First things first.....
Will a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon suit my lifestyle?
Not every home is right for a Griffon, so before bringing a Griffon into your life, it
is essential to objectively evaluate your lifestyle and your needs and research whether a
Griffon is the breed for you. (See Frequently Asked Questions)
Buying a Griffon pup is much the same as buying a pup of any breed. Make sure you do your
homework and find a good breeder. Selection of your breeder is as important as the
selection of your breed.
Make a "wish list" with the qualities that you are looking for in your
Griffon, and include the activities that you plan to participate in with your puppy.
Once I have decided that a
Griffon is the breed for me,
How do I Contact Breeders?
Contact the Clubs, CKC, AKC, NAVHDA, FCI and Griffon Clubs (See Breed Clubs) and ask them to send
you the names of members who are breeding. Keep in mind that they will not give
you names of non-members who may also be good sources for your Griffon. Look in
Hunting Magazines ( i.e. Gundog and NAVHDA) and contact those breeders with listings.
While you are speaking to breeders, ask who *they* would recommend purchasing a puppy
The internet offers other options, breeder and Club webpages,
discussion groups, e-mail lists all can be used to make contact with breeders and owners
to both learn more about the breed and to seek out the perfect puppy. Contact Griffon
owners who have similar interests to you and inquire where they purchased their
Griffon and ask if they would recommend the breeder of their dog.
You may even consider adopting a Rescue Griffon. These are typically
adolescent, young adults and mature Griffons that have been given up by their owners for
one reason or another. See Griffon Rescue Page
and e-mail "Homer Mobley" <email@example.com>, (USA) for more information.
Do not buy a Griffon puppy from a pet store or a dog broker, these puppies may be the
product of a puppy mill or an unscrupulous breeder who cannot sell their puppies with the
normal person to person methods. Additionally, the socialization of pet store
puppies is seriously lacking and can affect the dog for its lifetime.
Take your time, do not be in a hurry to buy your puppy. You will have your
Griffon for 12-14 years. Plan on interviewing many breeders, and seeing
as many Griffons as you can. Do not make your choice until you have interviewed a
number of breeders. After you have researched a number of breeders and learned about
their breeding philosophies and breeding programs, choose your breeder and get onto their
Should I Ask?
Keep in mind that if a breeder does or does not do some of the things brought up in
this list, it does not necessarily mean that they are bad breeders.
Breeders expect to be interviewed, below are some question suggestions,
write down some questions of your own and start doing your interviews before you ask
to visit Griffons
Are your Griffons Fullblood?
There can be some confusion between the Fullblood Griffon and the
Griffon/Fousek Crosses, since both are represented, promoted and
have registration certificates saying they are Wirehaired Pointing Griffons.
What is the focus of your breeding program?
Whether the focus is on selection and breeding of Griffons for hunting, for dog shows,
for obedience, or for whatever .... find out where the interests and intent of the breeder
Seek a breeder who is doing the kinds of things that you want to do.... not only will
they best be able to evaluate the litter and send you the most suitable puppy, but they
will be an invaluable source of support and advice for preparing your pup for that
particular venue. If you want to hunt, get your pup from a hunter.... if you want to
hunt and show, get your pup from someone who breeds "Dual Dogs" and is
successful in the show ring.
Even a breeder that focusses on one aspect should select for the "total
dog" with consideration paid to genetics, temperament, structure, type
and natural abilities.
Keep in mind that a casual breeder may not have a breeding program or plan, and instead
may breed to their focus without a long-term plan.
It may also be of interest to find out whether the breeder has a mentor in the breed,
and whether they work on their own or in concert with another breeder or group of
For how many years have you owned a Griffon?
Basically, you want to establish the experience and knowledge of the breeder. If
the breeder has owned Griffons for years and bred a number of litters, chances are that
they will have a more well rounded understanding of the breed and better ability to
evaluate Griffons and puppies.
If you are dealing with a breeder who has less experience, it is all the more important
to research the breed and breed problems, as a new breeder may not know how to address all
of your questions and concerns.
How many Griffons have you owned over these years?
It is an advantage for a breeder to have owned/trained more than a few members of the
breed as they will have had more experience with a variety of Griffons, probably of
How many Griffons do you currently own?
Find out about the kind of dog that the breeder keeps. What qualities do they
look for in each of these dogs? Does this correspond with the kind of Griffon
that you are looking for? How does the breeder care for their dogs, are they
housedogs, do they live in a crate while the owner is at work, or are they out in a
2 Griffon or 20 Griffons, Does the breeder spend appropriate time with each Griffon and
keep them in a healthy and stimulating environment?
Do you breed other breeds, or have you bred other breeds in the
Some very experienced and successful breeders enjoy keeping and breeding
more than one breed. However, be wary of someone who is actively breeding a
number of different breeds.
