I LOVE dog shows and Westminster especially. Sure, I get upset at them sometimes because it seems that the same breeds win over and over. My breed, the Golden Retriever has never won. But my other breed, The English Springer Spaniel, has won six times. The Terrier group has won way too many times and don’t EVEN get me started on the Pekinese. In 2020 for the first time, a Golden Retriever, Daniel, took the sporting group. He was a magnificent dog and I was sure he would win. But, it went to the Standard Poodle. I was OK with that win because I really like poodles. Even though they have won Westminster, a lot. But I was sad too. Because it wasn’t Daniel. This year, the French Bulldog has over taken the Labrador Retriever as the most popular dog in America. People thought for sure the Frenchie would win.
However, this year, for the very first time, the big win went to a PBGV. OK so what is that anyway you might ask. It stands for “Petite Bassett Griffon Vendeen”.
Wow! Now you know as much as you did before.
This lovely dog is a hound and used originally for hunting. According to the AKC website:
“The low-slung, shaggy-coated Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a vivacious French rabbit-hunting hound known for a happy demeanor and durable constitution. Bred to work in a pack, PBGVs enjoy company and do well with other dogs and kids.
A loose translation of the name describes the dog well: Petit (small), Basset (low), Griffon (shaggy), Vendéen (from the Vendée region of France). Put it all together and you have a diminutive hound, standing 13 to 15 inches at the shoulder, with short but strong legs and a rough tousled coat, bred to hunt rabbits on the rugged west coast of France. Other distinctive features of these little extroverts are a proudly carried head, a saber tail, and a loud, houndy bark.” 1
I have known about the PBGV for a while now but have never met one as they are relatively hard to find. But, after seeing Buddy Holly win, I really hope to meet one soon.
I am thankful for the Preservation Breeders we have today, who work hard to keep the original purpose alive in their chosen breeds. What does that mean? It means that Buddy Holly can still do all the work that his breed was originally developed to do. These breeders today are facing a huge amount of hate, backlash and restrictive laws. Mostly from people who do not know anything about dogs or breeders. They don’t understand what they go through, the heartache they endure, the sleepless nights with a whelping bitch, a sick puppy or simply the months and years they spend researching pedigrees to produce the best dogs possible. Sporting dogs who can hunt, retrieve, track and so much more. Terriers that can “go to ground” to get rid of vermin. Sight and scent hounds still doing what they have done for thousands of years. Pharoh hounds who still look the same as they did in Ancient Egypt. THAT is what preservation breeders do. Do we have unethical breeders? You betcha we do. They are called puppy mills and I have written about them.2
Buddy Holly is 6 and in amazing condition. I do hope he is getting a raw diet to help him live a long and healthy life.
1 Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Dog Breed Information (akc.org)
Breed results (westminsterkennelclub.org)