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The German Wirehaired Pointer is listed in FCI Standard No. 98. The breed belongs to the pointers in group 7 and there to the continental pointers in section 1. In it he is a dog of subgroup 1.1 type “Braque”.

German Wirehaired Pointer Dog Breed Information

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Size: Males: 61-68 cm, females: 57-64 cm
Weight: 27-32kg
FCI group: 7: pointing dogs
Section: 1.1 Continental Pointers
Country of origin: Germany
Colours: liver, liver-white, black-white, roan-brown, brown, brown-roan, black-roan
Life expectancy: 12-14 years
Suitable as: hunting, utility, working dog (family dog only partially)
Sports: –
Character: Headstrong, Intelligent, Affectionate, Active, Loyal, Friendly
Leaving requirements: high
Drooling potential: rather low
Thickness of hair: rather low
Maintenance effort: rather low
Coat structure: hard, lying, dense
Child friendly: medium
Family dog: yes
Social: medium

Origin and breed history

The German Wirehaired Pointer was bred specifically as a hunting dog towards the end of the 19th century. The availability of firearms at the time changed hunting technique and the spread of hunting. Until then, hunting was mainly reserved for aristocratic circles with their hunting packs. Now a gun and a well-trained hunting dog were enough. It was therefore necessary to breed a dog that could fulfill all the tasks involved in hunting. Various breeds with characteristics ideal for hunting flowed into the breed. The ancestors of the German Wirehaired Pointer are:

  • German shorthaired pointer
  • Poodle pointer
  • German Stichelhaar
  • Griffon à Poil Dur (French Wire-haired Pointing Dog)

Sigismund Freiherr von Zedlitz and Neukirch laid the foundations for breeding. In hunting circles, the hunting cynologist is known under his pseudonym Hegewald. In order to achieve optimal pointers and versatile hunting dogs, he selected the best breeding animals of the breeds involved and began breeding them in 1873. The aim of breeding selection was a powerful and wire-haired hunting dog.

Breeders founded the first breeding club in 1902. In 1924, the club set the first standard for the German Wirehaired Pointer. After that, the performance of the dog is in the foreground in breeding to this day. The FCI recognized the German Wirehaired Pointer as an international dog breed in 1954.

How old does a German Wirehaired Pointer get?

The German Wirehaired Pointer is between 12 and 14 years old.

Nature and temperament of the German Wirehaired Pointer

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The breed is primarily hunting dogs with all the qualities useful for hunting. As a pointing dog, he stops as soon as he smells game and thus indicates it. The hunter recognizes the location of the game by the direction from which he picks up the scent. As a hunting dog, the German Wirehaired Pointer is bulletproof and masters the search for the shot. He also fetches the killed game. He moves in the water just as safely as in the woods and fields. He masters all the tasks for which different dogs were used before he was bred. Due to its size, only the construction hunt does not belong to its area of ​​responsibility and is left to the terrier.

Outside of its main activity, the German Wirehaired Pointer guards house and yard and is a pleasant and docile family dog. Typical characteristics of the breed are:

  • intelligence
  • ease of use
  • joy of work
  • strength of character
  • balance
  • alertness
  • robustness
  • ease of care
  • child friendliness
  • efficiency
  • good nature
  • agility
  • attachment
  • loyalty
  • strong self-esteem

A German Wirehaired Pointer forms a strong bond with its family and particularly with its hunting partner. He is friendly and patient with children. The dog is reserved towards strangers, but not aggressive. This hunting dog gets along well with other dogs. He has to get used to pets like cats or small animals as a puppy in order to accept them. He may consider them prey.

Despite all its positive characteristics, the German Wirehaired Pointer is a typical hunting dog. It is primarily bred for this purpose. Most breeders therefore only give their puppies to hunters. Only dogs that do not successfully pass the demanding hunting dog tests such as the Hegewald test are also left to other buyers.

How big does a German Wirehaired Pointer get?

Males reach a height at the withers of up to 68 centimeters. Females grow to about 64 centimeters.

The appearance of the German Wirehaired Pointer

In addition to its characteristics optimized for hunting, the German Wirehaired Pointer is a visually attractive dog. His mostly two-tone fur contributes to this, as does his pretty face. The dark brown eyes have a clear contrast with the heavily pigmented lid edges and appear lighter as a result. The alert look, floppy ears, and a distinctive beard give the dog a friendly appearance. The face has a clear stop (transition from the bridge of the nose to the eye area) and strongly developed and hairy eyebrow arches. Its muzzle is broad, long, and strong enough to retrieve a fox. Its strong jaw is equipped with large teeth.

