet Griffon Vendeen is an intelligent breed. Because the dog has the innate eagerness to please attitude, training the dog will never be a problem. The training program though should be started when the puppy is about 12 weeks old. Training a fully mature Briquet may take some time given that the dog would have already developed its independence. But once the dog has bonded with the master, the dog would respond well to the training.
The Briquet Griffon Vendeeen is a medium sized dog with a well proportioned stocky body. This dog has a slightly domed skull and a straight, short and not too broad muzzle. A black nose is common for the breed though white and orange coated specimens have brown noses. Dark large eyes that show very little white have a lively, alert and a friendly expression. The dogs face is covered with longish hair that forms a moustache and eyebrows. Drop ears are supple and narrow. The ears that are covered with long hair are set below the level of the eyes. Strong teeth meet in a scissor bite. The dogs short tail always sticks out like a saber whether the dog is happy, alert or nervous.
The dogs back may be short but it is solid and straight. The chest is not too wide but rather deep reaching the level of the elbows. A Briquette has moderately rounded ribs. A Briquette Griffon Vendeen has a wiry dense coat. The thick undercoat insulates the dog from very cold temperatures. The outer coat is long, bushy and harsh to the touch. This gives the dog an unkempt appearance. Coat colors can be black and white, black and tan or tricolored (white, black and fawn).
Briquet Griffon Venden is an excellent gun dog that would show its tenacious hunting ability in all kinds of terrain. The dog is intelligent and energetic and one that would not hesitate to show and to receive affection. In fact the dog would really demand affection from the human family. And once showered with attention the dog would wag its tail in happiness. The dog would bark incessantly if it is ignored by the family. It is important to show the dog that it is not the master. These are well mannered dogs but they tend to get spoiled if showered with too much attention by the human family. These are active and energetic dogs. This is probably the reason why the dog does well with children. These dogs are seldom aggressive therefore they would not make suitable guard dogs.
A Briquet may tolerate other dogs but would consider other smaller pets as prey. The dog would need socialization to curb this chasing tendency. Socialization must be started while the dog is still young. Taking the dog to a dog park or introducing the dog to other pets will train the dog to be well mannered with other dog and smaller pets.
A Briquet Griffon Vendeen is a hunting dog. It is accustomed to working all day. A housebound Briquet that is not given sufficient exercise will become restless and bored. As with any other bored dogs, a Briquet will be a destructive dog too. The ideal owner of this breed is one with an active lifestyle. The dog would be a suitable jogging companion, a Frisbee or a catch ball playmate of the children. It would even be much better if the dog will be allowed to run off leash. The area however must be secured with a fence as although domesticated, this dog still retains its strong prey drive. The dog may drift off to follow an interesting scent.
A Briquet Griffon Vendeen would do well in a small household or in an apartment. This dog adapts well to living in the city as long as sufficient opportunities to exercise is provided for the dog. However the dog would be most happy to live in the rural areas where the dog can run freely without the restrictions of a leash.
The Briquet Griffon Vendeen is a light shedder and would require very little maintenance. Coat trimming is not necessary even on show dogs. A once a week thorough brushing of the dense coat would be sufficient to remove burrs and clinging dirt. The brushing session will prevent the formation of tangles and would distribute the natural oils of the coat. Brushing will make the coat shiny. Bathing should only be done if the dog has been outdoors for a quite a while. Too frequent bathing will remove the weatherproofing of the coat. Ear cleaning and nail trimming must be done regularly.
The Briquet Griffon Vendeens is believed to have existed in the 16th century. The Briquet is one of the four rough coated native breeds that call the La Vendee region of France home. All these Griffon breeds are speculated to be the progeny of the Vendeen hounds of Gris de St. Louis. Another theory believes that the Briquit Griffon Vendeed has descended from other Italian dogs with course rough coats and from the white Southern Hounds.
Several dogs were gifted to King Louis XII. From these dogs the Chiens Blancs du Rui or the Kings White Hounds were developed. The Briquet was actually first breed by the clerk or greffier of King Louis XII. This is probably where the name griffon was taken. The Grand Griffon Vendeen has a stocky and distinctive appearance. The Briquet is considered to be an improved though smaller version of the Grand.
This breed almost became extinct during the French Revolution. The dog was utilized for hunting hare and other small game. When hunting lost its appeal the breed slowly disappeared. Fortunately, a club was formed in 1907. The prime objective of the club is to restore the breed. The breed was not yet fully restored when the numbers of existing dogs was yet again reduced during the 2nd World War. The Briquet Griffon Vendeen again reappeared in 1946 in the Fontenay le Comte, Vendee. Although still considered to be a rare breed and unknown in other parts of France and in other countries, the Briquet Griffon Vendeen is quite popular in the Vendee region of France. Presently, a good number of this breed exists.