German Wirehaired Pointer

"Low Maintenance, High Intelligence"

Photo of German Wirehaired Pointer


In late 19th-century Germany, breeders wanted to develop a hunting dog that could work closely with a human partner and was flexible enough to work in different environments: dense forests, open fields, small villages and farms, and cold water. At the same time, though, the breeders wanted a coat that was easy to maintain: not for them the gorgeous but high-maintenance coat of a Golden Retriever or that breed's ancestors. This super-dog needed to be equally adept at hunting mammals or birds, and able to switch gears from pointing dog to cherished canine companion. The German breeders combined a number of breeds including the Pudel (a predecessor of several breeds, including the Poodle); English Pointer; early German Short-Haired Pointers (which evolved differently than GWPs), and Polish water dogs. According to the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America, most U.S. German Wire-haired Pointers are descended from Denmark. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1959. In 2006, the breed ranked 73rd among 154 registered to the AKC.


This dog is basically a sweetheart. He loves to be with his people and is happy to get goofy, especially with children. But although they have moderate to high levels of energy, they're usually not hyper. Their desire to please their people makes them reasonably easy to train, but their energy and high intelligence can result in destructive or unruly behavior if not channeled properly. Some are known to be a tad hard-headed – which means that their owner needs to be consistent in showing the dog what constitutes good behavior.


This medium-to-large dog ranges between 22 and 26 inches high at the shoulder. Males are generally larger than females. The coat is usually liver and white with plenty of ticking and larger spots. However, unlike the German Shorthaired Pointer, this dog sports long hair on his face: bristly eyebrows, mustaches and beards. The rest of the coat generally is hard, lies flat, and is no more than two inches long.


The German Wirehaired Pointer needs a firm, consistent, gentle trainer who is committed to positive reinforcement. The breed isn't known for precise obedience, but these dogs have more than enough intelligence to learn the basics of good doggie behavior. Owners who want to get their GWPs in touch with their roots might consider training their dogs to hunt, retrieve, or participate in field trials sponsored by the AKC.

Grooming & Care

Just as his breeders intended, this dog is an easy keeper. His coat doesn't shed nearly as much as those of other short-haired breeds, and his facial furnishings can be kept in trim easily. A weekly brushing, pedicure, and ear cleaning will keep him looking good and feeling fine; monthly baths will keep him clean and sweet-smelling (unless he rolls in something smelly in the interim).

Health Concerns

Like any purebred dog, the German Wirehaired Pointer has his share of inherited health issues. Among the chief health concerns are epilepsy, hypothyroidism, elbow and hip dysplasia, and cataracts. Breeding parents should receive OFA and CERF clearances before being bred.

Famous German Wirehaired Pointer

These dogs are big winners in shows. For example Weidenhugel Kate V Gus was a recent Dual Champion (field and conformation).

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 4
Schedule 5
Home 9
Children 123
Experience 51
Quick Facts
Grooming 57
Exercise 14
Challenges Needs to hunt; can get overly protective and/or dog-aggressive
Height 22 to 26 inches
Weight 60 to 70 pounds
Life 12 to 14 years
Home Alone 84
With Kids 86
With Strangers 113
Availability 23

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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