head is to be in proportion to the overall dog. The skull is
of medium width with equal length from nose to stop and from
stop to occiput. The skull is slightly rounded on top, but
from the side the muzzle and head are square. The stop and
occiput are only slightly pronounced. The required abundant
mustache and eyebrows contribute to the friendly expression.
eyes are large and well open, more rounded than elliptical.
They have an alert, friendly, and intelligent expression. Eye
color ranges in all shades of yellow and brown. Haws should
not show nor should there be protruding eyes.
ears should be of medium size, lying flat and close to the
head, set high, at the height of the eye line.
- Well open nostrils are essential. Nose color is always brown.
Any other color is a disqualification.
- scissors. Overshot or undershot bite is a serious fault."
Explanation: Head – There
should be a distinction between sexes. The male's head should
be larger in proportion with his overall size. The head of
a bitch may be somewhat more refined; going along with her smaller
size and more refined body type. The same dimensions of the
head however apply. The head should appear to be square in
shape – measuring from the nose to the stop, and then square
again over the main head portion. Producing two squares from
the side view. The view from the top is of a head that is
longer than wide in proportion. The back skull should not
be wide or heavy. Edges of the skull are slightly rounded
without sharp angles.
Eye – the eye of
the Griffon is a very distinguishing characteristic. Its rounded
appearance adds expression to the breed. Note: It is
very important to not have a completely round eye, because of the
difficulty in maintaining close fitting lids. The closed eyelid
gives the eye protection from gathering seeds or from otherwise being
scratched or damaged in the field. The eye color can be any
color of brown or yellow. The eye of the Griffon should not
show any signs of entropia or ectropia nor should the haw show.
Ears – the ear
of the Griffon is very similar to the ear of the Pointer or Retriever
in shape and size. It is furnished with a softer hair like
that found in the beard and mustache. The ears may have longer
hair 3-6 inches in length like that found in abundance over the major
portion of the head. The ears are set fairly high and hang
close to the head. The reason the ear is shaped in this manner
is to prevent water from entering the ear canal while retrieving
from the water. A longer, lower ear sometimes acts like a scoop
in the water, causing a distraction while the dog is trying to swim. This
can cause the swimming dog to constantly shake his head until it
is cleared. The ear must lay flat to the cheek to prevent injury
when hunting in brush and heavy cover in the field.
Note: It is permissible
to trim or strip the head hair, leaving the eyebrow and mustache
abundant. The eye should be easily seen through the brow. When
groomed, the Griffon may have either a natural or parted brow. Individuals
hunting their dogs may find the hair between the eyes collects seeds
from the field, and may elect to keep this hair trimmed. When
hunting this breed, it will have a tendency to loose the softer head
hair when it comes in contact with brush in the field. As long
as there is the indication of mustache and beard, the dog should
not be penalized for incorrect coat. It should not have a uniformly
smooth coarse coat on the head and ear like that found on the German
Nose – the color
of the Griffon’s nose is always brown. However, in the
lighter shades of brown coat, and in some chestnut coat colors, the
pigment will be lighter in shade. Nose shape should be large
and well open.
Bite – a good scissors
bite is to be expected in the Griffon. However, due to the
limited gene pool in this rare breed, a scissors bite is not always
available in an otherwise excellent example of the breed. The
breed standard doe not penalize for a level bite. However,
undershot or overshot bites are seriously faulted. Remember,
as a dog ages, the teeth will sometimes move. It is not uncommon
to see a scissors bite move to a level bite in the older (veteran)
- rather long, slightly arched, no dewlap.
- The back is strong and firm, descending in a gentle slope
from the slightly higher withers to the base of the tail.
- Chest - The chest must descend to the level of the elbow,
with a moderate spring of rib. The chest must neither be too
wide nor too narrow, but of medium width to allow freedom of
loin is strong and well developed, being of medium length.
croup and rump are stoutly made with adequate length to favor
tail extends from the back in a continuation of the topline.
