Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Korthals Griffon
Average Cost to keep/care for a Korthals Griffon
The Korthals Griffon is sometimes called a Wired-haired Pointing Griffon and they were originally developed in the Netherlands. However, the breed’s founder moved to Germany where he continued to breed and develop these hunting dogs. They have always been highly prized for their hunting abilities in many European countries and are slowly becoming better known here in the UK because in the right environment, the Korthals Griffon does make a great companion and family pet although their numbers still remain very low with very few pedigree puppies being bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year.
The Korthals Griffon was first developed in 1873 in the Netherlands by Eduard Karel Korthals who gave the breed its name. His goal was to produce the consummate gundog that displayed courage, stamina, loyalty and a dog that boasted being highly intelligent and biddable. It is thought that he used both German and French Pointers to create the breed, but there are those who believe other breeds may also have been used in the mix which includes Waterdogs and various spaniel types.
Korthals eventually moved to Germany where he continued to develop the breed while he worked in Prince of Solms-Braunfel’s kennels. He was given a medal by the Kaiser for the work he carried out in creating a “hunt, point and retrieve” dog of exceptional quality. Korthals died very young, but his work was continued by breed enthusiasts both in Germany and in other European countries which included France.
The first Korthals Griffon was exhibited in America when the breed was registered as being a Russian Setter. Thirty years later, the breed was recognised by the American Kennel Club and 16 dogs were subsequently exhibited at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1916. Although, breed numbers remain low and very few puppies are registered with The Kennel Club here in the UK every year, these handsome dogs are gaining popularity with people who lead active, outdoor lives albeit very slowly. However, anyone wishing to share their home with a Korthals Griffon would need to register their interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list for the pleasure of doing so.
Height at the withers: Males 55 - 60 cm, Females 50 - 55 cm
Average weight: Males 23 - 27 kg, Females 23 - 27 kg
The Korthals Griffon is a handsome, medium sized dog that boasts having a lot of presence with their smart moustaches and beards. They have large, long yet not too broad heads that are well covered in harsh hair and moderate stops. Their eyebrows are well developed which adds to a dog's overall charming appearance. Muzzles are long and square with the top of a dog's skull being parallel to their muzzles. Their noses are always a little convex at the tip and they are always a brown colour.
Their eyes can either be a brown or dark yellow being round and large with dogs always having an intelligent expression in them which is accentuated by their bushy eyebrows. Their ears are medium in size and flat being set level with a dog's eyes and covered in a mixture of short and long hair. The Korthals Griffon has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. They have moderately long necks with no dewlap.
Chests are deep but never too wide and ribs are only slightly sprung. They have straight, strong front legs that are covered in thick hair. Shoulders are set obliquely and long. They have strong, powerful bodies and nicely developed hindquarters. Back legs are muscular having long, well-developed thighs and a dog's feet are round shaped being strong with well arched, tight toes. Their tails are covered in thick, harsh hair without any sign of feathering which dogs carry horizontally often with the very tip being slightly raised.
When it comes to their coat, the Korthals Griffon boasts having a coarse, harsh coat with a much finer and denser undercoat. The accepted breed colours are as follows:
The Korthals Griffon is known to be a gentle character and a dog that forms extremely strong bonds with their families and owners. They have deeply embedded hunting instincts which has earned them the reputation of being among the best hunt, point and retrieve dogs in the field. As such they are not the best choice for people who lead more sedentary lives because these energetic dogs need to be handled and trained by people who are familiar with the specific needs of this type of hunting dog. The Korthals Griffon thrives when they are in a stable environment and with people who lead active, outdoor lives and who would like a canine companion at their side.
They are not the best choice for first time owners for the same reason because the Korthals Griffon needs an experienced handler from the word go when they are still puppies so they grow up to be well-balance, happy mature dogs. A well socialised and correctly trained Korthals Griffon is usually a much quieter and more relaxed dog than many other working dogs tend to be. They form particularly strong bonds with the person who takes the more care of them, although they are always loving and loyal to the rest of the people in a household.
They are never happier than when they know their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance, although a Korthals Griffon is not a dominant dog by nature. With this said, they still need to know who is the alpha dog in a household for them to be truly happy, well-rounded, obedient characters.
They tend to be a little wary and aloof around people they have never met before, but rarely would a Korthals show any sort of aggressive behaviour towards a stranger preferring to keep their distance until they get to know someone. They are known to be a little hard to housetrain, but with a lot of patience, time and understanding a Korthals Griffon can be taught to do their "business" outside.
The Korthals Griffon is an intelligent and energetic dog and one that needs to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy dogs. Their socialisation has to begin early as does their training with puppies being taught the "basics" before going on to start their training in earnest once they have been fully vaccinated. They boast having extremely strong hunting abilities which are deeply embedded in their psyche and as such their training has to include indulging these dogs in what they were bred to do rather than to try and prevent them from doing their “job”.
Enrolling a young Korthals Griffon into puppy classes goes a long way in socialising them correctly and it also helps get their training off on the right foot. As dogs get a little older it's also a good idea to take them along to canine sporting activities where they can use their skills to “hunt, point and retrieve” in safe and controlled environments. It’s important to bear in mind that Korthals are quite sensitive dogs by nature and as such, they do not respond well to any sort of harsh correction or heavier handed training methods. They do answer well to positive reinforcement which always brings the best out of these intelligent dogs.
The Korthals Griffon may be an energetic dog that loves to be working in the great outdoors, but they are also very kind and gentle when they are around children of all ages. They seem to have an affinity with them which means they do make wonderful family pets. However, any interaction between younger children and a dog should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with a toddler being knocked over, albeit by accident.
They are also known to be good around other dogs, more especially if they have been well socialised from a young enough age. The same applies to when a Korthals Griffon is around other animals and pets. If they have grown up with a family cat in the home, they usually get on well together, but a Korthals would think nothing of chasing off any other cats they come across.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Korthals Griffon is between 10 and 12 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like many other breeds, the Korthals Griffon is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these active and good looking dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
As with any other breed, Korthals need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
The Korthals Griffon is low maintenance on the grooming front. Their coats need to be brushed twice weekly to keep things tidy and in good condition. They tend to shed steadily throughout the year only more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing is usually necessary to remove all dead and loose hair from a dog's coat.
Their coats also benefit from being hand stripped twice a year which makes keeping things tidier than much easier in between visits to a grooming parlour. It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
The Korthals Griffon is a high energy and very intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. They need at least 2 hour's exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Korthals would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving stress.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these active dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Korthals Griffon puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get a Korthals Griffon puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be fed a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Because Korthals Griffon are known to suffer from bloat, it is really important for them to be fed twice a day instead of giving a dog just one larger meal a day. It's also a good idea to invest in a stand for their feed bowls which makes it easier for dogs to eat comfortably without having to stretch their necks down to reach their food. Dogs should never be exercised just before or just after they have eaten either because this puts them more at risk of suffering from gastric torsion.
If you are looking to buy a Korthals Griffon, you would need to register your interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because very few puppies are bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year. You would need to pay anything upwards of £1000 for a well-bred pedigree puppy.
The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Korthals Griffon in northern England would be £22.01 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £42.79 a month (quote as of July 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £40 - £50 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Korthals Griffon and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £1000 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Korthals Griffon would be between £70 to £110 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.
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