History of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Breed
The wirehaired pointing griffon has a well-planned and documented history. The breed began with the creation of the Cherville griffon in the mid-1800s. Edward Korthals of Holland began the methodical melding of breeds in 1874 by crossing 20 dogs representing seven breeds including the griffon, spaniel, water spaniel, German and French pointer, and setter. Even though the wirehaired pointing griffon is Dutch in origin, it is considered a French breed due to its achieving its popularity as a serious breed in France. In 1887, the breed standard was published, however it was often referred to as a Russian setter or retriever, because it had lots of fur like other Siberian dogs. After World War II, the wirehaired pointing griffon grew more popular as the ideal breed for hunters due to its ability to point and retrieve and its hunting abilities in all types of terrain. It is especially useful in swampy lands where its harsh coat provides protection from the environment. However after falling behind in competitive field trials, many hunters turned to the faster breeds. Still today the wirehaired pointing griffon has many loyal followers who see it not only as “the supreme gun dog,” but also as a loving companion.
Size and Appearance of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
The wirehaired pointing griffon is a medium-sized dog that is longer than it is tall with a square-shaped head. Its motion is cat-like with a gait that is low and graceful. This breed’s fur is hard and coarse, not woolly, with a thick coat of fine hair on its belly. This mixture of coarse and fine hair provides protection for the swampy terrain in which it was bred to excel. Its coat gives it a messy appearance, while its furry face gives it a friendly expression. The wirehaired pointing griffon can be steel gray with chestnut markings, white and chestnut, or just white.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Temperament
The wirehaired pointing griffon can easily be trained to be a skilled hunter, always staying near his owner, pointing and retrieving with precision. Although intelligent and independent, this breed aims to please by following commands. The wirehaired pointing griffon is a meticulous hunter, but he is also a devoted and truly loyal companion pet. Its friendly, and sometimes comical, nature makes it a perfect family pet. It is very trustworthy, even to strangers, other dogs and small animals.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Recommended Maintenance
This breed is highly active, requiring daily exercise such as jogging, swimming, or fast-paced games. Its coat requires combing several times a week and trimming when it grows unruly. Also, its ears require cleaning and removal of the hair within the canal as a preventative measure. The wirehaired pointing griffon is not suited to live in an apartment, because it needs plenty of activity that can only be met with outdoor time, such as on a farm or in the country.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Health
• Life span: 10–14 years
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: CHD, otitis externa, entropion, ectropion
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: (hip), (eye)