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We Have German Wirehaired Pointers

Updated on October 18, 2014

The Ultimate Hunting Dog

This majestic hunting breed will soon win your heart. He has earned the respect of hunters worldwide for its versatile ability in the field, including pointing, retrieving and trailing.

Without a doubt, the more outstanding identifying features are the coat and the furnishing on the head, the muzzle has bushy whiskers, there is a beard on the lower jaw and they have bushy brows that protect the eyes. This gives the dog an appearance of an old man or an aristocrat. For me personally, I prefer to think of our German Wirehaired Pointers as looking very aristocratic.

Most of the early wirehaired pointers were a combination of many breeds. some of these breeds included the Griffons of France, the Stichelhaar, the Pudelpointer and of course the well-recognized German Shorthaired Pointer. In the early 1900s the Drahthaar Club was formed with the objective to encourage the breeding of versatile German Wirehaired Pointers that could be used as reliable hunters and field companions.

These club members recommended that the breed have a rugged coat, strong build and great stamina. The German Wirehaired Pointer was to be able to withstand fluctuating weather conditions and spending long hours in the field. But the most important feature of the breed was his "wirehaired coat".

The German Wirehaired Pointer quickly became the number-one hunting dog in Germany. The breed was first introduced to England after World War II and military men took a liking to this handsome dog and began bringing the German Wirehaired Pointer to the United States.

Are you looking for a great hunting companion that will make a wonderful pet for your family. Take a good look at the German Wirehaired Pointer. This breeds loyalty and eagerness to please quickly ranks it as one of the top hunting dogs.

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The German Wirehaired Pointer Puppy

Cutey Pie!

Is the German Wirehaired Pointer the dog you have chosen? Selecting a dog can be an exciting experience as long as you know that owning a dog is a full-time responsibility. Dog ownership is a lifelong commitment. But, once you have made that decision you can be confident that you have made an excellent choice in the German Wirehaired Pointer (also known as the GWP). You have probably done lots of research on the breed and know that there is something special about the GWP. Whether it is the bearded face, versatility in the field or his devotion to family you could not have chosen a better dog for a loyal friend and companion.

Now that you have made the decision you need to find a reputable breeder. The German Wirehaired Pointer Club of American is your best source and they can locate breeders in your area. The breeders that belong to this club are dedicated in following a code of ethics in their breeding programs. Look for an established breeder with ten years or better in the breed. This breeder will only sell you a puppy if he determines that you are suitable owner of his dogs. An established breeder will be able to answer the 101 questions you probably have.

Look at your puppies family tree, his pedigree. A puppy will resemble his heritage, especially in the first two generations. So it is important to know as much about your puppies pedigree as possible. An experienced breeder will tell you why he chose to breed from the particular dog they chose. Also, is the puppy registered. Registration papers come from the American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club. The registration papers attest to the fact that the mother and father of your puppy were purebred dogs of the breed you selected.

Okay, you've found your breeder and now you are going to select your puppy. Let me warn you, it is very difficult to choose from all those adorable little faces. I always want to bring more than one home with me. But here are some things to look for; a healthy puppy will be active and alert, they will have shiny coats and supple skin. They should never appear lathargic, bloated or pot-bellied, they should never have flaky skin or runny eyes or noses. Check the puppies bite, it shouldn't be overshot or undershot.

Breeders will normally let you come select your puppy at around 5 or 6 weeks but the puppies are not allowed to leave for their new home until the 8th to 10th week. Any breeder that allows the pup to leave early are only interested in the money and not the puppies well being. So beware!

We live in the State of Michigan. If you are looking for a reputable breeder in my home State contact Purepoint Kennel. Their web address is purepointkennel.blogspot.com. This is where we got our GWP, Jack.

GWP at 10 weeks old

What makes your dog special?

Characteristics of the German Wirehaired Pointer

Great Family Dog

These dogs are bred to be great hunting dogs, their wire coat lets them handle rugged weather conditions along with the snow and water. I've seen our dogs break ice to swim to the other side of a ravine to get a downed bird. They don't think twice about going where no other dog (or human) would go. These guys are very focused when hunting. That wire coat helps them in the roughest underbrush...you know that is usually where the birds are.

The GWP's full eyebrows, mustache and beard give them a very distinctive look and clearly separates them from their cousins, the German Shorthaired Pointer.

