PROFILE OF A Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
BY COREY BENEDICT AND KITTY STEIDEL
T he Grand Basset Gri ff on Vendéen, a rough-coated scent hound, moved into the AKC Hound group in Janu- ary of 2018. Referred to as Grands, Grand Bassets, or GBGV’s, the Grand Basset Gri ff on Vendéen name gives one clues to understanding his size, his appearance and his history. Grand—large, Basset—low set, Gri ff on—course or rough, Vendée—region on the West Coast of France. While the French customarily developed hunting dogs in three sizes, the Vendéen hounds were developed in four. Th e GBGV is one of the four Vendéen French Hounds thought to have been bred down from King Louis’ white hounds that hunted
buttocks. Th is dog should look like it can do its job which is to hunt hare or wild boar all day. Weedy and lacking in bone or length of leg cannot do the job. He also needs, good tight strong feet to traverse di ffi cult terrain. Th e only disquali fi cation in our standard that of a solid color. GBGV’s are mostly white with any other color (bi-color or tri-color) and black and tan. Scissor bite is preferred but level is tolerated. Very important to note: the Grand is not a variety of the Petit Basset and should not look like a larger version of one. All the Grand features are longer and the heads, tails and ears are signi fi - cantly di ff erent: his ears should reach at least to the end of his nose.
di ff erent size game. What breeds were combined is unknown but it started with a cross between a Gri ff on de Bresse (wheat colored, rough coated hound) and the white smooth coated hunt- ing dogs from King Louis. Th is feat was accomplished by the “Gre ffi er” (archiver of the King) who lived in the Vendéen region. Th ough there were vague early stan- dards for each, Grands and Petits were inter-bred until 1976 when interbreed- ing was no longer allowed. Th e result: two distinct breeds. Th e Dezamy fam- ily played a major role in creating the GBGV and the PBGV. It was Paul Dezamy who “created” the Grand Bas- set. His son-in-law, Hubert Desamy, continued the original “Dezamy” type Grand Basset.
Th e muzzle is preferably slightly lon- ger from tip of nose to stop than from stop to occiput. Th e muzzle is the same width as the skull. His pigment is dark, eyes almond shaped, the bridge of nose slightly roman yet when viewed in pro- fi le fi nishes square at its extremity. Grand’s long ears serve to funnel scent toward their nose. Th e ears should be set below the line of the eye, are supple and fi ne, folding in a corkscrew on the side of the dog’s head when he is relaxed; the corkscrew is a signature trade mark of the breed. Unique are his moustache and beard giving him a rus- tic, lovable and endearing expression. Th e personality of the Grand Basset is laid back and willing to please and said to have good recall when hunted.
THE GBGV IS ONE OF THE FOUR VENDÉEN FRENCH HOUNDS THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN BRED DOWN FROM KING LOUIS’ WHITE HOUNDS THAT HUNTED DIFFERENT SIZE GAME.
Th e Grand should have basic clean, steady canine movement with good reach and drive, enabled by his good lay back of shoulder balancing with matching angles behind. He carries his head proud- ly and his tail curved saber-like, thick at the base, slightly tapering to the end with furnishings. Th e double coat should be rough and harsh, never silky or wooly. Other very important features of type are eyebrows which do not obscure the eyes and are never bluntly scissored never resem- bling a terrier. Grooming the breed should simply accentuate their noble Grand features.
Hubert Desamy once was quoted saying “Measuring is for bad dogs and bad judges. With a worthy specimen, what is a centimeter or two?” Despite the Grand Basset Gri ff on Vendéen being low set, he should never be long and low with proportions similar to a Basset Hound, tall and square like a Harrier, or be as compact as a PBGV. Th e AKC GBGV standard reads height typically 15-18 inches but overall balance is most important. Th e GBGV is well balanced, and slightly longer than tall when measured from point of shoulder to
Corey Benedict, originally from Kansas City, and Brent Humphrey, born and raised in Central Florida, began their love for sport of purebred dogs and show animals at young ages when Corey began breeding and showing English Springer Spaniels and Brent Quarter Horses.
Now both residing together in Central Florida, Corey and Brent have been active together breeding and showing English Springer Spaniels, Tennessee Walking Horses in addition to the newly recognized Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen. Corey is the President and Brent, the Treasurer, of the GBGVCA and both have played an integral role in establishing the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen in the US. Corey and Brent fell in love with Grands in France and had a vision to get the breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. They are founding members of the GBGVCA and under the prefix “Sidekick” have been breeding Grands longer than anyone in the US. Sidekick has led the pack in the US by not only being the first established breeder but also by breeding and owning the Grands to achieve numerous “firsts”—first Certificate of Merit, first National Specialty Best of Breed, first US bred AKC Champion, first US bred Dutch Champion, and numerous other Specialty and Best in Miscellaneous Best of Breeds. In addition, they also have the first US bred GBGV to win a Best in Show since being admitted into the Hound Group in January of 2018.
Corey currently is the Northeastern Area Manager for Nestle Purina PetCare with the Breeder Enthusiasts group and Brent is President/ CEO of Baird Home Corporation.
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ANUARY 2020 • 293
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