History of the German Wirehaired Pointer Breed
A successful result of a quest to create a versatile hunting dog, the German Wirehaired Pointer is a breed that can locate and point upland game, confront vermin, retrieve waterfowl from water or land, and track wounded game. It also makes a wonderful companion and serves as a watchdog. The descendent of the pudelpointer (a combination of the old German pudel and the pointer), the German wirehaired pointer resulted from a cross with the early German shorthaired pointer, the griffon, the stichelhaar and the Polish water dog. Some claim that it may also have descended from the poodle, foxhound, bloodhound, and terrier. In Germany it is known as the drahthaar, and it has become the most popular hunting breed there. Yet it was not officially recognized in its homeland until the 1920s. It was around that same time that the first of this breed came to the United States. The German wirehaired pointer was recognized in America in 1959, but it never gained the popularity that it has in Germany.
Size and Appearance of the German Wirehaired Pointer Breed
Slightly longer than it is tall, the German wirehaired pointer is a hunter with a sturdy build – bred to hunt all day in all types of cover. This breed is a study in agility and endurance. The front legs are straight while the thighs are muscular and strong. The round feet are webbed with high-arched toes, thick, hard pads, and strong, heavy nails. A moderately long head features medium size, brown eyes that are oval in shape. The eyes are clear and bright, covered with medium length eyebrows. The rounded ears hang close to the head. The muzzle is quite long and features a dark brown nose with wide nostrils. The strong jaws have intermeshing teeth and the incisors meet in a true scissor bite. The neck is slightly arched and of medium length while the back is short and straight. Set high, the tail is usually docked to two-fifths of its original length. The movement of the gait is described as free and smooth with good reach. The distinctive, wiry coat of the German wirehaired pointer is functional because it is weather-resistant and somewhat water-repellent. The dense undercoat insulates the dog in the winter but thins in the summer to the point that it is practically invisible. The straight, harsh outer coat lies flat and measures from one to two inches in length. It is long enough to protect the dog from the elements but does not hide the beautiful outline of this breed. This dog has distinctive eyebrows, a beard and whiskers which consist of medium length hair. The color of the coat can be liver or black, or either color with white markings.
German Wirehaired Pointer Temperament
An energetic hunter and an affectionate companion, the German wirehaired pointer is loyal to its family and eager to learn. It is good, but sometimes boisterous, with children and is often aloof with strangers as well as strange dogs. While it may try to dominate other pets in the family, if introduced at an early age, this breed will usually get along with other animals in the family. Socialization should start when the dog is young. Intelligent and active, this dog should be trained by a firm, consistent handler. It can be stubborn and sometimes shows a tendency to roam. If not exercised properly, this breed may become bored and difficult to handle. The German wirehaired pointer makes a great watch dog and a friendly, outgoing addition to the family.
German Wirehaired Pointer Recommended Maintenance
The coat of the German wirehaired pointer is fairly easy to maintain. Brushing once or twice a week will normally suffice, but occasional thinning or stripping is recommended, usually in the spring and fall. This breed should only be bathed when necessary, but be sure to check the ears for cleanliness on a regular basis.
Also, remember to check the feet when the dog has been outside. This breed is considered to be an average shedder. Because of its need for exploring and exercise, the German wirehaired pointer is not recommended for apartment dwelling. Daily exercise of at least an hour a day is important for this very energetic dog, or it may become restless and difficult to manage when indoors. The best idea would be to combine exercise with hunting or at least the chance to explore and run. Time divided between indoors and out is best as this dog loves to be with its family, as well as spend time outside. It can make a wonderful jogging companion, and it also loves to swim and retrieve.
German Wirehaired Pointer Health
• Life span: 12 – 14 years
• Major concerns: CHD
• Minor concerns: elbow dysplasia
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: hip, elbow