How much do you know about the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon? Griffons are confident, strong, medium-built dogs that are pretty popular in the hunting community. Breeders created this breed to produce the supreme gundog. If you’re interested in adding a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon to your home, here are a few things you need to know.
Where Does The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Come From?
While the origin and development of many breeds are often uncertain, the creation of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is well documented. Sportsmen first developed the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon in the 1800s to create the perfect hunting dog. Breeders began with the Cherville Griffon and crossed it with setter and pointer breeds.
Edward Korthals of Holland, took particular interest in the breed. He traveled extensively in France, popularizing, promoting, and refining the breed. The breed developed a reputation as careful hunters with excellent noses and gained a foothold in France. As a result, people consider the Griffon a French breed despite its Dutch roots.
A breed standard was published in 1887, and the first breed show classes took place in 1888 in England under the name of Russian Setter. Though not of Russian origin, any breed with thick fur was assumed to have Siberian origins. The first Wirehaired Pointing Griffon in the U.S. was registered as a Russian Setter in 1887. Though their popularity has grown steadily, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon still has low numbers despite their excellent hunting abilities.
What Does a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Look Like?
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is named for and easily identified by its harsh, low-shedding, wiry coat. Their bristly fur gives them a natural, almost unkempt appearance. The rough outer coat covers a soft, insulating undercoat and is generally steel gray with brown markings. Accepted colors according to the AKC are brown and gray or chestnut and gray. Their large, round eyes are intelligent and framed by bushy eyebrows and a luscious mustache.
Griffons are compact yet robust; males weigh 50 to 70 pounds and stand just 22 to 24 inches high, and females weigh 35 to 50 pounds and are 20 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder.
What Is A Griffon’s Personality Like?
This skilled dog points and retrieves with the best of them. They are perfectly capable of independent work and devoted to pleasing their people. Not only an accomplished gundog, but the Griffon is also a loving member of any family, even known for comedic and goofy antics at home. They aren’t generally suspicious of strangers and get along well with most pets and other dogs.
How Hard Is It To Train a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon?
Socializing and training a new puppy are essential activities for any dog, and the Griffon is no exception. As we’ve discussed previously, these dogs are eager to please their people. This breed was created with a high degree of trainability that remains today. If you desire to use them as a hunting dog, early exposure to game birds and hunting conditions is necessary. Overall, this dog excels in hunting upland birds, waterfowl, and furred quarry alike.
During training, try to avoid methods like shouting or punishment, as these harsh techniques may cause your dog to shut down. Instead, try to stick with positive reinforcement and keep your training sessions short and fun. With patience and consistency, training your pup can be an enjoyable pastime for you both. A great-tasting training treat doesn’t hurt either. If you begin to feel frustrated, end your training session as quickly as possible, preferably on a positive note.
How Much Exercise Does A Pointing Griffon Need?
Griffons are exceptionally social dogs who need plenty of attention and training. Despite their compact size, they are intelligent and powerful. An animal bred to work; these dogs need mental and physical challenges every day. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise are prone to boredom, leading to destructive behavior; we all eventually learn that a tired dog is a well-behaved dog. The ideal home for a Griffon is active daily; walking, jogging, hiking, biking, or similar activities are part of the everyday routine.
Do Griffons Have Health Problems?
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are relatively healthy for a pure breed. However, some can suffer from a few inherited health issues on occasion.
- Hip dysplasia: an inherited condition where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. Dogs prone to hip dysplasia develop arthritis as they age. Dogs can be tested for hip dysplasia (or elbow dysplasia) via x-ray by a licensed veterinarian.
- Entropion/ectropion: an eye issue relating in the eyelid growing inwards or drooping outward, respectively.
A Griffon’s life expectancy is between 12 and 14 years.
How Do You Groom a Pointing Griffon?
If you choose to bring home a Griffon, you’ll be happy to hear that their grooming needs are relatively low maintenance and their harsh coats shed infrequently. Groom the Griffon once a week with a brush or comb for best results. Occasionally, hand-strip the coat to encourage new growth. They don’t need baths often, but if you need to freshen them up, you can bathe them with a gentle, allergen-friendly dog shampoo. Make sure to keep their nails trimmed and clean their drop ears regularly.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon: A Hunter’s Best Friend
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons aren’t for everyone. They are friendly and loyal, but their work ethic and extensive exercise needs won’t suit every household. These dogs need a job, whether that job is hunting or participating in some other kind of canine competition. A Pointing Griffon can make an excellent canine companion with the right owners.