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Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Korthals Griffon
Average Cost to keep/care for a Korthals Griffon
Breed Specific Buying Advice
The Korthals Griffon is sometimes called a Wired-haired Pointing Griffon more especially in the US. They were originally developed in the Netherlands, however, the breed’s founder moved to Germany where he continued to breed and develop these Hunt, Point and Retrieve 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, although still quite rarely seen in the country and more especially in a home environment.
With this said in the right environment, the Korthals Griffon does make a great companion and family pet being particularly good around children and other animals. Because breed numbers remain low with very few pedigree puppies being bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year, anyone wanting to share a home with a Korthals Griffon would need to register their interest with breeders for the pleasure of doing so.
The Korthals Griffon was first developed in 1873 in the Netherlands by Eduard Karel Korthals who gave the breed its name. He later moved to Germany where he continued to develop the breed. 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.
As previously mentioned Korthals 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. The Kaiser award Korthals a “special medal” in recognition of his endeavours. Sadly, Korthals died very young at the age of 44, but his work was continued by breed enthusiasts both in Germany and in other European countries which included France and Holland.
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 which could well be quite long.
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 course, harsh coat with a much finer and denser undercoat. The accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration are as follows:
It is worth noting that the accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration can differ from those set out in the breed standard which are as follows:
It is worth noting that a Korthals undercoat is always brown no matter what their coat colour
When a Korthals Griffon moves, they do so showing a lot of drive from behind and covering a lot of ground with long strides when they do. They have a parallel action both in the front and behind.
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and would judge the faults on how much they affect a dog's overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform.
Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it is worth noting that a dog can be a little lighter or heavier as well as slightly taller or shorter than set out in the Kennel Club breed standard which is only given as a guideline.
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 the alpha dog is 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.
A Korthals Griffon is not the best choice for first time dog owners because they must be handled, socialised and trained by people who are familiar with the needs of such an energetic, strong-willed dog.
Although, bred to hunt, a Korthals Griffon generally gets on well with other animals although their prey drive might get the better of them at times. As such, care should always be taken as to where and when a dog runs off the lead more especially when livestock or wildlife is close by.
Korthals have a playful side to their natures especially when young when playtime can be rather boisterous which means teaching them that “playtime” takes place outdoors to prevent breakages around the home.
A Korthals Griffon is better suited to people who lead active, outdoor lives and who live in a rural part of the country. They are not “apartment dogs” and would be very unhappy in that sort of environment because they need to be able to express themselves which means being able to run around in an ultra-secure back garden whenever possible to really express themselves and let off steam.
A Korthals forms a strong tie with their families and dogs are never very happy when they find themselves left on their own for longer periods of time. They are better suited to people who either work from home or in households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out, so they are never alone for any length of time which could see a dog suffering from separation anxiety. This can lead to them being destructive around the home which is a dog's way of relieving any stress they are feeling and a way to keep themselves entertained.
Korthals Griffon are not known to be “barkers” and will generally only voice an opinion when they deem it necessary to do so or when they want something.
Most Korthals Griffon love swimming and will take to the water whenever they can because they were bred to Hunt, Point and Retrieve. However, if anyone who owns a dog that does not like water should never force them to go in because it would just end up scaring them. With this said, care should always be taken when walking a Korthals off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case a dog decides to leap in and then needs rescuing because they cannot get out of the water on their own.
Korthals Griffons are natural watchdogs although they are not very good guard dogs. As such, they are usually quick off the mark to let an owner know when there are strangers about although they would rarely do this aggressively, preferring to keep their distance and bark.
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 must 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 must 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.
Like all puppies, the Korthals Griffon is incredibly cute when young and it is all too easy to spoil them when they first arrive in their new homes. However, as soon as a puppy is nicely settled, owners must start out as they mean to go on which means laying down ground rules and boundaries. This helps puppies understand what their owners expect of them and what is acceptable behaviour. It also helps establish a “pecking order” and who the alpha dog is in a household. The first commands a puppy should be taught are as follows:
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:
Korthals Griffon puppies would have been given their initial vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner with the vaccination schedule for puppies being as follows:
There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it's best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.