The GWP is known to be extremely intelligent and loyal. His stamina in the field is unsurpassed. Our dogs were guiding a pheasant hunt for 5 men, and we had 2 dogs ( Jack and Joey ) and 5 hunters. Another group had 4 hunters and 4 dogs. The 4 dogs kept getting switched out. 2 dogs would start and when they tired they would be switched for the 2 dogs that had been kenneled. At the end of a 4 hour hunt Jack and Joey pointed and retrieved 33 pheasants. The other team (and I won't tell you what breed of dog they were using) retrieved 30 birds. To tell you the truth I think Jack and Joey would have stayed out there another 4 hours if we would have let them.

The GWP is the perfect sized dog, not too small and not too big. The average male is 24 to 26 inches high at the shoulder and weighs between 55 - 75 pounds. The average female is 22 to 24.5 inches in height and about 45 to 64 pounds, when fully grown.

The GWP is a people dog that loves the environment of a family. GWP's do not kennel well unless they are kenneled with other dogs. GWP's make good companions for children but should be introduced to children while still a puppy, this will form the closest bond.

Because of their great intelligence they can often be stubborn so you must use patience when training them. Keep their training periods fun and challenging. Harsh treatment can ruin a GWP's temperament. So, remember to use lots of praise when training your pup, he really does want to please you.

There are some health concerns of which any potential owner of a German Wirehaired Pointer should be aware of:

1. Canine hip dysplasia - a congenital defect that is a common source of lameness in medium to large size dogs. The first signs are when a dog shows a limp or has troubing sitting or lying down. Your breeders should be able to show you a paper confirming the dam and sire have been x-rayed and do not have this debilitating condition.

2. Retinal dysplasia - when layers of the retina do not form correctly. This can be detected in puppies as young as six weeks old. It doesn't worsen with age and does not affect the animals sight.

3. Bloat - this is a very serious condition and if not treated immediately your dog can easily die. An affected dogs stomach fills with gas or fluids and then swells and twists which results in shock and quickly to death, unless immediate veterinary treatment is sought.

The German Wirehaired Pointer is not only and hunter he is a companion. The best GWP is one that has been in the field with his master all day and then comes home and is able to lay by the fire at his master's feet to rest. This is not an outdoors only breed, he needs that family environment.

Our boys, Jack and Joey, sleep in our bedroom at night. One at the foot of the bed on the floor ( in his own bed ) and the other at the foot of our bed and we wouldn't have it any other way.

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Breed Standard of the German Wirehaired Pointer

Want to show your dog?

The Amercan Kennel Club defines the standard for a dog as "A description of the ideal dog of each recognized breed to serve as an ideal against which dogs are judged at shows. The standard draws a picture of the dog's type, gait and temperament.

So for the German Wirehaired Pointer here is the GENERAL APPEARANCE STANDARD:

The GWP is well muscled, a medium sized dog with a distinctive appearance. He is sturdily built and his most distinguishing characteristics are its weather resistant, wire-like coat and his facial hair. The GWP is intelligent, energetic and a very focused hunter.

SIZE, PROPORTION AND SUBSTANCE.

The height of males should be from 24 to 25 inches at the shoulder with females not under 22 inches. If dogs are over or under those specifications points will be taken away. The body is a little longer than it is high, he is a versatile hunter built for agility and endurance in the field.

HEAD.

The head is moderately long and the skull broad. The nose is dark brown with nostrils wide open and the teeth are strong with scissors bite. The ears rounded but not too broad, hanging close to the head. Eyes are round, medium in size and oval in contour, bright and clear and overhung with bushy eyebrows. The neck is medium in length, slightly arched and has no dewlap. In fact, the skin throughout is notably tight to the body.

BODY AND TAIL.

The back is straight and strong with the entire back line showing a perceptible slope down from withers to croup. The chest is deep, loins taut and slender with the tuck-up apprent. Hips are broad and the tail is docked, approximately two-fifths of the original tail.

COAT.

The GWP's coat is weather resistant and somewhat water repellent. The undercoat is dense in winter to insulate against the cold but so thin in the summer you can barely see it. The tail is very dense and heavy. They have bushy eyebrows and beards and whiskers of medium length. Side note: Just long enough to leave a trail of water every time they drink :)

COLOR.

The wirehaired coat is liver and white which is usually liver with white ticking or solid liver. The head is liver and sometimes with a white blaze. The ears are liver. Our Jack is solid liver except for his chest which has a white blaze and Joey is liver with white ticking. Both colors are beautiful. I have also seen solid black with a white blaze or black with white ticking. However I don't know if this would be an exceptable show dog.

