German Wirehaired Pointer Guide

Sporting Dog Breeds

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A sturdily built hunter, the German wirehaired pointer should be able to hunt all day through all types of cover. It is slightly longer than it is tall, enabling the gait to be free and smooth. 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 German wirehaired pointer is both a rugged bird dog and amiable companion. It has the energy to hunt for hours, so it must be given a daily outlet lest it becomes destructive. It is a responsive breed, although it tends to be stubborn. It retains a guarding instinct, so it is often aloof, even protective, toward strangers as well as strange dogs. It is generally good, if sometimes overly boisterous, with children. It is ideal for the outdoor-oriented person wanting a tireless, weather-proof, intelligent partner.

AKC RANKING 74

FAMILY gundog, pointer, versatile hunting dog

AREA OF ORIGIN Germany

DATE OF ORIGIN 1800s

ORIGINAL FUNCTION general hunting, watchdog

TODAY'S FUNCTION pointing, pointing field trials, companion

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 24-26 Weight: 45-75

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: >22 Weight: 45-75

OTHER NAME Deutscher drahthaariger, vorstehund, German pointer (Wirehaired), drahthaar

Energy level High energy

Exercise needs High

Playfullness Very playful

Affection level Moderately affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Shy

Friendliness toward other pets Friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Shy

Ease of training Moderately easy to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Very protective

Grooming needs Moderate maintenance

Cold tolerance Medium tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

Exercise is a daily requirement for this energetic hunter. At least an hour a day of exertion is recommended, and the ideal situation would combine exercise with hunting or a chance to run and explore afield. As a breed that thrives on human companionship, it does best as a house dog with access to the outdoors. Like most harsh coats, some minimal hand-stripping may occasionally be needed to maintain a sleek outline; otherwise, brushing about once a week will suffice.
• Major concerns: CHD
• Minor concerns: elbow dysplasia
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: hip, elbow
• Life span: 12 – 14 years
When game-bird shooting 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 its most successful results. Hunters wanted a dog that would locate and point upland game, track wounded game, confront tough vermin, retrieve waterfowl from land or water and also function as companion and watchdog. It was developed to be a close worker over any kind of terrain. A rough wiry coat was needed to hunt through dense brambles. Its 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. The breed, known as the drahthaar in Germany, has since become the most popular hunting breed in Germany. Nonetheless, 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 it enjoys in its native land.