The Deutsch Wirehaired Pointer’s build is powerful with a deep, broad chest and a muscular neck. His legs are straight and, like his shoulders, very muscular. The oval-shaped paws are accompanied by resistant pads. A straight, rather short back transitions into broad hips and a long tail.

The tails of these hounds may be docked with an exemption if the breeder and future owner have a hunting license. Further requirements for the exemption are parent animals that are hunted and proof that docking is necessary for use.

Protective skin for tough jobs

The dense coat is hard and wiry. It protects the dog from injuries caused by thorns or sharp grass when moving in the terrain. Under the top coat is a dense undercoat. It is water-repellent and gives the German Wirehaired Pointer excellent weather resistance. The fur colors are:

  • Brown
  • brown mold
  • black mold
  • light mold

Clear white markings in the chest area are possible in brown dogs. The mold variants are often adorned with distinct color plates. The color of the nose is dependent on the color of the coat, brown or black.

Size and weight of the German Wirehaired Pointer:

Female: 57 to 64 cm 27 to 29 kg
Male: 61 to 68 cm 29 to 32 kg

Training and husbandry of the German Wirehaired Pointer – This is important to note

Because of its protective coat, the German Wirehaired Pointer could live outside. However, his nature calls for family connection. Therefore, he is not a kennel dog. The hunting dogs have their place in the house with direct contact to the family. On a securely fenced property they like to move freely and guard their territory. The place of residence of a German Wirehaired Pointer is basically a house with a garden in as rural a setting as possible. The breed is not suitable for keeping in a flat or in the city.

The German Wirehaired Pointer is not a beginner’s dog

The German Wirehaired Pointer must be trained consistently. With their strong self-confidence, the dogs tend to follow their own ideas. This tendency can be controlled with consistent training. Without these, the dog could make its own rules indoors and become a serious threat outside. Novices in dog training might be inclined to give in to the pleasing looks and innocent facial expression too easily. These hunting dogs belong in experienced hands and are by no means the right choice for beginners in dog ownership. Expert and committed dog owners are therefore an important prerequisite for living together with the breed.

Despite its attachment and loyalty, the German Wirehaired Pointer remains a dog that sees its purpose in the hunt. If you don’t want to use him for this purpose, you have to offer him other tasks to compensate. If the animal is not fully utilized, it can develop very unpleasant idiosyncrasies and no longer allow itself to be guided.

When properly trained, the breed is characterized by good leash handling. Free-wheeling walks are always problematic with a hunting dog. If the dog is to be able to move freely during the run, it must be absolutely reliable to be called.

Training for dog and owner makes sense

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If the hunting dog is kept in a manner appropriate to the species, training is comparatively easy. The dogs are intelligent and learn quickly. It is important that not only the dog receives training, but also its owner. Hunting dog clubs and hunters’ associations offer special dog handler courses for this purpose. There the dog learns not only hunting skills but also general basic obedience. His owner learns how to convey this to him. Participation in such a course is recommended for people who want to train a German Wirehaired Pointer for the first time.

An important basis for the upbringing is socialization, which begins in early puppyhood. As such, buyers should only buy their dogs from responsible breeders. The second important basis is a close bond between the dog and its owner. This can only be achieved with a calm, patient and sensitive upbringing. Violent, aggressive and loud training methods are inappropriate for all dogs and lead to behavioral problems and permanently difficult trainability. Bonding and socialization are also encouraged in dog schools. It makes sense to attend a dog school with the puppy in addition to the hunting training.

How much does a German Wirehaired Pointer cost?

Reputable breeders charge prices from around $1,000 for a puppy. If the dogs are already trained for hunting, they cost between $2,000 and $3,500.

Diet of the German Wirehaired Pointer

With their agility and muscular physique, German Wirehaired Pointers need protein feed with a significant fat content. Meat is therefore the ideal food for the breed. The dogs are robust and do not have problems with a sensitive stomach. Barfing raw meat from beef, poultry, game and small animals is a healthy and good way of feeding a hunting dog with such great movement potential. Dogs should not eat raw pork. Supplemented with vegetable flakes, it also contains important vitamins. High-quality canned or dry food is also suitable if the meat content is sufficient. An exclusive dry food diet can become monotonous for the dog.

