Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
By Michele Welton.
Copyright © 2000-2014
This rugged, athletic hunting dog has a pleasant disposition, but vigorous daily exercise (jogging, biking, hiking, field work) is high on his list of Things to Do, as is companionship and personal attention. Too much solitary confinement makes him restless and prone to separation anxiety, which he may express by chewing destructively.
With strangers, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon tends to be politely aloof. To avoid his caution shading into timidity, he should be accustomed to people and noises at an early age. With other animals, he is usually accepting, though some individuals can be cat chasers.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is independent and easily distracted, but he is not a dominant dog and is quite responsive to obedience training that includes a calm voice and light hand.
He can be a little slow to housebreak and some individuals bark excessively, especially without enough exercise or mental stimulation.
Be aware that Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, like all whiskery dog breeds, are not for the fastidious household, as they are sloppy drinkers, their beard soaking up water and depositing it as a trail of drips across your floor.
If you want a dog who...
- Is medium-sized with an agile, athletic build
- Has a rough wiry coat and whiskery beard
- Is rugged in body, pleasant in disposition
- Is dignfied with strangers and congenial with other dogs
- Responds well to calm training -- is not a dominant dog
A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Vigorous exercise requirements
- Exuberant jumping, especially when young or not exercised enough
- "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
- Timidity when not socialized enough
- A distractable mind of his own -- tends to ignore calls and commands when an interesting sight or scent catches his attention
- "Shaggy dog syndrome," i.e. debris clinging to the coat, water soaking into the beard and dripping on your floors
- Slowness to housebreak
- Finding one -- very uncommon breed
A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
If I was considering a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become restless and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing.
If you simply want a pet for your family, and don't have the time or inclination to take your dog running or hiking or biking, or to get involved in hunting, or tracking, or agility (obstacle course), or a similar canine activity, I do not recommend this breed. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons were never intended to be simply household pets. Trying to suppress their "hardwired" desire to run and work, without providing alternate outlets for their energy level, can be difficult.
- Separation anxiety. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They tend to express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking. If you work all day, this is not the breed for you.
- Providing enough socialization. Standoffish by nature, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become shyness, which is very difficult to live with.
- Mind of their own. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are one of the most responsive of the pointing breeds, but they are not Golden Retrievers. They have an independent mind of their own and are easily distracted by exciting sights, scents, and sounds. You must show them, through absolute consistency and great patience, that you mean what you say and that they must pay attention to you.
To teach your Griffon to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Training Page discusses the program you need.
- "Shaggy dog syndrome." Like all "shaggy" dogs, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon can be a messy dog. Leaves, mud, snow, fecal matter, and other debris cling to his rough coat. When he drinks, his beard absorbs water, which drips on your floors when he walks away. When he eats, his beard absorbs food, which ends up on your pants when he presses his head against your leg. Rough-coated dogs are not suited to fastidious housekeepers.
- Housebreaking. The pointing breeds can be a bit slow to pick this up. Expect several months of consistent crate training.
- Finding one. In the United States, fewer than 300 new Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppies are registered each year. (Compare that to over 60,000 new Golden Retriever puppies.)
To learn more about training Wirehaired Pointing Griffons to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Wirehaired Pointing Griffon...
When you're acquiring a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Wirehaired Pointing Griffons who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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Copyright © 2000-2014 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
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