Whether the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a French breed, a native of Germany or the Netherlands should be irrelevant. What’s more is that they’ve come the ayatollah of Gun Dogs. This medium size breed, high energetic and versatile, is the dream dog for on the foot hunters.
To be sure, their creators bred a dog that is durable, intelligent and capable of working the marshlands. Thanks to their double coat with adequate weather insulation, their tireless work ethic, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are durable –all terrain — hunting dogs.
But there must be more to this breed other than their hunting prowess? What makes them such wonderful companions?
Here is what you need to know about the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
Was it the Netherlands, or the Germans or France that had a hand in this breed’s development? You could make the argument that all three had a part as a cooperative network for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. A Dutch man, Edward Korthal, possibly began developing this breed in 1865 in France, but would move his operation to Germany. It was around 1871, that Korthal was seriously in development. Korthal had his mind set on an all-terrain, intelligent, and versatile on the foot hunting dog. By the end, that is exactly what the breed became.
While the breed’s origins has a history tracing back to the 16th century, it was in 1873 and 1874 that the development took place. That is, the breed as we know it today better resembles Korthal’s vision and work than the paintings and historic documents listing a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon type. Korthal was a young man then, in his 20’s, but would die young in 1896 at the age of 44. Korthal, along with friends and enthusiasts from Europe all had a helping hand mastering the breed. It was in 1896, that the finishing touches had been made.
Rewinding back, a breed standard agreement took place in 1887 with the first formation of an international club for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon in 1888. The first Wirehaired Griffon to gain American Kennel Club registration was back in 1887, which was when the breed began to appear in the United States. At that time, the AKC was calling the breed “Russian Setter” or “Russian Retriever.”
In 1916, the formation of the Griffon Club of America began. The club’s ambition was to promote the breed in ways never done before. That the club did. The same year the club would open its doors, the Westminster Dog Show would feature 16 of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. Unfortunately, serious breeding and the club would cease to exist by 1929. However, a group of GI’s and a Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Rogers would revamp a new club in 1959. The club’s new name was the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club of America.
For whatever reason, there was plenty of doubt regarding the quality of the breed. And in the 1980’s, the club made it their agenda to outcross the breed with a similar breed, Czech Fousek. This would prove to be a fatal decision for the club. A second group of enthusiast had deep objections to this outcrossing. Insofar, that in 1991, the AKC would agree and grant the second group official parent club recognition. The new club would form as the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association. The former club would fall out of favor and lose recognition with the AKC, UKC, CKC and FCI.
Today, you can still count on the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon to handle hunting tasks. This versatile breed is still considerably rare, but growing in popularity. However, purists for the breed caution against the surge in popularity. They worry that the breed will lose its standard and that the wrong hands will force the breed down the wrong route. Some Wirehaired Griffons appear at dog shows, while most are household companions and gun dogs. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a fine upland hunting breed that can work bird hunting and retrieve waterfowl.
The American Kennel Club lists the breed as the 65th most popular breed in America. That is one spot higher than 2016, and several spots higher than proceeding years.
Regarding weight, males should weigh between 50 to 70 pounds and females should range between 35 to 50 pounds.
Personality and Temperament
First and foremost, this is a hunting breed. They enjoy the search, using their instinctive talents and versatility to thrill and please their hands. Eager to learn and simple to teach, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is happiest with a job or important role. Even if you don’t hunt, the breed is perfect for the active and outdoor type. They’ll enjoy hikes on trails, encounters at the lake and trips to the park. This is a good swimming breed that gets along fine with other dogs.
Good with children, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon thrives when they are with their people. The breed yearns for special bonds and close contact. Attention and affection being high on their list. An overall friendly dog that strangers won’t find aggressive. Yes, they are capable watchdogs or guardians, because of their responsive and alert traits.
A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon will enjoy backyard romps with other dogs or children, long walks and plenty of mental and physical activity.
The hardworking and intelligent breed is easy to care for with little to no maintenance. They are resilient and dependable workers that keep their nose down until they need to point to the quarry.
All in all, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is the consummate professional in the field. On the field, they are reliable and capable workers who have plenty of endurance and energy. At home, they are trustworthy companions, protective and outgoing with family.
Just like any other breed, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has their own issues to contend with. However, the AKC, along with their club of America, believes that the Griffon is generally healthy.
Buying a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon from a breeder shouldn’t be a difficult task. When you do buy, make sure you purchase from a reputable breeder. This breeder should have no qualms providing you with the legitimate and necessary documents you’ll need to make the best purchasing decision possible. In addition, read the reviews of the said breeder, ask the tough questions, and always request health clearances.
Furthermore, you should schedule regular visits with a veterinarian to ensure your Griffon’s health. If you do that, along with preventative care, there is no reason to believe your Wirehaired Griffon won’t live between 12 to 15 years.
