Choosing a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The wirehaired pointing griffon is often mistaken for the German wirehaired pointer. A completely different breed, the griffon is also known as the "older hunter's bird dog" due to the dog's tendency to stay nearby and check back with his trailing owner frequently.

History and Origin

In the 19th century, a Dutchman named Edward Korthals was looking to develop a methodical dog that worked close to his owner in all types of terrain. After moving to Germany, Korthals used a variety of breeds from Northern France to develop the breed. This means that even though the dog was bred in Germany, he is actually a French dog. In Europe, the dog is known as the Korthals griffon.

Appearance and Size

The wirehaired pointing griffon is a medium sized dog standing 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weighing 45 to 60 pounds. The breed is strong and sturdy with a large, long head and pendulous ears set at eye level. The neck is long and the eyes are large and round, giving the appearance of an owl. The tail is docked to about 3 to 5 inches in length.
The most characteristic aspect of the wirehaired pointing griffon is his double hair coat. The outer hairs are straight and wired and the undercoat is soft. This gives the breed his shaggy, unkempt appearance. On the face, the hair coat forms a shaggy long moustache and long eyebrows. The color of the hair coat can be liver, ticked liver and white, roan, chestnut, chestnut and white or the popular steel gray.


The griffon is a people oriented dog known for his trainability and high degree of cooperation. Although the griffon has a great love for the field and is an excellent swimmer, he is equally at home in the obedience and show ring. His keen nose makes him an excellent tracker and his fun loving side enjoys agility training. He is affectionate and loyal and prefers being a house pet instead of a kennel dog. The griffon easily adapts to new situations, as long as his owner is nearby.

Home and Family

The wirehaired pointing griffon loves his family and other pets. He is trustworthy and willing to please. The griffon is great with children and his outgoing personality makes him a wonderful family pet.

The griffon loves to be out working in the field and water. He excels in swampy areas and is better suited to a country life than a city life. The breed needs plenty of room to run but he can do well in a fenced in yard as long as he has plenty of exercise.


The wirehaired pointing griffon is an intelligent and easily trained dog. Early socialization and obedience training is important in producing a well-behaved and obedient dog. This breed responds best to positive reinforcement training.

The griffon loves to hunt, especially birds, and is most often trained to be used by walking hunters. The breed is not fast enough to successfully compete in field trials but loves his job. He is a wonderful pointer and retriever.


The wirehaired pointing griffon sheds little. His wiry hair coat doesn't require much care and weekly brushing is sufficient. Bathe only when necessary.

Special Concerns

The griffon needs room to run and play. A fenced area or immediate supervision is a must. Without adequate exercise, the breed may develop behavioral problems. Early training is necessary since the griffon has a tendency to be strong willed.

Common Diseases and Disorders

Gastric torsion (bloat) is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.

Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.

Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland does not function adequately. Without enough thyroid hormone, illness can occur.

Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.

The wirehaired pointing griffon is also prone to ectropion and allergies.

The wirehaired pointing griffon can live 12 to 14 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.