German Wirehaired Pointer

History

The German Wirehaired Pointer can be traced back to Germany in the late 1800's, where they were bred to hunt game. It was cross bred with the Griffon, Pudelpointer and Deutsche Kurzhaar. Hunters wanted a medium sized dog with wiry fur to prevent it becoming stuck in dense undergrowth. The GWP proved itself as an adept hunter, retriever, watchdog and was easily trained. They are happy working on land and as well as in water.

Behaviour

The GWP is an active dog who is always on the go. They need lots of exercise and are best suited to an outdoors, active family. They truly worship their owners, but can sometimes become a bit possessive of them. They are good with children and other dogs generally, but their prey drive is very strong and a tendency to chase cats and small animals is always present. The German Wirehaired Pointer will tend to follow you everywhere, even to the bathroom. Having such a close bond with their family makes leaving them alone tricky. Training needs to be started early to get them used to being left alone for short periods to prevent destructive behaviour. They are very adaptable dogs who soon become familiar with routine. They can be aloof with strangers, so early socialisation is important. They make good watchdogs. Their eagerness to learn, makes training easier than some breeds. They need firm, positive handling to get the most out of them, but, given time, they will earn the title 'the dog who can do it all'. The more they learn the more they want to learn. They get bored easily, so obedience, tracking or agility are all worthwhile activities to keep them stimulated. Recall can be a bit hit and miss, depending on the individual, so time should be spent on this. They will need at least one very long walk a day to wear them out, preferably two. They need to run and use up energy outside to prevent problems in the house. A tired dog rarely gets into mischief.

The German Wirehaired Pointer has a double coat. The undercoat becomes denser in winter to insulate the dog. The wiry outer coat protects against rough cover and is slightly water repellent. The coat should be kept at about an inch long and stripped twice a year, plus weekly brushing. Generally a healthy breed, but Canine Hip Dysplasia and heart disease are seen.

Temperament

The German Wirehaired Pointer has an amiable and athletic temperament. Bred to be tough dogs who will find a way through the thickest bushes in order to find quarry these dogs love to roam, run and work. Only consider a German Wirehaired Pointer if you have the time to give it heaps of exercise on a daily basis.

Most will form a tight bond with family but be aloof with strangers. Their strong hunting instincts make them difficult to keep with cats and they will sometimes show aggression to other dogs.

Health Problems

Health problems that may affect German Wirehaired Pointers include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, bloat, entropion (inward rolling of the eyelid which can cause irritation to the eyeball), hypothyroidism and heart disease.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 9 - 12 years
  • Weight: 27 - 32 kg
  • Height: 22 - 26"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Medium - Double
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Country
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Gun Dog
  • Size: Large
  • Energy Level: High
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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