German Wirehaired Pointer



German Wirehaired Pointers trace their origins back to 1880. They originated in Germany, where breeders wanted to develop a rugged, versatile hunting dog that would work closely with either one person or a small party of persons hunting on foot in varied terrain; from the mountainous regions of the Alps, to dense forests, to more open areas with farms and small towns. The breed the Germans desired had to have a coat that would protect the dogs when working in heavy cover or in cold water, yet be easy to maintain. Careful crosses of the German Pointer with many other breeds. Sources differ on the exact lineage, though the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Pudelpointer, Stichelhaar, and Deutscher-Kurzhaar are commonly accepted as the most likely contributors. This is a dog that can fully respond to the needs of its hunter. The goal was to develop a wire-coated, medium-sized dog that could:

  • Search for, locate and point upland game
  • Work both feather and fur with equal skill and retrieve water fowl
  • Be a close-working, easily trained gun dog
  • Be able to track and locate wounded game
  • Be fearless when hunting "sharp" game such as fox
  • Be a devoted companion and pet; and
  • Be a watchdog for its owner's family and property.


The German Wirehaired Pointer is a well muscled, medium to large-sized dog of distinctive appearance. Balanced in size and sturdily built, the breed's most distinguishing characteristics are its weather resistant, wire-like coat and its facial furnishings. 1.

The German Wirehaired Pointer, also known as the ‘Drahthaar’, is a pointing dog that shares the German Shorthaired Pointer’s noble appearance. It has a thick, wiry outer coat, however, which is two to four centimetres long. The coat protects the skin from extreme weather and the dense cover it sometimes has to work in, as well as insulating the dog when it retrieves in freezing water.

This breed is also built for strength, endurance and speed. Their movement should be powerful, ground-covering, flowing and harmonious.

Accentuated eyebrows and a strong, harsh-as-possible beard emphasise the GWP’s facial expression, which reflects their hunting style. Determined hunters, German Wirehaired Pointers will trail, hunt and find game, and will point and subsequently retrieve both wounded and dead game.

Ability in the field, natural intelligence and a biddable nature make these dogs much sought after hunting and family companions.

Colours are Brown roan with or without patches. Black roan with or without patches. Brown with or without white chest patch. Light roan. No other colour permitted.

Height at the withers:
Dogs: 61 to 68 cms
Bitches: 57 to 64 cms 2. 


Both German Wirehaired and Shorthaired Pointers are very loyal and family orientated and are well-suited to being treated as a family member. German Wirehaired Pointers can be aloof and protective of their family, but do accept visitors willingly.

Often referred to as the clown of the Gundog group, the German Wirehaired Pointer has a wonderfully endearing nature. Easy to train, they are extremely intelligent and should never be aggressive or shy.


The German Wirehaired Pointer coat does not shed, so needs regular stripping. Thankfully, the availability of excellent grooming tools makes it easy to keep the coat in shape.

Of course, show dogs need hand stripping only, so as to keep the coat’s harsh texture, but pet German Wirehaired Pointers may be trimmed and bathed in the same way as any other dog.

This breed’s ears and feet need particular attention. Owners need to take care to keep the hair stripped out of the ear and keep the ear clean and dry, while hair on the feet needs to be trimmed, particularly when the dogs have been in paddocks or dams. Keeping this hair trimmed will prevent mud collecting between the toes.

Feeding a good quality premium dry food, along with occasional raw meaty bones, will help keep both breeds’ teeth in top shape. 


Healthy, well cared for German Wirehaired Pointers will usually live for as long as 11 or 12 years, sometimes longer. Like all dogs, they can be prone to some hereditary disease.

Recognising this, responsible breeders work to reduce the incidence of hereditary problems in their breeding so that they can produce healthy puppies. 


This breed is an active dog, well suited to life as a hunting companion. Owners need to commit to basic training, which both of these very intelligent and quick-learning breeds excel at. Once trained, both are well suited to active families with a reasonably sized yard. This breed requires a good walk or run once a day, and do not like to be home alone for long periods.


  2. DOGS

Image supplied by Suzanne Wright

In Conclusion

Now you know a little about the German Wirehaired Pointer, you may think that this is the dog for you. Before you make a decision, please make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the German Wirehaired Pointer, and its needs and whether this breed would suit your lifestyle.