ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
John Walton
Written by John Walton

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon originated in Europe, in the areas of Germany, France, and the Netherlands, and is also called the Korthals Griffon after the man who founded the breed, Eduard Karel Korthals. While popular in Europe, except the United Kingdom, this breed is very scarce in Canada and the United States, but is generally used as a hunting dog for game birds and waterfowl.

This breed has a very thick undercoat, which is perfect for being in the water, and it provides insulation, which is great for hunting in colder weather. This breed is intelligent, dedicated to their owners and family, they get along great with other pets and they will be a faithful companion for life!

Breed Characteristics

AdaptabilityAbove Average
TrainabilityHigh
Health and GroomingAbove Average
All Around FriendlinessHighest
Exercise NeedsHigh

Dog Breed Group:Sporting dog 
Height:1 foot, 8 inches to 2 feet tall
Weight:Between 50 and 60 pounds
Life Span:10 to 14 years

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is an average sized dog with wiry, thick hair that is used for sporting waterfowl and game birds for the most part. They go into ponds and other waters to fetch animals that their owners have killed. This breed was designed to point and retrieve, and has been adapted over time to be skilled at this in particular. Not only would they kill ducks, swans, and geese, they occasionally go after a rabbit or hare, plus they are great for tracking, obedience, and agility!

For the most part, this breed is a great, loving companion that is perfect for the whole family to love. Not only are they very happy and content, they pretty much go with the flow of things and gets along with people very well. There are some Wirehaired Pointing Griffons that are nervous around new people, places, and other animals, so it is always best to socialize them as much as possible.

These smart dogs are always happy to please, happy to go for walks and exercise, and can adapt to many living situations and places. While they do better in open areas, they can live in the city, but are not ideal for apartment living. One great thing about them is that they do not shed very much and are considered one of the best dogs to have if their owner or family members have any allergies! They still need regular brushing, of course, but their fur will not take over your home.

This breed is not very old considering some of the ancient breeds out there, but they are known not to have any genetic disorders from their parents. They are very funny dogs that will make you happy for many years and they have lots of energy to play in a big yard or in the park, or even go hunting for sport!

These dogs are incredibly easy to love, easy to live with, and easy to maintain. They are always happy to please and willing to go anywhere and do anything because they love being part of the family. Not only are they great for the family, but they rarely bark, only alerting you when they sense something is not right or normal.

Main Highlights
  • While not suitable for apartment living, this breed is highly adaptable and will thrive in most situations, especially if there is a big yard to run and play in and have a family to come in and cozy up to at night.
  • Griffons, for short, can suffer from separation anxiety as they do better with having a family or a single owner, to give them attention. They also do excellently with other pets in the home. Spending long periods of time alone will stress them out and cause them to do things like damage items in the home, lose their bowels or urinate within the home.
  • While they will not actually defend their territory, they make great guard dogs because they will alert you if there is trouble or if someone is on the property. Since they tend to go with the flow a lot, they will not go much further than barking to alert you.
  • A man named Eduard K. Korthals wanted to make the best gun dog possible so they spent time breeding the Griffon from other breeds that were thought to be the Otterhound and some Spaniels and Setters. Three of the dogs turned out as he wanted and that is when he began breeding the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
  • This breed does not have any genetic abnormalities and will only develop health issues that are normal to dogs like hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, ear infections, and the like. They are a healthy breed and can live upwards of 14 years.
  • This breed comes in five “most desired” colors which include; gray with brown markings, white and orange, roan, white and brown and chestnut brown. The less desirable colors are solid brown, solid white, and white and orange. In some areas, it is common to have the tail docked.
Breed History

In 1873, a man named Eduard Karel Korthals wanted to develop the perfect gun dog that could work well with its owner, have lots of energy and be the best pointer and retriever, and be easy to train. Korthals gathered what is thought to be the Otterhound breed, some Spaniels and Setters and go to work on breeding, and the next year he had the perfect female named Mouche and 5 males and began breeding them until he found his perfect dog, which is what we know to be the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.

In the late 1880s, the first club for Griffons was developed and became an international organization with clubs in France, Belgium and Bavaria. In the United States, the American Kennel Club noted their first registered Griffon in 1887 but was not officially recognized by the AKC until 1916. Also in 1916, this breed debuted at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and its popularity has exploded since.

Currently, this dog breed is the 68th most popular, as noted by the American Kennel Club and it has its own national breed club in the United States called The American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association. While they are rare in not only the United Kingdom and Canada, they are also rare in the United States but have stolen the hearts of many and are gaining popularity, despite being a “newer” dog breed.

Size

This medium sized average breed generally weighs in between 50 and 60 pounds if healthy and exercised properly and given proper nutrition. The males in this breed usually grow upwards of 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder, while the female dogs grow in the range of 20 to 22 inches, which is normal because most female dogs are shorter than the male dogs.

Personality and Character

This breed has a great personality and is always eager to be with its family, just having fun or relaxing. They love to play Catch and learn games and tricks as well. The Griffon gets along greatly with other pets within the home so they will love to play and bond with them. Their character is loving and family oriented; and they get along fantastically with children, and are gentle around them. Since they have an abundance of energy, like children, having them all play together will tire all of them out!

