Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Breed Traits & Facts

Last Updated on January 2, 2023 by Becky Roberts

Quick Summary: The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (affectionately called Griffon or Griff) is a relatively new breed despite its elegant country gentleman appearance. The initial Griffon to be acknowledged as a dog by the American Kennel Club was in 1887. They’re always in the range of 60th to 70th adored dog breeds in America out of about 200 breeds. The Griff is a friendly dog with a balanced temperament which means that it can be a good companion for children of all ages. Still, you need to train your dog, and the most effective dog training method to employ with them is the method of positive reinforcement. Griffons are generally healthy breeds with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a very lovable but relatively scarce dog. There’s a lot of debate over the origins of the breed. What we do know for certain is that he’s among the top breeds in the world of dogs and is also an adorable pet for families. While he’s striking with his appearance (especially the eyebrows and beard), he’s not the ideal pet for all families.

Griffons require an energetic human group seeking an animal companion to join them on their adventure. There are a few additional quirks you have to be aware of prior to inviting one of them to your home. Let’s see whether you and the Griffon make a good match.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Breed History and Background

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a relatively new breed despite its elegant country gentleman appearance. The 19th century, people who played sports in mainland Europe were keen on making gundogs to help in their hunts. However, they wanted a gundog with a variety of abilities that could be great on the ground and equally adept in the water.

A Dutchman known as Eduard Korthals was the son of a wealthy banker. This man is the one responsible for the development of the Griff. After a number of successful breeding attempts, he finally discovered the canine model for this clever dog creation. It is believed that Korthals utilized the Otterhound as well as Setters, Spaniels, and Pointers in the mix.

Korthals traveled throughout Europe to work, specifically in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. However, France is believed to be where the Griffon breed was standardized. The question on the canine historians’ and partisans’ lips is: is this dog a French or a Dutch breed? There is no way to know for certain, so we’ll just sit in the middle and choose the European breed.

A Griff could work on land like Pointer breeds, but he could also retrieve in the water, like many Retrievers. Also, he had webbed feet, which made him a very strong swimmer. Due to his versatility, his popularity quickly grew, and he was a favorite among hunters from all over Europe. He also was quick to appear at European show dogs.

The exact date is not clear as to when the first Griff arrived in America. However, the initial Griffon to be acknowledged as a dog by the American Kennel Club (AKC) was in 1887. The Griffon is always in the range of 60th to 70th adored dog breed in America out of about 200 breeds.

The most well-known Griffon ever is Prince Rainer III of Monaco’s pet, Odin. Odin was the pet of Prince Rainer. When the prince died, Odin followed his late master’s casket during his funeral. Loyal and sweet until the very end!

Appearance and Size

Griffons are medium-sized to large-sized breeds of dogs. Males typically weigh between 50 to 70 pounds and measure 22-24 inches from shoulder to paw. Females tend to be smaller and weigh between 35 to 50 pounds and range from 20 and 22 inches. They are well-balanced breeds in terms of size.

Griffs sport an overall shabby appearance due to their shaggy coats with bushy eyebrows and incredible doggy beards. They sport a square-shaped head with strong, powerful-looking legs. Griffons also sport big and welcoming eyes that create an alert impression. They fly with grace and elegance when they are in full flight.

If you plan to display your Griff to the world at a show, it must be in line with the standard for breeds. Certain allowances can be made; however, they are not always. They do not have to conform to the norm if you’re just seeking a pet. Their appearance has nothing to do with their amazing character in the house.

Coat and Colors

The coat of the Griffon is their most distinctive feature. They are double-coated dogs with a rough overall appearance. The outer layer of their coats is smooth and wet, but it is never wooly or curly. Their hair is medium-length. The wavy texture shields their hair from damage and holds onto the hair that is shed. The undercoat of their dogs is smooth, but it’s thick.

Their eyebrows and beards are a part of their hair’s undercoat, which makes them soft and easy to style! The hair that covers their legs and face is softer than the hair on their bodies and is coarser. If you are looking to display your Griff to the world at the show, just hair on the ears, on top of their cheeks, the top of their head, and feet are permitted to be removed. All other hair should remain natural.

