The Basset Griffon Vendéen Club

Founded 1978


As both PBGVs and GBGVs are numerically small breeds, many professional dog groomers have never seen one and are unfamiliar with how to groom a BGV to retain its rustic appearance. 
Sadly, it isn't unusual for a BGV's coat to be ruined by well-intentioned groomers or by those who just don't know what they are doing.


Whatever type of BGV you own, that little puppy you brought home won't stay looking tidy.  His coat will grow, get grubby and matted, ears will need cleaning and nails will need clipping.  You need to do some work to keep your BGV looking its best.
For basic grooming, the most useful items are:  
*  A curved slicker brush
*  A multi-blade stripping comb
*  Comb
*  Stripping knife - or pumice stone
*  Serrated scissors
*  Sharp scissors
*  Nail clippers
*  Surgical clamp scissors
*  Tooth cleaner
*  Cotton wool pads and ear cleaner 
A few other grooming tools are useful but not essential.

The downloads here give you basic tips on simple grooming and will help you learn how to groom your own BGV with confidence.  Your efforts will be rewarded and help ensure good ear hygiene, keep nails nice and short and prevent undue matting.  You will have a healthy, happy BGV, one that feels and looks good!


1.  BODY CHECK  At least once a week, possibly when grooming, perform a full body check of your BGV.  Run your hands through his coat and over every part of his body to check for any lumps,  wounds, cuts on inflammation.  Check a dog's testicles and a bitch's mammary glands for unusual swellings.

2.  EYES   These should be clear and sparking, without discharge, signs of irritation or redness, as this could indicate infection.  The pupils should be the same size.  Check for ingrowing eyelashes or hair that looks as if it may be causing a problem.   

3.  EARS  The GBGV and PBGV have large leathers (ear flaps) which, in hanging down, retain warmth and moisture in the ear canal.   The inside of the ears should be clean with no odour so should be cleaned regularly to keep fresh, avoid build up of wax and ward off  infection.   An approved ear preparation is suitable.  Removal of excess hair may also be necessary.  

4. TEETH AND GUMS  Check the mouth by gently lifting your BGV's lips.  The gums should be pink. Lack of colour or darker, redder patches may indicate a problem.  There should be no bleeding.  Check for growths or lumps and for cuts or sores on the tongue.  Teeth should be clean and white with no yellow plaque or tartar, also make sure none are loose.  Bad breath could indicate a digestive or bad tooth problem.  There are products on the market for keeping teeth clean.

5.  COAT AND SKIN  These should not be dull but clean and free of dandruff or flaking.  There should be no knots.  A good bristle brush helps to stimulate the circulation.  Any skin complaint, particularly in summer time, may be a flea allergy or hot spot (wet dermatitis). Fox mange (sarcoptes scabiei) transmitted to dogs can also be a problem. Nowadays this is not only restricted to rural areas but can surface in suburbia as well. Any problem, particularly involving hair loss, itching or rawness, should be checked by your vet.

6.  UNDER THE TAIL   Hold up the tail and check for any sign of discharge or soreness.  Hair will  probably need cutting away and any faecal matter removed.  Keep an eye on the regularity of your BGV's toilet habits and make sure the appearance is consistent.  Diarrhoea, blood, constipation or mucus may need veterinary attention, as may the emptying of anal glands.

7.  PAWS   Check the pads for open cuts, splinters or grass seeds.  Long nails can cause problems and should be trimmed either with clippers, a file or grinder.  Although nails should be short, be careful not to cut off too much as cutting into the quick can cause bleeding. 

8.  NOSE  Your BGV's nose should be moist and cool, not dry and cracked.  There should be no discharge or sneezing.  Ensure that breathing is free and unobstructed.

9.  WEIGHT   Be aware of the ideal weight range for yourBGV.  Obesity is the cause of many problems in dogs so monitor weight regularly and keep your BGV on a steady, well balanced diet. Plenty of exercise will also help.  If things start to get out of control, seek advice sooner rather than later.  If you are aware of the rib cage, then you have probably got it just right.

10.  EXERCISE AND ENERGY  Your BGV should always look alert.  Watch the way your BGV moves when walking and running.  Does he seem tired, is he limping or is his movement stiff?  Coughing or excessive panting may also indicate a problem.  If unsure, seek veterinary advice.


Daily or weekly general health checks will ensure your BGV
is healthy - and alert you to any signs of medical problems.