The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
The Years Before GBGVs arrived in the UK
With GBGVs well established in some European countries, it wasn't until 1989,
twenty years after the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen arrived in England that the first
Grand came into quarantine. However the years beforehand were significant in the
run-up to its appearance on UK soil.
The first PBGVs that arrived in England were initially registered by the Kennel Club as
Bassets Griffons Vendéens - this was because they were registered as such in
France. In 1979, work was continuing on a KC format Breed Standard, commenced the
year before. However, rather than a Standard specifically for the Petit, the question
arose of one Standard incorporating both sizes of BGV. An old 1920s French BGV
standard formed the basis of the draft.
Ned Ch I'm Dutch du Greffier du Roi
The following year doubts were expressed over one
Standard covering both Grand and Petit, especially as UK
judges would only be seeing the Petit. Also, the Kennel Club
pointed out there was no need to register another breed
with them which did not at that time exist in England.
Despite this and bearing in mind the club name - and that
Grands Bassets would doubtless one day arrive in England -
the committee felt it had a duty to look after the interests
of both breeds and sought to resolve this by re-submitting
the 1979 draft BGV Standard with a few amendments.
Int/Dk/Ned Ch Dampierre du
Greffier du Roi
The Kennel Club was aware of substantial differences between the Grand and Petit
Basset Griffon Vendéen, saying these could not be incorporated into the one Standard.
In 1981 they did, however, agree to change the breed name of the smaller variety
already in the country from the meaningless "Basset Griffon Vendéen" to "Petit Basset
Griffon Vendéen" so that, as and when the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen arrived, it
could be registered as such.
With this important anomaly ironed out, the way was paved for urgent preparation of a
PBGV Standard for submission to the KC. This task was hastened by needing to
overcome association of the word "basset" in the breed name with the traditional
Basset Hound and a failure by many to appreciate that "basset" signified less height in
relation to the other Griffon Vendéen hounds. It was realised this would be even more
important on arrival of the GBGV to the UK.
Four pups were born on 10
February 1989 but, following the
early deaths of some of them,
including the promising Dehra
Ambassador, only one - a bitch -
went on to appear regularly at
shows in the early 1990s. Dehra
Allo Allo owned by Lynne Owens
(Jaclin) was the first GBGV to be
Ned Ch Halou Baba du Greffier du Roi
In 1986 the KC agreed that the club could retain the name Basset Griffon Vendéen
Club, with its activities restricted to the PBGV - and the Grand Basset, when it
arrived in the country. The following year, established PBGV breeder Nicholas Frost,
who took over from Joan Wells-Meacham the running the Clipperdown Cottage
kennels in Hertfordshire, negotiated buying a GBGV bitch from Jolanda Huisman's du
Greffier du Roi kennels in Holland. She had owned both Grands and Petits Bassets
Griffons Vendéens since 1978, starting with a Grand female and Petit male. Success
at the 1980 French Nationale d'Elevage with a GBGV had helped her decision to
specialise in Grands.
A male, Budweiser, was chosen to
go to Peterstown, while another
male, Billy Jo Peterstown, went to
Miss Sue French.
Lynne Owens with a young
Dehra Allo Allo
The pick of litter bitch, Bien Venue at Dehra, went
into the ownership of Nick Frost and Vivien
Phillips who had by then joined his interest in
Grands; and another, Bon Hommie, went to Val
Jackson and Peter Marks.
Two years later, in 1989, I'm Dutch du Greffier du Roi arrived in UK quarantine, in
whelp to Int/Dk/Ned Ch Dampierre du Greffier du Roi, who had been used
extensively at stud in Denmark, producing several champions.
A young Bien Venue at Dehra
Although the BGV Club had been formed specifically to cater for both sizes of Basset
Griffon Vendéen, in 1990 the Kennel Club placed the GBGV on the newly introduced
Import Register rather than granting breed status. Fifty registrations were needed
before consideration would be given to taking the breed off this register and the club
discouraged indiscriminate breeding to achieve this number.
Colin & Dianne Poole (Peterstown) and Nick Frost (Dehra) brought Ned Ch Halou
Baba de Greffier du Roi into UK quarantine at Ryslip Kennels, on loan from Jolanda
Huisman in Holland. On 30 November 1990 she had a litter sired by Int/Dk/Ned Ch
Dampierre du Greffier du Roi. Adult height varied from 39-63cm.
The following year , 1991, Nick Frost and Vivien
Phillips arranged to buy Efficace du Roc de
Deymier (Diamant du Roc de Deymier ex Arima
du Roc de Deymier) from Yves Audouy in
France. She was born on 14 July 1989. Although
in whelp to Eros des Erondes de Peussifier when
coming into quarantine, tragically she lost all six
pups at around two weeks of age. However she
later produced several litters in the UK.
In July 1991 the interim Breed Standard wa published, taking into consideration the
FCI Standard but based mainly on the earlier BGV one, with wording in line with KC
format. The Kennel Club agreed that the BGV Club could hold classes for Grands at
their 1992 open show. These, however, were to be classified as Import Register. As
well as PBGVs, Yvonne Dean (Deanound) had the honour of judging the three
Grands entered in two classes. They were Frost & Phillips' Bien Venue at Dehra,
Poole's Budweiser Peterstown) and the orange and white Dehra Allo Allo who
went Best of Breed (Best Import Register). With Import Register breeds unable to
compete further, the Grand could not challenge the Best of Breed PBGV for Best in
On 31 October at the BGV Club's 5th Championship Show, Grands were
represented for the first time in Import Register by the same three and Evan
Roberts (Varon) also awarded BOB to Dehra Allo Allo.
During the year, a Billy Jo Peterstown ex Efficace du Roc de Deymier litter was born
on 31 August - co-bred by Nick Frost and Vivien Phillips. This introduced several
newcomers to the breed: - Pam Aldous (now Aldous-Town) (Sweetdean) who had
Chanaan, the Checketts (Cavanero) with Cassoulet, Val Jackson and Peter Marks
(Duntech) with their foundation bitch Cherie; and Stella Blackmore (Melanter) who
had Charlotte in Scotland.
Dehra Chanaan, Cassoulet and Cherie,
BGV Club Open Show 1993
In 1993. following a mating in Sweden
between Mise-en-Scène du Greffier du
Roi (I'm Dutch daughter) and Amour du
Roc de Deymier, a young male, Qu-Pid du
Greffier du Roi, born 10 February 1992,
arrived in quarantine in the UK.
He became a useful stud dog and, later
that year, sired the Dehra "D" litter by
Efficace. He also sired a litter, born in
December 1993, for Lynne Owen's Dehra
Allo Allo. From this, Jaclin Indecent
Exposure wemt to Elaine King (now
Dennis-Skuce) (Kandecx) and Mixed
Blessings to Pam Aldous (Sweetdean).
Jaclin Indecent Exposure at Kandecx
In 1994 the Dehra "E"
litter (Ned Ch Flambeur
du Roc de Deymier ex
Bien Venue at Dehra)
attracted more into the
breed with Esprit
d'Amour going to Dr
Jessica Holm as as her
though the handsome
Esperance remained at
Just before the sad death of Yves
Audouy, there was a further import,
Ned Ch Flambeur du Roc de
Deymier (César du Roc de Deymier
ex Altesse du Roc de Deymier). Born
9 October 1990, having arrived into
UK quarantine in 1993 from the
French des Rives de la Garonne
kennels, he became Top Import
Register All Breeds 1994 for Vivien
Phillips. He also took BOB at the
BGV Club Championship Show
under John Miller (France).
Ned Ch Flambeur du Roc de Deymier
In 1995 there were two further imports. Vivien Phillips obtained Jolanda du Hamel
de la Renaudie (Fr Ch Grognon du Hamel de la Renaudie ex Abelle des Erondes de
Peussifier) from Renaud Buche; and Val Jackson and Peter Marks imported a bitch
from M. Raffy in France - Joie de Vivre du Clos de Montpezat (Archimede des
Erondes de Peussifier ex Clochette des Erondes de Peussifier), who sadly never
Alongside litters being produced at Clipperdown, this year saw those who were the
first to have a GBGV starting to breed themselves. In Scotland, on 21 April Stella
Blackmore's had her first litter from Qu-Pid du Greffier du Roi ex Dehra Charlotte at
Melanter and Athos appeared in the ring.
Bon Hommie at Dehra produced a litter for Val
Jackson and Peter Marks. Although she was too
tall at 52cm the sire, Dehra Chanaan, was 41cm
and average litter size turned out to be 43 to
46cm. From this "A" litter, the aptly named
Audouy, who went to Julie Shelton, was
subsequently used to produce in 1998 some nice
youngsters out of Dehra Cherie who was 40cm,
and all progeny were 42 to 45cm in height.
Jaclin Mixed Blessings at Sweetdean went BOB
at the 1995 BGV Club Championship Show,
where the entry had risen to 17.