While many online sources claim they believe that Griffon is a hypoallergenic breed, this isn’t the case. They aren’t recognized by the AKC (America’s most prestigious registry for dogs) as a hypoallergenic breed. They are, instead, low shedders, and their falling undercoat is sucked into the fur’s scruffy layer. This makes them more comfortable for those with mild allergies to dogs, but you should not count on it.

The most sought-after Griff coat color is steel gray, with chestnut or brown markings. Other coat colors are roan white and orange. Certain Griffs wear an all-white, brown-black, or black-and-white coat. These colors are usually not as desirable or acceptable in the show rings. It is also possible to have spots on their coats. However, this does not alter their character or cause them to be less Griff in our eyes.

Temperament and Personality Traits

The most obvious aspect of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s personality is that it is a sporty dog that is full of enthusiasm. This makes him a ferocious dog, but one that is a lot of fun for all the family. The dog is often described as a “superior gun dog.’ If that’s what you’re looking for, then you aren’t going to find a better dog than this dog.

Despite being a serious hunter dog, he’s got a hilarious ability to make you laugh. He’ll be sure to entertain your family members with his wacky canine comedy and outgoing personality, and he also has a dopey side as well. He’s a highly smart dog and will quickly master any new trick you’d like him to learn.

Their close connection to humans is reflected in the family home, and they’ll develop a strong connection with their favorite human companions. They’ll especially bond with their master when they go on hunting trips together. They are happiest in being with their human. They don’t like being left home by themselves. This pup will be happier with an at-home family instead of one who is working all day long.

The way they love people is what makes them so affectionate. When they’ve exhausted all their energy and are tired, they’ll be content to spend the night cuddled on the couch. They’re dog breeds that are friendly to families and are great companions for kids of all ages. They also enjoy being with other dogs and are awe-inspiring to watch when they hunt with other dogs.

They are great watchdogs also, as they are very vocal. However, their affection for humans and their sometimes sensitive nature mean that they don’t make excellent guard dogs. Also, they have a sociable and friendly nature when it comes to people from outside after they stop from barking. However, certain Griffon owners have stated they are anxious around strangers. However, this is largely to do with their training.

Living With Your Griffon

As you may have guessed, the Griffon is an extremely adaptable dog that can be a part of any kind of home for families. They prefer bigger homes that have access to an outdoor space. However, they can live in an apartment so long as they are active and take frequent breaks to pee. The only requirement his owner has to meet is to keep him entertained most of the time.

If they’re lucky enough to be able to access a backyard, it needs to be secured. They can pursue anything that enters their backyard, and they’ll be gone before you realize they’ve left. Also, they jump quite high, so be sure to put up high gates and high fences!

The Griffon is a dog that is friendly with a balanced temperament which means that it can be a good companion for children of all ages. However, as with any breed of dog, ensure that you teach your children how to behave with dogs and to be considerate of their space. They are also great in multi-pet homes and are happy to have other dogs’ company.

Exercise Requirements

The Griffon is a dog with a lot of energy that requires at least an hour of intense exercise per day. However, they can easily run for hours when you have time. Keep in mind that these are sports dogs, not lapdogs. They are extremely active, and only families with active children can be a good fit for this dog. Therefore, please ensure that you are able to guarantee that he will be able to exercise regardless of the weather.

If you don’t exercise them enough, you’ll soon have an unhappy dog in your midst. They’ll be loud, destructive, and disruptive – resulting in an unhappy home certainly. However, those who want a challenging and fun dog will find a mate with this breed. Their exercise routine should be enjoyable, challenging, and diverse during the week. Country or forest walks are the most enjoyable for the Griff.

However, their need for exercise does not stop there. They need lots of mental stimulation at the house throughout the day. The dog is going to require access to a huge bucket of chew toys and dog toys. Toys that let him play with and interact with his family members are perfect for outdoor fun. Chew toys are ideal for playtime alone to help relieve anxious or irritable energy, as well as dental health.

