AKC Dog Breeds: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

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Sporting Group
Height: 20-24 inches   Weight: 40-60 pounds  
grey/brown, steel grey, brown/white, chestnut brown, white, black

This versatile hunting dog originated in the Netherlands in 1873. Bred to hunt closely with their master, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon's hardy build and all terrain capabilities made them favorites for hunting such game as quail and hare. This breed is relatively rare and is considered to be one of the best-kept secrets in the Sporting group. Affectionately referred to as Griffs, this graceful, sturdy, and medium-sized breed possesses passion and excellence as a family pet and enthusiastic hunter. They are highly adept at problem solving, extremely obedient, and very intelligent. Originating from France and Holland, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was developed in the late nineteenth century. They were used as adaptable and versatile hunters, covering all sorts of terrain. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1887.

General Appearance

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a rough-coated, strong and graceful, medium-sized hunting dog. It has a large, long head, square muzzle, and soft, thick, bushy eyebrows, beard and mustache. The neck is rather long, without dewlap and the skull is the same length from the stop to occiput, as from nose to stop. The eyes are large and elliptical with brown or yellow irises. It has a lively, but mild expression. The medium-sized ears lie flat and close to the head. The nose is always brown. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The ears are pendent. The body is slightly longer than it is tall. The limbs are vigorous and muscular. The straight topline slopes gently downward from the withers to the tail. The tail is docked to about 1/2 to 2/3 its length and is carried horizontally. The chest extends to the elbows and is moderate in width to allow the dog freedom of movement. The front legs are straight. The feet are rounded with webbed toes. Dewclaws should be removed. The straight, hard, wiry outer coat is lined with a fine but thick downy undercoat. Coat texture varies depending on the percentage of wiry vs. soft hair. Coat care and type of dog food can also affect coat texture. The wiry coat does not shed but must be stripped so new hair can grow.


Trustworthy, eager to please, and dependable, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is an excellent choice for a loving family pet. These dogs are well suited to both experienced and inexperienced dog owners. The high intelligence and learning rate of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon makes training less of a challenge, although housebreaking can prove difficult with some. These dogs thrive on companionship, mental and physical stimulation, and the affection of their owners. Lack of exercise and too much time along can lead to destructive behavior as well as excessive barking. If you are a house proud person you may want to think twice before opting for this breed, as they can be quite messy and sloppy around the house. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon can be stubborn and independent, but is also sensitive. Training must be consistent, firm yet positive. Early socialization is required to promote a stable and confident temperament, as some Wirehaired Pointing Griffons can become timid. These dogs fare best with children that are older and respectful. They are naturally cautious around strangers. A well socialized Wirehaired Pointing Griffon will get along with other animals, although some may think that cats are just begging to be chased. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon will bark to raise an alarm if something appears to be amiss, making him an effective watchdog. A confident, patient, and active owner will find that the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon makes for a wonderful companion and devoted pet.


The dog is blessed by its rough wiry coat and requires only a minimal amount of grooming, although you might want to apply some stripping and trimming where necessary for showing. With its shaggy fur and steel grey color, the dog is rarely considered high maintenance. It is renowned as an "untidy" dog with a messy complexion.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has a life expectancy of around 12-15 years. These dogs are relatively healthy and hardy creatures, with just a few health issues to look out for. Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) - can become a problem in later life. This can eventually lead to crippling lameness if left unchecked. It is rare but quite noticeable and should be treated immediately.

Activity Level

With a tremendous energy level, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon needs an inordinate amount of exercise. In addition to being a fine hunting companion, this breed also enjoys jogging with their master and swimming as much as possible. They are not suited for apartment dwelling or for sedentary owners. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon does best in a country setting where they have the opportunity to romp and run.


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Wirehaired Pointing Griffon profile in dog encyclopedia
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon dog featured in dog encyclopedia