Jaclin Mixed Blessings at
During the year Nick Frost went to live in America taking Dehra stock with him and
Vivien Phillips obtained her own kennel name of Debucher. On 23 September, the first
Debucher litter was born, including Gaston who went to Basset breeder, Bill
Puppies born on 29 December 1995 from a mating between Dehra Esperance and
Dehra Degage (Qu-Pid du Greffier du Roi ex Efficace du Roc de Deymier) attracted
others. From this litter one bitch, Haute Couture, went into the partnership of Roger
Stock and Vivien Phillips. Another, Heureuse d'Etre Monkhams, went to Linda
Skerritt, a dog, Hermes Autour, to Linda Millar (now Mackenzie) (Limier) and Hercule
Poire Eau to the Crocketts. This litter, co-bred with Julie Shelton, had no prefix but
the Debucher suffix was added to the sire Esperance, Haute Couture and Hermes
Autour. The year ended with seeing many new owners, though some did not stay in
the breed for any length of time.
The Arrival of GBGVs in the UK
Crufts 1998 - AVNSC Hound
Post Graduate Bitch, Peter Marks
with Duntech Berlingot and Linda
Skerritt with Heureuse d'Etre
Although Debucher was, and is, an undisputed dominant influence in Grands Bassets
Griffons Vendéens, during this year several new enthusiasts were introduced to the
GBGV via early Dehra and Jaclin lines and subseqeuntly Elaine King (now Dennis-Skuce)
Kandecx Excuse My French
Mike Gadsby handling Jessica
Holm's Dehra Esprit d'Amour in
the Hound Group, Crufts 1998
Kandecx Dalwhinnie at Silvamoon
Never shown, in 1996 Sue Birney's first Grand was Kandecx Excuse My French
(Dehra Chanaan at Sweetdean ex Jaclin Indecent Exposure at Kandecx), born on 28
October 1995. Her next GBGV, Kandecx Dalwhinnie at Silvamoon (Dehra Esperance
de Debucher ex Jaclin Indecent Exposure at Kandecx), born on 26 March 1997, set
Silvamoon on the road to success both in the show-ring and as a foundation bitch.
Others to enter the breed with pups
from this litter were Mrs Kobuta with
Kandecx French Revolution at
Grandeeaire and Sue Marshall who,
with husband Nick, acquired Excuse
My French. She went on to produce 9
puppies, sired by Sue & Mick Virgo's
Dehra Ebats who also sired Sue
Birney's litter from Dalwhinnie which in
July 1999 produced Silvamoon
Silvamoon Sancerre 1999
Having been removed from the Import Register, May 1997 saw the first club open
show to schedule GBGVs in their own right. The judge was Jim Makin (Ekoz). Best
of Breed went to Jaclin Mixed Blessings at Sweetdean. Later that year Dehra Allo
Allo went BOB at Hound Association Championship Show, the first to classify the
breed. The judge was Jolanda Huisman. The same award came at the BGV Club
chamionship show in October that year, where there were 25 GBGVs entered for
judge Vivien Phillips.
In 1998 GBGVs appeared for the first time at Crufts where they by far outnumbered
other breeds in the Not Separately Classified Hound classes. From the 30 Grands
entered, Anne Macdonald awarded Best of Breed to Jessica Holm's 3yr old Dehra
Esprit d'Amour (Flambeur du Roc de Deymier ex Bien Venue at Dehra).
After their fleeting appearance in the Any Variety classes, the following year GBGVs
had classes at Crufts for the first time. The judge was Kari Jarvinen (Finland) who,
from an entry of 36, awarded Best of Breed to Vi Mochan's Melanter Fetlar (Dehra
Esperance de Debucher ex Dehra Charlotte at Melanter), bred by Stella Blackmore.
Best Opposite Sex was Yvonne Dean's Jaclin Bewitched for Deanound (Dehra
Chanaan at Sweetdean ex Dehra Allo Allo) handled by Rose Phillips.
Milestones into the 21st Century
First breed classes at Crufts 1999 -
BOB Melantar Fetlar, BOS Jaclin Bewitched at Deanound
In 1996, Bien Fait du Greffier du Roi was the first GBGV to enter the country under the
Balai Directive. With strictly controlled conditions, this avoided 6 months quarantine
and it encouraged new imports, including Bill O'Loughlin's brother and sister GBGVs,
Entre Nous and En Avant du Greffier du Roi.
A good representation of the breed
East of England Championship Show, 1995
1998 saw Vivien Phillips impressing on
breeders the need to inform their buyers of
any litters born to parents carrying the
long-legged genes. She said, being a "basset"
breed, over-sized Grands should not be
allowed to dominate.
The planned introduction in France of an
upper limit of 43cms for bitches and 44cms
for dogs (with a further upper tolerance of
1cm ) helped re-inforce this.