The German Wire-Haired Pointer German Dog Breed

By BarkUptoday




Image credit: Wiki

The German Wirehaired Pointer, also known as the Deutscher Drahthaariger Vorstehhund, originated from Germany. This dog breed originated from the Griffon, Stichelhaar, German Shorthair, and the Pudelpointer dog breeds.

The German Wirehaired Pointer belongs to the AKC’s Sporting Group and the UKC Gun Dog Group. This breed is known for its versatility and noble appearance. This is a dog breed that enjoys working and does well in rugged weather conditions. The German Wirehaired Pointer makes for an ideal companion dog. They’re friendly and intelligent and always eager to please.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) adds that the German Wirehaired Pointer is “Of sound, reliable temperament, the German Wirehaired Pointer is at times aloof but not unfriendly toward strangers; a loyal and affectionate companion who is eager to please and enthusiastic to learn.”

Brief History

British sportsman bred dogs for hunting birds in different kinds of terrain. They wanted a breed that could work on both water and land, which was also significant in both pointing and retrieving. They used retrievers, setters, and spaniel breeds. The hunters in Continental Europe bred differently because they wanted bird dogs that could do it all. These were called “Europe’s utility breeds.”  

The German Wirehaired Pointer is translated as Deutsch-Drahthaar. Wire-coated sporting dogs became very popular among German athletes during the 1800s. 

During the second part of the century, Europeans wanted to classify a dog by its breed and not as a type of dog. The coarse-coated gun dogs were then registered as a separate dog breed. 

The GWP’s coat is of uttermost importance, with the wiry coat being waterproof and the brows and beard protecting this breed from facial lacerations when out in vegetation and craggy brush.

Physical Description

The GWP is a medium-sized dog that has lots of muscle. This dog breed has a squarish -shape with a distinctive wiry coat. The head has a wiry beard and brows. The eyes are brown; nose dark brown and rounded; ears medium-sized, drop ears. The muzzle is long, with a straight nasal bone. The tail is docked. 

The waterproof coat is straight, harsh, and also wiry and covers a thick insulating undercoat. It’s one to two inches in length. The skin lies flat. The coat is shorter on the lower legs but is softer between the toes.

The German Wirehaired Pointer’s coat is also water-resistant to some extent, and the dense undercoat protects against the cold, but during the summer, it can hardly be noticed. The coat color is liver and white and can be spotted, ticked, or roaned. 

The GWP is known for its endurance and agility. This dog breed is intelligent, an energetic hunter, and determined in character.


Dogs        24-26 inches

Females    22-24 inches


45-70 pounds

Life Expectancy

12-14 years


The GWP may be aloof with strangers but is a kind and loyal dog with family. This breed has a strong work drive and enjoys doing his job. The GWP is a versatile, athletic, and active dog breed that enjoys the water and all canine sports. 

This dog breed has a strong prey drive and can be feisty. With terrier-like quirks, the GWP needs to be well-socialized and positively trained from early puppyhood. This breed is excellent with children but must have an active exercise or sporting schedule combined with mental stimulation. 

The GWP bonds very much with his dog parents and may tend to become depressed if ignored or left alone too much. This breed is terrific to work with and wonderful to train.

Activity Level


Special Needs

This athletic breed does well with plenty of off-leash exercise. Early socialization with other dogs, people, and animals is highly recommended. Puppy training classes for your active GWP are a definite must since this breed can only benefit from dog training classes. That said, the GWP is sensitive yet very energetic and playful with family members and children.

Positive dog training for the GWP needs to be consistent. Yet, one needs to consider the sensitivity and intelligence of this breed and not break his playful spirit with unnecessary reprimands.

Dog training needs to mold the needs of this beautiful dog breed. Attentive and experienced pet parents recommended. A fenced yard or garden is also recommended.

This is a high-energy sporting dog that needs lots of outdoor activities and organized canine sports like agility and dock diving. Even a swim in the pool does wonders for this breed!

