Bred to be the perfect gundog, the versatile Wirehaired Pointing Griffon excels in the field but also makes an intelligent, loving companion. They are easy to train and eager to please, with an affectionate and occasionally mischievous nature. This driven breed needs plenty of activity, but isn't demanding if provided enough exercise. The Griffon may be a suitable match for first-time dog owners with an active lifestyle—but exercise, training, and socialization must be prioritized to result in a well-adjusted dog.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is also known as Korthals Griffon, Griffon, and Griff.
Griffons are known for their dense, low-shedding, easy-care double coat which consists of a wiry outer coat and a thick, weather-resistant undercoat. Griffs have recognizable eyebrows and a beard that act as protection in the field.
Average Height: 20-24 inches
Average Weight: 50-60 pounds
Breed Standard & History
Nicknamed the 'supreme gundog,' the noble Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is built to excel in the field. Its medium-length, double coat is wiry and and weather-resistant. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons should have eyebrows and a beard. Accepted coat colors are brown and gray, or chestnut and gray, with roan or ticked markings. The nose should always be brown—any other color is a disqualification. The legs are muscular, the body is well-developed, strong, and balanced. The tail is docked and dewclaws are removed, each to prevent injury to the dog while working. The gait should be that of a hardworking gundog—tireless and efficient, yet graceful. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is intelligent, willing to please, and outgoing. – AKC Breed Standards
Eduard Karel Korthals bred the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon with the intention of creating the perfect hunting dog. Its development began in Germany during the latter part of the 1800s, though the dog is considered to be of French or Dutch origin. The breeds used to develop the Korthals Griffon are unknown, but likely included Otterhound, spaniel types, and pointer.
In 1887, the first Korthals Griffon made her way to the United States, but was registered incorrectly as a different breed, as the Griffon was not well known at the time. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Korthals Griffons under the name Wirehaired Pointing Griffon in 1916.
AKC Breed Category
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is energetic, friendly, and outgoing—but also driven and determined to succeed. Though bred as a hunting dog, the versatile Griffon is happy and playful and has a goofy side. They're pleasant and good-natured at all times, and hardworking when given a task to complete. They are determined, eager to please, and willing to learn. With enough activity and training, the Griffon may be a suitable choice for a first-time dog owner who will dedicate enough time to the necessary exercise and training.
Are Wirehaired Pointing Griffons Good with Kids? Though gentle and affectionate with children of all ages, the rambunctious nature of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon may be too much for toddlers and small children. With constant supervision, Griffs do well in homes with dog-experienced children.
Are Wirehaired Pointing Griffons Good with Other Pets? Wirehaired Pointing Griffons do well with other dogs, and may be able to live with cats if introduced properly. They may not be an ideal match for small animals such as rodents or birds due to their hunting dog instincts.
While Wirehaired Pointing Griffons make wonderful lookouts and will offer an alert bark if a stranger approaches the home, they are not suitable guard dogs. They're likely to greet guests with an aloof politeness, and may offer a wagging tail.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is an energetic, active dog who requires lots of exercise—preferably off-leash in a fenced area.
- The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon requires an active lifestyle and plenty of space to run.
- She may wander; fences, supervision and a personalized collar if she escapes, are recommended.
- She is not suitable for an apartment.
- She can become bored easily.
- She's an exuberant jumper and bouncer.
- She can have a high prey drive and may catch or kill small animals.
- The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon needs early, continued socialization to prevent timid behavior.
While living indoors is the ideal situation for Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, they need at least an hour per day of high-impact exercise—running, fetch, biking, or agility—to prevent destructive behaviors due to boredom. Unless plenty of space is available for outdoor play, Griffs are not ideal apartment or city dogs. With enough exercise, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are relaxed companions indoors.
While plenty of time outdoors is necessary for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, treks outside should be supervised or allowed within fenced areas due to the breed's potential to wander. Their all-weather coat can resist the snow, rain, and other conditions but they are not ideal kennel dogs—they crave the closeness of family and prefer life indoors after outdoor excursions.
The high-energy Wirehaired Pointing Griffon needs plenty of exercise; this rugged, athletic breed loves agility, fetch, running, and hiking. An exemplary gundog, the Griff can get exercise in the field, as well.
The athletic, tireless Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was bred for long days on the hunt and has the stamina to keep up—or outlast—an owner in a variety of activities.
Activity distance rating
- Running Miles: Wirehaired Pointing Griffons in good health may be able to run up to five miles.
- Hiking Miles: The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon may be able to hike as many as 10 miles.
The recommended diet for most Wirehaired Pointing Griffons is about two to two-and-a-half cups of high-quality dry food daily, based on the dog's average weight and activity level. This amount should be split between two meals, or can be offered in a food-dispensing puzzle toy.
Griffons do not tend to guard their food, but children should never be allowed to touch or remove food while any dog is eating.
While she may be left alone for up to eight hours during the day, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon craves time and attention from family. In order to remain happy and well-behaved while alone during the day, the Griff needs at least an hour of daily exercise. This should include time to run and play; walking will not be enough to meet her exercise requirements. Boredom and too little exercise may lead to destructive behaviors.
Health and Grooming
Though Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are a low-shedding breed, their coats require regular maintenance. Weekly brushing is necessary, and 'stripping' of the coat may be recommended to remove old hair. Bathe your Griff only as needed. Trimming her nails regularly will help prevent painful splitting, cracking, or breaking a nail.
Common Health Issues
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a relatively healthy breed. Breed-specific concerns in the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
- Ear infections
You can minimize serious health concerns in a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon by purchasing her from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices, and through screening for common diseases and conditions.
Eager to please and willing to learn, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a quick study when it comes to basic obedience training. Keep training fun and interesting, and provide plenty of praise for the best results. Harsh punishment will only set you back when training the sensitive Griff.
Griffons are highly trainable and excel at advanced training. Agility, tracking, flyball, obedience, and advanced tricks training are wonderful options to help burn off the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon's excess energy.
Sporting Dog Training
This gundog extraordinaire is suitable for a number of sporting dog uses, including flushing, tracking, pointing, retrieving, and more. The versatile Wirehaired Pointing Griffon possesses a natural instinct for the hunt and excels as a sporting dog. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are close-ranging hunting dogs by nature.
While no dog is truly hypoallergenic, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is considered hypoallergenic because of its low-shedding coat. Other factors such as dander, saliva, and environment can contribute to allergies in some people, so the low-shedding coat does not guarantee that allergic people will not suffer a reaction to a Griff.
While they are close in temperament, appearance, and purpose, the main difference between the German Wirehaired Pointer and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is hunting and pointing style. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was bred as a rugged, versatile sporting dog who works in close proximity to her handler, while the German Wirehaired Pointer is a longer-ranging sporting dog. Temperament-wise, Griffons tend to be more easygoing, while German Wirehaired Pointers may be on the aloof side.