A good alternative for any breed of dog is a mixed diet of fresh and boiled meat, dry food and high-quality canned food. Dog biscuits, dried meat and rawhide bones are suitable as a snack between meals. Bones are not ideal snacks. He likes them, but he himself cannot assess the risk of injury from bone splinters, but his owner can. Too many bones also cause constipation.

Like all large dogs, the German Wirehaired Pointer is prone to an upset stomach. It is therefore important to make sure that he gets some rest after eating. A lot of exercise with a full stomach favors the worst, fatal stomach torsion. The feeding times are ideally in the morning after the first walk and in the evening.

A distinctive feature of hunting dogs is a break for food during the hunt. Since they are always tense in this situation, sufficient rest after eating cannot be guaranteed. For this reason, they receive their last meal the night before the hunt and are only fed again after the hunt. Adequate water supply is important during the hunt. During the hunt, the dog should be given water at least once an hour, and more often on warm days.

Dogs shouldn’t eat:

  • raw potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • eggplants
  • raw pork and pork bones
  • uncooked legumes
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Chocolate and other foods containing cocoa
  • sugar
  • pome fruit
  • cooked bones

How many puppies does a German Wirehaired Pointer have?

Most litters consist of four to six puppies. Occasionally eight or more puppies are possible in one litter.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

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The German Wirehaired Pointer lives between 12 and 14 years in good health. Due to his strong urge to move and his muscular body, he does not tend to become overweight.

Since the breed is bred by responsible breeders, this hunting dog has exemplary abilities. He is in robust health and has little susceptibility to disease. Even hip dysplasia, which is widespread in large dogs, is rarely encountered due to strict selection during breeding.

A disease that can also occur in German Wirehaired Pointers is craniomandibular osteopathy. These are changes in the skull and jaw bones that can be very painful for the dog. This disease, otherwise only known to occur in terriers, occurs in young dogs between the ages of three and six months and stops when the dog is about a year old. Signs are severe pain, refusal to feed, apathy and profuse salivation. If the unbearable pain for the dog cannot be contained, in the worst case it has to be euthanized.

Rarely, epilepsy or a blood clotting disorder such as von Willeband disease may be present. Metabolic diseases and a rolled-in eyelid also occur in rare cases.

The German Wirehaired Pointer is protected against the cold and wet by its thick fur and water-repellent undercoat. He therefore likes to exercise outside in any weather. The breed is also less sensitive to high temperatures than other dogs. Nevertheless, the workload should be reduced on warm summer days.

Care of the German Wirehaired Pointer

The German Wirehaired Pointer is particularly easy to care for. Its tough coat should be brushed with a comb once a week to remove dirt and plant debris. The German Wirehaired Pointer is also one of the dogs that shed very little.

How do you groom a German Wirehaired Pointer?

The German Wirehaired Pointer should be brushed with a curry comb once a week. He doesn’t need any more care.

German Wirehaired Pointer – Activities and Training

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As a distinctive hunting dog, the German Wirehaired Pointer is very active. Outside of hunting and hunting training, he needs daily walks lasting several hours. The dogs are ideal partners when jogging and cycling. They also love being in the water and like to go swimming with their owner.

Very active dog sports such as agility are suitable for keeping him busy and also mentally promoting him. Anyone who does not use a German Wirehaired Pointer for hunting must utilize this dog with comparable dog sports. Tracking, companion dog sports, mantrailing and eventing are possible activities for the animals.

Good to know: Special features of the German Wirehaired Pointer

The German Wirehaired Pointer is one of the most popular dogs in Germany. In the puppy statistics of the VDH, he has been in third place for several years with over 3000 puppies a year. In many other countries, it is one of the most popular dogs for use in hunting.

A German Wirehaired Pointer is also the constant companion of the German actor Fritz Wepper.

Disadvantages of the German Wirehaired Pointer

Real disadvantages are not associated with this dog breed. Prospective owners just need to be aware that this is a hunting dog and will want to be kept busy accordingly. If he cannot go hunting, a suitable dog sport should be found for him.

Is the German Wirehaired Pointer right for me?

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The breed is undoubtedly distinguished by very beautiful and impressive dogs. However, this should not hide the fact that these are animals bred purely for hunting. Her preferred place is therefore at the side of a hunter. A German Wirehaired Pointer can do well in a very active household with extended walks and consistent training. However, this is not the ideal posture for the dog. He is friendly and affectionate in the family, but not a lap and cuddle dog. Anyone who wants to get a dog of this breed should be aware that he will have to invest a lot of time and activity.