Physically, the Griffon Nivernais resembles the Italian Spinone, even if he is smaller. He has a strong character, but is also very affectionate. He makes an outstanding hunting dog and excellent life companion.
Quick Overview of the Griffon Nivernais
- Stubborn and combative
- Lively and resistant
- Calm and affectionate
- Sometimes reluctant and aggressive
- Disheveled look
- Robust and distinctive build
- Dry and muscular limbs
- Bushy dog appearance
- Hardy and robust
- Rarely ill
- Possible ear infection
- Sometimes fears heat
Temperament of the Griffon Nivernais
Courageous and tenacious when on the hunt, he is rather affectionate and kind in family, even with children. He loves everyone and has no difficulty adapting.
As he is sometimes stubborn with a rather independent character, his education must be firm and adequate.
The master must know how to impose and assert himself as leader of the pack in order to teach his dog where his place is in the family hierarchy.
This medium-size dog has a very hardy, bushy appearance.
His build is sturdy and very distinctive, with dry, muscular legs and a bushy, shaggy appearance.
He gives an impression of working dog that can resist and endure long, intense hours of hunting.
Between 55 and 62 cm (21.65 to 24.41 inches) for the male
Between 53 and 60 cm (20.87 to 23.62 inches) for the female
Between 23 and 25 kg (50.71 to 55.12 pounds) for the male
Between 23 and 25 kg (50.71 to 55.12 pounds) for the female
The color of his coat may vary. The preference is for wolf grey, charcoal or black.
It can also be fawn with black and white hair. There are reddish spots on the tip and inner side of the legs, under the eyes and on the cheeks.
The long hair of his coat is disheveled, very shaggy, hard and rough. It should never be fringed or woolly.
His head is rather emaciated, light, a little long, but not small.
His eyes are lightly colored, but preferably very dark.
His drooping ears are slightly inward pointing at the tips. His nose is completely black.
His tail is not too long and carried sabre-shaped, sometimes with the tip slightly bent backwards.
According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 6, section 1 and is #17
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Tips About this breed
Combative, obstinate, lively and sometimes slightly aggressive, this hound is an effective helper and great companion for hunters.
Suitable for swampy terrain, he is a hardy dog that can be used individually or in small packs.
He is good at hunting deer, hare and wild boar.
He is passionate and sharp on the hunt. He is perfectly at ease on all types of terrain.
He's not afraid of water or dense undergrowth. He can withstand the cold very well, but fears the heat.
He can live anywhere and with all types of owners, but it is better to keep him in the country than in the city.
Like most hunting dogs, he needs a lot of exercise.
Health of the Griffon Nivernais
Very hardy and rather robust, the Griffon Nivernais is rarely sick. Subjects usually enjoy very good health except for a few specimens sometimes affected by ear infections.
Despite his great resistance, this dog can fear heat but not cold. No particular disease or congenital defect affects the breed. The dog enjoys a good life expectancy.
The ears of this rather shaggy dog must be monitored and cleaned regularly, especially after a hunting episode.
His coat requires regular brushing to keep it clean and healthy. No other special care is required.
History of this breed
Originally from France, the Griffon Nivernais is a very old dog breed that was popular for about 200 years, until the reign of Louis XI.
Descendant of the Greyhounds of Saint-Louis and the Chiens Segusiens then used by the Gauls, this dog was later abandoned by Francis I who preferred white dogs to compose his royal packs. Because of this, the breed almost disappeared.
It was fortunately recreated by gentlemen from the Nivernais, who kept some specimens until the time of the French Revolution, and thus avoided his total disappearance. The "chien du pays" as he is called was then saved.
During the 19 and 20th centuries, Vendéen and Foxhound blood was added and then later Otterhound's to get to the result known today. The breed club was created in 1925.
The Griffon Nivernais is a hound used for gun hunting, mainly for wild boar.
He hunts very well alone, but can also be used in packs. This dog can follow wounded game by smell, as well as chase unwounded game.
Excellent hunting dog, he also possesses beautiful qualities as a life companion.
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