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These dogs have been raised to be both pointers and retrievers, and they possess physical characteristics that make them successful at both sports. They are good humored energetic dogs who will happily go along with their owner's wishes.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffin makes a good companion for an active owner who will enjoy plenty of outdoor activity and will be able to provide this easygoing dog with the grooming and praise he needs to thrive.
The Griffin is too gentle to be interested in acting as a guard dog or as an aggressor around smaller dogs. They are intelligent dogs who work to please their owners and don't have much interest in willfully disobeying. It is fairly easy to train the Griffin. As diligent hunters, they were bred to work closely with their owners. As a result, Griffins are respectful and responsive. These positive traits help them flourish in quiet, peaceful homes. These dogs are not best suited for chaotic environments. Griffins have a sensitive disposition, so they need to be socialized as puppies to get over their nervousness around strangers. They long to be friendly, but sometimes new situations are stressful to them.
These active dogs need daily exercise. They enjoy running off-lead and swimming, so they do best living in open, rural environments where they can take advantage of the expanse of territory at their disposal.
Griffins love to be outside and they need to be comfortable working in all conditions. Their coat is practical if not necessarily luxurious. It comes in steel gray or silver with chestnut or roan markings. Theirs is a harsh, naturally scruffy coat of a medium length. The double coat has a straight, wiry outer coat and a fine, downy under coat. Their characteristic facial furnishings, including a beard, moustache and eyebrows, give them a friendly, if slightly messy, appearance. The hair along the facial furnishings and ears is slightly softer than the wiry, harsh body hair. Griffins are rugged dogs who should have an unkempt appearance.
To make sure the Griffin's look does not become too sloppy, brush them daily with a slicker brush to remove dead hair and hold their shape.
With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.
The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but wire-coated dogs can be done with greater frequency, often within a four-to-six week range. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. The coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.
The Griffin's coat should be hand-stripped several times a year to allow a healthy growth pattern.
Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience. As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.
The Griffin's ears are also susceptible to infection, so clean them carefully and trim the hair around the ears if necessary.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.