Can you please tell me about the pros and cons of this breed?
A knowledgeable breeder will be able to offer detailed information on problems in the
breed, as well as the breed's good points.
Can you tell me about the strengths and weaknesses of your Griffons?
There are no perfect dogs, every bloodline has it's own strengths and weaknesses.
The waters get muddier since what is a strength to one breeder may be considered a
weakness by another breeder. This is why it is so important to interview more than
just a few breeders. You can find out how these traits will affect you.
Would a puppy from your bloodlines suit my needs?
A knowledgeable and ethical breeder will advise you as to whether a Griffon from their
bloodlines and breeding program will or will not suit your needs and your lifestyle.
Why did you choose to breed this particular female with this particular male?
The breeder may give you information on the qualities that they hope to bring forward
in this litter. Sometimes the reasons are further reaching, a link in the breeding
program or a test for a trait.
Are they keeping a puppy from the litter? Is is a first time breeding or
have this sire and dam been bred together before? If the Sire and Dam have been bred
before (either together or to other Griffons) ask how the puppies from prior litters
Inquire whether the breeding is open, or a linebreeding or inbreeding.
The breeder should know the pedigrees, and be familiar with details on the parents,
grand parents and great grand partents.
In particular you should ask for details on the traits of the Sire (Father) and
the Dam (Mother) of the expected litter. As well, inquire about any dog that appears
more than once in the 3 generation pedigree for the litter. Your discussion should
include the following qualities:
- temperament (how are they in the house, field and with strangers)
- conformation (structure will affect soundness in the field)
- hunting ability (natural pointing, tracking and retrieving and game
- genetic strength and vigor (an affected dog should
never be bred)
- cooperativeness and bidability (true strengths of the breed)
- coat (there are a variety of coat qualities) See
As you sow, so shall you reap. If you are looking for a Griffon for a partucular
purpose (ie: hunting) be sure that there are hunting dogs in the pedigree.
How old are the sire and dam?
If they are younger than two years of age, inquire why they are being bred.
There simply is not enough known about a young dog to merit using it in a breeding
program. In the first place, the dog is not mature, either physically nor mentally.
He cannot be accurately evaluated in the field, hips cannot be certified with OFA
However, in some cases dogs of these ages are bred by experienced and responsible
breeders, with good reasoning. Ask why and judge for yourself. But,
mostly, if the dogs are younger than two, you will want to wait until the breeder has a
litter with an older bitch of proven quality.
How do you raise and socialize your litters?
This question will speak to the experience of the breeder in raising and properly
socializing your puppy. Ask for details about the methods that will be used to raise
your puppy. It is a bonus if the breeder has a proper evaluation (temperament tests) done by an
experienced evaluator with each puppy in the litter. If you are looking for a Griffon for
a specific purpose, look for a breeder who will expose and carefully evaluate the puppies
for your venue of choice. Find out where the puppies raised. Learn how much time is
spent with the puppies, and if they socialized individually on a daily basis.
If the breeder has not raised a litter before, ask from whom they are learning how to
properly raise and socialize puppies. Also, inquire what basis they will be
evaluating the puppies on, and whether they have a more experienced breeder assisting with
evaluations and puppy raising advice.
Find out what age the puppies are placed into their new homes. Anywhere from 8 to
12 weeks is ideal, providing the puppies are being raised in a stimulating and positive
Ask what the breeder does with puppies that he cannot sell when they are young.
Do you Tattoo or Microchip your puppies?
This is becoming more and more important in our society. A breeder who places
permanent ID on their puppies will be responsible for the long term for that puppy.
Plus, some form of Permanent ID on a puppy can help the puppy to get home to you should he
be lost or stolen.
Do you give vaccinations to your puppies or does a Veterinarian
Puppies should go to their new homes with up to date deworming, shots and
a Veterinarian's health examination. Some breeders will vaccinate puppies themselves.
Even if the breeder gives vaccinations, you should ask that a Certified
Veterinarian do a complete Health Examination before your receive your puppy and that the
Veterinarian supply an International Health Certificate.
With which registry are the puppies registered?
Are they CKC, AKC, FCI, NAVHDA, FDSB, UKC etc. Some
Griffons are registered in both CKC/AKC and NAVHDA and some Griffons
(usually back-yard bred ones) are not registered at
If you plan on participating in AKC/CKC field tests, shows or obedience
trials you will need to have a dog that is registered/registerable with these clubs.
What Genetic Problems are in the breed and in your bloodline?
A breeder who has only bred one or two litters may not be fully aware of the
genetics strengths and pitfalls of their bloodlines. You should expect that a
breeder who has bred a number of litters over a number of years will be familiar with the
genetic problems present in their bloodline. Expect the breeder to be open,
and honest about genetics.
