The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was bred as an all-around hunting dog, but their unique coat is one of the breed’s most important characteristics. Featuring a wiry, water-repellent outer layer and a soft, insulating undercoat, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s fur keeps them dry, warm, and protected no matter the weather or terrain. Although known as a low-shedding breed, that doesn’t mean the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon doesn’t need grooming.
In this article, you’ll find seven tips on how to groom a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, including which tools you’ll need to accomplish this task.
Before You Get Started
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a high-energy breed, especially when they’re puppies. Because you need your dog to stay relatively still during grooming, it’s a good idea to tire them out first. After the exercise session, retreat to a quiet space away from other pets or distractions to groom your dog.
Make sure you have the right tools to groom your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. These may include the following:
- Comb or slicker brush
- Stripping knife
- Nail trimmers
- Ear cleaner
- Gauze or cotton balls
- Leash or human assistant to help restrain your dog
The 7 Tips on How to Groom a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
1. Start Young
Typically, it takes a few months for a young Wirehaired Pointing Griffon to develop the characteristic wiry, double coat. Around 4.5-5 months old, the puppy coat will transition to the adult version. However, you should start getting your puppy used to grooming as soon as you bring them home.
Regular grooming will be a lifelong task for a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, and the puppy stage is the perfect time to start familiarizing your pup with these routines. Comb your puppy weekly when they still have their baby fur, and gradually increase the frequency as they transition to the adult coat.
Pay special attention to the facial fur as it gets longer because it can get dirty and matted easily. Keep grooming sessions short and reward your puppy with treats to keep the experience positive.
2. Continue to Brush or Comb Weekly
Once the coat transition begins and after the full adult version comes in, continue to brush or comb the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s coat weekly. As we mentioned, these dogs don’t shed heavily, and weekly grooming should be enough to remove dead hair and prevent mats. Depending on the climate where you live, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon may experience slightly heavier shedding at certain times of the year.
3. Hand Strip the Coat as Needed
Because of the unusual texture of the coat, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons may need to be hand-stripped periodically to encourage new hair growth. Hand stripping involves fully removing dead hair with a special stripping knife.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s outer coat will stop growing once it reaches a certain length. Unless the dead hairs are removed completely, new ones won’t grow in correctly. They can’t be shaved off because this leaves the root in place, and the new fur won’t have the right texture.
If you aren’t sure how to correctly hand strip the coat, you can have it professionally done by a groomer.
4. Don’t Neglect the Ears
Because they have floppy ears, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are more vulnerable to infections. During each grooming session, check the dog’s ears and clean them as needed. Always use an ear cleaner for pets and gauze or cotton balls.
Avoid using Q-tips, which may irritate the dog’s ears and aren’t safe to stick into the ear canal. Look for signs of ear infection, including redness, discharge, swelling, foul odor, shaking the head, or pawing at the ears. Take your Wirehaired Pointing Griffon to the vet if you suspect an ear infection.
5. Dental Care Is Vital
Dental disease can impact any breed, including the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. To keep your pup’s teeth and gums healthy, preventative dental care should be part of the regular grooming routine. Brushing your dog’s teeth is the most effective form of dental care.
Use a toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs, never human dental products. Dog toothpaste usually comes in tasty flavors like chicken or peanut butter, which serves as its own reward for the dog. Like other parts of the grooming routine, start brushing the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s teeth as a puppy.
6. Trim Nails Monthly
If the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s nails get too long, they may become snagged and torn. Long nails can also make it harder to walk on slick floors. To prevent these issues, trim the dog’s nails about once a month.
To help your dog learn to accept nail trims, begin handling their feet and toes frequently from a young age. Start trimming their nails early, and be cautious to avoid cutting them too short. Consider doing one paw at a time as your puppy gets used to nail trims. You can use treats to reward your dog when they behave during nail-trimming sessions.
7. Be Patient and Persistent
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are smart and eager-to-please dogs. They can learn to accept and enjoy their regular grooming sessions with patience, persistence, and plenty of treats. Set yourself and your dog up for success by being prepared with the correct tools and techniques.
As we’ve learned, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s coat is probably their defining feature. Keeping the coat healthy and beautiful isn’t complicated but requires patience and the right tools. The seven tips you learned from this article should help you successfully groom a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon of any age. Again, getting this energetic pup to stand still long enough to be groomed might be the most challenging part of the process.