Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a happy and loving dog breed. She makes an excellent gundog or family companion, and she suffers from comparatively few diseases. With her sense of humor and lively nature, she’s a good match for an energetic family that’s looking for a dog to be part of its daily activities.

See all Wirehaired Pointing Griffon characteristics below!

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Adoption
Dog Names
Bringing Home Your Dog
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Housetraining Puppies
Feeding a Puppy
Dog games
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Breed Characteristics:

Adaptability
Adapts Well to Apartment Living1More info +

Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn't necessarily an apartment dog make — plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents, are all good qualities in an apartment dog.

See Dogs Not Well Suited to Apartment Living

Good For Novice Owners3More info +

Some dogs are simply easier than others: they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They're also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies. Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time owner to manage. You'll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.

See Dogs That Are Good For Experienced Owners

Sensitivity Level4More info +

Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.

See Dogs That Have Low Sensitivity Levels

Tolerates Being Alone1More info +

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive, barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.

See Dogs Poorly Suited To Be Alone

Tolerates Cold Weather4More info +

Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.

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Tolerates Hot Weather3More info +

Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can't pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, the dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you'll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.

See Dogs Poorly Suited For Hot Weather

All Around Friendliness
Affectionate with Family5More info +

Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they've been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn't the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.

See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family

Incredibly Kid Friendly Dogs5More info +

Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who's on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (aka pit bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren't so family-friendly.

**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they're not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.

See Dogs Not Kid Friendly

Dog Friendly4More info +

Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs even if they're love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn't the only factor; dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least 6 to 8 weeks of age, and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.

See Dogs That Are Not Dog Friendly

Friendly Toward Strangers5More info +

Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult.

See Dogs That Are More Shy

Health Grooming
Amount Of Shedding1More info +

If you're going to share your home with a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds: Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally -- produce a snowstorm of loose hair -- some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you're a neatnik you'll need to either pick a low-shedding breed, or relax your standards.

See Dogs That Shed Very Little

Drooling Potential1More info +

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you're a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

See Dogs That Are Not Big Droolers

Easy To Groom3More info +

Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog that needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.

See Dogs That Require More Grooming

General Health4More info +

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they're at an increased risk. If you're buying a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in, so you can ask the breeder about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.

See Dogs More Prone To Health Problems

Potential For Weight Gain3More info +

Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that's prone to packing on pounds, you'll need to limit treats, make sure he gets enough exercise, and measure out his daily kibble in regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

Size3More info +

Dogs come in all sizes, from the world's smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if he is compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right large dog for you!

See Medium Dogs

See Small Dogs

Trainability
Easy To Train5More info +

Easy to train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word "sit"), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training. Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a "What's in it for me?" attitude, in which case you'll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.

See Dogs That Are Challenging To Train

Intelligence5More info +

Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they'll make their own work -- usually with projects you won't like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

See Dogs That Have Low Intelligence

Potential For Mouthiness3More info +

Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a chew toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Prey Drive4More info +

Dogs that were bred to hunt, such as terriers, have an inborn desire to chase and sometimes kill other animals. Anything whizzing by — cats, squirrels, perhaps even cars — can trigger that instinct. Dogs that like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won't chase, but you'll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.

See Dogs That Have Low Prey Drive

Tendency To Bark Or Howl4More info +

Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes — with barks or howls — and how often. If you're considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you're considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious "strangers" put him on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby?

See Dogs That Are Mostly Quiet

Wanderlust Potential4More info +

Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses, or that bunny that just ran across the path, even if it means leaving you behind.

See Dogs Less Prone To Wander

Exercise Needs
Energy Level5More info +

High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells. Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.

See Dogs That Have Low Energy

Intensity3More info +

A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash (until you train him not to), tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.

See Dogs With Low Intensity

Exercise Needs4More info +

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting. Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

See Dogs That Don't Need Tons of Exercise

Potential For Playfulness5More info +

Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

See Dogs That Are Less Playfull

Vital Stats:

Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 8 inches to 2 feet tall at the shoulder
Weight: 50 to 60 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 14 years
  • The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a medium-sized gundog breed of relatively recent vintage. The breed was developed near the end of the 19th century, and ever since then these dogs have awed people with their amazing ability to point and retrieve.

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was originally used for hunting and would flush, point, and retrieve water fowl, game birds, and even hares. She's been described as the "supreme gundog" and is still actively used in this role. She also makes an excellent family companion and enjoys any kind of work. Many Griffons have been successful in agility, tracking, and obedience.

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is also a happy and loving breed. She generally gets along well with everyone, and although she'll alert bark, she's too gentle to be a strong guard dog. She does well in homes with children, but she prefers older children who know how to treat a dog properly. She usually gets along with other pets and dogs but still needs to be socialized, since some Griffons can be nervous when they're introduced to new people, dogs, and situations.

    Griffons are an energetic breed and require daily exercise. They will do much better when they have an area to run in, and most exercise should be off-lead in the yard. They're not recommended for apartments, and although they can adapt to city living, they do much better in the country. They thrive when they're in the company of their families and are not the best breed to live outside in the yard or in a kennel.

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is considered to be a nonshedder and should make an excellent dog for people with allergies. They do require some grooming with weekly brushings, and some stripping of the coat is required.

    Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are always eager to please and are very intelligent. Generally they're easy to train and enjoy working closely with their owners.

    Despite the fact that the breed is young, it has gained popularity. Griffons are free from many inherited disorders, have a sense of humor that's endearing, and they're ideal hunting and family companions. If you're looking for a high-energy, humorous hunting and family dog, this may be the breed for you.

