Wirehaired Pointing Griffon: Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Sitting in Grass

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Also known as the Korthals Griffon, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a medium-sized Dutch dog breed in the sporting group with wiry fur and signature facial hair. While they are known for their excellent dry land and water hunting skills, these dogs also make laid-back and affectionate companions. They have calm personalities and tend to get along well with respectful children and other dogs. Their low-shedding, hypoallergenic coats make this breed an ideal choice for owners with allergies. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are fondly praised by breed enthusiasts for their humorous personalities and intentionally unkempt, lovable appearance.

Breed Overview

Group: Sporting

Height: 22 to 24 inches (males); 20 to 22 inches (females)

Weight: 50 to 70 pounds (males); 35 to 50 pounds (females)

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

Coat Color: Steel gray with brown markings or combinations of brown, white, roan, and orange

Life Span: 12 to 14 years

Temperament: Gentle, loyal, alert, companionable, proud, friendly

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Origin: Netherlands

Characteristics of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is an excellent choice for a family dog, as it is especially loving toward its owners and gets along well with children. These dogs thrive with 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 alone for too long on a regular basis.

While Wirehaired Pointing Griffons can make good watchdogs, their gentle personas mean they are not suited to be guard dogs. They may bark to let you know someone is approaching, but they tend to be loving and friendly at heart.

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 this breed, with some believing they could have traces of dogs like Pointer, Spaniel, Otterhound, and Setter in their origins. 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 an effort to produce a supreme and versatile hunting dog for those on foot. His dogs, beginning in the 1870s, are considered to be the main lineage of all Wirehaired Pointing Griffons today. They are often referred to as Korthals Griffons in parts of Europe in recognition of their history.

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, where they were renowned as reliable, hard-working, and adaptable hunting dogs.

The first Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was introduced to North America in the late 19th century, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1916. To this day, they are still regarded as adaptable gun dogs, but they have also grown in popularity as affectionate and active companion dogs.

Eduard Karel Korthals, the founder of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

The Library of Congress

Eduard Karel Korthals the founder of the wirehaired pointing griffon at the 1923 dog show in France

The Library of Congress

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Care

As a breed that requires considerable exercise, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is well-suited to an active family home. Grooming and training are relatively easy for these dogs thanks to their low-maintenance coats and eagerness to please their owners.


Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are very active dogs that require plenty of daily exercise. Their intelligence, hard-working nature, and energetic personalities mean they are well suited to dog sports like agility and scent work trials. They will fit in well with a family that has a great love of the outdoors. This breed enjoys playing and spending time outside to expel its energy, whether chasing a ball in the backyard or joining its owners on a hike.


The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has a low-maintenance grooming regime. While no dog is truly non-shedding, it is very minimal for these dogs, so they often appeal to people that have allergies.

The hard, wiry outer coat has a naturally unkempt look about it, and it's accompanied by a charming mustache and bushy eyebrows. These dogs just need a weekly brush out and an occasional trim to prevent the coat from becoming too untidy, especially around the eyes.


This breed responds very well to positive training methods. With the right socialization and ongoing training, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons make excellent companions. Their hunting background means they may have a higher than normal prey drive, however, and care should be taken if introducing them to cats or other small furries.

This breed can sometimes be reserved around strangers, so it's best to introduce your dog to plenty of people and animals from puppyhood. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons also have a propensity towards alert barking, so this may require some work to ensure that it does not get out of control.

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

Common Health Problems

Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are considered a generally healthy breed. When adopting a puppy, it's important to find a breeder that performs appropriate health screens on potential parents to help minimize the chances of puppies developing a genetic condition. Most responsible breeders complete hip scoring and eye checks to reduce the possibility of the following issues:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This condition is caused by a malformation in your dog's joints as they mature. More severe cases of dysplasia can require surgery, but in mild cases, your vet may recommend physical therapy to help your dog live comfortably.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Also called PRA, this disease affects your dog's vision and eventually causes blindness.
  • Cataracts: This condition affects the lens of the eye, causing it to appear cloudy. Surgery is the best option to treat severe cataracts.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV or Bloat): Common in large breeds with narrow, deep chests, Bloat is a condition in which your dog's stomach can become filled with gas and twist. Preventative measures like prophylactic gastropexy surgery can be performed to tack the stomach down.

Diet and Nutrition

As with all dog breeds, you should feed your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon a high-quality and properly portion-controlled diet. Talk with your veterinarian to plan a healthy feeding schedule and specific portions suitable for your dog's age, weight, and activity level.

For large dogs that are prone to Bloat, it's also recommended to feed two to three smaller meals per day rather than one large portion. If you have a dog that gulps their food down in minutes, try feeding them from a slow-feeder bowl or interactive treat toy; this can increase the time it takes them to finish their meal and reduce health risks.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Check with your local shelters and rescues to find Wirehaired Pointing Griffons and similar breeds in need of forever homes. There are lots of deserving dogs in rescues across the country, and it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

If you plan to adopt a puppy from a breeder, it's best to research credible breeders to increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life and growing up with the breed's ideal temperament. Puppies typically cost between $1,000 and $2,000 from breeders, which may vary depending on their pedigree and availability in your area. These resources can help you start your search:

When adopting a purebred Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppy, there are a few general rules of thumb to consider. You should be able to see the puppies together with their mother in a nurturing home environment, and they shouldn't be allowed to come home with you until they are at least eight weeks old.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Overview

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

  • Affectionate and easy-going

  • Minimal shedding

  • Can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone too much

  • Might be prone to alert barking

  • Can be sensitive

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you are interested in adopting a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, you might also consider these similar breeds:

There are lots of wonderful dog breeds out there. With a little research, you can find one that will be best suited to having a forever home with you!

  • Do Wirehaired Pointing Griffons Bark?

    This breed is known for alert barking, but it is not regarded as a guard dog thanks to its friendly personality. Your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is likely to bark when strangers are outside or if it sees something unusual.

  • How Rare Is the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon?

    The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a rare breed in the United States, but it's still possible to adopt this type of dog through credible breeders and breed-specific rescues. Potential owners can join a waitlist for a puppy, and some travel may be necessary depending on location.

  • Do Wirehaired Pointing Griffons Need Haircuts?

    With its wiry, hypoallergenic coat, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon does not require considerable grooming; its unkempt appearance is typical of the breed and many owners prefer it. Your dog may occasionally need a trim around the eyes when its fur grows too long.