A lot of vets these days recommend waiting until dogs are slightly older before spaying and neutering them which means they are more mature before undergoing the procedures. As such they advise neutering males and spaying females when they are between the ages of 6 to 9 months old and sometimes even when a dog is 12 months old.
Other vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old, but never any earlier unless for medical reasons. With this said, many breeds are different, and it is always advisable to discuss things with a vet and then follow their advice on when a dog should be spayed or neutered.
As with other breeds, some Korthals gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered and it's important to keep an eye on a dog's waistline just in case they do. If a dog starts to put on weight, it's important to adjust their daily calorie intake and to up the amount of exercise they are given. Older dogs too are more prone to gaining weight and again it's essential they be fed and exercised accordingly because obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years. The reason being that it puts a lot of extra strain on a dog's internal organs including the heart which could prove fatal.
Korthals are not known to suffer from allergies, but it's important for a dog to see a vet sooner rather than later if one flares up. Allergies can be notoriously hard to clear up and finding the triggers can be challenging. With this said, a vet would be able to make a dog with an allergy more comfortable while they try to find out the triggers which could include the following:
All responsible Korthals Griffon breeders would ensure that their stud dogs are tested for known hereditary and congenital health issues known to affect the breed by using the following schemes:
Apart from the standard breeding restrictions that are in place for all Kennel Club registered breeds, there are no other breed specific breeding restrictions in place for the Korthals Griffon.
The Kennel Club strongly recommends that all breeders use the following schemes on their dogs:
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.
Korthals Griffon puppies are boisterous and full of life which means it's essential for homes and gardens to be puppy-proofed well in advance of their arrival. A responsible breeder would have well socialised their puppies which always leads to more outgoing, confident and friendly dogs right from the word go. With this said, any puppy is going to feel vulnerable when they leave their mother and littermates which must be taken into account. The longer a puppy can remain with their mother, the better although it should never be for too long either.
It's best to pick a puppy up when people are going to be around for the first week or, so which is the time needed for a puppy to settle in. Puppy-proofing the home and garden means putting away any tools and other implements that a boisterous puppy might injure themselves on. Electric wires and cables must be put out of their reach because puppies love chewing on things. Toxic plants should be removed from flowerbeds and the home too.
Puppies need to sleep a lot to grow and develop as they should which means setting up a quiet area that's not too out of the way means they can retreat to it when they want to nap and it's important not to disturb them when they are sleeping. It's also a good idea to keep "playtime" nice and calm inside the house and to have a more active "playtime" outside in the garden which means puppies quickly learn to be less boisterous when they are inside.
The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
There are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows a puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The items needed are therefore, as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including Korthals Griffon puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out.
As previously mentioned, Korthals Griffon puppies would have been given their first vaccinations by the breeders, but they must have their follow up shots which is up to their new owners to organise. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
When it comes to boosters, it's best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However, if a dog ever needed to go into kennels, their vaccinations would need to be fully up to date.
Older Korthals need lots of special care because as they reach their golden years, they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically, a dog's muzzle may start to go grey, but there will be other noticeable changes too which includes the following:
Living with a Korthals Griffon in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities, but these are easily managed and should include looking at their diet, the amount of exercise they are given, how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older Korthals need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older dogs is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older Korthals Griffon don't need to be given the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
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 builds 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 must 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.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, a Korthals puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
Once a puppy is 15 months old they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature, an adult Korthals Griffon should be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult Korthals can be fed the following amounts every day:
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 £24.56 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £44.87 a month (quote as of March 2018). 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 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 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 well-bred Kennel Club registered pedigree Korthals Griffon puppy.
When visiting and buying any puppy or dog, there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. You can read our generic puppy/dog advice here which includes making sure you see the puppy with its mother and to verify that the dog has been wormed and microchipped.
Finding Korthals Griffon puppies can prove very challenging because few puppies are bred and registered with the Kennel Club every year which means that well-bred puppies can command a lot of money. As such, with Korthals Griffons there is specific advice, questions and protocols to follow when buying a puppy which are as follows:
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