It may be carried straight or raised slightly. It is docked by one third to one
Explanation: The Griffon
was bred to be the all terrain dog of the versatile hunting breeds. His
overall body structure should reflect his image. The way
the body of a Griffon is described above allows him to carry more
muscle on his body frame. The moderate spring of rib and
medium chest width allow for the full use of heart and lungs in
the working hunting dog. The length of croup and rump are
important to provide adequate area for muscle attachment and development. He
may appear short on leg; giving him a more stout appearance. Overall,
his general function is closer to the retrievers than the pointers
in comparison of the range of versatile hunting dogs. This
will allow you to become more in tune with the real function of
the correct body type. Neck – One of the differences
between the German Wirehaired Pointer and the Wirehaired Pointing
Griffon is length of neck. The Griffon must have a long neck
to work the field in the manner prescribed for the breed. By
shortening the neck, you are losing breed type. As the Griffon
works in the field, he is typically a lower headed hunting dog. He
uses the mid-range of airflow to scent his birds in the field. Many
other higher headed breeds use the upper winds to catch scent of
their birds. The longer neck of the Griffon also allows the
breed to lower his nose comfortably to the ground for tracking,
and to adapt to whatever flow of air there might be. Topline – As
the breed standard states, it should descend in a gentle slope
from the withers to the base of the tail. It should not
be exaggerated, but only slightly sloping.
Body – It is extremely
important to NOT make the Griffon a square dog. The breed standard
emphasizes this point. A little more length in back is probably
better than square, as long as back strength is not sacrificed. When
you shorten the back, you also shorten the reach and drive of the
Griffon. This breed is required to work in very hard field
conditions which require good drive front and rear. The dog
with correct proportions will be able to work much harder and longer
than one which is square, due to his ability to bring his legs and
feet well under himself to support his body weight in movement. The
proper convergence and extension of the legs allows him to move gracefully
over any terrain.
When in movement, the
back of the Griffon should remain firm and straight, without movement
up and down or rolling side to side.
Chest – the chest
of the Griffon should come down to the elbow. The width should
be about one hands width. Not too wide, allowing the elbows
to move out, or too narrow –which suppresses the movement of
Loin – the loin
is the area of back located from the last rib to the hip. This
area not only allows for flex in the dog, but provides strength. The
Griffon should not show much “tuck up” in this area,
nor should there be any roach over the loin.
Croup & Rump – It
is difficult to understand the terms of the standard here unless
you understand the function of the Griffon. The Griffon is
meant to have good sized muscles in the rear legs. In order
to have an adequate place for these muscles to attach, the croup
must be of a size which is large enough to accommodate them. This
is what is meant by the term “stoutly made.” A
short croup does not allow enough space for adequate muscle attachment,
nor does it allow for extension from the rear for proper movement
of the Griffon during his work.
What is adequate
should be neither narrow nor short.
Tail – the tail
should extend from the back in a continuation of the topline. The
correct tail carriage is level or slightly raised. More often
you will see the level tail, which is totally correct.
is one breed of dog that does not reflect his attitude or intensity
through the carriage of his tail. Like many of the older European breeds,
a dog on point may carry the tail at any level; slightly raised,
level, or slightly dropped. In the Griffon, the intensity is
shown in his action with the tail. Is the tail wagging (flagging)? Is
the tail rigid, showing his intensity on the bird in front of him? In
which direction it is pointing makes little difference except to
the competition minded owner. A high head and high tail are
not part of this breed. This is one reason it has not caught
on in the competition field events in the United States.
proper length of the tail is to be docked by 1/2 or 1/3, leaving at least 1/2 to
2/3 of the tail remaining. This tail should be one of the longest
tails found in the versatile breeds. This has been misprinted
in the Veterinarian guide on tail docking, and interpreted to be
just the opposite. Thus, many Griffons will have very short
tails through no fault of their own.
"Forequarters - Shoulders are long, with
good angulation, and well laid back. The forelegs are straight and
vertical from the front and set well under the shoulder from the
side. Pasterns are slightly sloping. Dew claws should be removed.
