AKC Sporting Group
E.K. Korthals, a Dutch breeder in the late 1800s, mixed German griffons with French and German pointers, spaniels, Barbets, and a setter to develop the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. The result of his breeding program was an enthusiastic hunting dog with a fine nose, especially good on small game, such as hare and quail. The breed works well in marshland and upland, and is a fine pointer, flusher, and water retriever. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s coat protects him from dense brush and bad weather. His style is particularly good for hunters on foot. The Griffon Club of America was formed in 1916, and that same year 16 Griffons were shown at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. In the 1980s a few breeders elected to import Cesky Fousek dogs and breed them into the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon lines. Disagreements over this practice resulted in a rift among breeders and the subsequent formation of the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association to preserve the purity of the original breed. (That organization is now the AKC parent club for the breed.) The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, though fairly rare, is recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a rough-coated, strong and graceful, medium-sized hunting dog with a large, noble head, square muzzle, and soft, bushy eyebrows, beard, and mustache. The skull is the same length from stop to occiput as from nose to stop. The large, somewhat rounded eyes are yellow or brown. The medium-sized ears lie flat and close to the head. The nose is always brown. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The body is slightly longer than it is tall. The straight topline slopes gently downward from the withers to the tail. The tail is docked to about half or two-thirds its length. The chest extends to the elbows and is moderate in width to allow the dog freedom of movement. The front legs are straight. Dewclaws should be removed. The feet are rounded with webbed toes. The straight, hard, wiry outer coat is lined with a fine, but thick, downy undercoat. Coat texture varies depending on the percentage of wiry versus soft hairs. Coat care and type of dog food can also affect coat texture. The wiry coat does not shed, but it must be stripped so new hairs can grow. The coat comes in steel gray or silver with chestnut or roan markings, or in solid chestnut or roan. Solid brown, solid white, or white and orange are less desirable.
- Height: 22 to 24 in. (male); 20 to 22 in. (female)
- Size: Large
- Weight: Averages 60 lbs. (male); averages 50 lbs. (female)
- Availability: Very difficult to find
- Talents: Hunting, tracking, retrieving, pointing, and watchdog
Some stripping and trimming of coat needed for showing. Pet dogs look best if groomed professionally twice a year. Needs a tremendous amount of exercise to stay calm and happy. Best in a country setting with plenty of opportunities for running. Beware of hip dysplasia. Buy only from stock with OFA, PennHIP, or another national hip dysplasia clearance.
Energetic, loving, and intelligent. Gentle. Very willing to please. Easily trained. Devoted and friendly. Very good with the family; loves personal contact and does not do well relegated to a kennel or backyard. A superior gun dog and tracker, and excellent hunting companion. Can be rather high-strung and is nervous with strangers and unfamiliar situations. Socialize extensively when young to minimize this tendency.
- Children: Good with children
- Friendliness: Reserved with strangers
- Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
- Independence: Moderately dependent on people
- Dominance: Moderate
- Other Pets: Generally good with other pets
- Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs
- Noise: Average barker
- Indoors: Moderately active indoors
- Owner: Good for novice owners
- Grooming: A little grooming needed
- Trimming and Stripping: Moderate trimming or stripping needed
- Coat: Wiry coat
- Shedding: Very light
- Docking: The tail is customarily docked
- Exercise: Needs lots of exercise
- Jogging: An excellent jogging companion
- Apartments: Not recommended for apartments
- Outdoor Space: Best with a large yard
- Climate: Prefers cool climates
- Longevity: Average (10 to 12 years)