What To Know About Wirehaired Pointing Griffons


In this Article

  • Characteristics of Wirehaired Pointing Griffons
  • Caring for Wirehaired Pointing Griffons
  • Health Problems to Watch for With Wirehaired Pointing Griffons
  • Special Considerations for Wirehaired Pointing Griffons
  • History of Wirehaired Pointing Griffons

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is known as the supreme gun dog. The American Kennel Club (AKC) places the breed in the sporting group. 

They’re built to handle rough outdoor environments where their wiry coats provide great protection. But they’re not just practical. These coats also give the dogs their distinct, rugged good looks. They have a tousled, unkempt appearance that many owners find endearing. 

It’s clear from a single glance at the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon that they’re built for an adventurous lifestyle, not fussy grooming or the life of a pampered lapdog. 

Characteristics of Wirehaired Pointing Griffons

Body size. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are a medium-sized breed. The average Wirehaired Pointing Griffon size is larger for males than for females. 

Males are around 22 to 24 inches high. Females are slightly shorter with an average height of 20 to 22 inches. 

Healthy males can weigh anywhere from 50 to 70 pounds depending on their height and body shape. Healthy females are an average of 35 to 50 pounds. Talk to your veterinarian if you’re concerned that your dog is too far under or overweight. 

This medium size means that the dogs are easy to transport and happy in most sized homes, as long as they have some access to the outdoors. 

Body shape. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons have rectangular shapes. They’re slightly longer than they are tall. They have strong limbs that can tirelessly carry them through difficult environments. 

Other Wirehaired Pointing Griffon characteristics include square heads that are in proportion with the rest of their bodies. The skull ends in a squared muzzle. They have medium-sized ears that are set high on the skull and lie close to the head. 

Their tails are straight continuations of their spines. The breed standard recommends docking them to one-third or one-half of their normal lengths. But this doesn’t benefit the dog in any way and most families are happy with a natural tail. 

Gait. These hunters move with cat-like grace. They need to be able to cover ground efficiently and should move with tireless enthusiasm. They should use a medium pace to conserve energy for all-day hunts.  

Lifespan. These dogs should live for over a decade. The average Wirehaired Pointing Griffon lifespan is 12 to 15 years. This means that you should plan on a long life with your dog, especially if you get them as a puppy. 

Coat. These dogs have double coats. This means that they grow two different types of coats, an undercoat and an overcoat. 

Their undercoat is short, fine, and thick. It helps keep the dog warm and provides some water resistance. It grows longer on the face to create distinctive eyebrows and a mustache.  

The overcoat is medium in length. It has a harsh, wiry texture that’s the reason for the breed’s name. 

Their coats come in seven recognized color combinations: 

  • Brown
  • Chestnut
  • White
  • White and brown
  • White and orange
  • Brown and gray
  • Chestnut and gray

Their coats can also be ticked or roan. Both are types of markings that intersperse different colors across the coat. 

Eyes. They have large, rounded eyes that can be various shades of yellow and brown. They sparkle with obvious intelligence and are alert to their surroundings. 

Personality. The typical Wirehaired Pointing Griffon personality is that of a friendly and affectionate dog. They’re outgoing animals that can think quickly on their feet, a trait that comes in handy when they’re out on a hunt. 

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon temperament is a mix of familial devotion and a strong work ethic. They’re highly trainable and eager to please their owners. 

They’re also quick-witted, intelligent animals that can figure out some problems all on their own. 

Caring for Wirehaired Pointing Griffons

Grooming. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons have moderate grooming requirements. You should brush out their coats about once a week or when you notice any tangles. You may need to trim their coats near their paws and ears to keep them looking neat. 

Their undercoat doesn’t shed excessively but will produce more dead hairs during shedding seasons. You’ll want to brush them more frequently at this point to keep dead hairs off of your furniture. 

They have drooping ears that need to be cleaned regularly and inspected for any signs of infection. You should also clip their nails as needed and brush their teeth frequently — preferably on a daily basis. 

Feeding. Make sure that your dog has access to clean water at all times. 

You should feed them high-quality dog food. Either find a brand that your particular pet prefers or make the food yourself. Just make sure to talk to your veterinarian about the right foods to include in a homemade mix. 

