All About German Wirehaired Pointer Dog Breed
Background and Registry
The breed of German Wirehaired Pointer is in existence since the latter part of 1800. It has originated in Germany and its name is just the English translation of what it is called locally in the aforementioned country – Deutsch Drahthaar.
The German Wirehaired Pointer was traditionally bred as a hunting dog due to its keen senses which allow it to hunt various types of prey. Its never-ending energy reserve also helped it excel in this job because it can go to great lengths both on land and on the water without getting tired. It has even the physical makeup to work under different weather conditions – hot or cold.
It is indeed a very versatile hunting dog which makes it one of the most sought-after dog breeds among hunters and sportsmen.
Nowadays, German Wirehaired Pointers are still working as hunting dogs in many countries particularly in Germany. They frequent dog sports tournaments too. Aside from those, they grace with their presence also many households because they are great companion dogs.
Registry with American Kennel Club
The German Wirehaired Pointer dog breed is recognized by both the American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club. However, while the former classifies it as among the Sporting Breeds of canine, the latter on the other hand categorizes it as a Gun Dog.
General Information on German Wirehaired Pointer
- Height24 to 26 in for male while the female can be as small as 22 in
- Weight50 to 70 lb
- Lifespan14 to 16 years old
Even-tempered, Extremely active, Loyal, Alert, Intelligent
Families with older kids, Active single fur parents, spacious home with an enclosed backyard
German Wirehaired Pointers are medium to large dog breeds. Perhaps one of the most apparent distinctions between the male and female German Wirehaired Pointer is the size wherein the latter comes a bit smaller than the former.
While the male German Wirehaired Pointer can grow at an average height of 24 to 26 in tall, their female counterpart can be as small as 22 in. Both can weigh somewhere between 50 to 70 lb.
A German Wirehaired Pointer has a muscular body. It has brown sparkly eyes and an equally brown nose, although there are times when the latter can come on a way lighter shade of brown depending on the color of its coat. Its tail can stand up straight and alert whenever it senses danger. It also has ears that hang down from both sides of its head.
You would be able to point out a German Wirehaired Pointer in a crowd because of their “facial hair.” They have eyebrows, a mustache, and a beard which help protect them against surface injuries whenever needed.
The coat of a German Wirehaired Pointer often comes in pure liver but there are also those that come in liver and white that are with roaning, ticking, and spots.
This dog breed has a double coat which serves as good protection against different weather conditions especially when they were still working as hunting dogs. Its coat is wiry and coarse that grows up to a couple of inches in length. It has an undercoat that also sheds. Thus, it is recommended to make its brushing more frequently during this time.
The coat of a German Wirehaired Pointer requires little brushing. In fact, you can do away with just at least once a week brushing using a metal comb or a good bristle brush.
It is important to keep brushing the coat of your German Wirehaired Pointer because this helps it look healthy by spreading the natural oil throughout its coat. Further, brushing also helps remove the debris and dead dog hair that managed to get stuck in the coat of your fur baby. In that way, it won’t spread and stick into your home furniture particularly during shedding season.
You can wash your German Wirehaired Pointer once a month. Doing this often is not necessary because this is the type of dog breed that doesn’t normally develop any stink. But when you do give it a bath, make sure that you do it thoroughly using only bath products made for dogs.
While there are fur parents who use blow-dry on their German Wirehaired Pointers to dry them, you can get away with just using a soft towel. They dry easily because of their coat’s water-repellent properties.
While you are drying your German Wirehaired Pointer, take time to also check if it has any skin rashes that you should be aware of. Check for any potential problems and if needed, seek the assistance of your vet.
Other Grooming Needs
You need to be meticulous in the grooming of your German Wirehaired Pointer. This means that you should not just focus on the brushing of the coat and bathing your fur baby, but you should also give attention to its other parts such as the ears, nails, and even its teeth.
The ears should be checked at least once a week to ensure that they are clean and not infected. Use dog formulated solution and soft cotton balls as you clean the ears of your fur baby. Do not use Q-tips or any other sharp objects as this can damage its ears.
Any foul smell coming from the ears of your German Wirehaired Pointer would mean that said ears are infected so if you notice this, better let your vet check them so medication can also be prescribed. Letting ear infections go untreated can damage permanently the ears of your German Wirehaired Pointer.
The nails of your German Wirehaired Pointer should also be trimmed every other week. One sign that it needs trimming is when you can already hear it connecting on the floor as your fur baby walks around.
