Breed Facts and Standard
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Exercise: very high
Watchdog ability: very high
Protection ability: high
Area of Origin: Germany
Date of Origin: 1800’s
Other Names: Deutscher Drahthaariger, Vorstehund, German Pointer (Wirehaired), Drahthaargeneral hunting, watchdog
Original Function: Hunt, point, retrieve
German Wirehaired Pointers (GWP) trace their origins back about 120 years. They originated in Germany, where breeders wanted to develop a rugged versatile hunting dog that would work closely with either one person or small group hunting on foot. This was generally over terrain varying from the mountainous Alps to dense forests, open farm area and small towns. The breed was also desired to have a coat that would protect the dogs when working in heavy cover or in cold water, yet was easy to maintain. Hunters wanted a dog that would locate and point upland game, track wounded game, confront tough vermin, retrieve waterfowl from land or water and also function as companion and watchdog. The primary ancestor of the GWP is a breed called the Pudelpointer. This breed is itself a cross between a German Pudel and the English Pointer. By selectively crossing the Pudelpointer to a number of hunting breeds including the Griffon, Stichelhaar, Polish Water Dog and early German Shorthaired Pointer, the breed we know today as the German Wirehaired Pointer has evolved.
The German Wirehaired Pointer is very affectionate, active and intelligent. Eager to learn and loyal to its family, it needs a handler who is consistent in approach. They like to be occupied and enjoy working for their owner. They are friendly with those they know, but are naturally aloof with strangers and should be socialised at an early age. They can be rather willful and they like to roam. Powerful and energetic they can become bored and hard to manage without enough exercise. The GWP is a good all-around gun dog, able to hunt any sort of game on any sort of terrain. This dog has a good nose and can track, point, and retrieve on both land and water. Steady, lively and vigorous, they do best with older, considerate children. Some may try to dominate other animals but most will get along well with other dogs and household animals. They make good watchdogs.
Exercise is a daily requirement for this energetic hunter. At least an hour a day of exertion is recommended, and the ideal situation would combine exercise with hunting or a chance to run and explore a field. As a breed that thrives on human companionship, it does best as a house dog with access to the outdoors. Like most harsh coats, some minimal hand-stripping may occasionally be needed to maintain a sleek outline; otherwise, brushing about once a week will suffice.
Official Breed Standard
Wire haired dual purpose Pointer-Retriever excellent in the field, with a very keen nose. Perseverance in searching and initiative are required. His style attracts attention; he is equally good on land and in water, is biddable and an extremely keen worker and very loyal.
A medium sized hunting dog of noble bearing, colour unimportant; very harsh hair completely covering the skin; active temperament, intelligent expression; devoted and energetic.
Head and Skull:
The head should be of medium length with a long strong muzzle.
Dark hazel. Bright and intelligent with eyelids closing properly.
Teeth strong. The jaws should be strong, with a perfect regular and complete scissor bite, i.e., the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Strong and of medium length.
Shoulder sloping and very muscular, top of shoulder blades close; upper arm bones between shoulder and elbow long. Elbows well laid back, neither pointing outwards nor inwards. Forelegs straight and lean, sufficiently muscular and strong but not coarse-boned. Pasterns slightly sloping.
Chest must appear deep rather than wide but in proportion to the rest of the body; ribs deep and well sprung, never barrel-shaped nor flat; back ribs reaching well down to tucked up loins. Chest measurement immediately behind the elbows smaller than about a hands-breadth behind the elbows, so that the upper arm has freedom of movement. Firm, short back, not arched. The loin wide and slightly arched; the croup wide and sufficiently long, neither too heavy nor too sloping starting on a level with the back and sloping gradually towards the tail. Bones solid and strong. Skin should not fit loosely or fold.
Hips broad and wide falling slightly towards tail. Thighs strong and well muscled. Stifles well bent. Hocks square with body and slightly bent, turning neither in nor out. Pasterns nearly upright.
Compact, close-knit, round to spoon shaped, well padded, turning neither in nor out. Toes well arched with strong nails.
Smooth lithe gait essential. As gait increases from walk to a faster speed, legs converge beneath body (single tracking). Forelegs reach well ahead, effortlessly covering plenty of ground with each stride and followed by hind legs, which give forceful propulsion.
Starts high and thick growing gradually thinner. Docked to leave half to three-fifths of the tail. When quiet, tail carried down, when moving, horizontally, never held high over the back or bent.
Short, flat and coarse to touch, slightly longer under tail.
Solid liver, liver and white spotted, liver and white spotted and ticked, liver and white ticked, solid black or black and white in same variations. (not tricolour).
Weight and Size:
Weight: Dogs: 25 – 31.8 kg (55-70 lb) Bitches: 20.4- 27.2 kg (45 – 60 LB).
At the shoulder: Dogs: 58 – 64 cm (23 – 25 in) Bitches: 53 – 59 cm (21 – 23 in). Symmetry is most essential.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness of the fault should be in exact proportion to its degree.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.