Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen vs Bisben - Breed Comparison

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is originated from France but Bisben is originated from India. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen may grow 36 cm / 14 inches shorter than Bisben. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen may weigh 35 kg / 77 pounds lesser than Bisben. Both Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen and Bisben has almost same life span. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen may have less litter size than Bisben. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen requires Moderate maintenance. But Bisben requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Hound dog
Working dog
Height Male:
32 - 40 cm
12 - 16 inches
50 - 76 cm
19 - 30 inches
Height Female:
32 - 40 cm
12 - 16 inches
48 - 74 cm
18 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
15 - 20 kg
33 - 45 pounds
18 - 55 kg
39 - 122 pounds
Weight Female:
15 - 20 kg
33 - 45 pounds
16 - 52 kg
35 - 115 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 14 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 6
4 - 10
Small dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Bisben Sheepdog, Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Bisben, Himalayan Bisben Sheepdog, Himalayan Bisben Shepherd, Himalayan Sheepdog, Himalayan Shepherd, Indian Sheepdog, and Indian Shepherd
Colors Available:
lemon, tan or black , White with patches of orange
jet black, either solidly or with white markings on the feet and chest. Other commonly seen colors are tan, tricolor, and “wolf-color,” which probably means grey, brown, black, and/or various shades of sable.
Medium length, double-coat, harsh
long, wiry, coarse, harsh
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Aggressive, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Stubborn
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


petit basset griffon vendeenThe Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen hails from France. They have always been used to hunt game by scent. This dog has always been appreciated for its independence and the fact that is is mentally focused and fit.

These dogs, referred to as the PBGV descend from the larger Griffon Vendeen, which comes in four distinct sizes. The first official French standard for this dog was published in 1898. It was in 1909 that a revised standard for the dog recognized two distinct varieties.

The first PBGVs were imported to the United States in 1983 and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America was founded in 1984.

There is a lot of mystery surrounding this large herding dog said to come out of the Himalaya Mountains of Asia. The belief is that sheepdogs were crossed with wolves toward the end of the 18th century, but his origin is basically unknown. They are both herding dogs and guard dogs. Others theorize that rather than a wolf, the breed arose from the Mastif family. Still others claim that the Bisben is not a breed at all but rather a “landrace”. A landrace is an animal group that is only found to exist in the local area or is bred locally for a specific reason, while a breed is developed intentionally and from a select purebred with pedigree. The Bisben may be a landrace since it is very popular in India but hardly known anywhere else. What is known is that the Brisben was in existence at the end of the 1700’s and its job was to protect and herd livestock. There are three main theories about the origin of the Bisben. They are, in no particular order:

1. The Bisben was developed by mixing several different Himalayan and Indian Sheepdogs with wolves. The wolf population in the Himalayas and in India live in very close proximity to dogs and people and this population is quite large. These Tibetan and Indian wolves are known to be smaller, more comfortable with people and less aggressive than wolves from other parts of the world.

2. The Bisben was developed by mixing local sheep herding dogs with the Tibetan Mastiff. This gave the breed its protective nature and its large size according to this theory.

3. The Bisben was developed by mixing local dogs with the ones the British, Portuguese and French imported to the India subcontinent.

There is a fourth theory as well and it combines all three of these, supposing that the Bisben is a product of crossing local dogs with wolves, Tibetan Mastiffs and European dogs.

Regardless of their origins, the Bisben grew into one of the most respected animals in the Southern Himalayas. Their assistance to the shepherds of the area was unquestioned and irreplaceable. They were touch enough to herd flocks of goats or sheep across several treacherous and unstable mountain passes. The environment in which these dogs worked when herding is one of the harshest environments on the face of the earth. Temperatures were dangerously cold, altitudes dangerously high and the terrain just plain dangerous. Many deadly large predators live there as well. This included tigers, Asiatic black bears, golden eagles, Himalayan brown bears, snow leopards, fox, dholes, wolves, and small cats. The Bisben had to be able to fight off all of these predators. In addition to these herding and protecting duties, the Bisben was also known throughout the region as an excellent hunting dog. They are capable to this day of hunting large prey such as antelope or deer. They are equally comfortable hunting alone or in a pack. He has grown into one of the most popular hunting dogs in all of India.