When trimming the nails of your pooch, make sure that you don’t overdo it as this can cause bleeding when you hit the soft part of their toenails. This can cause trauma on your fur baby and may cause it to fear you touching its nails again.
Of course, the dental health of your German Wirehaired Pointer should not also be forgotten. Its teeth should be brushed at least twice a week using a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. This would prevent it from getting any plaque and tartar build-up or other types of dental diseases.
It’s fine if you feel scared about doing all these grooming necessities to your German Wirehaired Pointer. This is understandable especially if it is your first time owning a pet. You could instead bring it to the groomer regularly so they could help you out.
Food and Feeding
All dog breeds would need food to grow healthy and strong. They would need the nutrition they can get from their daily food intake to sustain also their daily activities.
The food of your German Wirehaired Pointer should be formulated based on the nutrition it needs. It should be composed of high protein and low carbohydrates to ensure that it wouldn’t gain any unnecessary weight.
This should be a principal consideration especially since this dog breed loves to eat. If its fur parent wouldn’t be watchful when it comes to its food intake then there can be a high risk of obesity.
A German Wirehaired Pointer would need different types of diet depending on its age. It’s a good thing that you won’t have a hard time looking because there are many different brands of dog food already available at a pet store that can meet the dietary requirements of your fur baby. Even if it has restrictions, that would be just fine too. All you need is to be critical of the ingredients of your chosen brand.
Pick a high-quality dog food brand with no fillers as much as possible. Choose one that is made up of whole grains and not refined ones.
Ideally, it is recommended for your German Wirehaired Pointer to have 2 1/2 to 3 cups of kibble per day distributed into 2 feeding schedules.
This is not absolute because this can still be adjusted depending on the activity level of your fur baby. Increase it if it needs more and decrease it if you think it’s already getting a little bit round due to body fat.
There are fur parents who don’t prefer to feed their German Wirehaired Pointer kibbles or dry food. Instead, they choose canned food or even cooked ones. If you are among those fur parents, then that’s just fine too. Just keep in mind that if cooked food is your preference, then it should be balanced enough to include all the nutritional needs of your fur baby which is often the challenge.
Nevertheless, if you need help in planning the diet of your German Wirehaired Pointer, the best person that could help you out is your vet. You’ll never go wrong consulting him on this.
Exercise and Physical Activity
You are in for one extremely active doggo with a German Wirehaired Pointer. This is expected when it comes to hunting dog breeds but you can expect a German Wirehaired Pointer to be a lot more. The energy of this pooch is almost endless. That’s why its fur parent needs to be creative in planning its daily exercises.
You can start exercising German Wirehaired Pointer at about 3 to 4 months old. At this young age, a short walk for about 20 minutes would be enough to satisfy it. Increase the time and the length of the walk as it grows older. However, be careful not to subject it to exercises that will be hard on its bones and muscles until it reaches adulthood because this may impact the development of its body.
German Wirehaired Pointers may look like adult dogs at 6-months old but they are not adults yet until they are about 18 months old or even 2 years old.
A fully adult German Wirehaired Pointer would require vigorous exercise for at least two hours a day. This doesn’t need to be in one go and can be divided into two sessions. Even though your German Wirehaired Pointer can be tireless, it is not advisable to push it to the limit.
If you are an active individual, meeting the exercise needs of your German Wirehaired Pointer wouldn’t be a problem. You’ll find that it won’t have any difficulties keeping up with you during your daily runs or even your hiking trips. It would even enjoy a swim from time to time given that it is a great swimmer.
An extended game of fetch would also be a good exercise for your German Wirehaired Pointer. This is assuming that he is already trained to bring back the stick, ball, or disc to you. Be careful to do this only in an enclosed space because a little distraction could cause your pooch to wander.
You may also want your German Wirehaired Pointer to do different types of dog sports. If it is conditioned enough, it will no doubt excel in every single one. It would particularly love agility-related ones so you also may want to focus on those.
Exercise for your German Wirehaired Pointer should never be forgotten. Without the physical and mental stimulation, your doggo would tend to develop problematic behaviors such as incessant barking and gnawing of your furniture. It would also lead it to be depressed which is not a good thing for all dog breeds.
Another negative effect of the lack of exercise on German Wirehaired Pointer is it can result in its poor health condition. This doggo can be prone to weight gain because of its enthusiasm for food. Thus, when it is not exercised enough, the calories from its food intake just pile up causing it to suffer from obesity.
Right Training Approach
You shouldn’t have worries when it comes to the trainability of a German Wirehaired Pointer. This dog breed is really smart that it won’t have a hard time breezing through the basic training.
