Although many dog breeds are described as fearless, the medium-size wirehaired pointing griffons are known for going wherever necessary for the hunt, whether that's diving into the water or thorny underbrush. However, they are also fun, loving family dogs. Both France and the Netherlands claim WPGs because their original breeder, Eduard Koral Korthals, was of Dutch heritage but finished breeding griffs in France. The dogs are also sometimes called Korthals griffons.
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Wirehaired pointing griffon history
Korthals was an avid hunter who wanted to develop a medium-size dog who could help hunters who walked while hunting with guns. The term "gundog" was used to describe the dogs most often used. They are also called hunting dogs and bird dogs because they typically helped flush out geese, ducks, and other fowl. The American Kennel Club recognized griffs in 1887 in the sporting dog group. In 1991, the AKC named the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association the official national parent club for wirehaired pointing griffons.
Wirehaired pointing griffon characteristics
Male wirehaired pointing griffons typically measure 22 to 24 inches tall at the shoulders, weighing between 50 and 70 pounds, while females are 20 to 22 inches tall and weigh 35 to 50 pounds. Their medium-length double coat includes a soft undercoat and a hard, wiry outer coat in gray, brown, white, or a mixture, but the preferred color is steel gray with brown markings. Their most striking physical characteristics are their thick eyebrows and mustache that give them a distinctive and even noble appearance.
The breed was developed to be a hunting dog, which makes them good watchdogs too. Equally important is hanging out with their family members. WPGs are good with children and other dogs, especially with early socialization to both.
Wirehaired pointing griffon temperament & training
Wirehaired pointing griffons have an eager personality and learn quickly, making them not only supreme gun dogs but also great in obedience training, especially when consistent and positive training methods are used. Additionally, the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association offers training to improve hunting skills.
Agility is a sport that is fun for dogs and dog owners. It's great exercise for both and can help develop a close bond. Basically, you train your dog to perform various feats that require agility on an obstacle course. Take a training class at an AKC club to learn the different skills and then build your own obstacles at home for practice. Obstacles include walking across a raised board, running through tunnels, and "pause" skills, like walking up a seesaw, pausing to let the seesaw flip to the other position, and walking down that side.
Wirehaired pointing griffon grooming
Both the wiry outer coat and the soft undercoat require regular brushing and hand stripping. Dogs with wiry coats only shed minimally during shedding season. However, WPG hair needs help to remove the dead hairs. It is a long process that you may want to entrust to a groomer every three to six months, but you can also do it yourself if you learn how. When done correctly, it is painless to the dog. If hand stripping is not done, the coat will become overgrown, looking messy and unkempt.
Wirehaired pointing griffon exercise & health
Daily exercise is vital to WPGs, who need activity to maintain a healthy weight and keep their heart and other muscles strong. If you don't want to try agility sports, daily walks and/or runs will work too. Playtime will help with the mental stimulation smart dogs need. Kids in the family could be involved in supervised play sessions.
Wirehaired pointing griffons do not have many health problems that purebred dogs sometimes do. Breeders should test for hip dysplasia; elbow dysplasia; eye diseases, like progressive retinal atrophy; hypothyroidism; and the unacceptable coat color, tan points, which can be inherited and/or carried.
If they are fed a healthy diet appropriate for each dog stage, receive daily exercise, and keep to a healthy weight, WPGs can have a life span of 12 to 15 years.
Wirehaired pointing griffon puppies
Litters can have different coat types, but the puppy's full adult coat doesn't come in until dogs are 2 to 3 years old. Expect high activity levels as you would any puppy. Early socialization with children, strangers, and other dogs is important for good behavior around each. Training of basic commands can begin when puppies are just a few weeks old.
Read more about the wirehaired vizsla.
- American Kennel Club: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
- Project Upland: Gun Dog - The Evolution and Definition of Modern Dog Breeds
- American Kennel Club: Agility: Get Started
- PlayBarkRun: Hand Stripping Dogs - Expert Groomer Explains Everything
- North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association: Home
- American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association: Health & Genetics of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon