German Wirehaired Pointer Dog Breed Guide | Gundog Journal
German Wirehaired Pointer

German Wirehaired Pointer

Main sporting role:
Retrieving, Tracking, Hunting, Pointing, Flushing
Over 10 years
More than 2 hours a day
Coat length:
Vulnerable status:

German wirehaired pointers (GWPs) were originally developed in the late 19th century as a versatile gundog. With retrieving, tracking, hunting, pointing, and flushing instincts, the wirehaired pointer can work closely with a hunter on foot over varied terrain in pursuit of fur, feather, and wirefowl.

The wirehaired German pointer is an ideal dog breed for rough shooting, as it can be used for wildfowling and beating or picking up at shoots. In its native Germany, the breed is also used to track and recover wounded game, such as fox, deer, and wild boar.

German Wirehaired Pointer: Key Characteristics

German wirehaired pointers are muscular and sturdy, with a strong muzzle, deep chest, and webbed feet. This breed is rugged-looking, with a shaggy beard and eyebrows, and a wiry coat to provide protection in rough cover and conditions.

Wirehaired pointers are naturally smart and athletic, a courageous and tireless worker, and it thrives on human companionship, forming a close bond with its owner. Although the German wirehaired pointer can be aloof with strangers, it’s considered to be an excellent companion in a home with children.

Owning A Wirehaired Pointer: Pros And Cons

German Wirehaired Pointer Pros

  • Friendly nature
  • Naturally intelligent
  • Hardworking - a good gundog
  • Low-maintenance coat
  • Likes lots of outdoor activity - a good dog for an active, athletic owner

German Wirehaired Pointer Cons

  • Can be aloof with strangers
  • May be aggressive to other dogs
  • Needs 2 hours+ of exercise per day
  • Can be jumpy and boisterous if not exercised enough
  • May experience separation anxiety
  • May be challenging to train, as German wirehaired pointers are easily distracted by other sights, sounds, and smells
  • Can be prone to some health conditions, including hypothyroidism, atopy (hypersensitivity to some allergens), and entropion (inwardly turning eyelids)

How To Train A German Wirehaired Pointer

German wirehaired pointers thrive on outdoor activity, but they require socialisation from an early age if they are to get along with other dogs, as they can form an incredibly tight bond with their owner. 

Due to their naturally strong will, this breed benefits from an experienced trainer; they need firmness and consistency throughout their training to be shown who holds the authority. As the wirehaired pointers don’t reach full maturity until around 2 years of age, it’s important to begin training as early as possible.

This pointer breed can be quite jumpy and boisterous if they aren’t receiving enough exercise, so it’s important to make sure they’re getting around 2 hours of exercise a day to burn off their high energy levels.

How To Groom A German Wirehaired Pointer

Use these tips as a starting point for how to groom a German wirehaired pointer:

  • Grooming - this breed’s wiry coat provides a good level of protection in harsh weather conditions, and requires minimal maintenance, making this a relatively easy dog to groom
  • Ear care - it’s important to check a wirehaired pointer’s ears regularly for signs of infection, and to keep them as clean as possible to prevent this
  • Oral care - brush this breed’s teeth regularly to help keep them in good condition
  • Nail care - trim your dog’s nails regularly to ensure they can continue to walk and run without discomfort

Find out more about other pointer dog breeds, including the German shorthaired pointer and German longhaired pointer.

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