PETIT BASSET GRIFFON VENDÉEN Survey with Dr. richarD Meen
2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? The question for us should, in my opinion, never be about breeding and showing “better dogs” but rather “correct” ones. Our responsibility is to preserve the fea- tures that were developed to serve their purpose back to the 16th century. I do believe therefore that one has to be careful about the impact of the winds of fashion on the breed. The PBGV is not a fancy, fluffy-coated critter danc- ing lightly along looking for attention and treats. They are also not mechanical, over-controlled automatons performing like wind-up toys. 3. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? Well I must say that the introduction to the AKC standard is excellent and should be memorized by all judges since it really does say it all (even though standards are merely “blue prints” of a breed). Hounds, such as the PBGV, are in many ways the essence of our journey with canines in all countries and all breeders and judges should take the uniqueness of each such breed very seriously since it is preserving our history as well. 4. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? Decades ago when I was first beginning I was judging the Hound group at a match at Santa Barbara and I was standing in the middle of the ring pondering my choice and pondering my choices and pondering my choices. All of a sudden I heard the voice of Annie Clarke echoing through the air, “They aren’t going to get any better!” I immediately made a decision.
I am a psychiatrist who lives in Toronto, Ontario and have been involved in the world of purebred dogs since 1965—own- ing, breeding, exhibiting and judging. I am consid- ered a “Hound person” but have also been quite successful with Terriers. I was an owner/handler and accomplished win- ning the top dog award in Canada and to this day hold the record for top Hound in the history of the CKC. Those accom- plishments were with a
(Photo courtesy of wkc.com)
sighthound, but I have also had success with scent hounds. I should point out that I was introduced to the PBGV in Cana- da when Mrs. Ann Snelling first introduced the breed to the Canadian dog world. The breed caught my eye then and con- tinues to be a delight. 1. Describe the breed in three words. The name has four words and they say it all, that is if you have explored the incredible history of this breed. To summarize, I perhaps would use such words from the standard as “robust”, “bold” and “proud”. For me though the key word is Vendéen, which tells you where and how the dog had to function and I am sure that the terrain was not like that of our show rings.
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