If you’re looking for a gundog and a family companion, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has the best of both worlds. He is a strong dog that functions both as a deliberate retriever and a pointer and known for his harsh and bristly coat, for which he is named. Sharp-witted and active, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is admired in the field. A people-pleaser with a humorous streak, he is also well-loved inside the home.
Origins of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a relatively young breed. In the 1800s, sportsmen from Continental Europe were engrossed with crossing dog breeds, looking to produce the ideal gundog. The development of the breed is credited to Eduard Korthals, a Dutchman situated in France. He crossed several breeds, believed to be Otterhound, Spaniels, Setters, and possibly Pointers.
Through his work, he developed a breed that can work as a retriever in water and a pointer on land. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s incredible abilities impressed many people and gained quick popularity. In 1887, the first dog from the breed was registered in the United States.
Characteristics of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Height: 20-24 inches
Weight: 35-70 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s most conspicuous feature is its coat. He has a wiry, shaggy topcoat, with a downy undercoat. Moreover, he sports a bushy beard and eyebrows, giving him a natural, comical, and unkempt appearance.
While the most desired color is steel gray and brown, his coat can also occur in chestnut and gray, white and orange, or white and brown. Both ticked and roan markings are recognized. In general, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a handsome dog, whose appeal lies in his natural and distinct ruggedness.
As with his character, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a devoted, willing to please and loyal family companion. He has a comical side that will entertain his families. He is friendly and accepting to everyone, from children to other pets and even strangers.
An energetic and intelligent breed, he is a versatile dog that remarkably does the tasks he’s originally bred to do. He would point, retrieve, or flush game birds, waterfowl, and even hares. He also enjoys any work and is very trainable, doing well in tracking, agility, and obedience. With that, he will flourish in an active family wanting to have a happy and loving dog that can be a part of their daily activities.
Caring for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
You might be happy to hear that the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is hypoallergenic and considered a non-shedder. He only requires weekly brushing and periodical stripping to keep his coat healthy. Professional grooming may only be needed once or twice a year. Meanwhile, bathing should be done when necessary as it can affect the natural harshness of his coat.
Like with all other dog breeds, he is prone to developing ear infections, which is why regular ear cleaning is a must. Trim his nails once or twice a month to avoid cracking and tears. Then, brush their teeth regularly using vet-approved toothpaste to avoid tartar buildup and prevent any gum disease.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon needs regular exercise to consume its high energy. He needs at least 20 minutes of free play daily. If you’re walking him on a leash, you might need to spend more time to equate the same workout he gets when exercised off-lead in the yard. While he can adjust to city living, he will thrive best in the country with lots of space to run around.
If you want to have him as a gundog, early training, socialization, and exposure to hunting conditions are essential. There are pointing-breed clubs you can join to help you maximize your dog’s potential. One thing to remember though is that this breed does better with positive and consistent training.
In terms of health, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a generally hardy breed. However, like all other dogs, he can be susceptible to specific health issues. It is best to ask for health clearances for common concerns, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, heart, eye, and thyroid conditions, to ensure good health prior to buying or adopting a puppy.