You should limit table scraps and other treats to keep your pet from becoming obese. Make sure you know what human foods are safe for dogs to eat before you share any meals with your pet. 

Exercise and Mental Stimulation. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons have a substantial need for both mental and physical stimulation. They’re particularly energetic as puppies and need daily exercise at every age. 

They’re also very sociable animals and shouldn’t be left in a kennel for a long time. 

They love playing fetch and going on long walks in nature. They were bred to work both on land and in water, so they also enjoy swimming. 

You should engage them every single day with new tasks and activities. These dogs are happiest in active households with families that involve them in their everyday lives. 

Make sure that these inquisitive, energetic traits are what you’re looking for in a pet before bringing one of these dogs home. 

Veterinary visits, medications, and immunizations. Your veterinarian is the best person to determine all of the vaccinations that your pet needs. But all dogs should get a core set. 

This includes vaccinations for:

  • Canine parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Adenovirus
  • Parainfluenza virus
  • Rabies

These can begin as early as six weeks of age. There are also other non-core vaccinations that you can discuss with your veterinarian. 

Dosages for flea and tick medications are based on your dog’s weight and used as needed. Oral and skin-based applications are available from your veterinarian or other distributors.

Many of these medications can be effective against a variety of pests and parasites, so talk to your veterinarian to figure out the best one for you. These days, heartworm medication is also recommended year-round in all parts of the U.S.

Health Problems to Watch for With Wirehaired Pointing Griffons

Common Wirehaired Pointing Griffon health issues include: 

  • Eye conditions. This can include a variety of conditions. Your dog can inherit some and acquire others throughout their lifetime. One example is glaucoma. 
  • Heart disease
  • Hip dysplasiaThis heritable condition is where the ball and socket which make up your dog’s hip joint do not fit together properly and rub against each other instead. It isn’t as common in Wirehaired Pointing Griffons as it is in other breeds, but you should still have your veterinarian examine your dog’s hips to make sure that there aren’t any issues. 
  • Elbow dysplasia. This is a similar condition to hip dysplasia, but it affects the elbow joint instead of the hip joint.

Special Considerations for Wirehaired Pointing Griffons

Wirehaired Pointing Griffons were bred to be ideal hunting companions. This means that they have some unique features. For example, they have webbed feet to help them swim. 

They’re best at retrieving small furred game, waterfowl, and other birds. Introduce them to your hunting practices early in order to maximize their abilities. But keep in mind that they don’t need to hunt to be happy. They’re equally content participating in an active family life. 

They’re great with young children and open with strangers. They might struggle with other dogs, but you can fix this with early training. The dogs were bred to be highly trainable.

They only bark and drool a moderate amount compared to other breeds.  

History of Wirehaired Pointing Griffons

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon breed is at most around 200 years old. They were created during the craze for gundogs that occurred in central Europe during the 19th century. At this time, noblemen and other men from well-to-do families were eager to cross large varieties of pointing and hunting breeds in order to create an ideal sporting companion.

One of these breeding enthusiasts was a Dutchman named Eduard Korthals. He was the son of a wealthy banker and devoted decades of his free time to dog breeding pursuits. He bred his dogs for generations in the Netherlands, Germany, and France. The result was the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. 

He specifically designed this dog to function on land and in the water. It’s bred to behave like a pointer when on land and a retriever in the water. 

People have debated the exact nationality of this dog breed because it was created by a man from the Netherlands who had his primary kennels in Germany but spent a lot of time breeding in France. 

The breed was first recognized by the United Kingdom’s kennel club in 1936. It’s commonly referred to as Korthals Griffon in that region.

Despite the fact that people have known about this dog for a long time, the breed is unpopular in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Canada.   

Show Sources

Photo Credits:

1. Ihor Martsenyuk / Getty Images


The American Animal Hospital Association: “2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines.”

American Heartworm Society: “Heartworm Medicine for Dogs.” 

American Kennel Club: “Official Standard of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon,” “Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.”

Europetnet: “Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.” 

UC Davis Veterinary Medicine: “Fleas.”

United Kennel Club: “Wire-Haired Pointing Griffon.” 

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