Do you have genetic tests done on your Griffons?
The problems most commonly seen in Griffons are entropian, ectropian and hip dysplasia.
Some Griffons have thyroid problems. Dogs used for breeding should not be affected
by genetic problems, and should at least have an OFA hip
certification number or PENN Hip evaluation and preferably have a pre-breeding
opthalmolgic examination or CERF number. Thyroid should be checked in some lines.
The breeder should be willing to provide you with copies of the certification (exam
sheet in the case of eyes). DO NOT TAKE THE BREEDERS WORD FOR IT! And do not
believe it when someone says "hip problems are not in my line so I don't check
hips". If there are no problems in the bloodline, it is all the more reason to
get OFA certification so other breeders can see the value of the bloodline. (See Genetics Page)
Do you stand behind your Griffons?
And for how long?
At the very least..... look for a breeder that offers a genetic guarantee. Find
out if the guarantee is for replacement (when?) or refund (entire amount or 1/2?) and
whether you have to euthanise or return your dog in order to enact the guarantee. Find out if the
breeder will pay for entropian surgery (if needed)... fully or only up to a certain
amount. Get the guarantee in writing, and make sure it signed and treated as a
legal document with witnesses and dates.
If you are dealing with an established breeder who will be involved in the breed for a
long time into the future you can probably be more confident that there will be some
resolution should your guarantee need to be enacted, or if you need help in a few years.
If you are you dealing with someone who only plans to breed one or two litters make
certain to find out what happens to your guarantee if the breeder ceases to breed.
What kind of after sale service do I get? Ask the hard questions.
Ask about support and advice, does the breeder have the experience in your area of
interest (whether it is hunting or field testing or showing) to help you to condition and
train your dog successfully in your particular interest? If this is your first
Griffon, you may want a breeder who is willing to offer advice and help on a frequent
Ask about what kind of an information package is supplied with your puppy. Some
breeders will simply give feeding instructions, others offer an entire book of information
on raising your puppy to best advantage.
What happens if I have to give up my Griffon?
Many breeders will have a clause written into their sale contract that states that they
will take a Griffon back. This is important. You don't want to abandon your
Griffon at a shelter should something prevent you from keeping him/her.
Is there anything that you need to know about me?
Select a breeder who asks many questions about you, your family, your schedule, why you
want a Griffon and the type of puppy personality you feel would be most suited to your
home and hunting needs. Don't be surprised if you are expected to fill out a
Finally, Ask to see their dogs.
If you are close enough to visit the kennel.... Look for Griffons that are the picture
of health, clear eyes, wet noses, good coats, happy, and well cared for.
Look for Griffons that are active and energetic. Be sure that the Griffons have
good, friendly temperaments and respond joyfully to visitors.
If you are looking for a dog for a specific purpose, (ie hunting) ask to see the dogs
work in a bird field.
How do I Select My Breeder?
By now you have interviewed a number of breeders, and from each one you have learned
more about the Griffon, and about the different bloodlines and breeding philosophies.
Remember that every breeder interprets the written breed
standard and has their own interpretation of the appropriate use for the
Griffon. What is right for one breeder may not necessarily be right for another and
that is where you have to evaluate carefully the various opinions and breeding programs
that you have been presented with.
With my interest, (hunting companions) I think of these variations in selection as a
"cup of tea". One breeder may like a "sweeter" cup of tea, one
may want one with more range, or with more coat. Each of these variations are valid
and may be more effective for the particular game or terrain that the breeder is hunting
their Griffon over. You have to decide how you want your "cup of tea" and
make your decision accordingly.
Select a breeder that is breeding the kind of Griffon that you want to own. If
you hunt, get your Griffon puppy from a hunter. If you want to put your Griffon into
Conformation Shows, get your Griffon puppy from someone who successfully breeds and shows
their Griffons in Conformation Shows. If you want to do both, get your puppy from a
breeder that is specializing in "Dual Griffons".
Hunting or show or obedience..... The breeder who actively participates in your
area of interest will best be able to evaluate the specific traits in the litter and
select the best puppy for you. In addition, they will be best able to help you to
develop your puppy for your chosen area(s) of interest. You will both be well ahead.
Finally, use your instincts. If you do not feel comfortable dealing
with a certain breeder, follow your intuition. The relationship is going to be a
long one, lasting the life of your Griffon, and perhaps beyond. Your breeder can be
a great help in the raising and training of your dog, and you must choose someone that you
are comfortable dealing with and someone who you trust to send you the puppy that will
suit you best.
And..... Welcome to the Breed.
You have chosen a unique and fascinating breed of dog.
I hope that your Griffon will bring you as much
joy as ours have brought into our lives.