Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (Korthals Griffon): Dog Breed Profile

Characteristics, History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Sitting in Grass

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The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is primarily Dutch in origin. While they are known for their excellent dry land and water hunting skills, they also make laid back and affectionate companions.

Breed Overview

Group: Sporting

Height: 22 to 24 inches (male); 20 to 22 inches (female)

Weight: 50 to 70 pounds (male); 35 to 50 pounds (female)

Coat: Medium length, straight, wiry topcoat, and a fine, thick undercoat

Coat Color: Steel gray with brown markings, although brown and white roan and orange markings are also to be found

Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

Characteristics of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly  High
Pet-Friendly  Medium
Exercise Needs  High
Playfulness  High
Energy Level  High
Trainability High
Intelligence  High
Tendency to Bark  Medium
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

There is much debate about the true origins of the breed, with some believing they could have traces of Pointer, Spaniel, Otterhound and Setter in their blood, to name a few.

Early examples of similar breeds could possibly be traced back to the 16th century, but their well-documented history began in the late 19th century.

A young Dutchman named Eduard Karel Korthals, who was an avid hunter, began developing the breed in earnest in an effort to produce a supreme and versatile hunting dog for those on foot.

His dogs, from the 1870s, are considered to be the main lineage of all Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (WPG) today. They are even often referred to as 'Korthals Griffons' in parts of Europe, in recognition of this.

By the time of Korthals death in 1896, the breed had grown in numbers and popularity across Europe. They were particularly popular in the Netherlands and France. They were recognized as a reliable, hard-working and adaptable hunting dog.

The first Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was introduced to North America in the late 19th century, and the American Kennel Club recognized them in 1916.

To this day, they are still well regarded as an adaptable gun dog, but they have also grown in popularity as an affectionate and active companion breed.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Care

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is well-suited to an active family home.

They are a very energetic breed that requires a decent amount of daily exercise. Their intelligence, hard-working nature and eagerness to please means they are well suited to dog sports like agility and scent work trials. They will slot in well with a family that has a great love of the outdoors.

They respond very well to positive training methods and, with the right socialization and ongoing training, they make excellent companions.

They are known for their laid-back personalities and tend to get along well with respectful children and other dogs. Their hunting background means they may have a higher than normal prey drive though, and care should be taken if introducing them to a household with cats or other small furries.

WPGs can sometimes be reserved around strangers, and they do have a propensity towards alert barking, so this may require some work to ensure that it does not get out of control.

While they can make good watchdogs, their gentle personas mean they are not going to be a guard dog. They may bark to let you know someone is approaching, but they tend to be big softies at heart.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffons thrive on company. They can become very attached to their family members, and it is not uncommon for them to become your shadow, following you from room to room in the house. For this reason, they are best suited to a household where they will have company for most of the day. They can develop separation anxiety when left too long, too often.

The breed does not have a high maintenance grooming regime. While no dog is truly non-shedding, with WPGs it is very minimal, and so they often appeal to people that have allergies.

Their hard, wiry outer coat has a naturally unkempt look about it, and they have a charming mustache and bushy eyebrows. They will just need a weekly brush out and perhaps an occasional hand strip to prevent the coat from becoming too untidy, especially around the eyes.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon running
VSFP / Getty Images
Pup Wirehaired Pointing Griffon and his Mother
PharmShot / Getty Images
wirehaired pointing griffon in a show
Matthew Eisman / Contributor / Getty Images

Common Health Problems

Whenever you are selecting a puppy, you should look for a breeder that performs appropriate health screens on potential parents to help minimize the chances of them developing an inheritable condition. Most breeders will do hip scoring and eye checks to reduce the possibility of hip dysplasia and diseases like cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are considered generally healthy overall with no major known inheritable health conditions.

Diet and Nutrition

As with any dog, you should feed your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon a high-quality and properly portion-controlled diet.

Larger breeds with a narrow and deep chest are recognized as being at risk of developing Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV), commonly referred to as Bloat. This can be a life-threatening condition. It is recommended that two or three meals per day, rather than one large one can reduce the risk of developing Bloat.

If you have a dog that gulps their food down in minutes, then feeding them from a slow feeding bowl or interactive treat toy can increase the time it takes them to finish their meal, and this may also help minimize any risk.

Pros
  • Perfect in a home that is active or wants to pursue dog sports

  • Affectionate and easy-going

  • Minimal shedding

Cons
  • Can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone too much

  • A bit of an alert barker

  • Can be sensitive in nature

Where to Adopt or Buy a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Whatever puppy you are planning to bring home, you should do your research and find a good breeder.

You should be able to see the puppies together with their mother in a nurturing home environment. They shouldn't be allowed to come home with you until they are at least eight weeks old.

The American Wirehaired Pointing Griffin Association would be a good place to start your research.

Why not consider adopting a WPG or similar breed? There are lots of deserving dogs in rescues across the country, and it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you are interested in dogs similar to the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon you could also consider the following breeds:

There are lots of wonderful dog breeds out there. By doing your research, you will find one that will be best suited to having a forever home with you.