German Wirehaired Pointing Dog
Other names: Deutsch Drahthaar, Drahthaar
Bred during the late 19th century, the German wirehaired pointer is a hardy, versatile working dog. He is a highly intelligent bred that responds well to the right kind of training methods. However, first-time owners may struggle to keep these independent animals focused. The German wirehaired pointer is very social and thrives off the company of other dogs and humans. This high-energy breed needs plenty of vigorous exercise and is better suited for owners with an active lifestyle and access to rural areas. Not really suited inner-city urban life.
Key facts about the German Wirehaired Pointing Dog
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Origins and history
You won't be surprised to know that the German Wirehaired Pointer was first bred in Germany. Its origins can be traced back to the late 1800s, where a small group of breeders and hunters decided to create a strong, versatile hunting companion. Although there's some disagreement as to the exact lineage, it's commonly accepted that the Pointers ancestors include the pointing griffon and Pudelpointer.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 7 - Pointing Dogs
Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs
Physical characteristics of the German Wirehaired Pointing Dog
Female : Between 22 and 25 in
Male : Between 24 and 27 in
Female : Between 55 and 66 lb
Male : Between 55 and 66 lb
Liver, roan, brown, liver and white, black and white.
Type of coat
Short and wiry.
Double coat: dense, insulating underlayer and a short, wiry topcoat.
The German Pointer is a well-balanced, handsome dog with a distinct wiry coat and a tuft of facial hair which resembles a well-groomed beard. They have lean, muscular frames with powerful hindquarters and broad shoulders. The German Pointer has an alert, athletic posture with a high and proud looking head carriage.
Good to know
Pointers are excellent swimmers. In fact, they have webbed feet. Their swimming abilities made them excellent dogs for tracking and recovering water birds.
Although they’re becoming a more popular choice for pet lovers, the German Wirehaired Pointer still plies its trade as a working dog in Germany and other parts of Europe.
These dogs are very smart. If handled incorrectly, they can soon become very willful, stubborn, and difficult to control.
German Wirehaired Pointers are very affectionate dogs; these people-orientated dogs are generally very friendly and social animals who love human contact.
Like many other intelligent breeds, the German Wirehaired Pointer needs lots of stimulation and will happily play for hours at a time, especially during its formative puppy years. These dogs are natural workers; today's more domesticated pointers still retain a desire to work and please their owners, meaning you’ll need to keep them occupied with plenty of engaging activities.
These dogs are not known for being the calmest of breeds. It wouldn't be fair to call them hyperactive, but these energetic dogs will certainly keep their owners and the rest of the family on their toes. This means it's super important that they get all the exercise and stimulation they need. Otherwise, they may start displaying some bad behaviour, including destructive behaviour, attention seeking, and excessive barking.
When it comes to brain-power, these dogs can match up to the very smartest breeds. In fact, they might be too intelligent for the novice dog handler. Although the German pointer responds very well to training, they can get bored easily. If the training becomes too repetitive or too “simple”, you'll quickly lose their attention. German Pointers need to be constantly challenged to feel mentally stimulated.
These dogs were bred to hunt. They have excellent tracking abilities, determined dispositions, and the physicality to move quickly and efficiently through rugged rural areas. Their high-prey drive means they can be a bit of "flight" risk, especially when walking or running through unfamiliar areas.
Fearful / wary of strangers
The German Wirehaired Pointer isn't necessarily fearful or wary of strangers. However, they do have a tendency to keep their distance at first. But once they feel comfortable, they're likely to be welcoming and friendly towards new people.
These pack dogs need lots of company. This means they don't do well when left alone for long periods of time. German Wirehaired Pointers are best suited for families where one person is always at home. If not, they'll need a dog buddy or sitter to keep them company.
Behaviour of the German Wirehaired Pointing Dog
These dogs should never be left alone for long periods of time. They're highly social creatures who need human or doggy company. If you can't give them this, then a German Wirehaired Pointer is not the dog for you.
Easy to train / obedience
This depends on how much experience you have of dealing with highly intelligent dogs. Although a certain level of intelligence makes training a dog much easier, very intelligent dogs can pose a challenge to the novice dog handler. Intelligent canines are also very strong minded and will often engage in "naughty" behaviour if they're not being stimulated or challenged in the right way. If you've never trained a dog, do lots of research before taking on the challenge of a German Pointer.
German Pointers can be quite vocal, especially if they weren't properly socialised. These untrained dogs are likely to bark at house guests, “strangers”, and other dogs.