Health and Potential Problems

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has no genetic abnormalities, which means it is not predisposed to diseases like other breeds of longer ancestry. However, this breed can get normal health problems that occur in many dogs breeds. As long as your dog is given proper nutrition and exercise, he will live a nice, loving, long life.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This is basically the loss of vision, which means the retina is losing the ability to process light. Most Griffons who begin to suffer from retinal atrophy will first have a hard time seeing at night, and over time their vision will suffer when the sun is out. This can and does lead to full blindness, and is not treatable currently.
  • Cataracts which occurs in the lens of the eye, causes cloudiness and therefore will give your dog blurry vision. When they become thicker, the dog can go blind if surgery is not an option. Most times, genetics are the cause of this injury, but age, and other diseases can inhibit this type of degeneration.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: This condition is also common in dogs, and it occurs when the cartilage does not naturally develop, which then leads to terrible arthritis and overall pain in the affected area.
  • Allergies: Suffering from food allergies can be avoided if they are eating a proper dog food. Check with the vet before you switch foods to make sure it will be helpful to your dog. Contact allergies could be from shampoos, powders and other chemicals in the house. Also, inhalant allergies can affect your dog because of pollen outside or dust and mildew. Medications can be helpful for their allergies but it is not life threatening.
  • Diabetes: Like humans, dogs can have diabetes, which is the body being unable to process sugars correctly. Check for the symptoms which include increased appetite, being really thirsty, and going to the bathroom a lot. A dog will live with diabetes for the rest of its life so it is important to get them on insulin shots and control what they eat.
  • Ear Infections: It is very common for dogs to get infections or have odors in their ears. Checking the ears is a must during regular grooming. Causes include allergies, mites, yeast and other bacteria. Signs of an infection can include an odor, yellow or brown discharge, bleeding, scratching, and swelling. Regular cleaning can help prevent the infections, which is done by gently cleaning the dog’s ears with cotton swabs and using ear cleaner when needed. If an infection is apparent, see the vet and they will prescribe medication. If the issue is persistent, surgery will be needed.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is common among dogs, cats, humans, and other species. But if your pup gets diarrhea, make sure to keep them hydrated. Generally, something could be wrong if this lasts more than 24 hours. If diarrhea comes with vomiting, dark stool or fever, get your dog to a vet. Causes of this include Parvo, parasites, food problems, and stress, and many other types of infections or diseases. Pay attention to your dog’s symptoms in case their issue is more pressing.
Care Features

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a beautiful, loving dog breed that loves to be a part of all the action with their family or other household pets. They are always happy to please their family and are extremely smart and can pick up tricks and commands quickly. They do need to be socialized from the time they are puppies so they can become comfortable with people, other pets, noises and their surroundings. This can make them less aggressive, though they are pretty laid back to begin with. They do tend to get nervous, so socializing them with help with this. They also tend to get separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.

This breed does need daily exercise and time to play with their owner or the children. They love to run around the yard, so having a fenced yard is best for them. They do have a lot of energy when they are outside, which is due to their nature of working in fields and water areas searching for waterfowl and other animals to hunt with their owner. This breed tends to be calm when they are indoors and the family is relaxing.

Training should begin as soon as possible because they are so smart that they should learn their commands and etiquette as soon as they can. They can then to hunt with their owner and learn to bring the waterfowl to their owner by retrieving it in the water. The breed also can learn commands and tricks, and they will learn your body language as well.

Feeding Schedule

Your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon should be given 1 to 1.25 cups of dry kibble twice a day. This means 2 to 2.5 cups of food each day. Always give your dog plenty of fresh water to drink, especially when the weather is warm. Giving treats to your dog is fine occasionally, as they love them. It is generally recommended to give them their meals at regular times rather than leaving food out for them to graze on, as they can gain weight.

Coat, Color and Grooming

You may notice this breed has a mustache and eyebrows, which adds to their charm and sets them apart from other dog breeds. This breed is mostly seen in a solid gray color, but also comes in the “desired” colors of white and orange, roan, white and brown and chestnut brown. The less desirable colors are solid brown, solid white, and white and orange. A “disqualified” color is solid black. Also, in some areas, it is normal to have the tail docked.

While this breed is considered one that does not shed very much at all, you will still need to comb through the thick, dense undercoat to keep him well groomed. Doing so once a week will help maintain his coat even though he has wiry hair that is straight.

Bathing him sporadically is best as bathing softens his coat, which needs to be naturally harsh. Brushing his teeth can happen two or three times per week, though, and the nails can be trimmed once per month, or as needed. Be careful of their ears, as they can get infected easily. Using ear cleaner and a gentle swab will help keep their ears free of bacteria and yeast. Remember when you are grooming your dog to check for sores, rashes, or other occurrences that are not normal and report to the vet as needed.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon gets along with children and other animals in the home fantastically! Due to its pack instinct, this breed enjoys being close to all members of the family, including children. Of course, small children should be supervised around dogs, and be sure to teach children how to treat dogs by not pulling their tails or hitting them, etc. The breed also gets along great with other animals within the home, so as long as the pets you have now get along with other animals, then this dog could be for you!

As you can see, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a wonderful sporting dog who can go with the flow and always be happy. They are at their best when they are exercised each day and have family time with everyone, including children. They can adapt to most situations and are not only beautiful dogs, but they are eager to please and happy to be by your side! They can make a good guard dog that is not overly tenacious, too! They are smart, capable, loving, funny, hard-working and dedicated to family. Any home would be lucky to have a dog of this breed!

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

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