The German Wirehaired Pointer dog breed is an active and energetic breed belonging to the Sporting Group. These dogs are capable of hunting down any game irrespective of their size. They are adept at tracking and pointing, and can retrieve prey both upland and in water with equal ease.
At the same time, they make good family dogs and companions because of their affinity for people. Their affectionate and playful nature is reserved for their human family though. These dogs are the ideal match for people with active lifestyles and have plenty of space to cater to the activity requirement of the breed.
The German Wirehaired Pointer dog breed is inarguably one of the best hunting dogs originating in Germany. They are versatile, capable of performing all the different roles associated with hunting such as tracking, trailing, pointing and retrieving prey. Such an “all rounder” dog was developed with years of selective breeding and deliberate interbreeding of dogs with desirable characteristics.
The major breeds that contributed to the development of Wirehaired Pointers are Pudelpointer, Stichelhaar, Griffon, and the Polish Water Dog. They were originally one breed with Deutsch Drahtaar which later evolved into the Shorthaired Pointers. The long wiry coat was initially considered an undesirable characteristic, but it had its uses, protecting the dog from injuries while tracking prey in the underbrush. It offered water resistance and better protection from cold too.
The long and wiry-haired dogs were eventually recognized as a separate breed in Germany in the 1920s. On being introduced to the United States around this time, the dogs became quite popular. The breed was accepted by the AKC in 1959.
The German Wirehaired pointer dog breed is large in size, standing tall at 26 inches and weighing up to 70 pounds. Females may be slightly smaller. The wiry coat of this breed gives it a distinctive appearance. It has an undercoat that varies in thickness according to season. The coat may come in speckled black and white or liver and white, with the ears and the head usually remaining solid color. Roan coats and solid liver or black coats also occur.
The body of this hunting dog is muscular and slightly longer than its height. The ears are folded, and the tail is thick and long, reaching to the hocks. It is usually docked at 2/5 of its length where docking is not illegal.
The German Wirehaired Pointers have an independent nature, and require early training and consistent handling by a confident owner. Being intelligent, they learn quickly though. These dogs are very loyal to their family, but remain reserved with strangers, as well as other dogs and pets. This makes them good watchdogs, but early socialization is necessary to make them successful family dogs.
These dogs are at their happiest when well occupied with some vigorous activity. At the same time, lack of activity may bring out the worst in them, and make them hyperactive and destructive. Constant human interaction also is essential for this breed. They do not like to be left alone in the house or in a kennel for long periods.
Grooming and exercise
The dense, wiry coat of the German Wirehaired Pointer dog breed obviously requires plenty of grooming to look good. Thorough brushing 2-3 times a week may be necessary. The coat should be kept around one inch in length. Hand stripping is the best way to groom this dog.
The exercise requirement of the German Wirehaired Pointer is very high. Walks on the leash are necessary, but they may not be sufficient, and should be supplemented with plenty of other mentally and physically stimulating activities. They are ideally suited for rural and suburban areas where they would have plenty of space for running around. They should have free access to a secure yard all through the day.
Even though they love the outdoors, and the thick coat can provide ample protection from cold, these dogs are ideally kept indoors with the family during the night.
Common health issues of German Wirehaired Pointer dog breed
The German Wirehaired Pointers are generally healthy, but they may be affected by a few hereditary as well as common canine health issues. A clotting disorder known as Von Willebrands Disease, and cardiac problems are encountered in this breed. Canine Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and seizures also occur.
Gastric torsion is a serious condition requiring immediate medical intervention. These dogs are prone to eye disorders, ear infections, and skin cancers too. With regular health checkups and prompt medical intervention, this breed may live for 12-14 years or more.