Wirehaired Pointing Griffon [Full Dog Breed Guide]

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon [Full Dog Breed Guide]
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The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a charismatic and energetic breed from the sporting dog group. They're known as the "supreme gundog" because of their background and success in hunting down waterfowl, game birds, and hares.


As with any sporting breed of dog, the Pointing Griffon is incredibly sharp and extremely agile. Although they are still used for hunting today, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons make wonderful companions with their sense of humor and loving energy for their families. Pointing Griffon dogs are perfect for any family that enjoys being outside and going on adventures.


Let's explore more about the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, including its characteristics, breed history, nutrition, health problems, and much more!



Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Characteristics (Physical)

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a medium-sized dog breed with a noble-shaped head, a strong set of limbs to compliment its incredible hunting reflexes. The physical characteristics of the Pointing Griffon provide this breed with the proper agility and grace it needs to be an effective gundog.


The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is the ultimate gundog due to its energy level and incredibly keen senses. In addition, the Pointing Griffon is the perfect hunting dog because of its sharp reflexes and unmatched wit. The head is proportionate to the overall body, the ears are medium-sized and lay flat, close to the head, and the eyes are large and round. Any other nose color besides brown is a disqualification for this breed.


The Pointing Griffon's body descends to the level of its elbow and of medium width to ensure freedom of mobility. The thighs and legs are muscular with good angulation. Overall, the build of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is well-balanced to promote a full range of motion. The average life expectancy of a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is 12-15 years.


Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Dog Breed Size

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a medium-sized pup with a noble and graceful stature. Male Wirehaired Pointing Griffons range between 22-24 inches in height, and females range between 20-22 inches. This breed is slightly longer than it is tall. The average weight of a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is about 50-60 pounds. Females are slightly smaller than males.


Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Personality

Besides being a talented hunter, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are also extremely loyal and caring family dogs. Pointing Griffons have a famous sense of humor and love to make the entire family laugh. They're also easily trusting and accepting of everyone, including strangers. Their friendly personality might not make them the greatest guard dog.


Overall, Pointing Griffons are friendly, playful, and eager to please. They are easily trained and enjoy spending time with their owners as much as they love being outdoors. Typically, the temperament of this breed is hereditary, and you can generally get a sense of how a Pointing Griffon will behave if you meet one of its parents.



sleepy wirehaired griffon



Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Dog Breed Exercise

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is an extremely active dog that needs plenty of attention, training, and exercise. Pointing Griffons do not do great being cooped up in a kennel or a small apartment all day. They need plenty of time outside to stimulate their innate hunting extinct to be mentally and physically happy. If they cannot receive the proper attention they need, they can become bored, unhappy, and even destructive.


To keep your Griffon pup happy, you should take them on daily dog walks. Especially if you live in a smaller home where there may not be a lot of space to roam, taking your dog out every day to get some fresh air and stretch its legs is important. Having designated playtime so your Griffon can stay sharp with its hunting skills will also keep your pet satisfied. Griffons also love playing fetch, frisbee, tug-of-war, and any game that resembles hunting.

Many Griffons are still used for hunting today. They make for great companions for anyone who enjoys hunting down game birds or hares. Griffons are stealthy and swift, which makes them the perfect partner for obtaining small game.



Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Training 

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is rather intelligent and love to please their owners, making them an easily trainable dog breed. They are quite versatile regarding the kind of training you can put them through, especially if you are interested in pursuing hunting with a Griffon.


The best way to encourage hunting is through early introduction to game birds and exposing your Griffon to different hunting conditions. The more often you bring them out with you, the quicker they will pick up on your hunting tactics.


Training a Griffon early as a puppy is also helpful to ensure they are well-behaved and know how to socialize with other people and dogs. Griffons are generally friendly and do well interacting with other dogs, but early puppy socialization helps with any shyness issues.


Socialization to new sights, sounds, and people is a great way to get your Pointing Griffon accustomed to unfamiliar situations and experiences. By the time they are fully grown, they should understand how to act and behave in public.



Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Dog Breed History

The origins of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon are still up for debate, but many believe that there are traces of Pointer, Spaniel, Otterhound, and Setter in their blood. The earliest breeds of the Pointing Griffon can be traced back to the 16th century. However, the Griffon that we recognize and love today was first documented in the late 19th century.


A Dutchman who lived in France named Eduard Korthals was a hunter who wanted to breed the best hunting dog for those on foot. During the 1870s, Korthals bred Otterhounds, Spaniels, and other breeds together, eventually leading to the modern-day Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. In parts of Europe, the breed is recognized as the Korthals Griffons because of his contribution.