The Himalayas, being so rugged and treacherous, were inaccessible to most of India for many centuries and the Brisben was unknown as well. Through the British imperialist expansion across all of the Indian subcontinent, the lowlands people were connected to the highlands and mountain people for the first time. This also meant that the Brisben was no longer unknown. The entire country began to appreciate the dog for its protection and herding of livestock, as well as a companion animal who would protect its owner and family as well. As India continues to grow the popularity of the Brisben grows as well and its numbers increase regularly. The breed, if it is a breed, remains an Indian secret. They have migrated to the countries around India, but their number are small. It is only in India that they are revered and prosper. They are not present in any great numbers in Europe, North America, Japan, or most of Asia.

Whether or not the Bisben becomes a recognized breed depends upon those who own and fancy them. Most Bisbens are bred to only other Bisbens in an effort to purify the breed. However, few dogs have pedigrees and the practice of breeding the Brisben to other breeds and mixed breed to acquire specific characteristics continues to this day. It is unlikely that the Bisben will ever be a purebred dog. It is quite variable in how it looks depending upon what the breeding line of the individual dog actually is. Does it look like a wolf? Does it look like a larger version of a local or European dog? There will always be these questions around the Bisben. Is it a breed or a landrace?


petit basset griffon vendeen puppyBoth male and female dogs are much the same in size, standing at between 32 and 40cm and weighing between 15 to 20 kilograms.

These are solid dogs with fairly short legs and a harsh double coat that is medium length and rough. The coloring is essentially white with patches of orange, lemon, tan or black. The dog has a general tousled appearance with quite a bit of hair around the face. The ears are set low and are floppy while the tail is medium length and held high.


The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is a friendly, social, outgoing dog that is good with children and other dogs. He is stubborn and should be trained and socialized so that he is well mannered around people and so that he also obeys simple commands.

They are quite noisy dogs, ‘talking’ to other dogs with a howl and bark.

As mentioned in the previous section the appearance of the Brisban can vary greatly from one dog to another based on the individual dogs’ ancestry. Breed or landrace, the Brisban breeding line is not very pure. Therefore, appearance can vary greatly from what is described here and there is no standard by which to measure the Brisban. Most are distinctly large animals, being as tall as the European mountain dogs – the Newfoundland or the Bernese Mountain Dog, Swiss Mountain Dog. St. Bernard and Great Pyrenees. Reports are that it is perhaps the largest dog in India. At least it is one of the largest dogs in India. The Bisben is said by some to be a large, bulky, husky dog while others claim it to be tall and athletic, leaner than the Mastiff bred. Again, there is disagreement on the size and shape of the Bisben’s head with some claiming it is massively square like a Mastiff while others say the head is long and like that of a wolf not a Mastiff. The long hair of the Bisben and its confusing heritage may be the cause. They are most often black but might also be found to be tricolor, tan and “wolf-color” or brown, grey, shades of sable and black. No matter how it looks, this is a dog that was designed to work in the harshest conditions known and their physical appearance should make that abundantly clear.

Health Problems

petit basset griffon vendeen dogAverage longevity of these dogs is about 12, 13, or 14 years if he gets looked after well.

Eyes and joints are always a problem with the Petit and several of the eye diseases dogs get can actually lead to blindness.

Corneal wounds are fairly common in dogs. The cornea can be injured and lacerations can damage the eye. You’ll see your pet rubbing at the affected eye.

Hip joints can cause lameness and pain. Dogs can develop hip and joint problems at any age. Joint problems can be better eliminated by providing the dog with good nutrition and exercise. If your dog is obese, joint problems can be more severe. Weight loss can reduce the signs of joint pain in dogs.