The malformation of the hip joint, causing lameness, stiffness, discomfort and pain is an issue for the breed. Some breeds have this condition much worse than the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the Wirehaired ranks fairly as the 129th worst out of 180 plus breed. This gives them a 8.2 Hip Dysplasia rating out of 2500 plus evaluations. The rating puts them in the company of the Weimaraner and Bichon Frise.
Abnormal growth of the elbow causing many of the issues as Hip Dysplasia is Elbow Dysplasia. This can lead to osteoarthritis. The OFA ranks the breed 69th worst with a 3.9 dysplastic rating from 585 evaluations. That rating puts them in the company of the Beauceron and Alaskan Malamute.
A lack of hormonal production from the thyroid glands, which can lead to issues with the coat, lethargy and weakness among many other element is Hypothyroidism. The OFA ranks the breed 44th worst in the thyroid department. The OFA states that the breed has a 81.3 normal rating for their thyroids and an equivocal score of 14.0 for thyroidism. This puts them among the Doberman, Bloodhound, Akita and Leonberger.
Issues with the eyelid cause a great deal of irritation and may obstruct the dog’s vision. This can be a huge problem if you have a dog that relies on its sight during hunting. Entropion is when the eyelid rolls inward, which will cause rubbing of the cornea and severe irritation. Luckily, to fix this abnormality requires a rather inexpensive surgery. The VCA lists the Pug, AmStaff Terrier and Bulldog as other breeds that suffer from abnormality.
This is a breed that requires consistent exercise as they are highly energetic. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is better with a job or role. They’ll thrive with plenty of mental and physical stimulation but will fall to destructive habits when you don’t exercise them enough. Luckily, if you provide adequate exercise, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is fairly adaptable and can live just about anywhere. In addition to exercise, another important factor is supplying enough emotional fulfillment and attention. This is a breed that is best when they are with their people. The Griffon excels when they have close contact with their hand.
The breed does better when you train them with positive reinforcement rather than harsh treatment. They need consistency, a firm and fair hand to bring out the best in them and to break bad habits.
Trim their nails routinely to protect from overgrowth, splits and cracks. A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is prone to ear infections, so trimming and inspecting their ears regularly is necessary to avoid further problems. Weekly brushing of the teeth and an occasional bath as you deem prudent.
How much your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon will eat varies from other dogs. Age, metabolism and activity rate can play a role in how much your Pointing Griffon will eat. Spaying and neutering also have roles in the portion amount.
That aside, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon should be fed a high quality diet that has meat as the first ingredient. Because they are a working or sporting breed, they’ll require an adequate amount of quality protein value, quality crude fat and carbohydrates. A healthy blend of vitamins, minerals, fruits and vegetables should be enough to keep your Pointing Griffon healthy and happy.
Most experts seem to agree that feeding your Griffon between 2 cups to 2.5 cups per day is the best amount. Again, this will vary upon your dog’s requirements. You can also break that up into two smaller meals to help reduce the chances of Bloat. Bloat is deadly and due to an excess of liquid, gas or food inside the stomach, in which, the dog has no ability to properly get rid of it. This can lead to a condition of Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, which is when the stomach painfully stretches or distends.
As always, you should provide your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon with plenty of fresh drinking water.
The breed is a seasonal shedder that is rather simple to tend for. They do shed in low amounts for a great part of the year. That said, an occasional grooming or weekly brushing is necessary to keep your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon looking at its best.
The coat is a double coat. The outside coat is straight, medium length and wiry. The undercoat consists of fine texture, thick and water resistant. There is a furnishing at the eyebrows, and the breed does sport a moustache. That and their coat’s appearance is what makes this breed so distinct.
According to the American Kennel Club there are two acceptable coat colors: Chest and gray, brown and gray.
There are two acceptable markings: Ticked and roan markings. Curly coats are unacceptable.
Fun Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Facts
- The breed has the nickname “Griff” and once was the Korthal Griffon, which was the name of the breeder who would develop this breed. Hunters, enthusiasts and dog lovers call the breed, “The Supreme Gundog.”
- According to Gundog Magazine, there are few theories to this breed’s ancestry. Some suggest that a breed the Griffon Hound is part of their foundation, while others suggest the French Barbet, Otterhound and a Setter.
- In 2005, there was only 410 registrations, however, the registrations do continue to rise for the breed.
- According to Stanley Coren’s “Intelligence of Dogs” the breed is the 87th most intelligent in his study. That means they obey the first command 50 percent or better of the time.
- The name “Griffon” personifies a dog that has lion like qualities like a mustache, beard and eyebrows.
Perhaps you’ve heard a thing or two about the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon but it wasn’t enough to have you consider them as a potential breed to own.
Now, with the new set of information you have, what is not to like about this breed? That is, if you enjoy hunting, outdoors, and want a dog that is sweet, smart and affection — the Wirehaired Griffon checks off each box.