Wire-haired Pointing Griffon Korthals (Griffon d'arrêt à poil dur Korthals)

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preferably steel grey shade with brown (liver) patches or self-coloured brown (liver) coat; liver-roan; white and brown, white and orange
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Pros Cons

  • forms strong bonds with its master

  • gentle with children

  • great hunter

  • intelligent

  • requires sufficient amount of daily exercises

  • has more grooming requirement than other hunting breeds

  • not so fast as other gundogs


The Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals is a multifunctional gun dog, which was produced by the Dutch amateur breeder Eduard Karel Korthals. This dog is well-known for its hunting prowess and extreme devotion to its master. The breed possesses rough thick coat and can effectively perform its responsibilities in any type of weather.


The Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals was developed by the hunting enthusiast Eduard Karel Korthals in XIX century. At the turn of the XIX century gun hunting became a highly fashionable entertainment and gradually supplanted traditional pack hunting. Existing breeds poorly adjusted to perform such new sophisticated tasks as pointing with minimal noise or accurately retrieving shot pheasant. The necessity in more adaptive dogs became the reason of inventing numerous modern breeds, including the Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals.

Korthals began experimenting with selective breeding in 1874 and for the next twenty years he was fully engulfed with his project of creating a perfect gun dog. He didn’t kept records of this prolonged work so the exact lineage of the breed will forever stay a mystery. As the foundation of his stock he definitely used various types of Griffons. The Briquet Griffon Vendeen and the the Grand Griffon Vendeen are the most probable candidates for this role. It’s also suggested that the Griffon Nivernais and the Spinone Italiano were used in the breeding process.

It’s universally agreed that Korthals added to the mix at least one breed of a pointer, and perhaps several. He may have used one of the English Pointers but it’s more commonly thought that he chose either the German Short-Haired Pointer or some French Pointer such as the Braque Francais, Braque St. German, or the Braque Du Bourbonnais. Some dog’s historians insist that the Otterhound, the French Barbet, the Poodle, the Setter, and French Spaniels also were among the forefathers of the Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals.

Thanks to determination and continuing urge for improvements of Korthals the resulting breed was a supreme example of a gun dog. By the time when the breeder met his end in 1896 the Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals had already acquired a reputation of one of the best hunting dogs in the western countries. Hunters praised this breed for its all-weather coat, which allowed it to operate in the most severe climate and especially in wetlands.

The breed’s fans attained recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC) as early as in 1887. The United Kennel Club (UKC) registered the first specimen of this dog in 1936. Its number slightly declined in the wake of two World Wars but in the following decades its systematic breeding renewed on a stern scales in all European countries, especially in the USA.

Nowadays the Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals is predominantly used as a versatile gun dog. However, more and more specimens are acquired for companionships and participation in obedience and agility trials.


The Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals was bred to work in concert with its master so it’s known for its biddable, loving, frisky and lively disposition. This dog wants nothing more than to always be by the side of its owner and can’t stand being alone for too long. It usually preserves a great deal of playfulness and puppy-like behaviour well into old age. A well-socialised specimen is always gentle and considerate with children but it’s probably somewhat too boisterous for a toddler.

The breed manifests reserved and wary attitude when it meets an unfamiliar person. At the same time it’s noted for an open and amicable character so it tends to overcome its initial suspiciousness rather quickly. The Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals is capable of alarming its master about oncoming of a stranger so it’s suited for the role of a watchdog. But the breed is absolutely deprived of aggressiveness towards a human being, which makes it a terrible guard dog.

The Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals rarely develops any issues with other canines. However, bear in mind that it greatly prefers the company of its master over interaction with other dogs and usually does extremely well as a single dog. Despite its sporting background the dog shows little interest in killing non-canine animals. It can be explained by the fact that it was originally bred to point and retrieve the quarry rather than to directly attack and dispatch it. It will undoubtedly put up with the existence of a household cat provided they have been introduced to each other in an early age.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· canine hip dysplasia;

· elbow dysplasia;

· ear infections;

· panoestitis;

· entropion.


The Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals is relatively more demanding in relation to its grooming than majority of hunting dogs. The dog’s shaggy coat requires systematic and thorough brushing. Additionally those dogs that regularly enter dog shows need professional grooming. The breed is a very light shedder, which makes it a very perspective companion animal for an allergy sufferer or some extremely tidy person.

Ears of the Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals tend to catch various infections so it’s imperative to periodically get rid of excessive hair in this area as well as to occasionally subject them to cleaning procedures. Actually many owners prefers to have their dogs professionally plucked and groomed twice a year in order to maintain its naturally sweet, somewhat ruffled appearance.


The training of Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals usually scores a great success due to its eagerness to please and quick-wittedness. It’s quite able to learn to perform very advanced tricks and usually participates with flying colour in obedience and agility competitions. Nonetheless the breed tends to quickly loose its focus on training if it has spotted some enticing trail or smell. It’s very important to teach this dog to ignore these distractions and fully concentrate on a lesson.

The breed reacts far better to reward-based methods of motivation than to negative reinforcement. The Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals poses noticeable difficulty in housebreaking so get prepared to exercise extra patience in this field of training.


The Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals is fairly demanding when things concern its exercise regimen. Apart from a daily long walk the dog should be regularly released off-leash in a securely fenced territory. It would also be grateful to be charged with some complicated assignment to stimulate its inquisitive mind.

This breed is prone to be calm and relaxed in a home environment once its exercise needs have been properly met. If the Wire-Haired Griffon Korthals hasn’t been provided with enough opportunities to manifest its playful nature it will most likely show its disappointment with destructive behaviour, hyperactivity indoors and on-going barking.