the Korthals griffon breed

The Korthals griffon; in France - Griffon D'Arrêt a Poil dur Korthals;  in the Netherlands and Germany; the Griffon Korthals.  In the North America's they are also called the Wire haired Pointing Griffon.

This is a fine 'medium sized' breed that can be an excellent family dog, who is trustworthy and has a tremendous willingness to please.  Good to train for the field with gentle patience, they also make a wonderful pet for a strong confident owner.  An active "scruffy" looking breed that exhibit's a natural pointer-like behaviour and has an almost terrier-like attitude when hunting.  Always a pleasant companion and a skillful, multipurpose hunting dog in the field & rough ground for the man or woman on foot and with a gun  (on horse-back, with bow or Hawk).

I know something is there ...
'In the bracken - Pausing for a scent'


Dog Group:  Sporting Group  

Class:  Gun dog
Colours:  Steel grey/white with chestnut brown (liver)/ dark brown markings (this mixture is often called 'roan'); - always with a chestnut brown nose.
Coat:  Coarse and hard wire outer with soft under layer.
Size:  Medium sized; males standing no taller than 600mm at the shoulders (2 feet).
Temperament:  Independent, intelligent, hunter.
With Children:  Good - with respectful children. Lower - with young children.
With dogs / Pets, horses:  Generally friendly towards other dogs, pets & domestic animals.
Watchdog:  Very good
Guard-dog:  Medium

Care and Training:  Minimal grooming and trimming of the dogs coat is needed via 'stripping' combs, keeping eyes and orifices clear.  It's customary in France to 'clip and coiffure' the head and neck ... This grooming technique is frowned upon elsewhere.  The Korthals Griffon requires 'plenty' of exercise on open ground and woodland.  The owner must be able to give lots of time for training, as this canine is a high-energy dog that enjoys hunting and other outside activities. This is not a sedentary dog breed, it needs to be occupied.  It also demands to be part of your family life and should not be left alone for extended periods of time.  This breed can be 'too' adoring of it's master for some owners; they are also a 'handful' when young and during training.  Not a dog for the faint hearted or short of temper!

Learning Rate:  Medium/High
Obedience:  High
Solving problems:  Medium
Activity:  Very High - An all round active dog.

Living Environment:  Does not kennel well, preferring to be close to its master.  He enjoys working in the field, rough ground and water therefore it's much better suited to life in the country, but it will adapt to town living if it has a home with a large and securely fenced garden and obtains sufficient daily exercise in open spaces. This is not the type of dog for flat or apartment living, without having exercise and attention.

Health Issues:  Look out for general dog ailments and signs of poor breeding; poor breeding will manifest in offspring with hip/elbow dysplasia, thyroiditus, jaw misalignment, wooly coat and being oversized (to name just some).  Proper, balanced feeding that is adjusted for activity, lifestyle and age is always advisable.  When choosing a puppy, check the Sire & Dam's 'original' documentation for Good Hip and Elbow (low) test scores and DNA test certificates.

Coat Colour Issues:  Also insist that the parents have been 'Colour of Coat / K-Locus Tested' with results showing as KB/KB (not displaying or carrying Yellow/Tan).  Additional DNA and Locus tests are recommended for potential breeders.

Life Span:  12+ Years
Litter Size:  Average about 8
Country of Origin:  Netherlands/Germany/France.


Filou at Griesheim
'Filou Griesheim'


The Korthals Griffon was designed from the outset to be of medium size.  Smaller than its German counterpart - the wire haired pointer.  It was meant to be of "intermediate stature" … As can be seen from the photographs of dogs from the period, displayed on this web site and within the album.

Out Training and shooting

The Korthals Griffon is a very strong and vigorous pointing dog of good intelligence, has a passion for hunting and (thankfully for us here in the U.K.) a resistance to the cold and bad weather.  Here is what Abbot Godard has written in his book " Je dresse mon chien díarrêt". "The first characteristic of this dog is to be rustic.  With such a bristle, it fears nothing, neither freezing water nor the most sharp-edged spines.  Therefore, it is very happy to work in the marsh or thicket.  In the marshes, it's the wildfowl, and in the thickets it's the woodcock or even the grouse".

An English Longthorn shotgun

A Longthorne Gun.

A Korthals Griffon commands respect as a very versatile Hunt, pointing and Retrieve dog with a long and a guaranteed future. It shows incomparable talent, swimming, hunting, flushing, tracking, fetching in the worst of weather and cold terrain temperatures; it also 'works' well with hawks and horses.  The dog is well armed by it's breeding and nature to face them …  And how about its looks:  Scruffy, with quite a marked liver/chestnut moustache and eyebrows and its silver steel & brown [roan] colour makes it a charming dog and a welcome addition to any sporting - hunting family.  A truly 'versatile' hunting dog.



An American article from the November 1917 issue of 'New Country Life' ® © - Makes interesting reading.
   'Tap here to read/download it'

An Canadian article from the January 2005 issue of 'Dogs In Canada' ® © - Also makes good reading.
   'Tap here to read/download it'

An American article from the July 2007 issue of 'Gundog magazine' ® © - Entitled "Go Dutch".
   'Tap here to read/download it'

From the Kennel Club ® © - 'Korthals Griffon' Breed standard.
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The American 'Buddy Life' magazine ® © 2011. - 'Get A Griffon Life' article gives a good overview.
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English brown hares