Starting the training of your German Wirehaired Pointer during puppyhood would also give you a higher success rate. They are already able to understand you and heed your command as early as eight weeks old. But you should be careful with your approach because the last thing you’d want is to break the spirit of your fur baby. This is why negative reinforcement should never be your training style.
There are trainers who believe that intimidation works for a German Wirehaired Pointer. This is far from the truth because this would just make your fur baby dread its training schedule. It could even cause it to develop aggressive behaviors which no fur parent wants to happen.
You could use instead reinforcements with the use of rewards, praises, or even additional cuddle time. In that way, training would be among the activities your fur baby would look forward to. It wouldn’t be discouraged and would deem the training fun and exciting. This can serve as a good bonding experience also between the two of you.
It is also important to keep the training sessions short. Five to 10 minutes would do and just do at least 2 sessions a day. Keep the training in a place with little to no distraction as you don’t want the focus of your German Wirehaired Pointer to wander. Moreover, you should also be consistent until it finally learns the desired behavior or rules.
It is important to train your German Wirehaired Pointer to instill the discipline to it at a young age. From the onset, bad behaviors should never be tolerated. Stop it immediately for any wrongdoings so that it would know not to repeat the same thing.
You may want to start housetraining your German Wirehaired Pointer dog breed while it is young. Begin with potty training so that it won’t think of making your home its bathroom.
When you start potty training your German Wirehaired Pointer, you should start by creating a schedule. This schedule would determine when you need to bring out your pooch so it could have its bathroom breaks. Normally the schedule that works is before sleeping at night, upon waking up in the morning, and after it eats or drinks.
If this schedule is maintained, you’ll notice that your German Wirehaired Pointer will get a hang of it and learn not to do bathroom breaks inside your home. It also learns to communicate if it needs to go already before the schedule by restlessly pacing by the door, whining near the door, or scratching the door.
Before this happens, however, you need to be patient with your pooch because accidents can happen while they are being trained to do better.
You should also introduce basic obedience training to your German Wirehaired Pointer as early as possible. Doing this would help it be disciplined and responsive in the commands you are going to issue whenever necessary.
Start with the simple commands such as sit, stay, stand, and come. You should also teach it to respond accurately to no. You’ll realize later on the benefits of this especially if you have guests coming over and you need it to behave. Your fur baby’s ability to follow commands could also help keep it safe during extremely dangerous circumstances.
If your German Wirehaired Pointer has the tendency to develop separation anxiety, then you may also want to prioritize training it on this so you could curb this immediately. You wouldn’t want it to be getting depressed as you go to work daily.
Exposing your dog to socialization is not a hard job. All you need to do is to constantly introduce it to other people outside its normal circle and regularly bring it to different types of surroundings. However, be sure to not make it overwhelming to your fur baby in a way that it would feel intimidated.
There are many reasons why you should socialize your German Wirehaired Pointer at a young age. For one, it will help build its character. It would also teach it to be a well-rounded dog. When your fur baby is socialized well, it won’t have any issues getting along with others.
Common Health Concerns
No matter how healthy your German Wirehaired Pointer is, it could also be susceptible to health issues especially if those were inherited from either or both of its parents.
This is also among the reasons why you should only get your German Wirehaired Pointer from a trusted breeder. In that way, you can have the assurance that the parent dogs that will be crossed together were with the right health clearances, minimizing the possibility that they can have genetic health problems.
For a German Wirehaired Pointer, you should be aware that among the most common health issues they suffer from are the following:
Von Willebrand’s Disease
This is a disease wherein the blood of a German Wirehaired Pointer lacks the protein which enables it to properly clot whenever there’s a bleeding. Thus, the result was excessive bleeding which could be critical to the life of your fur baby.
Von Willebrand Diseases is not a disease that can easily be identified unless your German Wirehaired Pointer goes through a series of lab testing. Sometimes fur parents do not even know it until their fur babies get wounded and the injury bleeds profusely.
But among the things you can be on the lookout for include nosebleeds, bloody urine, and frequent bruising on the skin of your pooch. If you notice these signs, better get your German Wirehaired Pointer tested immediately. A vet would be able to help facilitate any treatment necessary.
A Cataract is an eye condition on dogs wherein the symptoms include visibly clouding of their lenses due to the protein accumulation in their eyes. This prevents light from entering and if not treated immediately could permanently impair their vision.
Like humans, they also develop this as they grow older. This can be inherited and can also be caused by eye injuries.
