Coat & Appearance:
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are unique in so many ways. They are well known for their shaggy coat with bangs and a beard. Though the coat is said to be wirey, it is actually soft, wispy and not greasy. Griffons essentially do not shed AND the coat does not require grooming/cuts like poodles and doodles – just the occasional brushing and bathing. That said, they do like to get messy, so take care with your home furnishings appropriately (no white furniture). They tend to be red/brown base and spots with white speckling and overcoat, some have mellow-suntone highlights in their bangs (don’t be jealous, ladies).
WPGs are generally hardy, slim and athletic. They are eager to please, easy to train and thrive with work-related tasks like bird hunting and scent-search work. Praise reward is just as effective as treat reward when training these dogs. Griffons need an energy outlet nearly every day. If you do not have a plan for providing that, then a Griffon is NOT for you. WPGs should not live confined in an apartment or crate all day. They need access to space and a yard. They need to work/run at least every 48H. You (or someone you know) can start running with your Griffon at 4 months of age. Six month old pups can easily run 3-5 miles in one sitting. They can run ~10 miles by 9 months. This is by no means a directive, but merely to point out what they are easily capable of (taking into account heat index and training up to endurance). I will say that a 1 mile walk each day is probably not enough, nor is just a lot of “make-up time” on the weekends. You will find your pup to be far less mischievous when they have unloaded their energy. Never compare it to your own, as they are about 20x more athletic than most average human athletes. Remember this exercise quotient if your Griffon (or any other breed) is exhibiting any untoward behaviors. Exercise and mental stimulation are the easiest, most reliable and inexpensive cure.
Griffons are an average medium dog height, approximately 45-55lbs, and lean. When wet, they have a Spaniel-like frame and a thin poodle-like facial structure. They bound in tall grass like pronghorn, can jump 5 feet height and are very dexterous/nimble. Counter-surfing is a favorite past-time, as are squirrels…any time, any place.
WPGs are hilarious, goofy and always photogenic even when muddy. They are great with kids, cats, other dogs as long as they are well-conditioned during their early puppy months. On occasion a WPG can be obstinate, ornery, or wily, but excellent breeding, proper puppy exposures and socialization should reduce the risk of this in almost all cases. Overall the incidence of untoward behaviors is very low in this breed group. Despite them being high energy, Griffons don’t tend to be overly anxious or high strung as many other working dog breeds can be. When it’s time to work, they are always game, 360%. When you want to spoon and cuddle, shove your partner to the side and your Griffon will gladly take their place.
Specific hunting skills:
Griffons are excellent pointers and retrievers. They will brave any terrain: nasty, cold, wet if you direct them there. You almost cannot wear them out. This makes them so versatile as a hunting companion. Flushing is not their line of work, so if you want some upland game action find a friend who has a Spaniel so your Griffon can point and the Spaniel can flush. Good times.