Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Guide

Sporting Dog Breeds

This strong breed can cope with any terrain. It should be slightly longer than tall, of medium substance. It functions as both a retriever and pointer, and its size and conformation reflects a compromise between the requirements of these jobs. Its gait is efficient and tireless, with low, catlike strides. The coat is of medium length, straight and wiry, with a fine, downy, thick undercoat. The combination provides protection in the swampy country in which it was developed, as well as insulation from cold and water. The abundant facial furnishings contribute to its friendly expression.

The wirehaired pointing griffon is a skilled field dog, pointing and retrieving with a deliberate style, generally staying within the hunter's gun range. It combines independent action with the ability to be directed by the hunter. It is an equally adept family pet, absolutely devoted, willing to please, amiable and often comical. It is generally friendly toward strangers, other dogs and pets.

AKC RANKING 112

FAMILY gundog, pointer, versatile hunting dog

AREA OF ORIGIN France

DATE OF ORIGIN 1800s

ORIGINAL FUNCTION pointing, retrieving

TODAY'S FUNCTION pointing, retrieving, pointing field trials

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 22-24 Weight: 50-60

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 20-22 Weight: 50-60

OTHER NAME Korthals griffon, pointing wirehaired griffon, griffon D'Arrjt a poil dur

Energy level High energy

Exercise needs High

Playfullness Moderately playful

Affection level Moderately affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Friendly

Ease of training Moderately easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Moderately protective

Grooming needs Moderate maintenance

Cold tolerance Medium tolerance

Heat tolerance Low tolerance

The wirehaired pointing griffon needs daily exertion, either in the form of jogging, games or a run in the field. It particularly enjoys swimming. It can live outdoors in temperate weather as long as it has warm shelter, but it does best when allowed to be both an indoor and outdoor dog. Its harsh coat needs combing or brushing once or twice a week, plus hand-stripping to remove dead hair twice a year. Its ears need regular cleaning and plucking of hair within the canal in order to avoid ear problems.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: CHD, otitis externa, entropion, ectropion
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: (hip), (eye)
• Life span: 12 – 14 years
Unlike the development of most breeds, most of the development of the wirehaired pointing griffon was deliberate and fairly well-documented, beginning in the middle 1800s with the creation of the Cherville griffon, which was subsequently crossed with the setter and pointer. It was Edward Korthals of Holland, however, who is credited with developing and refining the breed. In fact, the griffon is still known as the Korthals griffon throughout most of the world. He began his mission in 1874, crossing 20 dogs representing seven breeds (griffon, spaniel, water spaniel, German and French pointer, and setter). Korthals traveled extensively in France and popularized his new breed wherever he went, whether it was a field activity, bench show or business meeting. Through his French connections, his new breed became adopted in France, where it gained a reputation as a deliberate, careful hunter with a good nose. It was in France that the breed found a stronghold, causing people to consider it as a French breed despite its Dutch roots. By 1887, the breed type was stable, and a breed standard was published. The first show classes for the breed were offered in 1888 in England, although at that time it was referred to as a Russian setter or retriever (apparently any well-furred dog was assumed to be of Siberian origin). In fact, the first griffon registered in America was registered as a Russian setter in 1887. Its popularity grew steadily, only to be halted by the Second World War. After the war, its reputation as an ideal dog for the walking hunter again gained it new popularity, but the initiation of competitive field trials, in which faster-paced breeds dominated, caused many competitive hunters to turn away from the griffon. Despite its low numbers, the wirehaired pointing griffon has loyal followers, who value its excellent abilities not only as a pointer and retriever but also as a versatile and loyal companion. In fact, it is often called "the supreme gun dog."