Griffon Nivernais is a breed of dog originating from the region of Nièvre in France. It is used as a hunting dog for big prey like boar and deer.
The breed is considered a descendant of the gray dog of Saint Louis who composed the royal packs until the reign of François I, where its popularity declined in favor of the white dog. Gentlemen of the Nivernais protected and saved the breed until the French Revolution.
In the nineteenth century, the Griffon Nivernais, often simply called "Country dog", was recreated from crosses between descendants of the gray dogs and Griffon Vendéen. The Griffon Nivernais Club was founded in 1925 under the presidency of Viscount Anchald. During the World War II, the number of these dogs became extremely low and it was not until 1969 that the Club Griffon Nivernais resumed its activities and breeding.
The Griffon Nivernais is a medium-sized, muscular hunting dog with a strong rustic look. The tail is medium length and is placed a little higher. The head is weak, bony and light, but it is small, and the shape is more elongated. The lines of the skull are parallel. The eyes are dark with thick eyebrows. The ears are located parallel to the upper line of the mesh fall and are rather fine. They are quite hairy and reach the top of the muzzle.
The hair of the breed is long, shaggy, matted and harsh. The color of the body is smoky orange (orange and graphite). There are white spots on the chest, yellow-orange hues of eyebrows, cheeks, chest, feet and under the tail. Many shades of the hair are described with terms such as "hair of the wild rabbit (orange light smoky)," gray wolf "(gray-black sand) or gray-blue" (orange tinged with blue).
The average height is between 53 and 60 cm, and the weight – about 25 kg.
Character and behavior
The standard of the International Dog Federation describes this Griffon as a brave and persistent dog. According to the Central Canine Society, this race has a balanced character, neither shy nor aggressive, calm but sometimes stubborn with independent behavior.
This is a hunting dog used for chasing wild boar. The Griffon Nivernais is able to approach the prey and get into contact with the boar without fear. It withstands cold and damp, especially in the marshes, but is sensitive to heat.
Although it can be a pleasant companion dog, these puppies are not suited for life in the city.
Training and education
The Griffon Nivernais has a strong sense of hierarchy. Its imposing and sometimes undisciplined temperament required careful, but solid training from an early age. You should establish yourself as the leader of the pack. Use positive methods, but be strict, if needed – as stubborn, as your pet is.
These dogs don't have any specific health problems. However, the breed is susceptible to a reversal of the stomach, so a diet must be strictly followed. Always give your puppy some time to rest after his meal.
The estimated life expectancy is about 12 years.
Grooming and care
It is enough to brush the fur 3 or 4 times a month, to keep the coat in good condition and to remove the dead hair. The ears are sensitive and must be cleaned neatly.
Children and other pets
These dogs get along perfectly with children and will gladly play with them. Some representatives can be aggressive with other dogs or animals.
In the resent years puppies for sale of this breed became more popular in France due to the fact that they are commonly used as a comfort dogs for people with health problems or older people in nursing homes.