After Korthals' passing in 1896, the Pointing Griffon breed had grown considerably in numbers and popularity across Europe. Specifically, the Netherlands and France loved this breed for their reliable, hard-working personality and hunting skills.


The first Wirehaired Pointing Griffon in North America came in the late 19th century. From there, the American Kennel Club quickly recognized the Pointing Griffon in 1916. Since then, the breed has become popular among hunters and owners seeking a loyal companion.



There is a divide between breeders in the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon community. World War II dealt a hard blow to the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club. As a result, there were limited amount of dogs to continue breeding in America.


The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club of America (WPGCW) brought over some of the original stock from France and Germany to breed with the North American dogs. However, this led to much debate about the program's credibility because there were no tests or trials to evaluate the dogs.


So, on one side, breeders continued to breed the imported dogs from Europe with the dogs in North America. At the same time, another group that didn't want to breed the dogs with "foreign blood" decided to crossbreed the Griffons with another wirehaired breed known as the Cesky Fousek.


This group was dedicated to maintaining the breed that most resembled Korthals Pointing Griffons. However, as the breeding went on, this group decided to form their own club known as the Cesky Fousek North America to separate themselves from the European bred dogs.



Common Health Problems Found in Wirehaired Pointing Griffons

Like any dog breed, some common health problems may arise. As for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, they are a fairly healthy breed with a lifespan of about 12-15 years, but there are a few health issues the breed might inherit. Luckily, most responsible breeders can prevent many of these conditions from being passed on.


Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the thigh bone does not fit correctly into the hip joint. It can cause pain in dogs and may eventually lead to lameness on one or both rear legs. Usually, hip dysplasia is inherited, so you should not breed a Pointing Griffon with this condition.

The best way to correct hip dysplasia is to take your dog to the vet to receive an X-ray screening to assess the problem. Then, you may consider treatment such as physical therapy and medication, and in extreme cases, emergency surgery.


Elbow Dysplasia

Like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the bones surrounding the elbow joint do not fit properly, causing pain and can lead to lameness in the leg. Signs of elbow dysplasia include:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Hesitancy with walking on a certain leg
  • Inability to jump up or down from furniture
  • Limping


If you sense that your Griffon is suffering from any elbow or bone issues, bring your dog to the vet as soon as possible to take an X-ray to fully assess the situation. Your vet can prescribe you medication and other forms of treatment to get your pup feeling good as new.


Eye Problems

Pointing Griffon dogs are prone to several eye problems that fall under the Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). PRA is an eye disease that eventually leads to deterioration of the retina.


In the early stages of PRA, affected dogs may struggle to see at night and dark spaces. Eventually, they will gradually lose their sight during the day as the disease progresses. Some dogs can adapt to the changing eyesight, while other pups may lose their vision entirely altogether.


Although there are no known treatments for PRA, there are supplements and vitamins available for your pet to take. These supplements can help reduce the stress on the lens and delay cataracts from forming. If you notice your Griffon's vision beginning to suffer, consult a vet for more detailed advice.



wirehaired griffon running



How to Care for a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is perfect for an active family who enjoys spending time outdoors and going on adventures. Pointing Griffon dogs have lots of energy and require a decent amount of daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. In addition, they enjoy participating in dog sports like agility and scent work trials, and of course, hunting.


Taking your pup on a minimum of a 30-minute walk daily and giving them plenty of playtime should keep them satisfied. However, with that being said, Griffons need plenty of space to roam around, so apartment living may not be the best place for them to live.


If they do not get the proper amount of exercise they need, your Griffon can show signs of boredom, disinterest, and be destructive. The best place for a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a decent-sized home with access to a yard where they can run around.


Aside from being active, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons can also be pretty laid-back and can enjoy some downtime with the family and kids. Pointing Griffons are famous for their sense of humor and electric charm, which will put a smile on everyone's face.


Wirehaired Pointing Griffons love entertaining company and can become very attached to certain family members. Unfortunately, this attachment can also mean a Griffon may develop separation anxiety when left alone for too long. So making sure they have their own comfort zone inside the house where they can feel safe until you return home is very important.


As long as you are providing enough physical activity time for your Griffon and are bonding with them, they will show their appreciation with plenty of tail wagging and licks to the face.



Nutrition and Feeding for a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Any dog breed's nutrition and feeding schedule should depend on your dog's age, size, build, metabolism, and activity level. Since the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is highly active, you should be feeding them a bit more than a less active breed.


The recommended daily amount for a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dog is about 2-2.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day. You should spread the feedings out into at least two meals to manage their diet better.


Dog food quality is important because some brands may use low-quality ingredients. Low-quality dog food may not give your dog all the nutrients it needs to thrive. Therefore, always pay attention to the ingredients included in your dog's food and ensure that you are only feeding them the best food possible.


