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The Breed

This hard-working dog is a member of the HPR family.  However, they are also busy showing their natural ability in different disciplines such as agility, flyball, obedience and canicross.  And, it has to be said, they are wonderful, loyal companions who enjoy a bit of creature comfort.

Working Griffons can be seen in this country as a bird dog on pheasant, partridge, grouse and duck, stalking and hawking while there has been considerable success in Working Trials, Field Trials and Gundog Working Tests and Obedience competitions.

This is a dog that likes human company and is a good choice for people who lead active outdoor lives.  They have lots of energy and need the exercise to match, together with mental stimulation to keep their mind occupied.  They are recognised as loyal affectionate companions and family pets, normally being tolerant and gentle around children.

Despite a beautiful double-coat, grooming is not too onerous.  They shed a small amount throughout the year, with a slight increase to be seen in the spring and autumn.

Training takes time and patience, although this intelligent breed is quick to learn, and they will reward you for firm but gentle handling.  Training should be started early, in a calm and stable environment, and remain consistent throughout their life.

A Korthals likes to be with people and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.  Also a word of warning to the unwary, gardens and enclosures should be fenced with Houdini in mind.  Very secure and high fencing at the very least will be required!

Interim Breed Standard

A vigorous, robust dog, of workmanlike, natural appearance and medium size with a harsh coat.  Well developed moustache and beard giving characteristic expression of firmness and assurance.  A versatile hunting, pointing bird dog, of griffon type.  Also used for tracking large, wounded game.  A gentle, proud and very loyal dog, neither timid or aggressive.


The body length from point of shoulder to point of buttock should be slightly greater than the height at the withers with the proportions of 11 to 10


Thighs long, well muscled, with moderate turn of stifle.  Hocks turning neither in or out


Ground covering and driving from behind. Front and rear action is parallel, with good length of stride


Covered with thick hair, without fringing. Carried horiontally or with the tip slightly raised.  Docking previously optional when no more that 1/4 to 3/4 was to be removed


Round, strong with tight, arched toes


Harsh and coarse with fine, dense undercoat.  Never curly or woolly


Large and long but not too broad, with moderate stop.  Covered with harsh hair which is thick but not too long - the moustache, beard and eyebrows should be well developed.  The muzzle is long, square and of equal length to the skull.  The top lines of skull and muzzle are parallel.  Nose slightly convex at the tip and always brown.

Breed Standard Dog 3.jpg


Dark yellow or brown.  Large and rounded.  Surmounted, but not covered by the eyebrows, conveying a very intelligent expression


Of medium size, flat, not curled inwards, set on a level with the eyes.  The hair covering should be short mixed with longer strands. The length of the ear should reach midway along the muzzle


Strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite (upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws with full dentition)


Chest: deep, not too wide, with ribs slightly sprung.  Forelegs:  straight, strong and covered in thick hair.  Shoulders should be well set on, oblique and quite long with good length of upper arm


Steel grey with liver brown patches; solid liver brown; liver roan; liver brown with white hairs; white and brown.  Undercoat brown in all colours


Height at withers:

Dogs - 550mm to 600mm (21¾" - 23½")

Bitches - 500mm to 550mm (19¾" to 21¾")


Any departure from the above points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to

its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on its ability to perform its traditional work.

Note:  Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.



The Korthals Griffon is generally a healthy breed, often reaching 12-14 years of age.  There are no serious health problems that are known or suspected relating to the breed.

Because they were bred initially as a working/hunting companion, they have good strong bone and joint structures.  The key to a healthy dog can usually be found in its breeding and pedigree.

Please seek advice before purchasing a puppy or young dog, whether it has been bred in the UK or overseas.  We advise that you ask breeders for the parents' hip/elbow dysplasia scores (lower is better) together with any other health and genetic test results and any other problems or congential faults found in previous litters.

The Club can offer objective help, education and advice regarding health and genetics specific to the Korthals Griffon in the UK.


The Coat and Genetics

The Korthals Griffon is a handsome dog, having a distinguished, balanced appearance with a well-developed moustache and beard.  It has a double coat, coarse on the top with fine, dense hair underneath.  Attractively coloured the breed standard is:


  • steel grey with liver brown patches;

  • solid liver brown;

  • liver brown with white hairs

  • white and brown

Undercoat brown (in all colours)

There is a colour anomaly which sees dogs with a yellow/tan coat.  This is called 'tan point' which was not in Eduard Korthals' original standard nor is it an acceptable colour under the Kennel Club Standard in the UK.

A simple DNA test identifies lines that carry the tan point anomaly in their genetics.  It is called a DNA K-Locus/Colour of Coat Test.  The test is painless and the results show if the dog is a carrier of "yellow/tan" or not.

The results would be shown as follows:

  • KB/KB - the ideal result, the dog is not a carrier of yellow/tan

  • KB/KY - carriers of yellow/tan

  • KY/KY - carrier with yellow/tan pattern and markings

Dogs that come back KB/KY or KY/KY would pass the anomaly on to their offspring.  The Club recommends that all Korthals Griffon breeders obtain a DNA K-Locus/Colour of Coat Test prior to breeding a litter and that care be taken not to breed from a dog having the "Y" indicator.

Further information can be found on the Downloads page.



Happily, due to increasing numbers of Korthals Griffons in the UK, there are a few more litters around too.  The Club will help you with your search, including advice on importing one from Europe.

Please note that the Club does not provide recommendations regarding specific breeders, but it is happy to pass on news about forthcoming litters as well as those that are already on the ground.  Information can also often be found on our Facebook page.

Naturally, you will want to do your own research, but we do recommend that you ask breeders for poth parents' hip/elbow dysplasia scores (lower the better), results of any health and genetic tests and whether there have been any problems, issues or congenital faults found in previous litters.

You will also find information on the Kennel Club website regarding the Accredited Breeder Scheme and puppy availability.

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