I'm sure there's some excellent evolutionary reason for this, but I've noticed that, much like humans, our scruffy dogs have different kinds of hair on their heads than they do on their bodies. On both of our wire-haired guys, the body hair (fur?) stops growing at a certain length and is more course in texture. But the hair on their heads and ears is soft like human hair and it just continues growing until we cut it.
I'm sure that if we had never trimmed Baxter's ears, he'd have chestnut-colored locks down to his knees (I've considered letting them grow just to find out...I think the max we've ever let them go is about 2" below the bottoms of his ears). Baxter's head hair and "bangs" also seem to grow until we cut them (which is usually about the time we either a) can't see his eyes or b) he starts running into furniture -- both of which occur around the same time).
Kirby's ear hair grows similarly long, although because his ears are only half-bent, it mostly forms into little tufts at the tips of his ears that stick out to the side and bob when he trots down the street. Kirby doesn't suffer from the same vision issues as Baxter, but he just looks a lot better with his hair out of his eyes, so his bangs get a trimming now and again too.
Inspired by another Wirehaired Pointing Griffon we met at the dog park yesterday (a cute, oversized female that, based on her size and place of origin, may be one of Baxter's nieces), who had her ears trimmed close and looked very cute, we decided it was time to give Baxter a trim. We trimmed his ears to just below the earline and trimmed the top of his head to stand up more. He looks quite handsome.
While we were at it, we decided to trim Kirby's ears to the length they were when he was a puppy. We trimmed a little off the top of his head, but left the rest of his facial hair and beard alone. Interestingly enough, with the short, trimmed ears and the big beard, Kirby now looks a LOT like a Schnauzer. It really changes the shape of his head to see his little bent ears (they don't bend as perfectly as a purebred Schnauzer -- each ear bends at a slightly different place to give him a charminly asymetrical look...) I kind of miss the little bobbing tufts when he walks, but he's now cute in a different sort of way.
Pictures to come after the forthcoming bath...