Since then, because of its hunting abilities, sound temperament, conformation, and effortless movement, the Griffon has exploded in popularity. In the eight years between 2008 and 2016, the breed more than doubled in AKC litter registrations. Those numbers do not take into account the litters registered by the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) which is another common registry used by breeders. With an average litter size of 10 puppies (up to 14 puppies is not unusual), there are over 10,000 puppies born annually and this growth is not expected to level off any time soon. A decade ago, seeing a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was something of a rarity. Seeing one in the show ring was even more rare. The American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
With this fast rise in popularity, many conformation judges have not previously had the opportunity to judge a good-sized entry. With more Griffons making it to the show ring, the Griffon is no longer considered a “low-entry breed.” However, a dog in the show ring is not just another pretty face. Many of these dogs also have proven performance in the field and have advanced hunting titles with both AKC and NAVHDA. Since the AKC parent club, The American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association is relatively new and did not acquire AKC recognition until 1990, what is seen in many areas of the country are a variety of coats, sizes, structure and bone.
This can be confusing to judges, breeders and owners. The following is a brief review designed to assist in judging the Griffon. AVersatile Hunting Dog The Griffon is a versatile hunting dog. It is often referred to as the 4-wheel drive of hunting dogs due to its ability to hunt any terrain for a wide variety of game in all weather.
He has the capability to track a wounded bird in the water because of his keen nose and his strength as a swimmer. And because vast, open hunting grounds are becoming more scarce in the United States, his style — which is to stay within gun range — is becoming increasingly attractive to the modern day hunter. In Europe, Griffs also commonly hunt rabbit, fox and other small furred game. Their intelligence, coupled with a moderate amount of train- ing and exposure to game, will enable the Griff to be an ex- cellent companion for the walking hunter. Their strength and bone density coupled with their confident demeanor allows them to charge through heavy cover in search of prey. The Griff never tiptoes around the edges when he hunts. Instead, he will confidently push his way through heavy cattails and underbrush with ease.
He does it all: points and retrieves and hunts upland birds and waterfowl, exactly what breed developer Eduard Korthals set out to do.
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2017 • 287
Powered by FlippingBook