German Wirehaired Pointer

German Wirehaired Pointer

Temperament: Alert, Friendly, Intelligent, Lively, Loyal, Responsive

Size: Large

Life span: 14

Weight: 32 kg

Breed Group: Gun Dogs

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Overview

The German Wirehaired Pointer (GWP) is a large breed of gundog that originated in Germany during the 19th century which was originally bred for hunting. It is a rugged and a larger version of its German pointer cousins, the Longhaired Pointer, the Shorthaired Pointer, and the Large Munsterlander. The breed is a result of several wire-coated pointing breeds that were popular in Germany during those periods including the German Stichelhaar, the German Kurzhaar and the Pudelpointer. The GWP is longer than it is tall and is characterised by a well-muscled and sturdily built body. It is a powerful and multipurpose hunting dog that is good both on land and in water. The most distinguishing characteristics of the German Wirehaired Pointer are its wire-like weather-resistant double coat and its facial features. The outer coat is made of thick and harsh hair no longer than 4cm and lies close to the body with a dense inner coat that is thicker in winter. The head features thick and short hair but not too soft. It also sports bushy eyebrows, moustache, and a full beard. Coat colours are liver and white, solid liver, and black and white. The ideal height is 60-67cm and 56-62cm for males and females respectively. Weight ranges between 20.5kg to 34kg with males being heavier than females.

History & Origin

The German Wirehaired Pointer was developed in Germany in the 1880s as a rugged, multipurpose hunting dog that is flexible enough to work with either one person or a small party of hunters on foot. The dog was bred to work in any types of terrain, from the mountains of the German Alps, to the dense forests of southwestern Germany to the open countryside with farms and small villages. It was bred to have a coat that could protect the dog when it is in the field working in dense bushes as well as during the cold winter seasons when it retrieves downed game in the water. The exact lineage is not exactly known but most experts believe that the German Wirehaired Pointer developed from other German pointing breeds including the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, the Pudelpointer, Stichelhaar, and the Kurzhaar.

Temperament

This breed is a typical pointer both in character and style. It is intelligent, gentle, affectionate, full of stamina and energy, even-tempered, and a resolute hunter in the field. It is a continental (hunter-pointer-retriever) gundog that is brave enough to hunt in any types of terrain in any weather condition. It is very loyal to its master and its family, very friendly to those it is familiar with but typically aloof with strangers which is why the German Wirehaired Pointer makes a very good watch dog. Like its other German pointer cousins, the GWP thrives on human companionship and will suffer separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.

Training

This versatile gundog is eager to learn and always willing to please its master – if the master is patient and firm. Bred as a gundog, it is happiest when it is given something to do which is one of the factors why the German Wirehaired Pointer loves learning new things. However, it should be socialised and trained at an early age because this breed has a stubborn streak and is strong willed. Training the dog in basic obedience can be quite challenging which requires a firm and consistent handler. With that being said, the German Wirehaired Pointer is not a dog for first-time pet owners.

Grooming

The German Wirehaired Pointer has a wiry, water-resistant doublecoat that requires minimum grooming. It sheds lightly all-year-round and only requires twice a week brushing with a stiff bristle brush to keep the coat healthy. The toenails tend to wear down naturally because of the dog’s active lifestyle. The ears should be checked regularly for signs of bacterial infection, especially after getting into the water.

Health

It is a generally healthy breed with a median lifespan of 12 to 14 years. Like any other dogs, there are a few health predispositions that are known to affect the German Wirehaired Pointer. Among them are:

  • Von Willebrands Disease – a hereditary blood-clothing disorder;
  • Canine hip dysplasia – the abnormal formation of the hip socket which can cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints;
  • Chronic heart disease.

Exercise

The German Wirehaired Pointer is highly energetic that loves doing work which makes it a wonderful pet for an active family that can give him an outlet for his tremendous store of energy. Daily long walks are not sufficient for this breed, whereas a good run or jog alongside a bike for several kilometres on a daily basis are good outlets for his considerable energy. Hiking and trekking are also good outlets of energy for this breed. This tremendous need for exercise makes the dog unsuitable to an owner who typically lives in an apartment or condominium and does not have enough time to take the dog on a walk. The GWP will thrive in an urban setting with a lot of open spaces where it can run and spend its energy.

Children and other pets

It is generally good with children because of its friendliness, enthusiasm and natural love for human interaction although adult supervision is required because of its lively attitude especially when it is young. The German Wirehaired Pointer gets along well with other dogs especially if it is socialised well at an early age. However, some GWPs don’t go along well with other small pets like birds, cats or rabbits.

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