Official Confirmation Standard for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Approved by the American Kennel Club on October 8, 1991
General Appearance: Medium sized, with a noble, square-shaped head, strong of limb, bred to cover all terrain encountered by the walking hunter. Movement showing an easy catlike gracefulness. Excels equally as a pointer in the field, or a retriever in the water. Coat is hard and coarse, never curly or woolly, with a thick undercoat of fine hair, giving an unkempt appearance. His easy trainability, devotion to family, and friendly temperament endear him to all. The nickname of "supreme gun dog" is well earned.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Size-22 to 24 inches for males, 20 to 22 inches for females. Correct size is important. Oversize to be severely penalized. Proportion-Slightly longer than tall, in a ratio of 10 to 9. Height from withers to ground; length from point of shoulder to point of buttocks. The Griffon must not evolve towards a square conformation. Substance medium, reflecting his work as an all-terrain hunting dog.
Head: The 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. The 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. The ears should be of medium size, lying flat and close to the head, set high, at the height of the eye line. Nose-Well open nostrils are essential. Nose color is always brown. Any other color is a disqualification. Bite scissors. Overshot or undershot bite is a serious fault.
Neck, Topline, Body: Neck- rather long, slightly arched, no dewlap. Topline- The back is strong and firm, descending in a gentle slope from the slightly higher withers to the base of the tail. Body-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 movement. The loin is strong and well developed, being of medium length. The croup and rump
are stoutly made with adequate length to favor speed. The 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-half length.
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. Dewclaws should be removed. Feet are round, firm, with tightly closed webbed toes. Pads are thick.
Hindquarters: The thighs are long and well muscled. Angulation 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.
Coat: 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.
Color: Preferably 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.
Gait: Although 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.
Temperament: The 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.
Disqualifications: Nose any color other than brown. Black coat.
AMERICAN WIREHAIRED POINTING GRIFFON ASSOCIATION
The Working Standard for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Approved by the AWPGA board January 17, 2018.
The working standard of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (the WP Griffon) follows from the breed conformation standard to define the specific manner of the WP Griffon in the field.
(a) Quartering: In searching for game, the WP Griffon quarters the field or area. The distance of the cast when quartering is not related to the dog’s physical conformation, but rather is about the dog’s mental state, hunting passion and training. The WP Griffon’s cast must extend laterally and may be extensive, but only in so far as the dog remains under the handler’s control. The cast varies with the terrain and cover being hunted.
(b) The Gallop: The WP Griffon’s general running style is a gallop. The body seems to rock slightly back and forth— from front to rear—around the imaginary transverse line running through the WP Griffon’s center of gravity, which is estimated to be at stomach level. The gallop should be energetic but also sustained and steady. Avoid gallops that are too vigorous, overly excited or agitated; the dog must maintain self-control. The rocking motion may vary with the nature of the terrain and cover being hunted and is more pronounced when the dog is tired. The correct gallop is a function of the dog’s conformation. The WP Griffon’s long topline is held taut to favor propulsion. The WP Griffon’s well laid-back shoulder and long thigh promote vivacity and the bend of hock
provides flexibility. The WP Griffon should have an easy and supple gait.
(c) Speed: The WP Griffon’s quartering should be fast, lively and sustained. However, the speed should be of the type of continental dogs, meaning that the WP Griffon does not gallop as fast as a pointer or a setter.
(d) Head Carriage: The head must be held at least in line with the back. The head is carried slightly forward with the nose slightly tilted downwards, causing the head to make an angle with the neck; this is referred to as the “hammer” head carriage. This head carriage provides the ability to scent at a distance. When a dog catches and is working a scent, the nose is held high.
(e) Handling Scent: When it first catches game scent, the WP Griffon lifts its nose; then it will slow down, stop quartering, move into the scent cone, and lift its head in the direction of the game’s location. It will advance carefully but decisively, its legs bending progressively, crouching close to the ground. This phase is very stylish.
(f) Pointing: The point should always be rigid. The desired posture for the point is a flexed position: the body is low, the head and nose are in line with the back, the body is tense and rigid, the neck is extended, the legs are bent or crouched, and the tail is rigid and motionless. A point achieved from a full run may be a standing point and is called “short” because the scent has not been well worked. A point with the dog lying down is not acceptable, except in the case of a surprised point when the dog catches scent while turning.
(g) Coulé*: When the WP Griffon is moving in toward the game after the point is established, the desired motion, or coulé, is catlike. The approach is crouched, nearly creeping, the neck always taut, and the nose raised. This is the highest expression of the WP Griffon’s style. The coulé should not be jerky, nervous or fidgety.
(h) The Tail: The tail should remain still and not wag when the WP Griffon is on point. Wagging generally indicates a point on which the birds are not pinned or the birds are not in line with the dog’s nose. Movement of the tail is a fault that must be penalized. If the tail is undocked, it must be held still on point and a tail held high or that moves on point must be avoided.
Note: Hunt tests and field trials serve to identify the best representatives of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (the WP Griffon) and bring them to the attention of breeders who desire to produce quality dogs—those sires and dams who preserve the best characteristics of the breed and the passion to hunt in the inherent style of the breed.
When evaluating WP Griffons in a field competition or hunt test, top scores should not be awarded to a dog that has not worked the scent. Surprised or short points are less desirable than flexed points. In addition, top scores should be awarded to only those WP Griffons demonstrating the typical manner and working characteristics of the breed.
*Coulé is used in European field trials for continental pointing dogs. It is not common in training, trialing or testing the WP Griffon in the United States. It is the action of approaching the game that the WP Griffon should do without hesitation and smoothly at the command of the handler and always in contact with the game. The movement should be fluid, like a cat stalking its prey. Both the dog and the handler move together, placing
pressure on the game until it flushes. The dog must then be steady to flush, wing and shot.