Descended from ancient bearded hounds and sheepdogs of eastern Europe and Asia, the Griffon Nivernais is believed to had been developed in the 1200's from common French hunting dogs, most notably the Chien de Bresse and the Gris de St.Louis.
This powerful breed was used throughout the centuries to hunt large game, such as wild boars and wolves in the forested highlands of Vendeen and Nivernais regions, but it almost became extinct during the French Revolution. The Griffon Nivernais was eventually revived and is today a moderately popular breed in its native land.
Strong and agile, this deep-chested and long-legged Moloss is a very resilient and hardy hound, valued for its stamina, tenacity and speed. The Chien de Pays can be aloof with strangers and has a tendency to chase just about everything, from small animals to speeding cars, needing early socialization and obedience training.
Some specimens are known to be stubborn and difficult to handle, but this is a smart and intuitive breed, often relying on its own instincts rather than commands. Although the Griffon Nivernais is playful with children and devoted to its owner, it's better suited for rural areas than city life. Straight-backed, well-muscled and rugged, this is a healthy and athletic hound.
The rough coat is shaggy and dense, found in black, fawn, grey and merle shades with or without tan markings.
Average height is around 23 inches.