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Our Breeding Philosophy

Our Training Philosophy

Why Integrate the Two?

Natural Vs. Acquired Abilities

Complimentary Breeding

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About Griffonpoint

Breeding and Training Philosophy

Breeding Program

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Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

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Our Breeding Philosophy


We breed a versatile and talented gun dog for the on-foot hunter.

These are working Griffon families that transmit their qualities of genetics, temperament, conformation, cooperation, natural ability, trainability, desire to please and hunting traits.




Our Breeding Philosophy

"At Griffonpoint, we follow the Maxim: Form Follows Function.
If Wire-Haired Pointing Griffons cease to be used and bred to hunt then the breed as we know it will change."

Shannon Ford 1991

Edward Karel Korthals sent the Griffon into the 1900's a talented and versatile hunting dog with the structure needed to enable it to perform its work. He did this through rigorous selection and an understanding of the unique qualities of this breed.   Now, as our breed enters the Millennium, remembering Korthals vision of a strong and balanced Griffon is more important than ever to ensure the future of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon in North America.

We are relatively new breeders, our experience with Griffons began in 1989.  We have learned from our fellow breeders, from what is happening with other breeds, and from our Griffons themselves.  I would like to share our  thoughts on breeding with you, please keep in mind that these thoughts are destined to evolve along with our experience and insights.

The main thrust of Griffonpoint is the breeding of talented versatile working Griffons for the on-foot hunter. Inherent qualities such as sound temperament, intelligence, heart, willingness to work, natural hunting abilities and external characteristics such as genetic soundness, functional conformation, coat and efficient movement are essential factors of the Griffonpoint breeding philosophy. 

As mentioned earlier all these basic principles are important to the breeding of working Griffons that can meet the demands of hunting while being a valued family companion.  Griffonpoint has a performance-oriented breeding philosophy and therefore places great demands on this selection system. Our breeding program is aimed at the identification and selection of genetics based on traits for performance and companionship.

At Griffonpoint, our mandate is that Griffons should be bred true to their traditional function as a cooperative and talented versatile hunting companion for the on-foot hunter.  Our breeding philosophy has been shaped by our appreciation and love for the breed which we view as a highly intelligent, talented hunting dog.

Every breeder has specific goals, policies and ethics that they follow in their breeding program and breeding philosophy, I hope that by explaining our philosophy about breeding and training, you will understand more about our dedication to the Griffon, the tradition of hunting with a bird dog, and our vision for our bloodline.

We are:
* keeping a few exceptional Griffon family lines,
* following a balanced breeding philosophy,
* establishing goals,
* adopting and using breed improvement tools,
* considering all components in breeding decisions,
* using proven hunting bloodlines
* participating in hunt test events,
* learning from our mentors,

* helping those new to our breed,
* hunting with and enjoying our Griffons.

Our Training Philosophy

We use our Griffon's inherent joy and biddability when training.  Griffons are easily motivated by thoughtful and *fun* training.   By carefully selecting for the "invisible" genetically inherited strengths which affect temperament and hunting ability, we increase the ease of training of our Griffons.  The selected traits include temperament, intelligence, personality, trainability, biddability, cooperation, drive, nose, point, retrieve, water love, run, heart, etc. 

Keep in mind that we are selecting the kind of Griffon that suits our type of lifestyle, game and terrain. 

Griffons train best with positive methods, they work exceptionally well for praise. In fact, the more you praise your Griffon, the harder they will try to do what you want.  We recommend that our Owners be firm, but kind, with their Griffons.  Early on a family must establish a good, fair "Leader-Follower" relationship with their Griffon (with the dog being the Follower).  Mental Exercise in the form of Training can be a short session a couple times a day, even 3 minutes while you are waiting for an egg to cook is good.  Your Griffon will begin to beg you for training, especially if you are having fun and making it fun for your Griffon.  When training, Smile at your Griff, it will light their soul on fire.

A Griffon with these inborn traits and intelligence needs to be involved in daily events.  We recommend that the Griffon is given "jobs" even when it is not hunting season.  This is a bright and entrepreneurial breed that thrives when included in activities and is required to be busy, especially when they are young.  For example, one of our Griffons is in charge of carrying items from the freezer to the kitchen.  Whether it is a loaf of bread, 2 lb of frozen hamburger,  or a can of frozen juice, he carries it up the stairs and delivers it to the kitchen. 