Tendency to run away
A German Pointer is very unlikely to run away from the family home. They form really strong bonds with their owners and love feeling part of a clan. However, their high prey instinct means they will chase after birds, squirrels, and other furry little creatures. They'll usually find their way back to you, but take extra care when walking them at night or in bad weather.
As long as these dogs are getting the right amount of exercise, they're very unlikely to engage in destructive behaviour.
Greedy / Gluttony
German Pointers are not known for being greedy dogs. Still, it's really important that you feed them within the recommended guidelines as obesity has been linked to many serious health complications.
These dogs are territorial by nature and extremely loyal to their families. This means they' ll quickly alert you to anything suspicious, but will rarely display any aggressive behaviours toward unfamiliar people.
If you’ve never owned a dog before, a German Wirehaired Pointer is not the best choice. These active, intelligent dogs have very specific needs that the inexperienced dog owner may struggle to meet. German Pointers require lots of exercise in stimulating environments. They require a skilled and confident handler.
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German Wirehaired Pointing Dog in a flat
A flat is not a very good environment for a German Wirehaired Pointer. In fact, it's pretty much the exact opposite of what they need. German pointers are high energy working dogs who love to run off the leash in wooded and rural areas.
Need for exercise / Sporty
German Pointers need at least two hours of exercise every day. This includes plenty of time off the leash. Ideally, you'll need to exercise them in wide open spaces. These curious, active dogs love to explore and hunt. If their natural instincts are not being satisfied with the right kind of physical activity, there's a high probability your dog will develop behavioural issues.
Travelling / easy to transport
Due to their high-energy levels and playful natures, these dogs can get restless during long car journeys. Like most dogs, they won’t enjoy travelling by plane unless they’ve been properly crate trained.
German Wirehaired Pointing Dog and cats
German pointers who grow up with cats will have no problem seeing them as another part of the family. But due to their high prey drive and tracking instincts, they’ll quickly chase away any unfamiliar felines. Bringing a new cat into the same environment as a Pointer is not the best idea.
German Wirehaired Pointing Dog and dogs
The German Pointer is a social animal that loves the company of other dogs. They will rarely display any aggressive behaviour towards other dogs; these guys prefer to make friends instead.
German Wirehaired Pointing Dog and children
These playful dogs are great with children. However, they can be quite boisterous; they should always be supervised when playing with small children.
German Wirehaired Pointing Dog and the elderly
A pointer needs at least two hours of pretty intense exercise every single day. They also need a firm and consistent hand during their early years, as well as lots of stimulating games and training sessions. May not be the best choice for elderly owners.
A purebred German Wirehaired Pointer and registered at the Kennel Club can cost up to £745. For a dog not registered at the Kennel Club, the average price is £610.
You’ll need to budget between £50-70 each month to cover the cost of high-quality dog food. Other expenses, like insurance, will vary depending on your dog's age and medical history. Overall, maintaining a healthy Pointer will cost around £1200 per year.
Pointers shed their coats during spring and autumn. Apart from that, they're fairly low maintenance when it comes to dog grooming. However, you will need to give their beard a trim, as well as giving it a quick wipe after mealtimes.
These dogs are not prone to suffering from any specific medical conditions that cause hair loss.
Nutrition of the German Wirehaired Pointing Dog
An averaged sized Pointer requires around 300-400 grammes of high-quality dog food every day. They also need access to fresh clean drinking water. Don't exercise your pointer within an hour of eating as it can lead to various stomach issues. Many experts advise putting your pet's food on a raised service; eating from this angle can prevent gastric tension and bloat.
Health of the German Wirehaired Pointing Dog
The average lifespan for a German Wirehaired Pointer is between 13-15 years.
Strong / robust
German Pointers have strong, athletic bodies and a solid constitution. They’re not the biggest dogs in the world, but they're certainly one of the toughest and most determined. These dogs were bred to track and hunt in some of Europe's most inhospitable environments, including dense forest areas and the mountainous regions in and around the Alps.
Pointers shed their coats during the warmer times of the year. However, it may need an extra trim during particular hot summers. Even when the weather is really hot, these dogs still need their exercise. Keeping their coats nice and short will prevent them from overheating.
Their thick, insulating undercoat keeps the pointer warm during the coldest months. They also have a wiry outer coat which is pretty much water resistant. In other words, a German Pointer is well equipped for dealing with harsh weather conditions.
Tendency to put on weight
They do have a tendency to put on a few extra pounds as they get older; you may need to adjust their food intake to keep it in line with reduced activity levels.
- Hip dysplasia
- Exercise induced collapse
- Haemophilia B Factor 1X Deficiency
- Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa