The German Wirehaired Pointer is a medium sized dog with a very sturdy build and should be well muscled. His most well-known characteristics are his wire-like coat that is also weather resistant, and his beard and eyebrows. The German Wirehaired Pointer was originally bred to be a hunter and he is a high energy dog who needs a job to do in order to be completely happy. He should be supervised with children and other pets. His family will benefit from structured training and daily exercise to wear him out. Originally bred in the 19th century in Germany, the German Wirehaired Pointer can hunt on any terrain and point on water or land.
The German Wirehaired Pointer is said to have originated in Germany in 1870. Hunters wanted a dog that was a versatile and rugged hunting dog that could easily hunt on rough terrain. The German Wirehaired Pointer came to be by making careful cross breedings with the German Pointer, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Pudelpointer, Deutscher-Kurzhaar and Stichelhaar. Their goal was to develop a wire-coated dog that was medium sized and had the ability to work closely as a gundog and search, locate and point upland game. As the breed developed, he was able to work both feather and fur game with great skill and also retrieve water fowl. He is also a devoted companion and family pet as well as a watchdog for his owner’s property. The German Wirehaired Pointer is a versatile hunting dog who also excels at conformation and obedience trials. In 1920, the first of this breed were imported into the United States. He was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1959. The German Wirehaired Pointer is not an ideal companion for a first time dog owner. He requires a significant amount of training and exercise as he is a high energy dog. Owners who do not provide enough exercise or mental stimulation will have a dog that becomes destructive and difficult to live with. He was originally bred to be in the field tracking and hunting game. This meant he was tracking, stalking and running much of the day. A German Wirehaired Pointer requires that his owner spend time training him and interacting with him throughout the day.
The German Wirehaired Pointer’s most distinctive characteristic is his wiry coat. His coat must be weather resistant and somewhat water repellent. The undercoat is dense and will provide great insulation during the cold months. The undercoat does shed out for the summer months. The outercoat should be wiry, harsh to touch and straight. It should lay flat and be one to two inches in length. His eyebrows should be comprised of straight hair that is slightly longer than the hair on his skull. His beard should be medium length. The German Wirehaired Pointer comes in liver, liver and white, liver roan. He is usually liver and white spotted or liver and white with ticking or roaning. It is acceptable for him to have a white blaze. The head and ears are generally liver in color with no ticking or roaning. Black used to be undesirable; however, a black and white color is beginning to be accepted outside of the show ring.
The German Wirehaired Pointer’s coat is easy to care for but it does have a few special needs to maintain a healthy, wiry double coat. The coat must be stripped or plucked. The dead hair can either be plucked by hand or by using a stripping knife. Stripping the coat can be a very time consuming task. He will generally need to be stripped twice per year. He will rarely need a bath unless he has come in contact with something smelly. Any dirt, debris or mud can be brushed out once he has fully dried. It is recommended to bathe a German Wirehaired Pointer twice a year, preferably after stripping him. Only use a shampoo that is made specifically for wirehaired dogs. Regular ear cleaning and nail trimming should be completed every 1 to 2 weeks; nails may not grow as often so every 2 to 3 weeks may be sufficient. Be sure to comb out his beard and mustache daily using a steel comb. This will remove any food that is stuck in there and causing odor.