Showsight Presents the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

THE WORKING STANDARD FOR THE WIREHAIRED POINTING GRIFFON

In 1984, the Korthals Griffon breed club in France appointed Jacques Kerspern to write the working standard for the Griffon. About his efforts, he wrote: “Just as the conformation standard defines the essential points of the morphology of a breed, the working standard proposes to determine the fundamental characteristics of a working dog in hunting situations. These characteristics can be seen in the study of pace, the gait, and the style of the dog during various successive phases of its action in the field. Some will say that the Griffon is, above all, a hunting dog and that in the field only efficiency counts. It is true, undoubtedly true for a dog, for your dog, but when it comes to the breed, the problem is very different. The standard not only defines but it is also the guarantee, the guardian of the breed and of its conformation and working specifics. It is essential to maintain and to guarantee what makes a breed unique, not only in its conformation, but also in its hunting apti- tudes. It is crucial to remind one of the importance of field events in this endeavor. The study of the working style or the pace is not done by starting with a preconceived model that may exist or be idealized, but rather according to observations of numerous Griffons at work. Objectively, this observation leads to the discovery of certain elements that we can find among most Griffons and that constitute the true constants of the breed and its style. In addition, it is important to try to find an explanation for these constants, which find their origins in the dog’s conformation. For this reason, we can conclude the abso- lute necessity to never dissociate the conformation standard from the working standard.” The working standard adopted in 2018 by the AWPGA is based largely on the French Griffon Club’s working standard for the Korthals Griffon. The AWPGA believes that to preserve the Wire- haired Pointing Griffon, the working standard is as important as the conformation standard. The working standard is the blueprint of the ideal characteristics of the working traits the breed exhibits in the field. It serves to describe the long-established acceptable characteristics that the model Griffon exhibits in the field. The particulars of the conformation breed standard are intertwined in all the characteristics found in the working standard. Proper struc- ture, including mental stability and temperament, are essential to exhibit the ideal traits and behaviors in the working standard. AMERICAN WIREHAIRED POINTING 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 gal- lop. The body seems to rock slightly back and forth—from front to rear—around the imaginary transverse line running GRIFFON ASSOCIATION THE WORKING STANDARD FOR THE WIREHAIRED POINTING GRIFFON through the WP Griffon’s center of gravity, which is esti- mated to be at stomach level. The gallop should be energetic but also sustained and steady. Avoid gallops that are too

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 2021 | 249

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