Griffon Nivernais

Description Griffon Nivernais

Balanced, uncomplicated, friendly
The Griffon Nivernais is a French breed recognized by the FCI. This old dog breed was thought to be extinct for a long time and could only be reintroduced by breeding. They are excellent hunting dogs, exceptionally brave.FCI Group: Hounds – Scenthounds – Related Breeds

  • Size: medium
  • Weight: 11-25kg
  • Life expectancy: 10 years
  • Coat Type: Medium Hair
  • Colours: fawn, grey, fawn, blue

Character Griffon Nivernais

The Griffon Nivernais can reach a height of 62 cm at the withers. Its sturdy body has a square shape. Characteristic of these dogs is their long, shaggy hair. These are always darker at their tips than their roots. They come in fawn to gray in color, with pure white hairs scattered all over the body.

A small white patch on the chest is not uncommon and is allowed in the breed standard.
The long, lop-eared ears of this breed are soft and very hairy. The Griffon Nivernais has a small beard on the chin. The eyebrows are heavily accentuated, but do not hide the dog’s lively eyes.
The black nose of the Griffon Nivernais is extraordinarily 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 are a bit stubborn and willful. Nevertheless, the dogs do not like to be alone and need the proximity of reference persons. While not particularly suited to being a family dog, they are generally friendly and even-tempered.

He shows his shy and dismissive side to strangers from time to time.

Diet Griffon Nivernais

The Griffon Nivernais is prone to stomach torsion. This means that the stomach rotates around its own longitudinal axis. The cause of such a disease is not known. Because of this weakness, however, your dog should rest after eating. Also, the daily portion for your dog should not be fed all at once, but divided into two meals.

As a medium-sized dog, it is best to feed him high-quality food. Protein is especially important for this breed. Since the Griffon Nivernais is a working dog, you can rely on high-performance food. However, make sure that it is tailored to your dog’s energy expenditure. Just to avoid being overweight.


The Griffon Nivernais’ rough coat should be thoroughly combed two to three times a week. Usually the coat does not need trimming, but sometimes it can be useful to trim the hair around the eyes. Trimming the hair under the ears can minimize the risk of infection because it allows for better air circulation.
Dead hair should be removed two to three times a year. However, you should definitely refrain from shearing the fur, as this would destroy the top hair over a long period of time.


The ancestors and models of reconstruction breeding were the great wolf hunters of Saint Louis, who lived in the 11th century. These came from the Balkans and were imported by the Crusaders. However, the well-known Griffon Nivernais is considered a French breed of the Middle Ages. It was mainly bred to hunt wild boar. However, as faster dogs were needed for hunting, this breed began to become rarer.

It finally disappeared completely after the French Revolution.
In 1925 the Griffon Nivernais Club was founded. For the reconstruction, the Grand Griffon Vendéen was crossed with other hound breeds such as the Otterhound and the English Foxhound. The Griffon Nivernais is still used today for hunting. However, today’s breed is still about 20 cm smaller than its role model.

Griffon Nivernais Accessories

Basic equipment is of course mandatory. These include food and water bowls, dog collar and leash, brush, tick tweezers and transport box. Of course, setting up a dog place is also part of it.
Treats can be used to reinforce desired behavior in your dog. This is particularly important as this breed is a dog with a strong hunting instinct that is not always welcome in every situation.

The Griffon Nivernais absolutely needs a lot of space to run and exercise. He must also always be offered a chance to cool off, because the dog breed is rather sensitive to heat.

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Breed characteristics

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