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Brief Historical Summary

It is generally accepted the breed type was fixed with the breeding program of Edward Korthals. This was established with the agreement of 16 breeders who signed and published the breed standard on November 15, 1887. The first studbook (Griffon Hunde Stammbuch) was published in 1889. Finally, in order to assure the organizations continuance, the first International Griffon Club was established with Griffon breeders from all countries. Soon followed were the creation of clubs in Germany 1895, Belgium in 1895, and France in 1901.

The Korthals Griffon Club of America was established in the United States 2013 to insure the continuance of the authentic purebred Korthals Griffon. Its Breed Standard is based upon the original document established on November 15, 1887 along with the explanation of the standard by Jean Castaing in his historical book “Le Griffon D’Arrét A Poil Dur Korthals”. The updated terminology on anatomy was taken from the book, “The Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology” by Edward M. Gilbert & Patricia Gilbert.

General Appearance

The profile of the breed is that of a medium sized dog, slightly longer than tall as in 10 to 9 with good substance. A medium length hard, coarse coat with a softer undercoat provides protection in field and water. The skull is not as wide as long but equal in length to the muzzle. The muzzle & head are each square in profile. The eye is well open and more round than elliptical, brown or dark yellow framed by eyebrows and a well-developed moustache and beard. He has a gentle, confident and intelligent expression. It has been written in historical documents that: “ the Griffon is intelligent and can be described as a tenacious dog, resistant but not sensitive to intemperate conditions, courageous and very resourceful.”

Males 22-24 inches, Females 20-22 inches. A tolerance of ½ inch is allowed. Males over 24 1/2 and females under 19 1/2 will be penalized so as to eliminate it from competition for being over or under the allowable height for the breed.. Proportion- Slightly longer than tall with good substance. The height measured from the top of the withers to the ground and the length measured from the point of shoulder to the point of rump.


The Skull is long and large without being too wide, slightly rounded on the edges without a prominent occiput. One must not exaggerate the length of the head and 25 cm or 10 inches in a male of maximum size constitutes a limit in balance. The muzzle is square and of equal length to the skull. The skull and muzzle are balanced with parallel planes and a moderate stop. The nasal bridge - the topside of the muzzle, can show an enlargement of the nasal chamber, which enhances scenting ability. From the side, the square muzzle should have both depth and width to facilitate gripping of prey. A narrow under jaw is a major fault. Teeth: A full set of 42 permanent teeth are preferred forming a scissor bite. A level bite is acceptable but not preferred. Missing more than 2 teeth is to be so severely penalized as to eliminate it from competition. The head hair, without being soft, is not as rough as the hair on the back. It is described as an extension of the undercoat and forms the very pronounced beard and eyebrow.



A natural drop ear of medium sized, lying flat and not curling. Set on level or slightly above the line with the eyes. The hair, which covers the ear, is of a softer texture intermixed with longer hairs.



Always brown. Nostrils must be square and well open with no trace of butterfly or spotting. A black nose disqualifies.



Fairly long devoid of dewlap. The neck is slightly arched.



Deep, descending to the elbow but not too wide. This does not mean thin or narrow. Ribs are slightly sprung.



Shoulders fairly long and well laid back. A prominent posternum is evident.


Straight and vertical in order to support the weight of the body, sitting well under with the elbow directly under the line of the withers. The leg hair is less coarse, denser and shorter than the body hair. Hind legs balance front.



The back in general terms go from the withers, to the loin and to the croup to form the topline. It is stoutly formed and broad. The loin, extending from the end of the rib cage to the start of the pelvis is strong and well muscled. The Croup is stoutly made. The Griffon must not evolve towards the “cob type” which is short bodied and compact. The back angle or top line can be level or very slightly sloping.



Round, compact foot with well-arched, tightly bunched webbed toes. Pads thick and well cushioned. Thin or flesh colored pads are not resistant to fatigue and working on hard ground and are considered a fault. Feet should turn neither in nor out. Dewclaws may be removed.



Set follows the line of the croup and is carried horizontally or with the tip slightly raised. Tail must be docked to avoid damage due to the environment in the hunting field. Removal of 1/4 to 1/3 of the total length helps prevent damage to the tail in the field. It must not be shorted too much. The hair on the tail is the same as the limbs. Any type of plume is prohibited and can only be an indication of a crossbreeding.



The preferred color is steel-grey with brown markings. The brown can range from light brown to dark brown, but very light brown, approaching beige, is not to be desired. Uniformly brown or chestnut brown are also acceptable. White and brown or white and chestnut are also acceptable. White when accompanied by orange markings is not desirable. Any markings of red, tan, or yellow points found over the eyebrows, muzzle and cheeks, inside the ears and under the tail, on the lower legs are a disqualification. Black is a disqualification.



A double coat with the outer coat being hard, straight and coarse. The coat is never curly or wooly. Under the harsh outer coat is a fine dense softer undercoat. which may be slightly lighter in color. It may vary in density with seasonal temperature changes. Length of the body coat should not exceed 4 inches. A body coat in excess of this is to be so severely penalized as to eliminate it from competition.



Any departure from the forgoing points should be considered a fault.

In males should have two apparently normal testicles, which are fully descended into the scrotum.


Acceptable: Level bite.

Prohibited: Any type tail Plume.

Must be: nose square and well open.

Must Not: evolve towards the “cob type”

Never: curly or wooly coat.

Eliminate from competition: Dogs with more than 2 missing teeth.

Eliminate from competition: Body coat of more than 4 inches.

Disqualify: Black nose

Disqualify: Any markings of red, tan, or yellow points found over the eyebrows, muzzle and cheeks, inside the ears, under the tail, on the lower legs are a disqualification.

Disqualification: Black

Disqualification: Males over 24 1/2 and females under 19 1/2


Revised 11/21/13


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