The Griffon is a breed with a strong predatory instinct. It is possible that they will not return when they chase a squirrel! They are, however, quite well-behaved and are much more inclined to come back to their owners than sporting dogs that have a high prey drive. This is why you must improve their recall or work out in a secure field. Also, make sure your dog is on a leash when walking along roads.

Training and Socialization

The training for a Griffon is an easy job because he’s extremely smart, eager to please, and respectful. However, this doesn’t mean that you should not train! It is still necessary to be taught the ways of the world in order to transform into a pleasant and polite adult dog.

Dogs require rules, and the Griff is no different. Setting the rules starting from the beginning will help make the training process much more smooth. The most effective dog training method to employ with Griffon Griffon is the method of positive reinforcement. Your dog will likely be enticed with toys that he can chase after, your praise, and perhaps a tasty snack.

The most crucial aspect of dog education is socialization. A good breeder will ensure that the training can be completed within a couple of weeks. It’s your responsibility to carry on the training once you have brought your pet home. Mix them up with the most pets, animals, human beings, and experiences possible. Don’t forget their grooming routine!

Another suggestion for training Griffs is the practice of recall. If he is not trained, the dog’s high prey drive could override your instructions. If you let your dog off-leash, it is important to ensure that he’ll return to you for your and your dog’s safety.

Grooming Requirements

The grooming process for Griffon is fairly easy. Their rough, slick coat must be combed through at least every two weeks to get rid of dead hair or debris trapped in it. You may not think they shed a lot; however, you’ll soon realize how much hair is caught in their coats when groomed. Their coats are prone to matt due to their loose nature. If you notice any knots, try to smooth out the knots using your fingers first. Then, apply a detangling spray as well.

Griffs should be bathed once every three months or less. When you shower them more often, they’ll lose the natural oils in their coat (the oil helps to maintain their coat). Additionally, their rough texture will fade, and the coat will become extremely soft and un-Griff-like. If your Griff gets dirty during their excursions, clean it off with shampoo or use wet dog wipes to get rid of the smell and dirt. Dry shampoo is also a great way to remove odors from dogs.

Brush your dog’s teeth at least twice every week to avoid periodontal disease and keep their breath clean. Your dog’s ears should remain as clean as they can when they bathe or swim. After leaving the pool, dry around the ear canals to eliminate the excess water they haven’t removed. Examine their ears every week for any signs of infection or bad odors. cleanse the ears (do not put anything in the canal of their ear) using a dog ear cleaner.

Nutritional Guide

Griffons typically are known to consume between 2 to two and a half cups of meals per day. They should divide their meals into two or more meals. The amount of food they are allowed to eat daily depends on a variety of aspects, such as their weight, age, and level of activity. To ensure that your dog is not overfed, be sure to adhere to the guidelines for feeding on the package.

It is essential to provide your Griff with appropriate food that can meet the nutritional requirements of their stage in life. This is especially important in the early years of puppyhood, as they require specific nutrients that will help them develop. It also helps lower the risk of developing elbow and hip dysplasia by slowing the growth of their bodies. It is also essential to feed them high-quality foods to ensure they remain as fit and healthy as they can be.

If you plan to use your Griff as a gun dog and are working long hours, you ought to consider using a performance kibble. They contain higher amounts of optimal protein and fats to ensure that they are properly fueled for their activity and also are able to recover their own.

Health Issues

Griffons are generally healthy breeds with a lifespan of between 12 and 15 years. However, like all breeds of dogs, they are susceptible to a fair amount of health issues. A lot of them are passed down through genetics. This is yet another reason to choose an accredited breeder who checks for specific health issues. Regular health checks, top quality diet, and regular exercise are among the most effective and simple methods to keep your dog well.

Below, we have the list of the most prevalent health issues that are prevalent with Griffons. Certain Griffons may be suffering from none, a few, or all of them, or even from many other issues. It’s an excellent starting point to begin your investigation to learn about how healthy this dog is.

Let’s take a look at the two main issues to be aware of. Alongside these two issues, certain breeders also test for cardiac and thyroid issues.