Why Integrate the two?

We have an intermeshed breeding and training program.  In order to evaluate the progress of our breeding program, we must observe the outcome... see the puppy develop in the field and watch the desired inborn traits demonstrated in a litter, in particular, we want to see a young Griffon that is living up to his potential as a family companion and hunting partner.  We always keep a puppy (or more) from each litter.  These pups are selected according to desirable personality, conformation and inborn hunting traits. They will go into our training/breeding program, to be raised as hunting dogs and breeding prospects.  Based on what we learn about the inborn traits and trainability of the pups kept here and the ones that are sent to our Owners, we make our decisions for future breedings. 

Natural vs. Acquired Abilities

We give high priority to genetically inherited traits of each dog,  rather than non-inheritable abilities which have been acquired by training.

Griffons have inherited traits that show up in different ways in each bloodline.  We look for a genetically sound, intelligent dog with a cooperative temperament and strong natural hunting traits.  When the desirable inherited natural traits are present, the Griffon will be easy to train and a natural to hunt. 

One of the reasons that we prefer to raise our own breeding dogs is that we know intimately the strengths and weaknesses of each dog.  We see the intensity of the first points, the search and tracking, and the determination in chasing down a winged bird for a natural retrieve.  We know how long they took to develop, if there were any unusual trends during growth, and if there have been any health or behaviour quirks.  We see them being exposed to birds, gunshot and new situations as a puppy, we see them do basic and advanced problem solving. We take them on their first car rides, watch them develop during their first hunting season, we live with them in our house, we know how they respond to pressure during training.

As the saying goes... the apple does not fall far from the tree.... Genetically speaking it may be possible to produce a puppy that is unlike both parents, but most often the traits that are seen in a family of dogs is passed onto the next generation.

When we are helping our owners to train their Griffons, our philosophy is that training should be fun and rewarding for the trainer and the dog.   Plus it is very important to realize that Griffons are not machines and they are going to make mistakes while they are developing into hunting dogs. 

Through our years with Griffons we have found that the breed in general is a delight to live with and hunt with and has tremendous natural ability and talent.

Complimentary Breeding

We prefer to breed "like to like" and will also select for "complimentary" breedings that are based on the qualities of the individual dogs.  First of all, we keep hunting dogs from quality hunting family lines ... but even with this method of selection, we understand that there are no perfect dogs.  Even among these dogs, there will be something that may not be as strong as one would like.   If a dog is a bit weak in one area, we make sure that he/she is matched with a mate that has demonstrated or produced that particular strength.  We are looking at the bigger picture, one painted by study of the littermates, parents, grandparents and by knowing the bloodlines that we have here. And painted by raising a number of Griffons, and studying different Griffons and how they behave in the home and field.

Every breeder has to make certain decisions based on their experience and purpose.  With this in mind, all breeders must be aware of the possibility of Kennel blindness.  If one succumbs to Kennel Blindness, no matter how good the  intentions, it can have a destructive effect on one's  bloodlines.  Breeders must be humble with this knowledge.  Most importantly, each breeding must benefit the breed, and each dog that is used for breeding must be a sound representative of the breed that will  contribute to future generations.

In order to preserve and protect our breed, a breeder must be completely willing to admit error, abandon a particular breeding or star puppy, and go back to the drawing board.  A breeding dog must be a sound and good representative of the breed.  Any dog that has genetic, temperament or structure problems should not be used for breeding, and whether this is discovered at 2 months old, or 2 years, high standards must be maintained for the Griffon.

The present and future of our breed is the most important thing to be considered.  Through linebreeding, inbreeding and outcrossing our breed is affected.  Breeders must work together to pass our breed on to the next generation as the sound and talented hunting dog that Korthals envisioned so many years ago.




Thank you for visiting.

For further information, contact

Griffonpoint Kennel

Katy Steuhm katy@griffonpoint.com
California - USA

Shannon Ford shannon@griffonpoint.com
Alberta/British Columbia, Canada


e-mail info@griffonpoint.com

All Rights Reserved. Copyright ¬© Shannon Ford 1997 - You may copy this page for personal use only, providing it is not changed, and that credit rests with the author, Shannon Ford.. ¬©Shannon Ford 1997