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Guide to Korthals Griffon Gundogs

A rare gun dog breed, you may or may not be familiar with the Korthals Griffon. Their distinctive moustache style of facial fur is eye-catching. Originating from the Netherlands, it is infrequent to notice these dogs in public; a country show is a more likely place to observe one. They are, however, slowly growing in popularity as a short-range gun dog. Their incredibly true nature and history of specialised breeding make them a fascinating dog breed.

Korthals griffon gundog stood in grass

CC by Elf

Why a Korthals Griffon Gundog?

A Korthals Griffon is known for its loyal temperament. Commonly described as a having a remarkable keenness to satisfy, the breed has an undeniable dedication to their owner. Its faithful nature boasts the Korthals Griffon a fitting family dog, with a suitable personality for children. Other dogs are not an issue either as the breed acquires a dog-friendly character.

Bred as a hunt, point and retrieve gundog, the Korthals Griffon is ideal for those in need of a working dog. Its endless energy and demand for an active lifestyle mean they love hard work. Regular training and exercise in the field are fundamental to keep a happy and healthy Korthals Griffon.   

 Paw print in mud.


The Korthals Griffon gundog has a stately background. The name originates from its breeder, Eduard Karel Korthals. Korthals had an affluent upbringing in the Netherlands and had an attentiveness for raising dogs while growing up. Age 22 he relocated to Hesse in Germany and within four years, appointed to manage the Bibesheim Kennels. Alongside handling the kennels, Korthals was able to concentrate on refining his gundog breed.

Korthals specific aim was to create a medium sized hunting dog. He sought to create a compromise between the current European and UK gundogs. Ideally, a dog that was reliable in all elements, vast land conditions and able to tackle all game.

Thoroughly selecting dogs he regarded as a first-rate quality, Korthals was particular about his breeding. He produced around 600 dogs but trained only 62 in a range of hunting terrain.

 In total, Korthals dedicated to roughly three decades to perfect the breeding of the Korthals Griffon gundog. In 1886 the breed was recognised. Attending hunts across Europe, the Korthal Griffon impressed specialists extensively.

Since Korthals unfortunate premature death, the Korthals Griffon’s reproduction has never altered. Authoritative kennels in Northen Europe conserved the meticulous breeding. Still today, breeders are dedicated to upholding the high pedigree standard Korthals worked to achieve. They are produced primarily in France and the USA.

Forest with sunshine behind trees.


Produced as a hunt, point and retrieve gun dog, for the Korthals Griffon, it is essential they have an incredibly involved owner. Their natural aptitude to pursue combined with their eagerness to please requires dedicated training. It is imperative to train with a balance of strict assertiveness as well as affection. They can suffer from nervousness, so it is vital to socialise from an early age. For specific gun dog training, socialisation classes and one to ones are recommended.


In general, the Korthals Griffon owns a ‘scruffy’ look. The coat of the Korthals Griffon is definite and does not vary in colouration. Its fur is ‘roan’, a white or steel grey base with brown blotches. Any other colours are non-existent, the coat will never contain tan or yellow pigments in the fur. The overall coat is medium in length and formed from two textures. The undercoat is soft to touch, whereas the outer coat is coarse. The roughness helps the Korthals Griffon when hunting in unpredictable terrain and resilient to cold weather.

Another distinguishing feature of the Korthals Griffon is its brown nose. A pure breed will always have a nose this colour. As previously mentioned, the fur around the muzzle is long, and has a moustache like identity.

Muddy path in countryside.


The Korthals Griffon is high in energy and requires more than two hours of activity a day. As a gun dog, exercise is integral to their daily lifestyle. For inspiration on how to motivate your dog, take a look at some of our gun dog accessories.

With such vitality and a need for interaction also comes the demand to be with human company. If you decide to welcome a Korthals Griffon into your home, they will require much attention throughout their life. The breed does not enjoy the confines of a kennel and flourishes near their respected human/s. The perfect environment for them is living in the countryside. However, they can adjust to a generously sized townhouse. A large garden and house are compulsory so they can exercise lead-free.

The Korthals Griffon is an exceptionally unique gun dog developed to flourish amongst human company. If you are eager to research other breeds of gundog, please feel free to look over our guides on Labradors and Spaniels.