THE GRAND BASSET GRIFFON VENDEEN: HISTORICALLY BALANCED
TODAY’S GRAND BASSETS STILL LOOK VERY MUCH LIKE THEIR PREDECESSORS AND STILL HAVE THE NATURAL DRIVE TO HUNT. THESE ARE HOUNDS THAT STILL
Modern GBGV Bitch of the Dezamy type; she is proven in modern tracking trials.
EMBODY THEIR HISTORICAL USE THROUGH THE
MODERN INTERRUPTION Grand Bassets are still used as packs in France today to hunt primarily wild boar, which are as much a menace as they are a game meat. In fact, there are several lines of these working hounds represented in the stock already within the United States. While the original breed itself was more or less a jumble of styles between features that we would generally consider appropriate for a Petit Basset and those we consider Grand today, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that GBGVs actually started to have the distinct type and style that we associate with them now. It is largely thanks to the Dezamy family that we have the solid breed type and style that we do presently. They helped to set not only the actual ideal height (43 cm), they idealized a set style within the breed and created the written standard for the breed when dog shows started to take off in popularity in France around that time. The late Mr. Dezamy famously said of judging the breed that measuring sticks were for poor judges, and that balance was to be of first consideration in a quality Grand Basset. As with many breeds, balance and silhouette are of utmost importance when considering a GBGV—something that holds true even today. Today’s Grand Bassets still look very much like their predecessors and still have the natural drive to hunt. These are hounds that still embody their historical use through the details of their structure, their overall unique balance and silhou- ette, and their rustic French appearance. As breeders, we have the obligation to preserve this breed as best we can when taking all these factors into consideration. And we hope that we can continue to educate the dog fancy in general about this charming breed.
DETAILS OF THEIR STRUCTURE, THEIR OVERALL UNIQUE BALANCE AND SILHOUETTE, AND THEIR RUSTIC FRENCH APPEARANCE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Katherine Kellum is a Breeder/Owner-Handler of Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen under the “Straylight” prefix. She has been involved in the breed for six years, with wonderful mentors who have been involved in GBGVs for a combination of over 50 years. She has a passion for history, and what really sparked her interest in dogs was watching hounds do what they have been bred for centuries to do—hunt. Katherine and her significant other are both full members of the GBGVCA and they have been showing Grands since before they became officially recognized by AKC. Their first special was GCH Sidekick Talus Spellbinder BCAT, who was the No. 1 NOHS GBGV for both 2018 & 2019 (with multiple NOHS Group Firsts) and the first GBGV Champion in AKC history to also hold a performance title. Other than dogs, Katherine is involved in her local arts community, as her other hobbies are quilting, digital illustration, and photography.
208 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2021
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