Possible Health Concerns

The GWP is an active, healthy dog breed that may be susceptible to the following:

.Hip Dysplasia is an abnormal development of the hip joint in large dog breeds like the GWP. It is generally characterized by a loose joint and then degenerative joint disease.

.Elbow Dysplasia. This is a genetically inherited condition in GWP’s and may include osteochondrosis of the elbow, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), and other diseases. This can develop at any time in a GWP’s life. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.

GWP should be fed a high-quality diet that is geared towards their life stage. Puppies should only be fed high-quality puppy dog food. Excessive growth, types of exercise, nutritional factors, and hereditary factors all play with hip dysplasia. Consult with your veterinarian for expert advice.

 .Von Willebrand’s Disease. This is a blood coagulation disorder common in GWP’s and is caused by a deficiency of the Von Willebrand factor. Symptoms include excessive bleeding, bruising, and nosebleeds.

As with all dog breeds, you’ll need to use the best flea and tick prevention for your German Short-Haired Pointer.


The German Wirehaired Pointer is a high-energy sporting dog breed that thrives on environmental stimuli and exercises like agility and swimming. This is a working dog breed that needs to have a job. GWP’s were bred to run and swim, so every opportunity to exercise is essential.

With so many American Kennel Club Sporting activities available, it’s necessary to allow this breed to partake in a supervised mentally stimulating exercise like rally and agility. 

Frequent trips to the dog park or beach are also necessary to allow the GWP to play with other dogs and people. This dog breed enjoys activities with its family or dog parent. Hunting, obedience, tracking, agility, and rally are the perfect sporting activities for this dog breed.


Good nutrition is key to good health in dogs, most especially a high-energy sporting dog breed. Always opt for the very best high-quality dog food that you can afford.

Feed the appropriate food for the life stage of your German Wirehaired Pointer. A lower protein (20%) based dog food is recommended during the hot summer months, while in the winter, a higher protein (32%) is recommended.

Every dog is different, and a diet that works for one may not work for another. Consult with your veterinarian about the best dog food options for your GWP. Feed your German Short-Haired Pointer puppy the best puppy food throughout puppyhood. This will save you a small fortune in veterinary bills later on.


The GWP has a harsh and wiry coat that does not need much upkeep.  That said, daily grooming with a soft slicker brush is always recommended, along with regular bathing, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, and nail trimming. 

Visits to the veterinarian are recommended for teeth cleaning twice yearly. Check ears regularly for sensitivity since this breed loves the water and maybe prone to ear infections. Doggie wipes can be used in between bathing to keep paws and face super clean!

Adopting a GWP

The GWP is an easy breed to adopt. That said, this breed is a high-energy sporting breed that needs to be actively involved in canine sports or long hikes and runs with his dog parent. The best dog harness for the German Short-Haired Pointer allows for easier training and everyday walks wit your pup.

Because this breed is so intelligent, responsive, and easy- to- train, it’s best to start with positive dog training and the best dog treats during puppyhood. This breed is sensitive, affectionate and independent, but does not respond well to harshness. That said, the GWP does need regular socialization.

Most shelters make it easy for prospective GWP adopters by offering free positive dog training classes and advice. Make this your number one priority when adopting the GWP. Some may be hyperactive or depressed.

As with all shelter rescues, your GWP may have some issues. Whether big or small, they can most times be worked through with the help of a positive dog trainer and lots of patience and kindness. Never give up! This breed is sometimes stubborn because they are so focused and independent. Reward-based dog training is the way to go! 

The GWP is a gentle-natured breed that does well in a relaxed environment with caring pet parents. This breed has to be with its humans and does not do well left alone for long hours. The GWP may develop separation anxiety.

When adopting a GWP, it’s essential to spend time with this breed to find out more about any unique quirks. Some GWP’s may be more energetic than others. This breed does best with expert pet parents with an active lifestyle or a large backyard or farm. 

As with any dog adoption, make sure that you have the time and resources to take good care of your dog. This is such a wonderful breed to adopt but will need plenty of one-on-one time. As usual, opt for the best dog door to make life easier for both you and your pup.

Woofs & Wags!