The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is an intelligent, active, and affectionate breed. With excellent hunting, pointing, and retrieving skills, Griffons make supreme gundogs. But these pups can be exceptional family dogs, too.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon originated in Holland in the late 19th century. Eduard Korthals—a Dutch sportsman and breeder who studied canine genetics—wanted to create the ultimate walking hunter's gundog.
Korthals owned many different dogs and carefully planned his breeding program. He wanted a breed that could hunt a variety of game on all types of terrain. So, he selected dogs with high strength and endurance, talented noses, water-repellent coats, and cooperative natures. The result was a robust dog that had all the characteristics of an exceptional pointer and retriever.
Korthals continued his breeding program when he moved to Germany, and eventually France. The breed standard was established in 1886, and the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon quickly gained popularity throughout Europe. The breed earned AKC recognition in 1887, though it was mistakenly labeled a Russian Setter. Today, most Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are still bred in France.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a medium-sized dog with a square-shaped head and catlike gracefulness.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon's functional coat is one of its most distinguishing features. The outer coat is straight and wiry with a harsh texture that protects the breed when hunting in rough terrain. The undercoat is thick, insulating, and water-repellent.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons come in steel gray with brown markings—which vary from shades of chestnut to white and orange. Ticking and roan are also common.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is famous for its facial furnishings. These extensions of its undercoat create prominent eyebrows and a mustache—giving the Griffon a somewhat unkempt appearance and friendly expression. Large, slightly rounded eyes that range from dark yellow to brown contribute to the breed's casual look.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are intelligent, energetic dogs with outgoing personalities that make them a fun breed for active families. They're very loyal to their people and gentle and loving with kids. All that said, they can be nervous around strangers.
This breed loves outdoor activities. But Griffons are also happy to curl up on the couch for a nap when they return home.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons require a high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate—whether it's commercially manufactured or homemade (with a veterinarian's supervision and approval).
To keep your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon healthy, it's important to monitor how much they eat. Avoid accidental overfeeding by measuring out meals. And reduce portions or restrict calories if your pup gains weight. Also, remember that giving too many treats can contribute to obesity. Treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog's calories.
Brushing or combing your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon's coat weekly will keep it looking its best. As necessary, use scissors to trim around your pup's feet or ears. But never use clippers on the body, or the wiry hair will grow back much fuzzier.
Because of their longer ears, Griffons may be more prone to ear infections. Inspect and clean ears routinely to prevent infections. You should also trim nails regularly to keep them at a short, tidy length. Nails that get too long can cause discomfort and lead to problems walking.
Finally, maintaining good dental hygiene is essential for any dog's long-term health. In addition to scheduling professional dental cleanings, establish an at-home care routine that includes regular (ideally daily) teeth brushing.
Like other sporting breeds, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons need daily exercise. Games of fetch in a fenced backyard, hiking, and swimming are all activities Griffons enjoy. They also like dog sports—such as tracking, hunting, field trials, agility, and obedience. And if you're looking for a jogging buddy, the Griffon will happily oblige.
Intelligent and eager to please, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons tend to be relatively easy to train. Consistent and positive training programs work best for this breed.
It's also wise to socialize your Griffon puppy to help them grow into a well-mannered adult dog.
Reviewed July 26, 2020 by Annette Louviere, DVM