Eduard Karel Korthals (1851-1896)
The Korthals Griffon, or Wirehaired Pointing Griffon as it is known in the United States, is one of the few breeds whose history has been carefully recorded from the very start. Over the course of about twenty years, from 1863 to 1886, Eduard Korthals created the breed almost as we know it today. His breeding program included about twenty dogs of various mixed sporting breeds. From these dogs, he selected eight, four males and four females, none of which he bred, to be called his "patriarchs." Seven out of these were of unknown ancestry without pedigrees. In total, he bred about 600 puppies and placed 62 in his studbook as having the characteristics he desired.
The most complete history of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon can be found in a book published in 2019 entitled "Korthals Griffon: The Ultimate Foot Hunting Companion Years 1800-2000" and written by Barbara Young. It can be found on Amazon and should be required reading for all lovers of the breed.
Timeline of Breed Development
1851 Eduard Karel Korthals Born – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1867 “Mouche” (GSB #143) whelped
1870-71 French-German War
1873 Korthals begins serious breeding program
1874-77 Korthals acquires Mouche, Janus, Junon, Banco, Hector, and Satan
1875 “Banco” (GSB #2) whelped
1877 - 79 Korthals moves to Biebesheim am Rhein, Germany
1879 “Donna” acquired in Germany. Longer coat.
1885 “Vesta” leased as a brood bitch. Good producer – rough coat.
1887 Korthals and 16 other breeders sign and publish the first breed standard
1887 "Zoletta" registered with AKC
1888 International Griffon Club formed
1895 Southern German Griffon Club in Bavaria formed
1895 Royal Belgium Griffon Club formed
1901 Club Français du Griffon d’Arrêt a Poil Dur Korthals formed in France
1911 De Nederlandse Griffon Club formed in The Netherlands
1916 The Griffon Club of America formed and breed standard adopted.
1916 16 Griffons exhibited at Westminster KC
1917 New Country Life Magazine article published, peaking interest in the breed.
1939-45 WWII – serious breeding activity stopped due to war – GCA ceases to exist.
1951 New club formed “Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club of America”
1980s WPGCA splits into two groups; those wanting to crossbreed with Cesky Fousek, and those who don’t.
1991 American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association formed by those choosing not to cross breed.
1991 AKC recognizes AWPGA as official national parent club for Griffons in USA