Even though Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dogs are very active, they can still overeat. Unfortunately, obesity is a common issue among many dog breeds. If you notice your Griffon gaining weight, try limiting the amount of human food or dog treats you give them.


Related: How Heavy Should My Dog Be? 5 Ways to Tell if Your Dog is Overweight



Coat Color And Grooming

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has a dense double coat that is weather-resistant and tough. The undercoat is thick and used for protection, and the topcoat is harsh in texture, consisting of straight, wiry hair, hence the name "Wirehaired."


The coat is medium-length, straight, and wiry. One good thing about their coats is that they do not shed an overwhelming amount. A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon face should have long eyebrows and a mustache which are extensions of the undercoat.


The coat color is usually a shade of steel gray with brown or roan markings. Other Wirehaired Pointing Griffon coat colors consist of white, brown, or white mixed with orange. However, these mixes are usually not desired in show rings.


The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon does not shed much, but their coat should be combed through about once a week to get rid of any dead or loose hairs. Also, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon should only be bathed when dirty. Overbathing can wash out the natural oils in its coat and dry it out.


Extra Grooming Tips

Your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has very particular ears that need special attention. Remember to keep them clean and dry, especially after a swim or bath. Their ears are prone to trap water, dirt, and other foreign objects leading to ear infections.


Make it a habit to regularly check their ears for redness and bad odor, which can be signs of an ear infection. The best way to clean a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dog's ear is using a cotton ball dampened with a vet-approved, dog-safe ear cleaner. Never insert anything into the ear canal and only clean the outer part of the ear.


Brush your Pointing Griffon's teeth at least two or three times a week to avoid any tartar buildup and bacteria from forming inside. Regular brushing helps prevent gum disease and keeps your dog's breath smelling fresh.


Trim your dog's nails about once or twice a month. However, your Griffon should naturally wear them down through daily activity and exercise. Untrimmed nails can scratch up your legs and furniture. Other issues like ingrown toenails can be painful for your little pup.



Children And Other Pets

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a loving, friendly dog breed that pairs well with children. They are intelligent and know how to be gentle around younger children. However, it is always best to train them while young to ensure that your dog knows how to treat children and not play too rough with them.


In general, you should always keep an eye on your children when they are playing with the family dog. Always remind young children how to properly treat a dog. You can teach them not to pull on their tail, disturb them while eating, or bug them in ways that lead to aggressive responses.


The Pointing Griffon does well with other dogs and pets if they have ample time to socialize with them. It is always a good idea to introduce them to other dogs when your Griffon is a puppy to develop early social skills that they can carry into adulthood.


Naturally, a Griffon may try to prey on smaller pets such as a cat with their innate hunting background. To avoid this, make sure you introduce the Griffon to the other pet and let them know that this animal is family and not prey.



wirehaired griffons playing



Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Dog Rescue Groups

If you are interested in adopting your very own Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, there are several wonderful organizations you can check in with to make your dreams come true.


Rescue Dogs & Ear Mountain Griffons is a fabulous organization based in Montana dedicated to finding loving homes for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. Founder Greg Curtis talks about his own Griffon named Gifford and how his gentle demeanor yet inquisitively sharp hunting skills made him fall in love with the breed. This love for the Pointing Griffon made him want to show the world just how amazing this breed is.


The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Rescue (WPGR) is another great organization helping rescue any Pointing Griffon and finding a caring and permanent home. The WPGR is an excellent resource for anyone around the country looking for their own Griffon because they work with shelters all across the United States.



Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Dog Breed Organizations

The official Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dog breed organization is the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association, founded in 1951. The AWPGA was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1991. They are dedicated to promoting quality breeding of Wirehaired Pointing Griffons and sustain their natural hunting abilities throughout their lineage.


The AWPGA is stocked with plenty of resources for:

  • How to train your Pointing Griffin
  • Proper nutrition
  • Activities you can do with your dog
  • Health facts
  • And much more information


There's also information about upcoming events, such as the annual AWPGA National Speciality event. The AWPGA site also has a dedicated rescue program where potential future owners can browse and see how they can adopt their very own Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dog.


To be a participating member of the AWPGA, you must meet the requirements of being in good standing with a member of the AWPGA and must include the annual fee of $36 for United States citizens and $48 for Canadian citizens.



More About the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are growing rapidly in popularity, but they can still be hard to find. A typical puppy can cost anywhere from $1000-2000! However, if you're lucky enough to find one at a local shelter or rescue group, adoption is much cheaper than buying from a breeder.


After all, what's not to love about this energetic and boisterous breed? If you love active dogs that love to play, a companion to go hunting with you, then the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon may be perfect for you!

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