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Hello,

I’m new to this forum and am hoping some of you can offer advice and perspective. I’ll try to be brief in my summary.

In June my wife and I separated and Scout and I moved to a different house (with a large yard) across town. My youngest (daughter) is a senior in high school and my two sons are in college.

Ten and a half years ago we got Scout as a pup. In his early adult years we had some behavior problems (nipping and snapping at school aged kids) and almost put him down but with the support and encouragement of a good vet we worked with Scout, I changed my handling and he became a good (perhaps even model) citizen.

About six weeks ago the vet found a tennis ball sized mass in Scout’s upper abdomen.

Yesterday with my vet’s recommendation I put him to sleep and yes, it hurts a lot.

Several weeks before even learning of Scout’s cancer I had begun thinking about my next dog and decided on a few things:

Good with people
Good hunting dog
Easy to train
Pointing dog (I’d like to not have to work so hard to keep up)
Less shedding
Smaller than Scout (he was about 90 lbs in his prime)

I started to fancy Wirehaired Pointing Griffons but when I started researching breeders and found none in my area and although I’m willing to drive the kennel’s that I found offer pups at around $1000.00—beyond my means at this time in my life.

I had decided that after Scout died I would wait until spring and then look for a pup and if I could find a WPG pup (within my budget) or rescue an adult I would jump back in at that time. If no WPG was available then I would look at a GSP (they are plentiful on the adoption sites in this area.

Part of my rational for waiting is that I didn’t want to go through training a puppy in the wintertime. I also think it’s important to go through the sadness, loss and grief in regard to Scout. Waiting would also afford me the chance to surf the internet and review forums such as this and better familiarize myself both with Griffon’s and the adopt a pet process.

This morning (against my better? judgment) I went on line to adopt-a-pet and found a five-year old Griffon (Phantom) at http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/21263151 at a shelter that’s about 3 hours from where I live.

And now I have “New Dog Fever” and I’m pretty sure it’s incurable.

While I don’t believe in fate I have to admit that adopting Phantom has a lot of appeal. My questions are:

Are WPG’s harder to find for adoption?

If I look to buy from a breeder is it reasonable to expect to pay around $1000 per pup?

Any other thoughts and suggestions you have would be very much appreciated.
 

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First, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I don't have a ton of experience with GSPs, but my parents have a WPG and I absolutely love the breed. He is the best dog I know, and the best looking. It's like having a person around. If I had the time and space for one, I would do it in a heartbeat.

My understanding is that WPGs a little more people-oriented that GSPs, but a little less biddable at an early age (i.e. they never win the NAVHDA natural ability trials) - but they are definitely very trainable. I would say my parents' dog is very smart, but he's so eager to please, and he was never, ever destructive or anything like that. (He was already housebroken when they got him at 16 weeks and has such a soft mouth that he still has stuffed animals from 8 years ago). WPGs have wiry hair, not fur, so they don't shed much - not sure about the GSP on that. The WPG needs hand stripping to pull the dead hairs from their coat, since they don't really fall out on their own. The coat is very rugged. There's a thread somewhere in the grooming forum about grooming a wirehaired dog, featuring a Griff - you should check it out. WPGs are bred for hunting on foot, so they naturally don't range too far off leash. Both of these breeds need a ton of exercise and mental stimulation, but I'm sure you're aware of that.

Phantom is adorable and looks like a purebred WPG to me. To be honest, i'm surprised to see him on Petfinder - the WPG rescue is pretty active and usually scoops these dogs up. If I were you, I would snap that little guy up, especially since you're not sure you want a puppy! At age 5, my parents' Griff was much more mellow and had passed his puppy mayhem years, but was still a very lively power hound with a major zest for life (and for chasing small animals). He's now 9 years old and not much has changed. He's about 65 pounds of pure muscle.

WPGs are quite rare, enough that you'll probably have a hard time finding a purebred to adopt in your area (Phantom aside). I think $1000 is a very reasonable price for a WPG puppy from a reputable breeder.
 

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First, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I don't have a ton of experience with GSPs, but my parents have a WPG and I absolutely love the breed. He is the best dog I know, and the best looking. It's like having a person around. If I had the time and space for one, I would do it in a heartbeat.

My understanding is that WPGs a little more people-oriented that GSPs, but a little less biddable at an early age (i.e. they never win the NAVHDA natural ability trials) - but they are definitely very trainable. I would say my parents' dog is very smart, but he's so eager to please, and he was never, ever destructive or anything like that. (He was already housebroken when they got him at 16 weeks and has such a soft mouth that he still has stuffed animals from 8 years ago). WPGs have wiry hair, not fur, so they don't shed much - not sure about the GSP on that. The WPG needs hand stripping to pull the dead hairs from their coat, since they don't really fall out on their own. The coat is very rugged. There's a thread somewhere in the grooming forum about grooming a wirehaired dog, featuring a Griff - you should check it out. WPGs are bred for hunting on foot, so they naturally don't range too far off leash. Both of these breeds need a ton of exercise and mental stimulation, but I'm sure you're aware of that.

