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walleye vision

wirehaired pointing griffon?

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walleye vision

Just curious if anyone here has ever owned or has ever hunted with a wirehaired griffon? I've been looking into getting a GWP, but the breeds enormous need for exercise and it's reported independence kind of scare me. Now i've been reading about the griffon, and it seems like just as good of a hunter, but an even better family dog. Anyone have any thoughts on either the GWP or Griffon, please reply

thanks
W.V.

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Swamp Scooter

I do not have much exposure to the Griffon but I know of some people that have the Spinone and love them. They are a little more low key.

I have experienced the attitudes of the GWP and some are great but some are a little standoff-ish. At times very protective. Just have to find one that you can see the parents and ask how the owners deal with the issues.

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Blaze

WV - let me start by saying I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, and I am speaking in "generalities" except where my experience comes in.

I have never owned a Griff, but have run into a couple over the years with the experiences being positive each time. They appear to be a bit more laid back in their temperament compared to GWPs, and I've heard that from other Griff owners. They are also known as very competent hunters with good waterfowl and upland skills. They are usually a closer-range hunter and I would think they'd make a great grouse dog, but probably not handle pheasant and sharptail as well as a GWP.

You are right about a GWP's need for exercise, but that is pretty common with pointing breeds in general - some may need more (English Pointers, etc.) and some may need less. I'd probably put the GWP in the middle of the pack from my estimation. I'm a bit baffled by the independence statement though - I have a GSP and had a GWP for a while, and let me tell ya, my GWP was anything but independent. My GSP is much more independent and will hunt for anyone with a gun. My GWP was more of a 1-man hunting dog, and that's common for the breed from what I hear from most GWP owners. My pup was also a total lap dog - even when he hit the 80+ lb size - he loved mom and dad (or anyone else who would pet him)!

Bottom line: weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both breeds and pick which one fits your needs the best. There is no perfect dog, but there may a perfect dog for you.

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walleye vision

Thanks for the replies guys. I really appreciate it. Good to hear some inside information from Blaze. I'm not anywhere near getting a dog yet, not till next spring anyway. I just want to get as much information as I can about probable breeds. My main concern is giving the dog enough time. I'll be starting a new job in the spring and don't want to get a good dog, and not give it the time it needs. That was kind of the reason i was leaning away from the GWP and towards the Griffon. But i guess i just have to figure out how much time i'll have and go from there. thanks again.

WV

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tomahawk

Whats the difference between a Drahthaar,German Wirehair Pointer & a Wire Pointing Griffon???? They all look the same to me. How bout a little insight from someone who knows for sure.

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Blaze

OK, tomahawk - since nobody else seems to want to touch this one, I'll give it a shot. There's basically 2 questions here, and I'll tackle 'em in this order: a) diff between DD -vs- GWP and B) diff between the WPG and the DD/GWP.


a) DD/GWPs: at a high level, the DD was originally developed in the 1800s in Germany and were later imported to the US. DDs are still registered through the German parent organization, the VDD (Verein Deutsch Drahthaar) and require testing of health, coat, and natural ability before breeding. GWPs are the AKC flavor of the DD breed. Some claim the DDs have purer bloodlines and ensure more consistency in the breed through their testing system, and others claim the AKC GWP has improved the breed by adding new blood into the breed, but the testing is not required by the AKC.

There used to be an article published on http://www.drahthaar.com about this issue, but their site is down today. More on the history of the DD: http://vdd-gna.org/history.htm

One difference that's easy to spot between the 2 is color - GWPs are often times white with liver patches or roan (also called 'ticking') where the acceptable DD colors are liver roan, black roan, and solid liver.

B) Griffons were one of the original 4 breeds used to develop the DD, so your comment of "they all look the same" has some merit (see the VDD link above for more info). I own a book called "Point! Training the All-Seasons Bird Dog" by James Spencer and he does an overview of most of the major pointing breeds. I'll paraphrase some of his common differentiating features of the WPG vs DD/GWP:
-- THESE ARE GENERALITIES HERE --
* Griffs usually have longer, "woolier" coats (I call 'em Brillo Pad dogs smile.gif )
* Griffs are typically considered close working dogs; DDs would classify more as mid-range dogs
* Griffs are usually smaller in size ranging 45-55 lbs; DDs usually go 55-75 lbs
* Griffs are usually more laid back/mellow in personality which is great in the house, but may not be a desired trait in the field

All 3 of the breeds are proficient with ducks, grouse, and pheasants. It really boils down to personal preference at some point.

So, tomahawk, there are some significant differences, but also many similarities with these breeds. If you (or anyone) is interested, I recommend doing a little homework and find a local club (like NAVHDA, etc.) where you can go see some of these dogs firsthand.

Good luck,
Blaze

[This message has been edited by Blaze (edited 08-23-2004).]

