Often called the 4 wheel drive of hunting dog, the WPG is a truly versatile sporting breed, well suited to working in the cold, on marshy ground & in thick underbrush.
We owe the modern Wirehaired Pointing Griffon to Eduard Karel Korthals (1851-1896).
Son of a wealthy banker & cattle breeder in Amsterdam, he, like his father, was passionate about breeding. He abandoned the family business in 1873 with a modest pension to settle down with friends in Germany. In 1877, Korthals became the kennel master for Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels and undertook a breeding program dedicated to the creation of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
Seven dogs made a particularly significant contribution to this breeding program and these came to be known as the foundation of the breed. They were the males Banco, Hector, Janus and Satan, and the females Donna, Juno and Mouche. An eighth, a female named Vesta, also contributed to the breeding program.
Avoiding any infusion of British blood, Korthals used tight inbreeding. His selection criteria was strict; first, he removed the incorrect coat types. Next, he tested their capabilities on the field and finally, of these, he retained only those that reproduced well. Of 600 puppies, only 62 met Korthals expectations and could thus be registered in the stud book.
Less than 10 years after he initiated his breeding program, he had succeeded in fixing the breed type of the Griffon. Twenty years later, the ideal specimen was realized. This was a great achievement in the world of dog breeding. A definitive standard was adopted on November 15th, 1887, at a meeting attended by 16 breeders, chaired by Prince Solms-Braunfels.
The French club (still in existence today) was founded in 1901 and, on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary in 1951, decided to pay tribute to Eduard K. Korthals by adding his name to the designation of the breed. For that reason, The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is often referred to as the Korthals Griffon, even in North America.
Temperament The breed is regarded as being very trainable and affectionate. Because of his nature, he can double as a companion and pet for the weekend hunter. Activity Level A versatile gun dog, he enjoys a fair amount of outdoor exercise and welcomes the opportunity for long jaunts in the woods. Height/Weight Males measure 21.5-23.5 in (55-60 cm) at the shoulder. Females average about 2 in (5 cm) less. Coat “Rough as boar bristles” is the way the harsh, dry, stiff, protective outer coat has been described. There’s a downy undercoat. Colour The coat is usually grey with chestnut splashes. Grooming Some raking is needed to remove dead hair, especially during the time of seasonal shedding.