GBGV The Hound that Hunts

  1. Where do you live?
  2. What do you do “outside” of dogs?
  3. In popularity, GBGVs are ranked #177 out of 192 AKC-recognized breeds. As he’s one of the “newer” breeds, do you feel the average person on the street knows what he is?
  4. Few of these dogs really “work” anymore. Although “cute” is most often used to describe him, he’s a tremendously hard-working dog with great stamina. How has he adapted to civilian life? What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house?
  5. Any Hound requires a special household to be a perfect fit. What about the breed makes him an ideal c
    ompanion? Drawbacks?
  6. What special challenges do GBGV breeders face in our current economic and social climate?
  7. At what age do you start to see definite signs of show-worthiness (or lack thereof)?
  8. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind?
  9. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to your breed and to the sport?
  10. What is your ultimate goal for the breed?
  11. What is your favorite dog show memory?
  12. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate.

Brent Humphrey & Corey Benedict

We live in Lady Lake, Florida on 40 acres with our dogs and horses. We also show, breed and train Tennessee Walking Show horses. Corey is the Northeastern Area Manager for Nestle Purina Pet Care’s Breeders Enthusiasts Team and Brent is President/CEO of Baird Home Corporation.

Do we feel the average person on the street knows what the breed is? No. People all the time ask if they are a mixed breed. When you say it’s a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen they either dig deeper or feel intimidated when they can not repeat their French name. Then we tell them they can just say Grand or GBGV.

What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? In France they are still primarily used as hunting dogs. You can take the hound out of the field but never the field out of the hound. Being a pack hound, GBGV’s have a very endearing personality and love to be with their owners and other dogs. I would say their noses help them find toys in their homes!

What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? These are sight hounds and bred to track boars, roe deer and other prey at bay until the hunter arrives. They can make wonderful pets but need their owners to be the pack leader.

What special challenges do GBGV breeders face in our current economic and social climate? The fact that the general public think of them as fluffy, cute dogs. However they do require grooming and can make great family pets but this is not what they were originally bred for.

At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? You have to know your pedigrees and how they mature. We can tell usually between six to eight weeks old what they will mature into. They should never be long and long or tall and square.

The most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? First and foremost, they are not a variety of their distant cousins the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. As the family Dezamy, who wrote the French standard, stated, “Overall balance is the most important thing when judging them—not size.”

The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Education by far.

Our ultimate goal for the breed? To share their noble, rustic personality with the general public as well as protect them as we move forward as a well balanced healthy breed for future generations.

Our favorite dog show memory? Being the first American Breeders to win an Excellent Ticket at the Nationale d’Elevage in France with a bitch we bred.

To all breeders looking to begin their breeding program. This is a breed that you cannot tightly line breed. If you do, this can cause health issues. Remember they have a gene puddle, not a gene pool. Their line breeding co-efficiency is recommend to be no more than 5%. As we know breeding out-crosses will produce litters that are not consistent. However in the long run healthier in this breed.

Cindy & Philip Wilt

Cindy and Philip Wilt have been showing and breeding happy and healthy PBGVs and GBGVs for the past decade and have consistently produced some of the top show dogs, and beloved family members, in the country.

We own Talus PBGV & GBGV and are located in rural Mobile County Alabama.

Do we feel the average person on the street knows what the breed is? We very rarely have anyone recognize our breed for what it is. Most frequently we are asked if our dog is some kind of doodle.

What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? We live in the country and keep miniature cow, horse and chickens. Our Grands do a very good job of keeping our animals safe from predators. They keep a close eye on the surrounding woodland and sound a clear warning of trespassers.

What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? GBGVs make a wonderful family pet, as they are gentle with children and tend to be laid back in the house. That being said, I don’t recommend Grands for first time dog owners, unless they are willing to consult a trainer experienced in hound breeds. As with any hound, Grands require a securely fenced yard to run and play in, and are not reliable off-leash, due to their strong hunting instinct. Grands do not tolerate harsh training methods or corrections.

At what age do we start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Our pups are born and raised in our home, and are lovingly conditioned from day one to be happy, confident and outgoing. Pups are evaluated for show potential at the age of eight weeks.

The most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Judges need to attend training and participate in ringside mentorship events as often as possible and keep the standard handy. We are seeing a lot of variation in size and type coming into the show ring and over-grooming is becoming an issue. These are rustic, casual looking hounds of medium size. The coat should be harsh, straight, and natural. Grands should not be over-abundant in fringe or furnishing, nor should they show signs of scissoring, clipping or over-stripping.

The best way to attract newcomers to our breed and to the sport? Participating in public education functions, such as Meet the Breeds, is a very good way to introduce the public to our breed. Grands are outgoing and friendly hounds, and their tossled appearance will steal your heart.

Our ultimate goal for the breed? We strive to produce Grands that are first and foremost healthy and sound, true to their standard in type and temperament.

Our favorite dog show memory? Winning Best of Breed at Royal Canin, over a large class of the very best Grands in the country, with a one year old youngster from our very first litter.

GBGVs make exceptional, dedicated family members and lovely house dogs. When bred correctly, their coats are very low shedding and require minimal grooming when groomed regularly. They are easy to train, with positive and consistent training methods, and can excel in all types of performance disciplines. As with any medium to large breed, be aware of health issues, such as hip and eye challenges. I can’t stress enough about the importance of obtaining GBGVs only from reputable breeders who perform health screenings. Breeders recognized by the AKC parent club, GBGVCA, are committed to performing health screenings on their dogs prior to breeding, and only breeding dogs true to characteristics of the breed standard.

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