1917 WPG Article | Breed Standard with Explanation | Herrenhausen Titled Dogs | Griffon OFA Numbers | Pedigree Search
General Appearance

"Medium sized, with a noble, square shaped head, strong of  limb, bred to cover all terrain encountered by the walking hunter. Movement-showing an easy catlike gracefulness. Excels equally as a pointer in the field, or a retriever in the water. Coat is hard and coarse, never curly or woolly, with a thick undercoat of fine hair, giving an unkempt appearance. His easy trainability, devotion to family, and friendly  temperament endear him to all. The nickname of 'supreme gun dog' is well earned."  

    Explanation:  In general appearance, this dog should be looked at as more of a working trotting hunter or slow loping hunter rather than a runner.  Since the Griffon is a breed more closely related in function to the retriever than to the pointer, his conformation should reflect this.  His size should be adaptable enough to allow the owner to bring him into a boat after a retrieve (about 55 to 65 lbs. for males, and about 40-55 lbs. For females) and large enough to allow him to penetrate heavy cover while hunting in the field.     

    His body should be longer than tall, allowing him to move with grace and good reach front and rear.  The unique way the Griffon moves allows him to slide his feet forward over the ground without the over exaggerated lifting of feet seen in many pointing breeds.  This is described as “moving like a cat.”  The conservation of energy used in this movement allows the Griffon to continue hunting long after many other breeds have stopped.  His neck should, without question, be long. The Griffon works in the field with his head either held horizontally or lowered toward the ground because of his meticulous hunting style and tremendous tracking ability.   

    Lastly, the head, square in shape, allows for the muscle attachments required to carry fur or feather of any normal game weight – which in some cases may be up to 19 lbs.

Size, Proportion, Substance

"Size - 22 to 24 inches for males, 20 to 22 inches for females. Correct size is important. Oversize to be severely penalized.  

Proportion - Slightly longer  than tall, in a ratio of 10 to 9. Height from withers to ground; length from point of shoulder to point of buttocks. The Griffon must not evolve towards a square conformation.  

Substance - medium, reflecting his work as an all terrain hunting dog." 

    Explanation:  the size, proportion, and substance of the Griffon define the breed type.  If the dog is over the prescribed 24 inches, it becomes too big to do the work prescribed.  If the bitch is under 20 inches, she is not large enough to do the work required.  

    The size of the Griffon is one of the factors that makes it identifiable when placed along side other wire coated breeds.  Equal consideration should be given to dogs within the 22 to 24 inch range and bitches within the 20 to 22 inch range.  However, as the standard states, “Oversize should be severely penalized.”  This is one of the few things in the Griffon standard which is emphasized.  

    Proportion – Historically, the back of the Griffon was always thought to be short.  However there was some variance in interpretation as to what portion of the dog was to be considered the actual “back.”  This interpretation in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s led breeders to emphasize this in their breeding programs.  The back got shorter and the dog became more square.  Movement of the dogs became short and choppy – without extension and reach.  A poor situation for a hunting dog!  

    As new information on the standard of the Griffon was uncovered and made public, the correct proportions of longer than high came to light.  Sounder, more correct movement can now be seen because the dogs can converge under their bodies while in motion.  It is important to discourage returning to the square proportion; another item emphasized in the standard.  

    Substance – There is good reason why the Griffon should have a medium substance.  Lets look at this more closely and identify just exactly what we are talking about.  The working hunting dog must move his body through fields and woods and retrieve weights up to 19 pounds over fairly long distances without fatigue.  We also know the bone is like a honeycomb structure.  The larger the size, the less dense the bone mass – thus less efficient in our case.  Too small and too fine would be equally inefficient.  The medium size and density bring the Griffon to its optimum for the work required. 


Page (1)

Breed Standard 
  • General Appearance
  • Size, Proportion, and Substance

Page (2)

Breed Standard - Continued 

  • Head
  • Neck, Topline & Body
  • Forequarters & Hindquarters
  • Coat, Color, Gait
  • Temperament
  • Disqualifications

Page (3)

Breed Comparisons 

  • German Wirehaired Pointer
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
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