Eye Conditions

Eye problems are also prevalent in a variety of dog breeds. The most frequent eye problem with the Griffon bloodline is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). It is a degenerative condition that affects the retina. Over time it could lead to total loss of vision. If your dog becomes more sensitive to light or begins to bump into objects, it’s the right time to examine its eyes.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow and hip dysplasias are among the most prevalent issues with skeletal structure in the dog world, and all breeds of dogs should be examined for them. Both dysplasia issues could be passed down from parents with weak hips and elbows. It can also be caused by the skeleton growing too quickly as a puppy. If you observe that your Griff has mobility issues or appears to be in discomfort, or is struggling to stand, sit, and climb, it could be the beginning of joint dysplasia.

The Griffons as Family Pets

  • Griffon is a middle – to a large-sized dog that is extremely adaptable.
  • They require between 60 to 120 minutes of exercise per day.
  • They are extremely loving and affectionate dogs and quickly form close bonds.
  • Griffons can be barky, which makes them excellent watchdogs.
  • They are also extremely friendly and warm towards strangers in a matter of minutes.
  • Wirehaired Griffons are enthusiastic to please and are intelligent.
  • They are, therefore, easily trainable and loyal pets.
  • They can live with children of any age, and they are able to be a part of a family with animals as well.
  • Griffons are more comfortable with their owners for the majority of the time.
  • However, they’ll begin to feel lonely after a couple of hours.
  • They have a hilarious and humorous sense of humor that is off the field and are a lot of fun.
  • Griffons are great gun dogs and are awestruck when they jump into the water.
  • They do not shed as much as other breeds.
  • This is why they are a good choice for people who aren’t a huge lover of a lot of dog hair.

Reputable Breeders and Puppy Prices

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a very rare breed of dog in America. It means you may have to travel to locate an excellent breeder you are at ease working with based on your location. It is essential to research thoroughly the breeder you choose to work with.

Responsible breeders will only breed dogs that are healthy through screening for health check-ups. This implies that they will create the healthy pups they can. When you meet a breeder, always inquire about the elbow and hips scores and the results of the ophthalmologist examinations.

It is essential that you should meet the puppies in person in their homes and, with a minimum of one of their parents. Responsible reeders are well-informed and eager to ask you why you think you’d be a perfect match for their Griff puppies.

The typical starting price for the average price for a Griffon pup is approximately 1,000 dollars. If you see puppies being sold at a lower price, it is important to inquire if they’re an ethical or reputable breeder. Breeders who are not of high-quality and puppy mills charge less for their puppies than reputable breeders. They also tend to produce sick and unsocialized litter, which is why it is best to stay clear of these at all costs.

There are regular costs associated with caring for the needs of a Griffon puppy, which can be for up to 15 years! When you are introducing a dog to your home, it’s crucial to set aside a plan for their needs. The purchase of all the items that they require as puppies could be expensive. However, as an average dog breed that’s relatively healthy, they won’t be the most costly pet to take care of.

Adopting From Rescue Centers and Shelters

There are several alternatives if you’re more interested in saving a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon from a shelter. Adopting instead of shopping isn’t the ideal choice for everyone, but it’s an amazing option! Be aware that Griff is a very uncommon breed of dog, and it is possible that there aren’t any waiting to be adopted immediately. However, remember that good things happen to those who are patient!

Go to your local shelters for rescue and ask the staff members about the resident Griffs. They could have one at the nearby shelters if they don’t have one. In addition, you could contact the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association as it has an information page on rescuing Griffs. Their website is packed with additional information about Griffs.


The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a very rare but unique canine breed. You’ll definitely draw the attention of people who aren’t familiar with you while walking along the streets with him. They are unique due to their elegant hairstyle and messy coats. They also have charming personality traits that make them loved at home with the family and a joy to play with out on the field. They are referred to as the best gun dogs due to the fact that they’re exactly what they are!

However, you’ve learned that they aren’t the ideal breed for just any family. They’re energetic, hardworking, and a lot of fun to take care of. Not every family has the time or energy to share their home with them. If you are able to offer them an inviting home and cater to everything they need and want, you will meet a friend in this adorable dog.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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