The Briquet Griffon Vendéen is one of the four wiry coated hunting dogs from the French Vendée region. Next to Briquet, there is the Grand Griffon Vendéen and Grand and Petite Basset Griffon Vendéen. The Briquet Griffon Vendéen was developed directly from the Grand Griffon Vendéen. This breed was amazing for hunting, but people needed slightly smaller dog that would be able to do the same thing with smaller prey. That is why in the beginning of the 17th century, Mr. Comte d’Elva started breeding smallest Grand Griffons in order to develop a new breed. Most likely, some other French hounds were also mixed in to reduce the size, but overall, the Briquet kept many similarities with the Grand Griffon.
The Briquet Griffon Vendéen has very descriptive name! The word Briquet literally means medium sized dog. The word Griffon is describing all the wiry coated hunting hounds of France and the word Vendéen is describing the geographical location, where the breed was developed. So the name can be literally translated as a medium sized and wiry coated hunter of the Vendée region.
So the Briquet means medium sized dog, so what is the actual size of this breed? The height is typically around 48-55 cm, which is 19-22 inch and weight should be between 22-24 kg, which is 48-53 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The Briquet Griffon Vendéens one and only working purpose is hunting. They are hunting in pack of dogs and most often they hunt deer, wild boar and all kinds of small game, such as hare. These dogs are absolutely passionate about the hunt and even if they are not trained for it, they will most likely try to chase someting on your walks from time to time. The Briquet has amazing qualities for hunting, as they have incredible stamina, they are just tireless and they can hunt in any kind of terrain and in any weather. They have incredible sense of smell and they can pick up a cold or hot trail. Their endurance and sense of smell are their biggest weapons on the hunt. And even though, they are still used for hunting these days, many of them have found another role, and that is companionship.
And the Briquet makes amazing companion dog, especially for active people who like outdoors. It is energetic dog that will be ready for any kind of outdoor adventure with its owners. It is also very affectionate dog – they love to show, but also receive a lot of affection from their favourite people.
And the regular exercise is extremely important with this breed. As a hunting dog, the Briquet is used to hunt and work all day long without tiring, which is why, even when these dogs are not used for hunt, they must be provided with long daily walks, hikes, or jogs, they actually makes amazing jogging partners, vigorous playtime or regular fun training sessions. You just have to exercise their body, but also their mind every day, otherwise they might become restless and bored and potentionally develop some unwanted behaviour, like destruction or excessive barking. They will love if you will let them sniff around from time to time, but you should do it only in fenced areas or in areas you know very well.
The Briquet Griffon Vendéen never was extremely popular breed and they were few times on the verge of extinction. For the first time during the French revolution. The breed survived, but hunting with dogs was less and less popular, so even the numbers of hunting dogs started to decline. Fortunatelly, in 1907 a breed club was formed in order to restore the breed. They were doing a great job, but then the numbers of existing dogs were yet again reduced during the 2nd World War. Luckily, the breed once again survived in smaller numbers and their population was restored to healthy population. It is still considered as a rare breed, especially outside France. They are present in largest numbers in their home region, the Vendée region, where a good number of these dogs exist.
8) Coat and color
The Briquet Griffon Vendéen has a very dense wiry and bushy doublecoat, which is protecting it in all kinds of weather. The coat comes in variety of different colors and color combinations. According to the breed standard, allowed colors are white and black, white and orange, black and tan, tricolor or fawn of any shade with black overlay, with or without white markings.
Speaking of the coat, it is important to mention the grooming and maintenance as well. The only thing that is recommended is regular brushing and combing. The burrs and mud it picks up in its travels need to be brushed off its legs and belly. This is a light shedder with minimum grooming needs. Trimming is not needed, and it is better to leave the coat natural. Bathing is also needed only when the dog is really really dirty and it is better to bath them as little as possible. Just like with any other dog breed, you should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Briquet Griffon Vendeen is generally a healthy breed of dog with average lifespan around 12 years. Of course, just like any other dog breed, they can suffer from some health issues, such as hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and different allergies or bloating. But none of these ilnesses should be very common in this breed.