The term “Griffon ” is commonly used to describe a lion-like appearance.  This term has been applied to other breeds such as the Brussels Griffon and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen.  These breeds all have the mustache, eyebrows, and beard which gives it the lion-like appearance. 

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon has a long history of development.  The first recorded history dates back to 1545, with notations in hunting publications in the 18th century.  The main development of the breed took place in the 19th century.  This historical period can be divided into three areas where noted breeders in those periods undertook the breed’s development.  

1. The Clerville Griffon – named after the Marquis of Clerville, took place between 1840 – 1850. 

2. Shortly thereafter, Mssr. Guerlain, a famous industrialist, horseman, and hunter, took up the work of the marquis of Clerville.  He did the first crossing with the setter in 1857, and pointer in 1897.  He attempted to settle the breed by line breeding.  The Guerlain Griffon evolved into a white/orange color, were good hunters and distinguished themselves at hunting tests, which contributed to the reputation of the breed.  Unfortunately, this breeding progress remained in the hands of its creator and friends.

3. The Korthalsian period saw the fixing of type of the breed.  In 1873, at age 23, Edward Karel Korthals undertook serious breeding of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.  In his breeding program he noted the dog to have a high intelligence, robust attitude, and resistance to foul weather.  He described them as excellent for hunting waterfowl and working in all terrain.  His breeding stock started with 20 dogs which were composed of:  three spaniels, two water Spaniels (Barbet), seven Griffons, a French Pointer (Braques), and a Pointerized Setter.  From these – the seven patriarchs of his breeding program were established and recorded in the Griffon Stud Book (GSB). 

Less than 10 years later, the Griffon type was established.  On November 15th, 1887, Edward Korthals and 16 other breeders signed and published an agreement on the breed standard. 

Finally, in order to form a link with breeders and assure the diffusion of doctrines and documents, the first International Griffon Club was formed in 1888.  This was soon followed by the creation of local clubs: 

1895 the Southern German Griffon Club – in Bavaria

1895 the Royal Belgium Griffon Club – in Belgium

1901 the Club Français Du Griffon d’Arrêt à Poil Dur Korthals in France

1911 the De Nederlandse Griffonclub in Holland, The Netherlands.


b. Nov. 16, 1851 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

d. July 4, 1896 - Frankfurt, Germany







  The Griffon in the U.S.A. 

The history of the Korthals Griffon in this country dates back to the registration of Zoletta in 1887 by the American Kennel Club as a Russian Setter.  In 19th century England, the Griffon was known as the Russian Setter or the Russian Retriever.  The English seemed to have always considered bearded and furry dogs as products of the Siberian regions.  Even though there were, in fact, Pointing Griffons in all areas of Europe.

1917 WPG Article: The New Country Life Magazine

Breed Standard with Explanation

Herrenhausen Titled Dogs

Griffon OFA Numbers

Pedigree Search

Conformation Group Wins by Griffons



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