Feet are round, firm, with tightly closed webbed toes. Pads are thick."
Explanation: Again, it
is important to emphasize the shoulder being well laid back and the forelegs
set well under the body. There is no place in the Griffon breed for straight
front shoulders, because it distracts from the ability of the breed to function
correctly. Equally so, the shoulder should not be too close across the
withers. The withers need to be wide enough to allow them to come together
when the head is lowered to the ground during field searching and tracking.
There could be more width allowed in the withers area on the Griffon than on
some other breeds, because of his style of working with his head down. As
you well know, the shoulder blades tighten when the head is lowered. If
they are already close, there is no place for the shoulders to go – thus
restricting the ability of the dog, unless there is give at some other place
on the column of support (i.e. throwing out the elbows is one). This
displacement of balance hinders the amount of time the dog can work.
shoulder should be well set back underneath the body of
the Griffon, in order to carry the weight of his body when
working in the prescribed manner. This
set back should be obvious when the dog is standing naturally.
Feet – There has
not been much of a problem in the past with the feet of the Griffon. Most
are well rounded in shape and most stand up nicely on the pasterns.
"Hindquarters - The thighs are long and well muscled.
Angulation is in balance with the front. The legs are vertical, with the hocks
turning neither in nor out. The stifle and hock joints are strong and well angulated.
Feet as in front."
thighs of the Griffon are the power source behind its movement. A strong
powerful muscle should be in evidence. (Refer to the stoutly made croup). Conditioning
in this type of dog emphasizes its correctness.
states that “the
stifle and hock joints are strong and well angulated.” This should
allow for plenty of power to be transferred in its forward movement. If
there is not enough angulation, there will not be the ground reaching front
and rear movement necessary for the correct movement of the Griffon. If
too much angulation is shown, the hocks will show weakness in the form of
cow hocks or wobbly hocks; neither or which is desirable.
"The coat is one of the distinguishing
features of the breed. It is a double coat. The outer coat is medium length,
straight and wiry, never curly or woolly. The harsh texture provides protection
in rough cover. The obligatory undercoat consists of a fine, thick down,
which provides insulation as well as water resistance. The undercoat
is more or less abundant, depending upon the season, climate, and hormone
cycle of the dog. It is usually lighter in color. The head is furnished
with a prominent mustache and eyebrows. These required features are extensions
of the undercoat, which gives the Griffon a somewhat untidy appearance.
The hair covering the ears is fairly short and soft, mixed with longer
harsh hair from the coat. The overall feel is much less wiry than the body.
The legs, both front and rear, are covered with denser, shorter, and less
coarse hair. The coat on the tail is the same as the body; any type of
plume is prohibited. The breed should be exhibited in full body coat, not
stripped short in pattern. Trimming and stripping are only allowed around
the ears, top of head, cheeks and feet."
this is covered extensively in the breed standard. What is not mentioned
is the length of the coat and that the coat is seasonal just like any other
breed. The Griffon coat should be approximately 2-3 inches in length. This
is longer than the GWP coat and different in texture as well because of the
blending of the under coat and the outer coat. The coat should be short
on the legs; avoiding the long furnishings look of the setter. This shorter
leg hair provides both protection for the hunting Griffon, and repels debris
which might otherwise be attracted to longer, softer hair on the legs.
Griffon does drop coat with hot weather and increases coat density
with cold weather. During
the summer months, little of the under coat will be visible except
with the retention of some of the mustache and eyebrows. As
the colder weather increases, the insulation of the softer under
coat is again needed and a full coat is seen. The texture of
coat varies considerably. With the increase of activity in
the show ring, the texture must be looked at very critically. When
looking at texture, look at the hair strand rather than how it feels. Any
coat can be made to feel coarse. The strand size can not be
changed. A coarse hair has a larger strand; a softer hair is
finer is size.
