The Griffon Nivernais is a French breed recognized by the FCI. This old dog breed was considered extinct for a long time and could only be reintroduced through re-breeding. They are excellent hunting dogs, exceptionally brave.
The Griffon Nivernais can reach a height at withers of 62 cm. Its robust body has a square shape.
Characteristic for these dogs are their long shaggy hairs. These are always darker at their tips than their roots. They occur in fawn to gray color, with pure white hairs scattered sporadically over the entire body. On the chest, a small white patch is not uncommon and is also permitted in the breed standard.
The long hanging ears of this breed are soft and heavily coated with hair. On the chin, the Griffon Nivernais has a small beard. The eyebrows are strongly emphasized, but do not hide the lively eyes of the dog.
The black nose of the Griffon Nivernais is exceptionally fine. This makes the dog an excellent hunting and driving dog. His courage and independence are also welcome attributes in this regard. Sometimes representatives of this breed give themselves a little stubborn and self-willed. Nevertheless, the dogs do not like to be alone and need the proximity of caregivers. Although it is not particularly suitable as a family dog, it is usually friendly and balanced. Towards strangers he shows his shy and dismissive side from time to time.
The right food
The Griffon Nivernais is prone to gastric torsion. This means that the stomach rotates around its own longitudinal axis. The cause of such a condition is not known. However, due to this weakness, your dog should rest after eating. Also, the daily portion for your dog should not be fed at once, but divided into two meals.
As a medium-sized dog, it is best to give him high-quality food. Protein is especially important for this breed. Since the Griffon Nivernais is a working dog, you can use high-performance food. However, make sure that it is adjusted to your dog's energy consumption. Simply to avoid overweight.
Griffon Nivernais care
The Griffon Nivernais' rough coat should be combed thoroughly two to three times a week.
Normally the coat does not need trimming, but sometimes it can be useful to shorten the hair around the eyes. Trimming the hair under the ears can minimize the risk of inflammation, as it provides better air circulation.
Dead hair should be removed two to three times each year.
However, you should absolutely refrain from warping the coat, because this would destroy the top coat for a long time.
Basic equipment is of course mandatory. This includes food and water bowl, dog collar and leash, brush, tick tongs and transport box. Of course, setting up a dog place is also part of it.
With treats you can reinforce desired behavior in your dog. This is especially important because this breed is a dog with a strong hunting instinct, which is not welcome in every situation.
The Griffon Nivernais absolutely needs a lot of exercise and movement. Also, he must always be given a chance to cool down, because the dog breed is rather sensitive to heat.
Origin & History
The ancestors and models of reconstruction breeding were the great wolf hunters of Louis the Saint, who had lived in the 11th century. These came from the Balkan area and were imported by the Crusaders. However, the well-known Griffon Nivernais is considered the French breed of the Middle Ages. It was further bred mainly for hunting wild boars. However, when faster dogs were needed for hunting, this breed began to become rarer. After the French Revolution, it finally disappeared completely.
In 1925, the Griffon Nivernais Club was founded. For the reconstruction, the Grand Griffon Vendéen was crossed with other running dog breeds, such as the Otterhound and the English Foxhound. Thus, the Griffon Nivernais is still used for hunting today. However, today's breed is still about 20 cm smaller than its role model.