Traits and Characteristics
A sturdily built dog, the German Wirehaired Pointer should be able to hike all day through all types of terrain. The weather-resistant, straight wiry coat is an essential breed characteristic. The outer coat is about 1 to 2 inches long, long enough to protect against brambles but not so long that the outline of the dog is obscured. The eyebrows, beard, and whiskers are of medium length. The undercoat is thick in winter for warmth but thin in summer. The coat repels water.
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Friendliness to Dogs
Friendliness to Other Pets
Friendliness to Strangers
Ease of Training
Disclaimer: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.
The German Wirehaired Pointer can be both a rugged sporting dog and amiable companion. They have the energy to hike for hours, so they must be given a daily outlet lest they become destructive. They are a responsive breed, although some may be stubborn.
They have retained a guarding instinct, so they can be aloof, even protective, toward strangers as well as strange dogs.They are generally good, if sometimes overly boisterous, with children. They are ideal for the outdoor-oriented person wanting a tireless, intelligent partner.
Exercise is a daily requirement for this energetic dog. At least an hour a day of exertion is recommended, and the ideal situation would combine exercise with hiking or a chance to run and explore afield. Like most harsh coats, some professional grooming may occasionally be needed to maintain a sleek outline; otherwise, brushing about once a week will suffice. GWPs are low shedders.
- Major concerns: CHD
- Minor concerns: hypothyroidism
- Occasionally seen: seizures, entropion, elbow dysplasia, heart disease, gastric torsion, vWD
- Suggested tests: hip, elbow, cardiac, thyroid, eye, (vWD)
- Life span: 12–14 years
When game-bird hunting became accessible to persons of average means, demand for both specialist and versatile hunting breeds soared. The quest for versatile breeds reached its height in Germany, and the German Wirehaired Pointer represents one of the most successful results. Hunters wanted a dog that would locate and point upland game, retrieve waterfowl from land or water, and also function as companion. They were developed to be a close worker over any kind of terrain.
A rough wiry coat was needed to hunt through dense brambles. Their most important ancestor was the Pudelpointer (itself a combination of the old German Pudel and the Pointer), which was crossed with the early German Shorthaired Pointer, Griffon, Stichelhaar, and Polish Water Dog. It was not recognized there officially until the 1920s, the same time the first Wirehaired came to America.
The German Wirehaired Pointer was recognized in America in 1959 but has never gained the popularity that they enjoy in their native land.