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RandyFish

I bought a Griffon pup two years ago. I had owned labs before, but wanted to train a pointing dog.

Of course, I wanted a good hunting dog (pheasant, duck), but just as importantly -- a dog that had an even disposition (lab or golden like, a dog that was not hyper.

With no strong pointing breed alliance, I really asked (and e-mailed) around: breeders, owners, etc. My choices came down to three breeds, a shorthair, a wirehair or griffon.

I picked the griffon for these reasons:

a) described as the most laid back of contential breeds by many people (always looks for two or three areeing opinions from different sources when evaluating dogs).

B) Considered by wirehair fans as being "too close working" (mine ranges about 25-35 yards). I hunt southern MN so cover is not huge, so I liked that trait. You may not.


I really like my Griff, but he is a lot different than the labs I owned.

Good points:

1) best hunter I have owned, great nose...loves cold water and weather. Can handle duck hunting as well as my labs did, even in a boat.
2) Smart. He is fun to train. He is "soft" more like a golden than a lab.
3) Good watch dog...not as protective as a wirehair, but he will accept strangers only after he knows they are welcome.
4) Nice size. About 55 pound. He does not wreck the house, and I can physically handle him with ease. Built like a big brittany. Long legs, short body from head to tail.

5) Athletic. Loves to jump and climb.

Bad Points:

1. Coat really collects burrs. Giffs have a very soft under coat and burrs can really dig into them. I have to trim him down before season and I carry a small scissors in the field. Burrs can get between his "armpits" and really hurt him.

2. Quirky. I have a 6-year-old, and when her friends are over, he wants to "dominate" them as though they were other dogs. He'll prentend growl (they are vocal), etc. He isn't going to bite them, but it still scares the kids (and parents)

3. He is stubborn. I do have to keep reinforcing (he is two now) the basics, or he will take advantage of me.

4. Athletic. I cannot break him of jumping (I have tried a ton, without killing the poor guy). He loves to jump so much, including people. He will watch my son play basketball and jump when my son does....just into the air at nothing. A kangaroo.

Overall, I am really glad I got him. It is my first pointing dog, so I am really leaving the pointing up to him. He is a blast...frustrating but fun.

They are hard to find, and kind of expensive. I actually got mine from texas for $350, which was a bargain...even with shipping.


Good luck

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jbdragon

I have heard some talk about the different ways a dog scents either the air or the ground. I was thinking of getting a brittany sometime next spring/early summer, but some people say they dont scent the air well for grouse hunting. I will be looking for a dog in the 35-50lb range and would like one to stay close while in the field. I dont want a monster in the house. How do Griffs scent the air and what is the average size for a female. Any other good smaller bird dogs to consider? Which ones and why?

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Blaze

jbdragon - can't speak to the griff's scenting style, but if you're looking for an air-scenting grouse dog in that size range, I think it would be hard to beat an English Setter. Have you looked into them at all?

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jbdragon

I have and do like them but for the fact that they seem a little large. I have a 25lb house dog already and do not want something too big. It would be ideal to find something 35-45 no larger than 50lbs

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Blaze

setterguy - you out there? How big are your setters? I wouldn't think that finding a good setter at or under 50lbs would be too tough - am I mistaken?

[This message has been edited by Blaze (edited 08-26-2004).]

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gspman

Another dog to consider if you like wooly dogs is the Czesky Fousek. I think it's a cross between a GWP/DD and a Griffon. I know the have them in the US but you'd probably have to search a little to find one. They should be a very versatile dog and as far as I know they are only bred for hunting and not for show.

The modern field bred setters and pointers are on the small size which for me is under 50 pounds. It should be easy to find a field setter or pointer under 50#, especially a female. There are plenty of grouse trialers in the state that breed these types of dogs. I'm sure setterguy could hook someone up easily. Many field trial style GSP's are also smaller. I have 2 female GSP's that are both under 50# and the smaller one is in the low 40# range. Of these 3 I think a setter might be the choice since you want a dog with a bit less independence although there are representatives from the GSP's and pointers that can be more attached to their masters too.

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Griff guy

I breed griffons and have hunted everything from grouse to geese. They are a true versatile hunting dog. Mine are fairly big (55-60 lb female)with a tighter coat. The coat is easy to maintain but you will pick up a few burrs on their chin. My two brothers have the Czesky Fousek crosses that the WHPGCA breed. Good club dogs, may have a little less bone and structure. I also hunt with a setter (45 lb) Nice points, and nose but poor retriever and can't take the cold water.
Wirehair's as a rule run bigger but our lines can get out as far as we want, 45-60 yds.
If you look for griff lines that are in NAVHDA that have tested well, and stay away from any thing that may have a soft coat you will have a great, cooperative, VERSATILE, hunting partner that can come in and be a family friend as well.

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