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
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.