The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is an outgoing and intelligent gundog best known for their trainability and hard-working nature. Bred by banker and hunting dog-enthusiast Eduard Korthals while working in Germany and France, there is debate as to whether the Griffon is a Dutch or French breed. Korthals bred the Griffon to work as a pointer on dry land as well as a water retriever and skilled swimmer.
The modern Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is still used as a hunting dog as well as a devoted companion dog. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon ranks number 65 out of 193 in the AKC’s most popular breeds ranking.
Characteristics of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Here we will go into more detail about the appearance and temperament of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is an AKC certified medium-sized dog breed. Males are 22-24 inches in height and weigh 50-70 pounds. Females are 20-22 inches in height and weigh 35-50 pounds. They are a long-lived breed with a lifespan of 12-15 years.
The breed’s namesake coat has a wiry, harsh texture that gives them a rather unkempt appearance. Their coat sheds minimally and is weather resistant, with a soft undercoat and dense outercoat. The base of their coat is steel grey with brown patches on their body and head. Their beard, eyebrows and piercing eyes give them a wise expression. Their coat requires minimal grooming, with weekly brushing with a dog brush and occasional trims sufficient to keep their coat looking its best. Leaves, mud and other debris will easily become stuck in their coat, so expect some of the outside to follow them inside unless their coat is promptly cleaned.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a friendly, athletic and independent breed. They are politely cautious around strangers and rarely aggressive, though quick to bark when something is amiss. They do very well with children and other dogs in the household, and may do well with cats, though some individuals may chase cats and other animals they perceive as prey. They are highly social and prone to separation anxiety, which often develops into destructive behaviors such as chewing. They are known to create a bit of a mess in their households, as they can be sloppy, slow to housetrain and enjoy jumping and running around the house. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons can make great travel companions for longer car trips and enjoy exploring outside on long walks and hikes.
Caring for a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
To ensure you are providing your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon with everything it needs to live a long and happy life, it is essential to understand the quirks of the breed and what works best for them. Following are preliminary tips on health and training your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon so you know what to expect. However, remember that each dog is unique, even within a specific breed.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon should be fed a diet of high-quality dog food. Dog food can be purchased from a store or prepared at home. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before choosing a recipe or dog food brand. It is important to purchase a dog food that is meant for the dog’s age and activity level to fulfil all their nutritional needs. Feeding them table scraps or excessive treats should be avoided, as it can lead to weight gain and related health problems. Even small increases in caloric intake can lead to weight gain over time, so consistency is key.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has high exercise needs, requiring plentiful daily exercise to maintain physical health and a happy temperament. These energetic athletes are well suited for active, outdoorsy people. Griffons are especially energetic as puppies, and do not do well left alone in a kennel for extended periods of time. They enjoy daily runs or vigorous play sessions in securely fenced areas. Interactive toys and puzzle toys will help keep your Griffon’s mind occupied. Meeting their needs for physical and mental activity is vital to ensure your Griffon stays fit, happy and well behaved.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are moderately difficult to train. They possess a strong desire to please their owners and are often described as tireless workers. Griffon’s respond best to reward-based training and positive reinforcement. They will become fearful and nervous in response to aggressive or harsh commands, and any sort of negative-reinforcement is best avoided. They are easily distracted by interesting sights and smells, so keeping training sessions short and fun will work best. Early socialization is recommended to avoid shyness around strangers later on in life. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons can be trained to be skilled competitors in hunting competitions, especially for game birds.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a typically healthy dog, though several genetic diseases are known to occur in the breed. The breed does has a small gene pool, which increases their chances of inheriting genetic diseases. Hip dysplasia, eye disease, heart disease, elbow disorders and thyroid conditions are some of the most common afflictions seen in the breed. The National Breed Club recommends certain tests for Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, including an ophthalmologist evaluation, elbow evaluation, hip evaluation and OFA or PennHIP clearances.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s nails should be clipped monthly if not worn down naturally. Their ears should be checked weekly and any excess dirt or wax should be removed. Teeth should be brushed often with a dog-specific toothpaste.
Be sure to choose a dog from a responsible, certified breeder, preferably one who is a member of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club of America. This club has a detailed code of ethics in breeding and will be able to provide owners with helpful information on heath and care for the breed. Careful selection of a puppy or adult dog will give you the highest chance of having a long-lived and healthy Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.