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Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

When a dog is bred to have a wirehaired coat (the meaning of “griffon”) there’s a very compelling reason; these dogs are hunters, springers, pointers and retrievers who regularly push through fields of brush, brambles and thorns. The retrieving dogs must plunge into cold water to bring a downed fowl to the hunter. A rough waterproof coat protects the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon as he does his job…While the ancestry of some gun dogs is mysterious and hotly debated, the origin of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was deliberate and well-documented. In the mid-1800’s, sportsmen in France crossed various  setters, springers and pointers, looking to develop a splended pointer with a tough, wiry coat. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has been called “the supreme gun dog” because of his superb pointing and retrieving skills and his devotion as a companion dog. He was recognized by the AKC in 1887.

This is a sturdy, tireless sporting dog with a very high energy level and exercise requirements. He is not suited for apartment and city dwelling; he has a job to do and can become frustrated and destructive if he’s not allowed to do it. He’s particularly fond of swimming, and runs at top speed, plunging without hesitation into a lake or pond to retrieve a downed duck or goose. Protected by his wiry coat and facial “beard,” he will single-mindedly pursue and point fowl nests located in the roughest terrain. Muscular, fast, and hardy, he stays at the hunter’s side until told to “seek.”

In temperament, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is very devoted to his family with a calm, docile manner and an eager to please disposition. He’s generally friendly to children and other dogs, but is reserved with strangers. He is an outstanding watchdog, barking up a racket at an approaching stranger, but he has only moderate protective abilities. With his energetic style, he can easily be coaxed into playfulness but he would much rather be working in the fields. Because of his instincts as a hunter, he should be supervised around household birds and small mammals.

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon responds very well to field training as well as basic and advanced obedience training. However, his training tasks need to vary and be challenging lest he become bored and stubborn. He’s often seen at field and agility trials, including water retrieving competitions.

This is a low-maintenance dog as far as grooming his steel gray and brown wiry coat; he needs only to be brushed weekly and have his coat hand-stripped twice yearly to give it an even texture. He has no major health concerns, but hip dysplasia is occasionally seen.

Hunters in rural areas, whether on foot or horseback, will find the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon to be a skilled, obedient and dedicated gun dog. At the end of a satisfying day in the fields, he will curl up with his family as a devoted companion dog.

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