The word, “griffon” is a general term used to describe dogs with wiry hair and certain facial features. In fact, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was bred to recreate an extinct griffon hunting dog breed. The modern Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a hardy and all-around hunting dog. His brown nose is highly sensitive to smell. He can be trained to hunt both birds and mammals; he can both point and retrieve game; he will eagerly retrieve from both land and water; and he is well adapted to hunt under almost every weather condition. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a great swimmer and his stiff, harsh, double-coat helps to protect him from the colder elements.
Even though the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was bred to be a hunting dog, he also makes a great family dog. He is a loyal people-oriented dog who is easy to train because he is eager to please. Positive reinforcement works best with this dog as he can be rather sensitive to harsh methods of training. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is great with older children and good with other pets. A dog like this, though, needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon may take his time to be thorough when on the hunting ground but his overall nature is to be sociable and always raring to go. If he is not properly exercised or stimulated he tends to be destructive.
If you are considering a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, keep not only their high energy level in mind, but also be aware of certain health issues. Like most large-dog breeds, you need to be concerned about hip dysplasia. Make sure both parents are certified with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (www.offa.org). Wirehaired Pointing Griffon also tend to get ear infections. This is more due to the ear-type than the breed.
Grooming requirements need to be considered as well. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons need their coats brushed regularly. And twice a year they may need to have the dead hairs of their coat removed with hand-stripping. Hand-stripping, as defined by Wikipedia, is a “process of pulling the dead hair out of the coat of a non-shedding dog, either by using a stripping knife or the fingers”. Hand-stripping is not necessarily a requirement unless you plan on showing the dog.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon colors are generally a mixture and can be described as gray or silver or white with splashes of brown or chestnut or orange. The standard size and weight of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is approximately 19-23 inches and 50-70 pounds. He has a long head and muzzle with long eyebrows and a mustache. His nose is brown and he has a straight tail which is sometimes docked to about a third of its length.
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D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D. (2007). The Dog Breed Bible. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.
Ernest H. Hart (1968). Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. Neptune City, NJ: T.F.H. Publications, Inc.
Wikipedia. (Last updated 12 January 2009). Dog Grooming. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand-stripping. Last accessed 18 January 2009.