Because he is not a purebred and is probably a land range, there have not been a lot of health studies done and written up on the Brisban. It is believed that the Bisben is for all practical purposes a healthy working dog. As long as the breeding practices are not compromised it should remain a healthy line. It is bred for temperament and work not for appearance and showmanship. Some problems that plague large dogs have been noted in the Bisben. These conditions include hip and elbow dysplasia; optical issues such as Entropion, Ectropion and cataracts; ear infections; and Demadex and Demodectic mange. Most of these conditions can be tested for either in DNA or early in a pup’s life and should be tested for by the breeder before a puppy is sold

Caring The Pet

petit basset griffon vendeen puppiesThese are active dogs and they will like a daily walk to burn off some of their excess energy. They can adapt to living in the city or the countryside but they will certainly need to receive exercise wherever they are. Buy him some toys and a ball and throw it for him – this can be a wonderful form of exercise for your 4-legged friend.


They need to be brushed at least twice a week to avoid matting and tangles. Some people opt to have the coat stripped. This is either done by hand or with a special stripping tool. Some dog owners prefer to hand the dog in for a professional cut, but this can alter the texture of the coat.

Because of the floppy ears, they will need regular ear cleanings to prevent ear infections brought about by dirt, wax and moisture within the ear.

He will also need to have his paw nails clipped. He can’t tell you about aching teeth, so do your canine friend a favor and check inside his mouth to ensure that all his teeth are still in tip top condition. Bad teeth can cause all kinds of illnesses and even affect the heart and kidneys.


The nutritional needs of your Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen are very important if your want your pet to enjoy good health.

Vitamins and minerals are an essential part of his nutrition, and luckily the top quality commercially manufactured dog foods see to it that the food has essential nutrients in them. With the best ones, your pet can expect a balanced diet.

Try and avoid the lower quality foods as these have toxic fillers and unhealthy ingredients in them that can make your pet sick.

Give him some home-made food too. You can chop this food up and mix it into his kibble occasionally to give him a healthy tasty treat. The best thing about dogs as pets is that they love their food to be simple and nutritious. Boiled chicken, brown rice or pasta and some healthy vegetables such as spinach, carrots and sweet potato will do him the world of good.

If you can, a little bit of raw meat from time to time can also be excellent for him. Make sure he is never without a bowl of fresh, cool water.

The Bisben is a large working dog that needs a lot of calories if you are keeping him busy. Do not let him get overweight. The Bisben should not be free fed but rather given two controlled portion meals per day.

Health issues

As previously mentioned, the Bison was developed with the harshest of conditions in mind and long hours of hard work. It is a healthy breed that is however prone to any of the issues that any large dog is prone to including dysplasia and mange and well as optical issues.

Exercise and games

The Bisben needs a lot of exercise as the breed is developed for hard work. Walks are essential but if you have more than one dog, pack walks are even better and pack time at the dog park or in a fenced yard is great. The Bison was bred to hunt in packs as well as alone and they love to play in packs. In any respect they need at least an hour of strong exercise daily. If they don’t get enough exercise, they can become aggressive, destructive and fearful. This could result in destructive activity, barking and excess excitability. They are not very happy in the city and thrive in the countryside.


petit basset griffon vendeen dogsThe Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is known for his amicable characteristics. They’re also intelligent, curious dogs and will respond well to training and socialization.

Apart from getting on well with children in the home, they also get on well with other dogs. They’re independent and strong willed and can be inclined to bark a bit to make himself known. It is why he is best suited to a home in the suburbs or countryside where his barking won’t disturb close-living neighbors, although training and socialization should change this habit. With training, this dog can become a most wonderful friend and pet.

The Bisben was so important to the people of the Indian subcontinent because of her temperament. He is a loyal, productive and courageous worker who took care of her flocks, her family and her pack. They are devoted to their family and if raised with children will care for them as well. He is suspicious of strangers. They are territorial and great watchdogs. They can take on any large challenger if need be to protect what they consider to be theirs. They can be highly dog aggressive and must be socialized as a puppy. Do not mix them with strange, unknown animals as the Bisben might attempt to kill them. If he sees them as his “pack” he will love and protect them, but not if he does not know them. Take as much time as you need to introduce him to a new animal and do not leave them unsupervised. They are not easy to train as they are stubborn, intelligent, want to be dominant and is a problem solver. If he doesn’t want to learn something forget it – he won’t. You can still train them. It just takes time and patience.

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