All You Need to Know About the Griffon Nivernais – Dogs Running
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All You Need to Know About the Griffon Nivernais

Griffon Nivernais, a French dog breed originally bred to be a scenthound. These dogs are friendly and make great companions for families. They are better suited to the countryside and not the city. These dogs are playful and need a large yard to play.

The dogs are able to track small or large objects as they possess a highly sensitive sense of smell. The breed is one of the cleverest and most playful dogs.


It is believed that the Griffon Nivernais originated in France around the year 1200 and is among the oldest of all hunting dogs. The dogs were trained to hunt wild boars, wolves and other animals with guns. The Griffon Nivernais breed was only around in the 1200s, and became extinct after the French Revolution.

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They were revived later through the breeds of Grand Griffon Vendeen, Otterhounds, Foxhounds.


The Griffon Navernais is characterized by a shaggy coat. The fur is thick and very long. Their bushy eyebrows make them appear cute, with love and compassion in their eyes.

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Griffon Nivernais appearance

The majority of their coats are grey, with some fawn around the legs and head. Griffon Navernais have a shaggy appearance with their coat. They look like they’ve never been bathed.


The Griffon Nivernais is a hunter and has a tendency to be aggressive towards prey. However, when with family and friends it becomes a completely different dog. The dogs are lively and playful. Their hunting and scenting skills are highly praised.

As they are usually in packs, this makes them friendly and tolerant with the other dogs. It may not be true for all dogs depending on the environment in which they were raised.

The dogs are extremely active and they can continue to perform duties or do exercises for an extended period. The dogs are loyal, devoted to their owners and very dedicated.

If they do not receive daily mental and physical stimulation, it is possible that their dogs will develop bad habits such as excessive digging, barking for hours, or chewing.


It is difficult to train the Griffon Navernais because of their independent, stubborn nature. The dogs should be taught to follow trails, and also on how they can smell. Hound trainers can train these dogs.

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Griffon Nivernais at the hunt of wild boar

The dogs should have continuous training because they will show destructive behaviors if they get bored or are not given any activities to engage in. It is not their style to have to listen to every instruction their masters gives them. Instead, they like to explore and do their own things.

The expression “so” does not mean that they ignore or disrespect their masters but are rather supportive of them and show great respect.


The shaggy hair of Griffon Nivernais makes them look dirty and dishevelled. Weekly brushing is required to keep the coats clean and neat. Brush them using a metal or hard bristle comb.

To protect them from the bacteria that can cause ear infection (Otitis Externala), they should be cleaned every week. To keep their ears clean, they should only be washed two or three times per year using a medicated shampoo.

To encourage the hair to grow, they should have their nails trimmed every year. When their toes and nails do not get scratched during play or walking, they can be cut off once every two weeks.

Healthy Alternatives

Griffon Nivernais are healthy and have great health. It can also be susceptible to certain diseases, such as:

Ear Infection

The breed is prone to this type of infection due to their long and droopy ears, and the fact that they are hunting dogs. The canine will scratch at its ears if it has an infection. This causes a foul smell, and may cause redness.

For this to not happen, it is important that the ear canals are cleaned regularly and that medicated drops be applied.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia in hunting dogs is an orthopaedic disorder that occurs frequently. Hip Dysplasia happens when the ball on the femur doesn’t cover the socket. Dogs with hip dysplasia will have unusual leg behaviour, especially on the hind legs. They may also be uncomfortable when walking.

The Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive Retinal Atrophy can cause night blindness as well as loss of sight. It may begin with light-blindness and progress to total blindness. This is a condition that has not been cured.

Nutrition and diet

Griffon Nivernais are medium-sized dogs, who should be fed a high-quality diet with high levels of protein and low amounts of fat. To be able to use and move their bodies to the maximum while hunting, they should keep a healthy lean mass.

It is possible to maintain the health of these dogs by using an active or working breed diet. You should remember that you should not overfeed them as this could lead to obesity.

Pros Of Having A Griffon Nivernais

  • It is a very pleasant and polite group of people.
  • They are good with dogs of all breeds because they were raised in packs.
  • It is one of the most healthy dogs, with less health problems.

Cons Of Having A Griffon Nivernais

  • The majority of them are raised in rural areas, as the urban area is not the best place to grow them.
  • Most likely, they will not follow their owners and may have different opinions and behaviours.
  • If they are not properly trained, dogs can become independent and stubborn.

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