A German Wirehaired Pointer with a Cataract often requires surgery for their vision to be corrected. But the treatment must be immediate because otherwise, the protein build-up may cause irreversible damage.
This is a health condition affecting the skeletal makeup of a German Wirehaired Pointer. This transpires when the ball and socket joints located at the hip part of this doggo do not grow fitted together. So instead of being able to move seamlessly together, they move against each other which causes intense pain to the fur baby. This also leads to arthritis later on.
A German Wirehaired Pointer suffering from Hip Dysplasia may have a hard time moving. It may exhibit also a bunny hopping motion as it goes from one point to another. Aside from this, its hind legs also go noticeably smaller in terms of muscle mass while its chest gets more muscular because it’s the one that exerts more pressure as it moves.
Hip Dysplasia can be a hereditary condition although there are times when it is also caused by weight problems or injuries acquired by your German Wirehaired Pointer through its day-to-day activities. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this. There are only medications to manage the pain.
Depending on the gravity of the Hip Dysplasia of your German Wirehaired Pointer, surgery may also be needed.
There is no way to tell what disease your German Wirehaired Pointer will end up with. But one thing is for sure, it needs to be checked by a vet regularly to ensure that it is healthy at all times. This would also help prevent any diseases from worsening especially if the symptoms are detected early on.
The average life expectancy of a healthy German Wirehaired Pointer is between 14 to 16 years. Expect that the healthier they are, the longer they will live.
This is why it is important to maintain the healthy lifestyle of your fur baby throughout its life. Ensure that it is eating healthy and that it gets the right exercise and medical care it needs regularly.
German Wirehaired Pointer is generally an even-tempered dog breed. It can be a little excitable at times because it is packed with boundless energy but it is not naturally aggressive especially when socialized and trained from puppyhood. Its seemingly endless energy is even among the things that make this pooch lovable because it often brings non-stop joy and excitement with it.
German Wirehaired Pointers are very intelligent and loyal dogs also. Despite the devotion and they show all their family members, they tend to gravitate to a favorite human whom they will shower their love to. They tend can be clingy to their favorite person and even develop separation anxiety when away from this person for quite some time.
This is why if your German Wirehaired Pointer has this tendency, then better train it also how to deal with separation. In that way, its favorite person leaving for work regularly won’t impact the pooch negatively.
German Wirehaired Pointers are very intelligent too. Add its constant desire to please and make you happy, then you are sure that you have a friend for keeps.
With the alertness of hunting dogs, German Wirehaired Pointers would make great watchdogs too. They know how to sound the alarm whenever danger is in the midst of their fur parents. They also know how to protect as well. But although they can have reservations against strangers, they do not just attack based on their urges.
German Wirehaired Pointer As A Family Pet
German Wirehaired Pointers would be great companions to fur parents with children. They are very tolerant of the antics of the kids and they can be playful themselves as well which bodes well during playtime. Moreover, they are not too small that they could be fragile. But it is still important that young children should be taught how to handle them with care to prevent these dogs from getting injured. Thus, the more mature the children are, the better.
For too small children and small pets, any interaction with German Wirehaired Pointers should be highly supervised. This dog breed can still have a high prey drive which should be among the things fur parents should watch out for.
The interaction is normally fine if the German Wirehaired Pointers and the small children or other pets grow up with it. But if not, they need to be socialized first until they all become comfortable with each other.
Since German Wirehaired Pointers can develop separation anxiety, they should be with fur parents who wouldn’t leave them behind for a long time. They need to be kept indoors too because even if the distance is only the closed door, this can still cause them depression.
A German Wirehaired Pointer would also be the best companion for active individuals. You cannot ask for a better partner for your adventure because this pooch, when conditioned, could keep up whether you are going on a hike or you are planning to go on another adventure. It is tireless that it can sometimes be tasking for owners to keep pace with it.
As a house pet, German Wirehaired Pointers would need plenty of space because they can be playful. Thus, small apartment living wouldn’t do them good. Give them a small space and they would likely be prone to breaking furniture and other breakables.
Big houses would suit German Wirehaired Pointer better especially if these have enclosed backyards where they can spend their excess energy whenever needed. The enclosure is needed so that they wouldn’t just wander especially if they smell other animals nearby.
The Cost of Getting a German Wirehaired Pointer
Purchasing a German Wirehaired Pointer Puppy
There are just so many great things that you would love when you have a German Wirehaired Pointer. Their appearance alone is adorably unique. Pair this with an even temper that allows them to get along perfectly with people of all ages and other pets alike, it is simply like a dream come true for every fur parent.
