AKC Dog Breeds: German Wirehaired Pointer

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Sporting  Group
Height:20-26 inches   Weight: 60-70 pounds  Color: liver and white, black and white, solid liver

When the Germans wanted a dog that could do it all, they created the German Wirehaired Pointer, a versatile, multi-purpose hunting dog. Strong and medium-sized, with a typical Pointer personality, the breed’s most distinctive feature is its functional wiry coat. Weather resistant and water-repellant, the outer coat is straight, harsh, wiry and flat lying, which helps to protect the dog against rough cover while hunting. The German Wirehaired Pointer was developed in the late 19th Century and beginning of the 20th Century in Germany. The breeding origin is based on the ideas of "Hegewald" (Sigismund Freiherr von Zedlitz und Neukirch). It was carefully cross bred from the German Pointer and several other breeds. There is some differentiation on which breeds these were. It is speculated that they were Wirehaired Griffon, Poodle-Pointer, Foxhound, and Bloodhound. The German Wirehaired Pointer is the most popular dog in its country of origin, Germany. However, it was not officially recognized until the 1920's. At this time the dog was introduced to the United States. It was officially recognized in the United States in 1959. It has never grown to be as popular in the United States as it is in Germany.

General Appearance

The coat of the German Wirehaired Pointer is its most distinctive feature. The coat is weather resistant and somewhat water repellant. The undercoat is dense enough that in winter it can keep the dog warm but thin enough that in summer it is virtually invisible. The outer coat is straight, wiry, and flat lying and is about 1-2 inches in length. The eyebrows are of strong straight hair and the beard and whiskers are of medium length. The beard, forehead hair and whiskers protect his face. The neck is strong and slender and the chest is wide and deep. The lips are not pendent and the muzzle is long, wide and robust. The eyes are dark and transparent. It has a strong scissors bite. The color is liver & white, spotted, roan or ticked. Sometimes an individual will be solid liver. The nose should be dark brown. The head and ears should be brown, sometimes with a white blaze. The pendent ears hang down limply beside the head. The tail is moderately docked. 

The German Wirehaired Pointer is a dog that loves the companionship of humans, and has plenty of love, affection, and devotion to give to the right owner, but this is not a dog for those that do not have the time to commit to a pet. These dogs make good family pets, and are well balanced in temperament. Intelligent, eager, and willing, these dogs have plenty of energy and therefore need a good deal of exercise and plenty of space in which to release their energy. The German Wirehaired Pointer loves to play, and is determined and outgoing, yet steady and sensible. These dogs can be very strong willed and independent, and are therefore best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. The German Wirehaired Pointer gets along well with children, particularly when raised with them, and when well socialized will get along okay with other pets, although they may be aggressive with other dogs. When it comes to strangers, some German Wirehaired Pointers may be friendly whereas others may be wary and reserved depending on the personality of the individual dog. These dogs do have a protective streak, and this means that he will make a good watchdog. The German Wirehaired Pointer is a quick learner and an intelligent creature, but his hard headedness can sometime make training a struggle.


You will need to put in some effort when it comes to the grooming of the German Wirehaired Pointer, and you will need regularly brush his harsh coat several times each week. The dead coat will need to be stripped every few months for show dogs, and for pet dogs clipping may be required every few months. You should check the ears regularly too in order to reduce the chances of infections and for hygiene reasons. These dogs are medium shedders, and may not be suitable for those with allergies.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The German Wirehaired Pointer has a life expectancy of around 10-12 years. They are prone to hip dysplasia, ear infections, genetic eye disease, and skin cancer.

Activity Level
The German Wirehaired Pointer is highly energetic and active. It is important they have vigorous exercise. This breed requires an active family. They make wonderful jogging companions and enjoy swimming. They are not recommended for apartment life as they can be high strung and active indoors. If they are not given sufficient exercise and stimulation they become restless and destructive. The German Wirehaired Pointer needs a lot of space and room to run.


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