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The Griffon Nivernais, a dog with a rustic appearance

Its rustic aspect and its very bushy coat can put off many people. However, you have to look beyond its physical appearance, because the Griffon Nivernais is a solid and balanced dog that makes a great companion dog and a formidable hunting dog.

Characteristics of the Griffon Nivernais

The Griffon Nivernais immediately attracts the eye with its very rustic and shaggy style. A "Barbouillaud", it develops a robust appearance with a muscular structure and "dry" limbs that allow it to be more enduring than fast. This dog measures between 53 and 60 cm in females and between 55 and 62 cm in males, for an approximate weight of 25 kg. It has a light, lean, medium-length head. Flat, the skull is broad without exaggeration and has a stop that is not very accentuated, but which gives the impression of being so when the hair that covers the head is raised. The Griffon Nivernais has a black nose, a muzzle of the same length as the skull, as well as developed jaws of robust appearance. The eyes give off a penetrating and lively look. They are covered with a very dense eyebrow that barely allows the dark tone of the eye to be noticed. The ears for their part are flexible, drooping and slightly fine. As for the coat, it is long and bushy, giving a disheveled aspect to the animal. The dress can be of various colors, but always charcoal.

History of the Griffon Nivernais breed

The Griffon Nivernais is a rather old breed. Its existence goes back to more than 200 years. It would be resulting from a crossing between the Chien gris de Saint-Louis and the dogs of Hautes-Pyrénées. The great kingdoms that followed used this breed to hunt wild boars and wolves. The popularity of the Griffon Nivernais declined, however, during the reign of François I, who removed it from the royal packs and replaced it with other breeds. The dog was close to extinction without the intervention of a few gentlemen of the Nivernais. It is said that the breed was improved towards the end of the 19th century with the addition of Foxhound, Vendeen and Otterhound blood.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Griffon Nivernais

The Griffon Nivernais has all the qualities expected of a hunting dog. It is resistant, lively, energetic, courageous and has a developed spirit of initiative. At home, he is a pleasant companion, attached to his masters, obedient and calm even if he tends to be sometimes independent and stubborn. Like many hounds, the Griffon Nivernais does not like to be alone. Its ideal lifestyle would be in the country in a house with a garden. City life is not recommended.

Diet and main health problems of the Griffon Nivernais

The Griffon Nivernais is not prone to any specific disease. One of the regular health follow-ups to be done concerns especially its ears. They must be monitored, as their drooping nature can lead to certain pathologies. As for food, the Griffon Nivernais being very active, it needs a sufficient energy supply and of course, all the essential nutrients.