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We have been searching for months for our next dog and keep coming back to a Griff or another Lab. I have a lot of experience hunting over both American and English labs and know "ballpark" what I may be getting into with either of these.

A Griffon, not so much, very rare in my area and hard to come by first hand experience. I have been to tons of websites and breeder sites but still would like to hear how they differ from a Lab around the house, and In the field, from those who have had both.

I am looking for info on Field Bred "American Lab" vs Wirehaired Griffon in terms of trainability, daily exercise requirements, etc. My wife is very nervous that a Griff would be even more high strung than a field bred lab.

Thanks for any help you guys can provide

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i would rather have a medium size lab , good house dog , protective and most are a dang good companion and hunter. the only problem with a good dog they grow old to fast


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I have a hard time believing that a Griffon would be more high strung than a field bred American Labrador. Ours is one jacked up and enthusiastic dude.

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I have to say pick a Griff. Very protective and a hell of a hunter. I've had mine over 6 years- they have a different personality than my lab. Kona tends to be headstrong but really sticks on a scent trail. Smartest dog and the quickest. My Lab is a great dog, but the Griff is much more versitile. And after being raised with a cat, will still chase it(headstrong-did I mention that!!)

Last edited by brassman; 11/28/22.
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I’ve hunted over both quite a bit.

As far as high strung, most labs are way more wound up than the average griff.
I love labs, but they are like retards on meth. Lol.

Only gripe I have with a wpg is the coat takes some maintenance. You can spend some time getting them cleaned up after a day busting brush.

In the field my griff is tractable and thorough. My buddy’s lab is a rocket.
When it comes to retrieving, it’s not a contest. My griff loves water retrieves but can’t keep up with the lab. The lab will retrieve wads if your shooting clays for fugks sake. 😂

At home my griff is mostly chill.


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Interested in this thread as I have been in touch with a couple Griffon breeders and there is a litter due in Jan. Also was talking with a Pudelpointer breeder but think the wife likes the griffs better. Have a 6 mo old golden that I will not hunt so the griff will be my hunter almost all game farm birds since wild birds (grouse and the occasional woodcock) and small game here in general on public land is slim pickin's. Grouse populations are so low the later winter season has been closed past couple years with no signs of changing for the near future.


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Never been around Griffs much but the one I hunted with once was very good.

I've had six Labs over the years. Four American and two that appeared to be a mix of British and American blood. All were and are good hunters and had/have good dispositions. Our current Lab "Crackhead Earl" is an American Lab directly from competing Field Trial parents and has become a good pet and hunter but what wilkeshunter said about his, "one jacked up and enthusiastic dude" fits ours too. We love him but wouldn't get another. Our non field trial bred Labs were easier to train and did fine as all purpose hunters.

Last edited by 43Shooter; 11/29/22.
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I really appreciate it!

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I have a 9 year old Griff. Good hunter and an even better house dog.
I don’t hunt much waterfowl, so no real water work to speak of. Does a great job finding and holding birds. His coat is really the only thing I complain about. More maintenance than I’d like.
I started out my hunting career on waterfowl with a Chessie then moved to mostly upland and a Shorthair. My Shorthair was a machine. My Griff is a great all around dog but my next will probably be another Shorthair.

Good luck!

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Prefer my Griff for around the house. Great temperament. Strong drive in the field. Not a great water dog compared to labs I've owned in the past.

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I have had both (plus numerous other Continental breeds) and it really boils down to if you do more upland than waterfowl over water and you want a dog that points, then a Griff would be a better choice. If you mostly hunt waterfowl over water with occasional forays into the uplands and don't mind a flushing dog then a lab would be better. They are both Jack of all trades with a slant to one side or the other from the middle.

As for disposition, the Griff would probably be a little calmer but that is a very general statement subject to the individual dog and how it is handled/trained. A buddy has field trial bred labs and they are very well behaved, better than the vast majority of dogs out there. But, he instill obedience in them from an early age and enforces it. My Griff (and other dogs) were generally not as well behaved but I wasn't nearly as strict either.

My preference would be for a Griff for all around hunting and house dog but I do more upland hunting and do not hunt big water for divers so my retrieving needs are more modest. Other than that, it would be a toss up for me.

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Mornin, me personally , GRIF or Wirehair. Differen, don't know but I'm sure I'll get corrected!! My one & only wire hair?, dove under water, yes under water to get his first wounded duck at 4 months. Was just fnn awesome at such a variety of game it was hard to believe. At home, he was a frknn clown. Crazy on upland. Your choice, all dogs are great!!! I even had a black & tan hound that would retrieve ducks for me, run deer, & coyotes. Take them with ya hunting & they'll find something to please ya! My 2 cents. GWP. 🐾👣🐾👣🇨🇦

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Be sure to check Griff breeders who select for shorter, harsher coats if you are a serious about upland hunting and don't want to spend hours combing our cockleburs.

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Do you want a pointer or a flusher? Figure that out first, your answer will make the choice pretty obvious.

As far as energy, both breeds you listed can be all over the board. From docile plodder to full bore zoomies.

Find some dog training clubs and go to the retriever and pointer days, check out some dogs and talk to owners.

Look at some litters, meet the sire and dam. Lots of puppy mills out there trying to look like hunting dog kennels.

Personally, I will never own a dog without a docked tail. Much more pleasant in the home.

YMMV

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What do you hunt?

This thread is like one of the "what is my gun worth?" threads with no pictures. If you tell us what you hunt that would make an impression on what the answer is.


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I am primarily an upland hunter. Grouse, woodcock, and pheasants. Thick cover, swamps, open fields etc.
I do some waterfowl also, Geese, wood ducks etc.
Most of my waterfowl hunting is from blinds as I am not a fan of boats.

I have done this successfully for about 30 years or so with Labs and some other breeds.

The Griffon would be a new breed for me.

Have the guys who have owned Griffs run into issues crating your dogs while away at work or running errands? I have heard mixed opinions, some say they are horrible if left alone, some say they have not had issues. I plan to spend a lot of time with the dog but obviously there would be times when the dog would be left at home. I am interested to hear how your Griffs handled this.

Thanks for all of the help guys!

Last edited by Centurion75; 11/30/22.
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I haven't had a problem crating any of my dogs, even those I picked up as adults. I crate my dogs whenever they are in the vehicle so they need to be comfortable being crated. Make it pleasant for the pup to be in the crate and you will have no problems.

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Love me a lab any day but since having this one haven’t felt handicapped.

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