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Griffon nivernais

We are collecting the material for being able to realize the card of the Griffon nivernais

FCI-Standard N° 17 / 02. 04. 2004 / GB


TRANSLATION : John Miller and Raymond Triquet.

ORIGIN : France.


UTILIZATION : Scent hound used mainly for shooting of wild boar, generally in a pack but also individually.

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. :Group  6      Scent hounds and related  breeds.
                                             Section 1.2   Medium-sized hounds.
                                             With working trial.                                 
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : The Griffon Nivernais may have descended from Gallic hounds (Canis Segusius) used by the Gauls, and from the grey Saint Louis dogs.  This breed was much appreciated for 200 years, up to Louis XI’s reign, then was abandoned in the royal packs by Francis I who preferred white hounds.  Nevertheless, certain Nivernais region noblemen conserved it up to the time of the French Revolution (1789) when the breed seemed to have disappeared.  A century later, the Griffon Nivernais, often called “dog of the region”, was recreated from subjects nevertheless conserved in that cradle of origin of the breed.  At the end of the XIXe century and the beginning of the XXe, these dogs received new blood from the Griffon Vendeen, the Fox Hound and then from the Otterhound, establishing the hound breed unchanged ever since then.  The club was founded in 1925.


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GENERAL APPEARANCE : With a hard and tousled coat (Barbouillaud in French), very well typed, robust, very hardy and shaggy.  Dry in limbs and muscles, destined to provide length of work rather than speed; slightly sad in aspect but in no way nervous.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : Body length (point of shoulder to point of buttocks) is slightly greater than height at shoulder.  Skull and muzzle are of the same length.


Behaviour : Very good nose, piercing, and particularly enjoying difficult terrains and thickets.
Temperament : Excellent at approaching and very good hunter, it’s courageous when holding firm without being reckless.  Its courage and initiative allow it to be used successfully in small packs for hunting wild boar.  Although it can easily be taught hunting that game, it shows itself occasionally to be obstinate and independent, and its master should know how to make it obey starting at its youngest age.


CRANIAL REGION : Very dry, light without being small, somewhat long without excess.  The lines of the skull and muzzle are parallel.
Skull : Nearly flat, of medium width, sides defined by the only slightly pronounced zygomatic arches.  Occipital peak only perceptible when touched.
Stop : Only slightly marked, appearing however increasingly accentuated when the coat springs up more, but without exaggeration.

Nose : Black, quite visible.
Muzzle : Same length as the skull, it’s not overly broad at the end with the sides converging slightly, but not so much as to become pointed.  A slight beard on the chin.
Lips : Only slightly developed, just covering the lower jaw, hidden by good moustaches, with good pigmentation.
Jaws/teeth : The jaws of robust aspect, normally developed. A scissors bite, sometimes a level bite, with the incisors set square to the jaws.  Complete set of teeth (absence of first premolars (PM1) is not penalized).
Eyes : Dark colour preferred.  Gaze lively and penetrating.  Important eyebrow but which doesn’t cover the eye.  The conjunctiva is not visible.  The eyelids are well pigmented.


Ears : Averagely attached (at little over an inch wide – ca.3 cm) in line with the upper level of the eye, hanging, supple, rather fine, of medium width, turned slightly inward at the end, half-long, reaching the root of the nose.

NECK : Rather light, dry and without dewlap.

Topline : Level, from the withers to the loin.
Withers : Very slightly prominent above the back line and narrowed due to close shoulder blade summits.
Back : Solid and long enough, rather narrow and sustained, with good muscles, even if they are only slightly apparent.
Loin : Solid and very slightly arched.
Croup : Bony, a little slanting, with dry muscles.
Chest : Descending as much as possible to the elbow.  Breast only slightly developed in width.  Long thorax, becoming wider towards the last ribs.
Ribs : The first are somewhat flat, the last more rounded.
Flank : Full, without excess.
Abdomen : The underline rises slightly towards the rear without being whippety.
TAIL : Attached somewhat high, not very long.  It has more coat in the middle.  When still, it is carried slightly under the horizontal.  When in movement, it is carried upwards sickle-fashion and can even have the end bent over the back.


Overview : Good poise.  Generally, and at rest, the forelegs seen in profile appear a little to the rear of the vertical (under him in front).
Shoulder : Slightly inclined, dry, well set on the chest.
Elbow : Set well to the body.
Forearm : Appears rather plentiful because of the coat but in reality it is drier than thick and quite straight.
Metacarpus (Pastern) : Somewhat short and slightly sloping.


Overview : In profile, slightly under him.  Seen from GO BACK TO LIST, the vertical line starting from the point of the buttock should pass through the point of the hock and equally divide the metatarsus.
Thigh : Rather flat.
Hock : Let down.  Seen in profile, the hock angle is slightly closed.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern) : Set a little forward (slightly under him GO BACK TO LIST).

FEET : Of oval shape, slightly lengthened, with toes solid and tight together, reminding one of a hare foot, and with nails and pads of good pigmentation.

GAIT / MOVEMENT  : Supple and easy (neither uneven nor bouncy).

SKIN :  Supple and rather tight, close fitting on all the body, rather thick, pigmented.  Black spots on the body, lips well pigmented.  Absence of dewlap.



HAIR : Long, shaggy and bushy, strong enough and rough (in any case neither woolly nor curly).  The belly and the inside of the thighs shouldn’t be hairless.  The well pronounced eyebrows shouldn’t cover the eye.  A slight beard on the chin and the ear covered enough in hair.

COLOUR : Always darkened, i.e., the hair always has the ends darker than the base (black overlay).  Fawn colouring can be more or less darkened but never orange.  The darkened end can take on a blue aspect.  According to the amount of darkening of the extremity of the hair, the coat is darker or lighter.
The presence of white hair scattered in more or less great proportion in the coat is tolerated and gives rise to shades going from light grey, including wild boar grey.
The coat is most often marked with tan in the eyebrows, the cheeks, breast, the ends of the limbs, and under the tail.  That characteristic, very visible on the pup, often diminishes with age.
The coat is characterised by the basic colour, the spreading of black-overlaid hair, and possible association with sparse white hair.  One hence describes for example the “fawn very slightly overlaid with black” (hare coat), the “sand overlaid with black” (wolf grey), and the “fawn overlaid with blue” (blue grey).  A white spot is tolerated on the chest.

Height at withers : Male :        from 55 to 62 cm.
                            Female :    from 53 to 60 cm.
                            With a tolerance of 1 cm more or less.

FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

  • Behaviour : Timid subject.


  • Temperament : Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Lack of type : Insufficient breed characteristics, which means the animal on the whole doesn’t resemble other samples of the breed.
  • Jaws/teeth : Overshot or undershot.
  • Eyes : Wall-eyed or variegated.
  • Feet : Dewclaws, except in countries where their removal is outlawed.
  • Tail : Kinked.
  • Pigmentation : Coat solid black (absence of black-overlaid fawn hair), golden wheat coloured or orange, or tricoloured with clearly outlined lively colours.

White feet.                                                                                Important depigmentation (nose, eyelids, lips, round the anus or vulva, scrotum).

  • Height : Outside the limits defined by the standard.
  • Defects : Noticeable invalidating defect.  Anatomical malformation.

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

This amended breed standard will become effective from September 2004.







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