This is why it does not anymore come as a surprise that more and more people are getting motivated to get one.
German Wirehaired Pointer does not come cheap. In order to get one, you need at least something between USD 800 to USD 2000. The higher the pedigree, the higher also would be the price. Expect the price to be more if the German Wirehaired Pointer is of show quality or if it comes from a champion line.
Another factor that contributes to the price when getting a German Wirehaired Pointer pup is the dog’s breeder. Getting it from a trusted and reputable breeder would cost a bit more. However, it is recommended that you take advantage of it.
Reputable breeders cross-breeding dogs ethically. They have a strict training program in place wherein a puppy’s parents go through a series of health checks before being bred together. This ensures that they won’t have any health issues that they could pass on to their litter.
The screening is even conducted on the pups to gauge their general well-being before they are released to their fur parents. This is supported by proper documents for your peace of mind.
So when you get your German Wirehaired Pointer puppy, you know you are paying for quality. You can have peace knowing that your pup is in great shape.
Getting a German Wirehaired Pointer from a puppy mill or backyard breeders wouldn’t give you the same comfort. Yes, you can probably get them at a lower price, but the condition is never guaranteed. They normally produce litters for bucks so the quality is often compromised.
Without the necessary screening, you wouldn’t know what puppy you’d end up with. You won’t even know if it’s a hundred percent pure German Wirehaired Pointer or a mix. This can be hard to tell when they are pups. Sometimes, you wouldn’t know it until it’s too late.
Considering the Shelters
You can also save some bucks in getting a German Wirehaired Pointer if you would consider looking at the shelters near your place.
Purebreds they may be, but there are also instances when they are abandoned by their fur parents. Thus, they end up in a shelter.
You shouldn’t be concerned even if you’d get a German Wirehaired Pointer that is an adult dog already because this dog breed can be trained. As long as you have the patience and the love to give, expect that this dog will provide you the same devotion in return.
Other Costs to Consider
The purchase price is not the only thing you should consider if you want to get a German Wirehaired Pointer. You should also keep in mind all other costs that come with it.
When you get a German Wirehaired Pointer, expect that you are going to be dog-proofing your home especially if you are a first-time fur parent. Your pooch would also need food and dog accessories such as the leash, dog bowl, dog bed, and the likes. There is even the cost for regular medical care and other services including grooming or training when you need it.
Note that these are not one-time expenses only. These are recurring costs that you would need to provide in the lifetime of your German Wirehaired Pointer to give him a comfortable life.
Having a German Wirehaired Pointer is truly a great gift especially if you are one active fur parent that could meet all of its needs. This is one dog companion that is a pleasure to have with its desire to please, intelligence, and even-temper which works well with almost any type of family.
But it should also be kept in mind that having a German Wirehaired Pointer or any pet is a serious commitment. Be sure that you are prepared before you get one.
A lot of household animals end up in shelters because there are fur parents who change their minds later on.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Are German Wirehaired Pointers good family dogs?
A: German Wirehaired Pointers are great family dogs because they are even-tempered and can tolerate kids. They are also good companions because they are intelligent, loyal, and devoted dogs. They love their family unconditionally although they tend to gravitate to their favorite person.
Active fur parents would appreciate German Wirehaired Pointers better. This dog breed is a great partner in all types of adventure because their energy is seemingly never-ending and they have a stamina that is almost hard to match.
Q: What breeds make up a German Wirehaired Pointer?
A: The German Wirehaired Pointer dog breed was said to have descended from the crossing of the following breeds: Pudelpointer, German Shorthaired Pointer, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, German Roughhaired Pointer.
Q: Are German Wirehaired Pointers good retrievers?
A: A German Wirehaired Pointers is among the best hunting dogs there is because of their versatility. They can hunt various types of prey and can retrieve it no matter the terrain. This makes them great retrievers also.
Q: How much are German Wirehaired Pointer puppies?
A: If you want to get a German Wirehaired Pointer pup, you can expect that it would cost you about USD 800 to USD 2000. Anything less than that should raise various red flags because this may not be of a high-quality dog breed and may not be sourced from a reputable breeder.
When buying a German Wirehaired Pointer puppy, it is important to get it only from a reputable breeder. This would ensure that the parents went through a strict vetting process before being crossed together. They are also normally supported by several health clearances which give you peace of mind that the pup you are getting is healthy and has a low probability of inheriting genetically transferred health conditions.