German Wirehaired Pointer
A Keen Hunting Dog
And Affectionate Family Companion!

The German Wirehaired Pointer was recognized as a distinct breed in his native country in 1870. This breed is one of the most popular and highly regarded sporting dogs among the pointers.

The breeds that mainly contributed to its development include the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Pudelpointer, Stichelhaar, and Deutscher-Kurzhaar.

This is a very versatile and skilled pointer, working both on land and water and in most any climate. Its coat and webbed feet are noteworthy physical features that provide it with both the ability and needed protection for working in all types of terrain.

The bushy eyebrows, thick whiskers and mustache give this dog an undeniably attractive face, with a rather dignified and stylish expression. He is considered to be a very sturdy breed that is easy to care for.

AKC recognition was obtained in 1959.

German wirehaired pointerWiki image

The bushy eyebrows, thick whiskers and mustache give this dog an undeniably attractive face, with a rather dignified and stylish expression. He is considered to be a very sturdy breed that is easy to care for. AKC recognition was obtained in 1959.

Living With A German Wirehaired Pointer

The GWP is bold and intelligent and makes a good watchdog. He loves to work, a trait he shares with the English Foxhound, and enjoys a considerable amount of outdoor activity.

Field trials would be a good outlet for his natural abilities and need for exercise. Plus, he loves being involved in anything that challenges his abilities outdoors.

Be prepared for a certain amount of rambunctious behavior. The German Wirehaired Pointer likes to be a clown at times, in fact he once performed with Ringling Brothers circus.

Mostly the GWP is an affectionate and loyal dog that thrives on close contact with its family "pack". As a result, he can be trained easily and enjoys pleasing his master. Best training method with this breed is consistency, along with a kind hand.

Training should be started early along with socialization which is essential to give him a broader view of the world around him and accustom him to people, places and things in a variety of settings.

This breed is generally a pretty even-tempered dog, but if cooped up too much will become restless and bored. Once this happens, undesirable behavior - which can take the form of barking or destructiveness - is sure to follow.

Families that don't have a lot of time to spend with their dog, would best seek a different breed.

German wirehaired pointerCourtesy Pleple2000

Physical Stats And Care

Height: 22-26 inches
Weight: 56-65 lbs.
Coat Colors: Liver, or a combination of Liver and White

The German Wirehaired Pointer has all the following attributes consistent with a sporting dog breed:

  • His double coat is weather resistant and gives good protection in water and in heavy brush.
  • The outer coat is thick and wiry, up to 2 inches in length and is flat-lying.
  • The undercoat is thick in winter for warmth and very thin in summer for cooler comfort.
  • Powerful hind quarters for daily running and pushing off strongly to reach his target.
  • Strong jawline combined with normal scissor bite position of the teeth. A perfect combo for retrieving game!

Grooming the GWP

When it comes to grooming, a twice weekly brushing with a good quality bristle brush will keep the coat in good order under normal conditions.

However, during the seasonal shedding period - around springtime - the coat needs more attention to be thoroughly brushed and combed.  Hand stripping of the coat is needed occasionally.

Ear cleaning and nail trimming should be done on a monthly basis as well as a check of the eyes. Bathing will depend on how much outdoor activity your pet engages in and the type of terrain.

Lifespan and Health Notes

The GWP can live up to fourteen years under normal conditions and with good care.

Health issues that are associated with this breed include:

  • the joint condition of hip dysplasia,
  • eye problems such as the eyelid condition of entropion which often needs surgical intervention
  • and cataracts which can result in blindness.

  • Von Willebrands Disease, a blood clotting disorder, is another concern to be aware of that may affect the breed.

German wirehaired pointerPhoto By Elf at Agility Competition

German Wirehaired Pointer Activity Level

This is one area that prospective pet parents really need to come to grips with!

The German Wirehaired Pointer is highly active. The emphasis is on "highly" so that there is no confusion that this breed needs a considerable amount of exercise. Think about up to a couple of hours a day - ideally off-leash running in a secured area of course.

The GWP will give even an active family a run for their money - literally!  So, if you're a jogger - he'll happily be at your side!

Another obvious activity for this energetic breed is swimming since he loves the water and he has the webbed to go with it!

When weather conditions prevent outdoor activities, the GWP can also get a workout on a treadmill designed for pets.

Sometimes families underestimate the needs of this wonderful breed and they are relinquished to a shelter.  Rescued GWPs are available to experienced dog parents here.

Ideal Living Conditions

Rural setting with acreage would be the most suitable setting for the German Wirehaired Pointer.

This high energy dog needs room to run. Best suited to a house with yard, at a minimum.

Apartment living is a definite no-go!

Suitable Companion For Children?

Best if raised with them or with older active children who can keep up with his boisterous behavior. They should also be old enough to respect his intelligence and powerful abilities.

Whatever the case, adult supervision is the still the recommended policy to follow whenever pets and children of any age are interacting.

Senior or Less Active Families?

I would say a big No, No, unless you're planning a lifestyle change!

The Wirehaired's level of energy and exercise requirements would be difficult for most seniors to handle, or for those families that enjoy living a more sedentary lifestyle.

Share Your Knowledge and Pictures

German wirehaired pointer

Do you have a German Wirehaired Pointer? If you do, we know you must be proud to own this distinctive and fun dog breed.

We would love for you to share your insider information about the pros and cons of life with a GWP. This would be so helpful to those researching the breed for their family.

You can upload photos and tell your dog's story here. For inspiration, read some of the stories already submitted by other dog lovers.

Book Recommendation

German Wirehaired Pointers Today – June 1, 2002

Excellent information for new owners or those evaluating the breed breed for their family. A very helpful and thorough reference volume covering the basics and beyond.

  • Photo by Pleple2000: License:
  • Photo by Elf: License
  • Wiki image:

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