Dog Breed Griffon Nivernais: Features & Care

several Griffon Nivernais dogs in a field

A medium-sized hound breed from France, the Griffon Nivernais has a long, rough, shaggy coat that gives the dog a slightly scruffy appearance. The dog has a head that is average length, with drop ears and bushy eyebrows. Additionally, this scenthound has a somewhat longer body than it does height, which contributes to its smooth gait and strong endurance. The energetic Griffon Nivernais breed thrives in an active family and adores the outdoors.

Breed Overview


Height: 20.5 to 23.5 inches (female), 21.5 to 24.5 inches (male)

Weight: 45 to 55 pounds

Coat: Long, rough

Coat Color: Wolf gray, blue gray, or gray grizzle with/without tan, white, and black markings

Life Span: 10 to 14 years

Temperament: Independent, fearless, affectionate

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: France

Characteristics of the Griffon Nivernais

With its family, the Griffon Nivernais often has a loving demeanor, but it might be a little reticent towards strangers. This dog's nature might occasionally exhibit a rebellious bent that makes training challenging. The breed is also renowned for being vocal, however individual dogs might differ in this regard.

Affection Level High
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level High
Trainability Medium
Intelligence Medium
Tendency to Bark High
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Griffon Nivernais

The 1200s in France are when the Griffon Nivernais' progenitors first appeared. These scenthounds were employed for both property protection and hunting, notably of wolves and wild boar. But by the 1800s, the breed had all but vanished, particularly when quicker hounds had been created.

Then, in the early 1900s, enthusiasts tried to recreate the Griffon Nivernais breed. They combined some of the last surviving breed members with other canines, such as the French foxhound, otterhound, and Griffon Vendéen. Although this contemporary Griffon Nivernais is smaller than its relatives, it nonetheless has striking similarities to those old canines.

The breed is still very rare today, especially outside of France. The American Kennel Club does not officially recognize it. But the United Kennel Club lists it as part of its Scenthound Group.

Griffon Nivernais Care

The Griffon Nivernais requires a significant amount of activity every day. Although its coat is reasonably easy to keep clean, it does require some specific upkeep. And preferably from a young age, it should be socialized and trained.


Plan to exercise your Griffon Nivernais for at least one to two hours each day. Cycling, trekking, long walks, and jogging are all excellent ways to expend some of this breed's energy. Additionally, dog sports like tracking might present intellectual obstacles.

When outdoors, always keep your Griffon Nivernais on a leash or in a safe enclosure. The prey drive in this breed is considerable. Additionally, it can disregard recall instructions in favor of pursuing a tiny animal or other alleged prey.


To get rid of any loose fur, the Griffon Nivernais' coat should be brushed once each week. The coat doesn't easily tangle or mat and naturally repels dirt. But to get rid of the dead fur, it needs be hand-stripped a few times a year.

A bath will probably only be required when the dog gets dirty—typically every one to two months—because the coat keeps quite clean on its own. However, remember to examine your dog's ears at least once every week to determine whether they require cleaning. Additionally, schedule regular nail trimming for it. And daily tooth brushing.


As a young puppy, begin socializing and teaching your Griffon Nivernais to inculcate good manners and stop negative behaviors from developing. The breed is renowned for its independence and stubbornness. However, it often responds favorably to positive reinforcement training techniques. Avoid giving your dog harsh corrections because they could make them lose interest in learning. Additionally, be firm in your orders and don't tolerate inappropriate behavior.

To increase your dog's comfort and confidence, try to introduce it to a variety of people and dogs from an early age. When properly socialized, the breed frequently gets along well with other canines. Having pleasant interactions with a variety of individuals may also assist to open up and make it friendlier, even though it can be reticent towards strangers.

Common Health Problems

There are no known inherited health problems in the Griffon Nivernais dog breed, which typically has good health. Nevertheless, it is still susceptible to aging-related health problems, such arthritis, which affect many dogs.

Diet and Nutrition

Your dog should always have access to fresh water. And give it a premium canine diet. To provide sufficient nutrition, it is normal to serve two measured meals each day. However, you should always go over the type of food and the quantity with your veterinarian. The food requirements of a dog might vary depending on its age, activity level, and other factors. In order to prevent overfeeding your dog, be careful of treats and other excess food.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Griffon Nivernais

Finding a Griffon Nivernais at a reputable breeder or rescue group may be exceedingly challenging depending on where you reside. The breed still only has a very small population. As a result, it's challenging to estimate the typical price a trustworthy breeder would want for a puppy.

For further information to help you in your search for a Griffon Nivernais, check out:

  • United Kennel Club Breeders List
  • Adopt a Griffon

Griffon Nivernais Overview

  • Typically a healthy breed

  • Good for outdoorsy owners

  • Generally affectionate with family

  • High prey drive

  • Can be stubborn about training

  • Needs specialized grooming

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Make sure the breed is suitable for your lifestyle before taking a Griffon Nivernais home. Consult Griffon Nivernais owners, rescue organizations, respectable breeders, and veterinary specialists.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

  • Are Griffon Nivernais good family dogs?

    The Griffon Nivernais is moderately tolerant of kids and can be good for a household with respectful older children. However, it should always be supervised around young children.

  • Are Griffon Nivernais aggressive?

    The Griffon Nivernais can be reserved around strangers. But with proper training and socialization this does not typically turn into aggression.

  • Are Griffon Nivernais good apartment dogs?

    The Griffon Nivernais is best for a home where it has access to an outdoor space to run freely. The breed is often too active and vocal for apartment living.