History of the Griffon Nivernais
The ancestors to today's Griffon Nivernais have been known in central France since at least the 13th century. These dogs were the King's Grey Dogs, or Chien Gris de St. Louis, favored by Louis the IV and XIV. They thrived until the 18th century, when the French Revolution meant the loss of packs kept by nobility throughout the country. After, with the highlands still losing livestock to wolves, the few remaining dogs were crossed with Grand Griffon Vendéen and the offspring became known as the Griffon Vendéen Nivernais. By the 19th century the wolves were gone and the breed came close to extinction, but was saved in 1925. This second reconstruction lessened the Vendéen elements and added Otterhound and English Foxhound to the line, creating the current Griffon Nivernais.