Phantom is adorable and looks like a purebred WPG to me. To be honest, i'm surprised to see him on Petfinder - the WPG rescue is pretty active and usually scoops these dogs up. If I were you, I would snap that little guy up, especially since you're not sure you want a puppy! At age 5, my parents' Griff was much more mellow and had passed his puppy mayhem years, but was still a very lively power hound with a major zest for life (and for chasing small animals). He's now 9 years old and not much has changed. He's about 65 pounds of pure muscle.

WPGs are quite rare, enough that you'll probably have a hard time finding a purebred to adopt in your area (Phantom aside). I think $1000 is a very reasonable price for a WPG puppy from a reputable breeder.
Hello hamneggs,

Thanks for getting back to me and for your helpful comments. Tomorrow morning I'll be calling the shelter to learn more about Phantom and about their adoption process. I also found one in Fargo, ND which is about four hours from where I live. Phantom is in a shelter that's about 3.5 hours but as fate would have it the shelters are in opposite directions. If I'm lucky enough to get there in time and can provide a home for one of these fine fellow's I'll try to shoot some pictures and post them. Thanks again!

G
 

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Hello hamneggs,

Thanks for getting back to me and for your helpful comments. Tomorrow morning I'll be calling the shelter to learn more about Phantom and about their adoption process. I also found one in Fargo, ND which is about four hours from where I live. Phantom is in a shelter that's about 3.5 hours but as fate would have it the shelters are in opposite directions. If I'm lucky enough to get there in time and can provide a home for one of these fine fellow's I'll try to shoot some pictures and post them. Thanks again!

G
Try calling ahead of time. I found my dog on petfinder, called the next day, and they held her for a full day after that for me so that I could get there to meet her. Then they held her another week while I waited for them to conduct a home visit. Shelters are often willing to work with people who will provide a good home.
 

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Try calling ahead of time. I found my dog on petfinder, called the next day, and they held her for a full day after that for me so that I could get there to meet her. Then they held her another week while I waited for them to conduct a home visit. Shelters are often willing to work with people who will provide a good home.
Agree with this. And let us know how it goes!
 

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Hi!

My husband and I have had German Short-hairs for 30 years and now we are going to get a Griffon pup. The GSP's are wonderful dogs; we've had 5 over the years. My husband hunts and he always said they are "poetry in motion" in the field and they have incredible noses. They are very quick to learn but can be stubborn and you have to be the alpha in the pack and then they can't do enouggh to please you. That being said, don't let anyone tell you they don't shed. They don't shed balls of fluffy hair like a lab or a springer, for example, but they definitely shed and their hairs have like little barbs onthe end that stick into everytihng, so the hairs can't just be brushed off. You have to aggressively use a lint brush and I have even been known to pick hairs out of furniture with tweezers! Now retired, I am trying to simplify life and suggested we move on to another breed...one that really doesn't shed so much. We investigated Pudelpointers and Griffons and finally went withthe Griffon. They don't shed much if at all...their wire-hair and undercoat minimize this. They, like the GSP's, are good with families, learn quickly and if you want a dog that will stay closer to you when you hunt, they will be more your speed that the GSP's. They aren't a really popular dog and all the pups we looked at ran from $800 to $1200. Cost depends in part on their rarity and a lot on their pedigree. If you don't care about the pedigree becasue you don't plan to breed and don't plan to show or field trial a dog, I think you might want to seriously consider investingating the 5 yr old at petfinders. We adopted a Springer Spaniel (the only other breed we had in the house besides our GSP's). She was 6 years old and she was the most grateful, loyal and happy little dog for the next 8 years of her life. Hope some of this info helps you.
 

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Hi mikelin,

Thanks very much for taking time to respond to my post and yes, this is helpful. One of the decision factors in favor of the GSP for me is the alleged non-shedding nature of their fur. It seems the more I read about the WPG the more it feels like a good fit for me and my situation. Your comments make me curious about the WPG's coat. How soft is it too the touch? It's not a big deal to me but my daughter is curious. Our last dog Scout was half Lab/Golden Retriever and had unusually soft fur.

Phantom (the WPG that was available for adoption about 3 hours from here) has been adopted and is no longer available. There is another one in Fargo, ND (about 4 hours away) named Rex and I've completed the pre-adoption forms and am waiting to hear back from the shelter with my fingers crossed.

Thanks again for your comments. I will let you know what happens.
 

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Hi mikelin,

Thanks very much for taking time to respond to my post and yes, this is helpful. One of the decision factors in favor of the GSP for me is the alleged non-shedding nature of their fur. It seems the more I read about the WPG the more it feels like a good fit for me and my situation. Your comments make me curious about the WPG's coat. How soft is it too the touch? It's not a big deal to me but my daughter is curious. Our last dog Scout was half Lab/Golden Retriever and had unusually soft fur.
The undercoat is soft and the outer guard hairs are wiry. The head and ears are very soft, but the rest of the coat is sort of rough and weather-resistant, but still soft enough to want to pet. Definitely not notably soft, but I think it's a pleasant texture.
 

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A bit late but I wanted to say that griffs are the best and the right one will come to you when you least expect it. Keep looking on petfinder, check out the American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Rescue site and the facebook group "You might be a griff person if" tons of good people who want to help match a griff to the right owner.
 
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