the Griffon, there is a need for both the softer and the coarser coats. In
my experience as a breeder, if only the coarse coats are bred, all
under coat is lost. This includes the head furnishings. If
only the soft haired coats are bred, you loose all wire coat and
end up with the longer, softer coated woolly Griffon. This
is not a functional coat for the field. Watch for the long,
fine coated Griffons in the show ring. They will usually be
more sculptured with longer furnishings a product of the undercoat.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, like any other wirehaired breed, must
have regular coat maintenance. The correct method of care for this type of coat
is the rotation of the coat by hand stripping or plucking. However,
don't expect to see many of the Griffon exhibitors doing this. A
rotated coat or coat in change should not be confused with a dog
presented in a stripped pattern – which, as the standard states,
is incorrect. When the Griffon coat is stripped in a pattern, most
of the silver (outer) coat is removed; showing the brown coat underneath. The
body will have a uniform short length on the body of the brown hair,
with light silver feathering on the legs and chest. It is a
total misrepresentation of the breed. That is why it was mentioned
in the breed standard. The breed standard devotes a great deal of
space to emphasizing that the dog should be shown in full coat. Pattern
stripping is a mistake usually only made by a handler who is not
familiar with the breed. A final note: the common belief that
the Griffon should be shown in field condition prevails and is not
incorrect. If a dog enters the show ring with little or no
leg and chest furnishings and light furnishings on his head, he is
more likely a field dog. This is what the breed enthusiasts
want in their dual purpose Griffon breed. Remember; the Wirehaired
Pointing Griffon is first a FIELD dog, and has only recently been
introduced back into the show ring. He should be rewarded, not penalized,
for doing what he has been bred to do.
steel gray with brown markings, frequently chestnut brown, or roan, white
and brown; white and orange also acceptable. A uniformly brown coat, all
white coat, or white and orange are less desirable. A black coat disqualifies."
Explanation: The normal
colors of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon include varied shades of brown (very
dark to medium), chestnut (distinct reddish shade of brown), overlaid by an
outer coat of gray which is varied in color from charcoal gray to silver, or
sometimes white. These brown colors are located on the head, in the undercoat,
on patches and ticking of the body coat, legs, or tail. The outer harsher
coat can be gray, brown, or a mixture of both. It lays over the top of
the undercoat, making a true double coat. It is normal for the head
hair to bleach, making it several shades lighter than the body coat when
it is exposed to the sun.
close working, the Griffon should cover ground in an efficient, tireless
manner. He is a medium speed dog with perfect coordination between front
and rear legs. At a trot, both front and rear legs tend to converge toward
the center line of gravity. He shows good extension both front and rear.
Viewed from the side, the topline is firm and parallel to the line of motion.
A smooth, powerful ground covering ability can be seen."
of his combination of conformation requirements, the Griffon moves differently
than other sporting dogs. This may be difficult to see when first watching
the breed. However, once a Griffon is in movement, the grace and ability
to cover ground is quite evident. The power of the gait comes from the
heavy muscles in the front and rear, which provide the thrust. The grace
and ground covering ability is illustrated in the movement forward of the feet
in a gliding motion. This is what is meant by the movement as being “cat
like.” It does not mean that the Griffon should move like a
cat, but that the combination of the well set shoulder underneath him provides
for the dog to glide his feet in a graceful movement forward, much like
the grace shown by a cat in motion.
Griffon should show good reach and drive, but should not over elevate
the lifting of his legs. His legs should also converge toward the center as
his speed increases. His topline should show little motion
side to side or up and down; but rather remain parallel to the line
of motion. Remember - he must be longer than tall to be able
to move in this manner!
Griffon has a quick and intelligent mind and is easily trained. He is
outgoing, shows a tremendous willingness to please and is trustworthy.
He makes an excellent family dog as well as a meticulous hunting companion."
adoration of people and family have led to a tremendous following of supporters. He
is always happy, willing, loving, adaptable, and playful. He is a dog
with an active (not hyper), quick learning mind which learns almost any task
with positive reinforcement. The Griffon has good retention of all things
learned. He has a deep desire to be with people, and does not make a
good “kennel dog.” The Griffon is a reliable and trustworthy
hunting companion and family dog.
- Nose any color other
- Black coat."