Breeding dogs is not to be entered into lightly. Especially in a rare breed with a limited gene pool, it is critical that only those who are knowledgeable about genetics, breeding, and the strengths and weaknesses of the different progenitors attempt to breed dogs. As the saying goes; “Just because your dog is purebred doesn’t mean that it’s well-bred, and just because your dog is well-bred doesn’t mean that it should BE bred.”
In a rare breed, it is possible to damage a portion of the already limited gene pool by just a few incidences of irresponsible or uneducated breeding. These breedings are normally not found coming from conscientious, ethical breeders. But rather from those are motivated by greed or ignorance. Only heartache, loss of type or instinct, poor structure, inappropriate size, poor coats, health & temperament problems or lack of proper versatility come from poor breeding practices. Please spay or neuter your pets, and leave the breeding to those who have made a life study and commitment to educating themselves about this breed, and sound, ethical breeding practices.
For more information about responsible breeding, visit some of the following sites:
For those who feel strongly that they have the commitment, intelligence, skills, time, energy, money, patience, passion, tenacity, housing situation, mental, physical, and emotional fortitude, and love for the breed to become a responsible Griffon breeder, we recommend that before you ever breed a dog, that you begin your education by:
Responsible breeders are experts in all aspects of dog husbandry. They continuously educate themselves about structure, anatomy, purpose, health issues, kennel maintenance, conditioning, animal behavior, training methods, and type. In order to understand their own breed, they learn about other similar breeds. Go to workshops. Talk to and learn from as many respected “dog people” in all areas of endeavor as possible. Establish relationships with those who can educate and mentor you. Try not to become a follower of only one breeder or trainer. You will learn more from many people than from only one limited perspective.
Become an active member of your local and national purebred Griffon specialty dog clubs. See, meet, and work with as many Griffons and long time successful Griffon people with dogs from as many different lines as possible. Attend National Specialty and local all-breed shows where there is a supported entry of Griffons. Watch and participate with other Griffon owners in NAVHDA and AKC Hunt Tests. Study the breed standard. ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT INTERPRETATION. STUDY THE BREED STANDARD AGAIN. Read every book you can get your hands on about Griffons. Consider each one’s source and perspective. Read books about other pointing and retrieving breeds, and understand the differences in type, hunting style, temperament, coats, purpose, etc. Read books about the progenitor breeds to the Griffon so that you can understand the history of this breed. Attend judges’ education workshops conducted by the AWPGA.
Even those with years of successfully breeding dogs of another breed will not be successful with Griffons without this critical step. It takes a great deal of time and effort to develop an eye for correct type and structure, an understanding and appreciation of what a hunter on foot needs in a versatile hunting companion, a gut feel for the correct personality and style of a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, and a passion for the breed.
Have your dogs tested and judged by people who are knowledgeable about this breed. Learn from others who are testing their prospective breeding stock, by competing in:
This is the ONLY way to get an honest, detached, knowledgeable, and objective opinion on the level of quality that your dog holds in these important areas. We are often the worst judges of our own dogs, as it’s easy for us to become “kennel blind” to our weaknesses. In order to maintain the correct structure, temperament, instincts, intelligence, type, and personality of Griffons, it is important to be at least moderately successful in ALL of these testing situations. Breeders who focus on or test in only one endeavor are destined to eventually produce dogs who lack a critical element of what a Griffon is intended to be; whether it be incorrect type, size, instinct, temperament, tractability, structure, or intelligence.
A responsible breeder has a clear understanding of both basic genetics of breeding, as well as the genetic components of the dogs in the pedigrees (horizontal and vertical) of any dog they are considering breeding. A good breeder knows when and if a line breeding is appropriate – as opposed to an outcross or inbreeding. Even the beginning breeder must understand the WYSI*N*WYG (What You See Is NOT What You Get) contributions of genotype vs. phenotype. A good breeder is an eternal student of breeding. They continuously read books on dog breeding and genetics, discuss with other breeders, attend lectures by acknowledged experts, share information, and study pedigrees. A good breeder will breed to the best dog (genetically) for his particular bitch, rather than the dog who is most convenient or currently most successful, visible, or popular in a particular endeavor. A responsible breeder has a very clear view of what his or her long term goals are for developing their own line of dogs, and only breeds towards that goal in their breeding program.