wirehaired pointing griffon
Photo: PharmShot, Shutterstock

Hunting Dog Profile: The Rugged Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Nicknamed the Supreme Gundog, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are one of the top choices for versatile hunting dogs today. Read on for more on this tough, energetic hunting companion.

Commonly known as “Griffs,” these powerful pointers are trainable to upland birds, waterfowl, and most anything you’d like to do with your hunting dog. Cap off their versatility with an impish and ruggedly handsome countenance, and it’s easy to see why they’re one of the more popular dogs for serious bird hunters.

Griffs tend to be a tad mellower than some of their short-haired pointing counterparts, which makes them a great house dog for families in addition to being a high-octane sporting partner.

Read on for more about this muppet-like hunter.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, by the Numbers

wirehaired pointing griffon puppy
Photo: PharmShot, Shutterstock

A long-lived and hardy medium-size breed, you can expect to have your Griff as a partner for 12-15 years. They tend to measure 22-24 inches and weigh 50-70 pounds, although they can certainly be bigger than that depending on bloodlines.

Of course, the coat makes them distinguishable from many pointers. And its wiry texture lends itself to minimal shedding and more cold-weather hardiness than many of its slick-coated brethren.

A debate exists on whether the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is truly Dutch or French, as its history claims both countries as its origin grounds. But, the breed is overall considered French.

A well-to-do Dutchman by the name of Eduard Korthals set the breed in motion in an attempt to develop a pointer that could retrieve equally well in the water. And Korthals developed the breed on both German and French grounds.

Griffons do differ from other wirehaired pointers like the Deutsch Drahthaar and German Wirehaired Pointer. They tend to be smaller with more coat, denser bodies, and a more old-school pointing style that is lower to the ground and less upright.

Hunting the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

wirehaired pointing griffon
Photo: Jeff Smith, Shutterstock

Easily biddable, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a certified people pleaser, but the caveat is that the energy is often high and rambunctious. They can vary between sensitive and tough, so a bend toward softer training methods may help work through some of the Griff’s idiosyncrasies.

But instincts also run doubly high in these versatile gun dogs. Unlike most water retrievers, they’re still pointers through and through on dry land.

Unlike most pointers, they’re apt to be as stoked about retrieving your ducks in cold water as your typical retriever. They do tend to range a bit closer than your typical pointing dog, but this can pay off just as nicely.

When choosing your pup, pay close attention to the hunting habits of the parents. If you take a bend toward one type of bird hunting, ask specific questions as to how each dog has been worked and what the breeder expects from the cross.

Thankfully, working-breed lines have kept these gun dogs healthier than many that have been overbred. But it’s still important to test for hip and elbow dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. And they’re often prone to ear infections, so hygiene management is key for keeping their ears healthy.

You can expect to pay $500-1,500 or more for a Griffon pup.

Final Thoughts: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

If you’re looking for a kickass gun dog that can do it all, it’s hard to go wrong with a Griffon. These fun and goofy muppets are a blast in the field and best friends in the home. Their comical smiles and the silly twinkle in their eye are enough to make anyone laugh, but when they get down to business, it’s impressive.

It’s no wonder these athletes are a favorite among the hunting crowd. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is truly a dog that can do it all.

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Nicole Qualtieri

Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. She also serves as a Board Director for Orion the Hunters Insititute, a non-profit promoting fair chase and hunting ethics nationwide. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.