  • Highlights

    • Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are sporting dogs and consequently have a great deal of energy. They require daily exercise, preferably a minimum of 20 minutes off-leash per day.
    • They can adjust to city living, although they're not recommended for apartments. Griffons do best in the country where they have room to run. They also do better if they reside inside the home with their families, rather than living in the yard or a kennel.
    • Wirehaired Pointing Griffons thrive when they're with their owners; they can suffer from separation anxiety if they're left alone for long periods at a time.
    • Although they're a nonshedding breed, Griffons still require some care. Expect to brush about once a week and to strip the coat several times per year.
    • Wirehaired Pointing Griffons generally do well with other dogs and pets.
    • Griffons enjoy being a companion breed. They have a loving and gentle temperament, making them good with children. They're usually accepting of everyone, although some can be high-strung and nervous when introduced to new people, dogs, and situations. Early socialization is important with all breeds, and the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is no exception.
    • Although they don't have the suspicious nature of guarding breeds, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons do make excellent watchdogs since they will alert bark if someone comes to the house. Don't expect them to carry it further and defend the house, though, since they tend to be easygoing with everyone.
    • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
  • History

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a fairly young breed. Its development is attributed to one E.K. Korthals, a Dutchman who lived in France and was interested in creating the ideal gundog. There's no clear evidence of what breeds he used, but some believe that he crossed the Otterhound and various Setters and Spaniels. It's also probable that a Pointer was part of the mix.

    Starting his work in 1874, he eventually produced three dogs — Moustache I, Querida, and Lina — who in turn produced the best lines in the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon breed.

    Korthals was soon able to win over many people to his breed's ability to point and retrieve. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon gained popularity quickly and the breed was first exhibited in a show early in its history. In 1887, the first Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was registered in the United States.

  • Size

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon should be a medium-sized dog, males averaging 22 to 24 inches in height and females ranging from 20 to 22 inches. The average weight is 50 to 60 pounds.

  • Personality

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is often described as the "supreme gundog," and her energetic and intelligent nature leaves little doubt as to why. She's a versatile hunting dog who will both point and retrieve.

    She also makes a devoted and loyal family companion. She's likely to have a sense of humor that will amuse everyone, and she won't lose this trait with age. She's likely to be loving and accepting of just about everyone, although some Griffons have been known to be nervous around strangers.

    Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner.

    Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who's available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.

    Like every dog, the Griffon needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Griffon puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

    Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

  • Health

    Griffons are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Griffons will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.

    If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.

    In Griffons, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a score of fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site (offa.org).

    • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a family of eye diseases that involves the gradual deterioration of the retina. Early in the disease, affected dogs become night-blind; they lose sight during the day as the disease progresses. Many affected dogs adapt well to their limited or lost vision, as long as their surroundings remain the same.
    • Hip Dysplasia: This is an inherited condition in which the thighbone doesn't fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but others don't display outward signs of discomfort. (X-ray screening is the most certain way to diagnose the problem.) Either way, arthritis can develop as the dog ages. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred, so if you're buying a puppy, ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free of problems.
  • Care

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is an intelligent breed, a quick learner who's eager to please. It's important to start training early, especially if you want to train her as a gundog. Socialization should also start as soon as vaccinations are complete, since Griffons — though not generally aggressive — can sometimes be high-strung or nervous around new people, dogs, and situations.

    Although Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are hardy enough to live in kennels, they do much better living indoors with their families. They thrive when they're working closely with people. They also do better in the country where there's room to run, but they can adapt to city living if they have a fenced yard. They're not recommended for apartments.

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon needs regular exercise, a minimum of 20 minutes of free play every day. She does better when she's exercised off-lead in a yard; if you walk her on a leash, then you'll need to spend more time, since she can't receive the same workout as when she's running loose. Like many sporting breeds, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has a lot of energy but can be fairly calm when inside the house.

  • Feeding

    Recommended daily amount: 2 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.

    Note: How much your adult dog eats depends on her size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.

    Keep your Griffon in good shape by measuring her food and feeding her twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you're unsure whether she's overweight, give her the eye test and the hands-on test.

    First, look down at her. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on her back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see her ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, she needs less food and more exercise.

    For more on feeding your Griffon, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.

  • Coat Color And Grooming

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has a dense double coat. The undercoat is a thick, weather-resistant down. The topcoat is harsh in texture and consists of straight, wiry hair. It is medium in length and should never be curly. The Griffon should have eyebrows and a moustache, both of which are extensions of the undercoat.

    The preferred coat is a steel gray color with chestnut brown or roan markings. Colors that are less desired in the show ring are a uniform white or brown, or white and orange.

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is considered to be a nonshedder; any hair loss is light. The coat should be combed through about once a week and stripped of dead or loose hair. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon should only be bathed when necessary, since bathing can soften the natural harshness of its coat.

    The ears need special attention and must be kept clean and dry, especially after swimming. Otherwise they can trap water, dirt, and debris, leading to ear infections. Check them weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection. When you check your dog's ears, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Don't insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear.

    Brush your Griffon's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

    Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding — and your dog may not cooperate the next time she sees the nail clippers come out. So, if you're not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers.

    Begin accustoming your Griffon to being brushed and examined when she's a puppy. Handle her paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside her mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when she's an adult.

    As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

  • Children And Other Pets

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a very loving and gentle breed who does well with children. She's better suited to homes where children are over the age of six, but they can adapt well to younger children who know how to properly treat a dog.

    As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

    The Griffon generally does well with other dogs and pets if she's properly socialized from puppyhood.

  • Rescue Groups

    Griffons are often purchased without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are many Griffons in need of adoption and or fostering. There are a number of rescues that we have not listed. If you don't see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a Griffon rescue.