TEMPERAMENT.

The German Wirehaired Pointer can be aloof and stubborn but not unfriendly toward strangers. He is loyal and affectionate who is eager to please and enthusiastic to learn. He is territorial to his house and yard and will protect his family but should never be used as a watch dog.

A GWP in Action

A Training Collar

These dog training collars are a "must have" item even for the best trained dogs. If you are using your German Wirehaired Pointer in the field a training collar will be very helpful. We have a Dogtra Training collar equipped with 2 collars and 1 control.

Dogs? or Cats?

Are you a dog lover or a cat lover....or maybe both?

I've always loved animals of all kinds. Since childhood I have owned German Wirehaired Pointers, Great Danes, a miniature poodle, parakeets, hamsters, cats and a ferret. Not to mention all the goldfish I would win at the fairs. So, I'm just wondering what pet do you prefer.

PICK YOUR PET

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Commitment

Thinking of getting a puppy? Remember this is a life long commitment, this animal deserves love, training and visits to the Vet. If you can't commit to that, rethink the puppy thing.

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Your Puppy Shopping List

Be prepared before bringing your new puppy home

It will make your life so much easier if you have all your puppy supplies purchased before bringing the new little bundle of energy home. Remember, he has just left his litter mates and his mother and he is entering into a whole new and different world so when you bring your new puppy home you want things to be in order to avoid any confusion and to make it a smooth transition.

One of the most important items on your shopping list will be his dog crate. Most breeders recommend using the dog crate not only for training purposes but it provides safety for the puppy and soon this will be a place he will seek out as his safe haven. DON'T buy a puppy crate. Your puppy is going to grow and they grow fast. Buy a crate that will accommodate him when he is fully grown. I would recommend a wire crate as they fold up easily and they are light weight.

Crate pads will be the next thing on your shopping list. I always used old towels. They were soft and it gives your puppy something to snuggle in and they can be easily washed because he is certain to have a few potty accidents until you have him housebroken. Also, puppies love to chew and if he chews on the towels it won't hurt a thing. Once your puppy is housebroken you can purchase a regular crate pad.

Now there are many schools of thought on the crate for your pet. I have friends who have a large breed dog who is almost 4 years old and they have a dog crate set up in their family room and it is part of the d├ęcor. That is their dogs home and when the dog wants to nap or get away from people he goes to his crate for his safe haven. As for me, once our puppies were potty trained and were beyond the chewing everything in sight stage the dog crate was put away ( only to get back out for the next puppy ).

Which brings me to the next thing that is needed for your puppy. Puppy toys. German Wirehaired Pointers are aggressive chewers. They will chew on anything. So, have plenty of chew toys in the house. I have found that the only chew toys for our adult German Wirehaired Pointers are the nylon bones, everything else was chewed into little pieces within 5 minutes of getting it out of the package. In fact, it took longer to get it out of the package than it did for them to chew it into bits. DO NOT give your puppy or adult dog animal bones to chew on, they splinter and the sharp pieces can damage the intestinal tract of your dog. Also, the rawhide chews can be very dangerous. Pieces are readily swallowed and can cause choking.

You are also going to need a dog collar and a dog leash. As with the puppy toys there are a lot of different dog collars and leashes. Your best bet is a soft nylon collar that is easily put on and taken off. Most of them are adjustable in size so make sure it is snug enough so that it won't slip off but not too tight. You should be able to get two fingers between the collar and his neck. Get a 6 foot nylon leash which is lightweight and will be used for training your puppy. Once you have him trained you will want to get a retractable leash.

The next thing on your list will be dog bowls. One for food and the other for water. I would highly recommend stainless steel because puppies are not inclined to chew on steel but the plastic bowls would eventually be chewed on. Again, remember your puppy is going to grow fast so don't bother buying little puppy bowls, buy adult sized bowls.

The last thinig and most importantly is the puppy food. If at all possible stay with the same food the breeder was feeding the litter. It will prevent upset stomach's and runny poop. If you must switch dog foods please talk it over with your veterinarian. Feed your dog the best dog food you can afford and look for something that is high in protein.

Make bringing your puppy home a joyful experience and be prepared.

Jack's First Point..he was only 3 months old!

JACK'S FIRST POINT..he was only 3 months old!
JACK'S FIRST POINT..he was only 3 months old!

Our German Wirehaired Pointers - Some of my favorite pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Curious Jack checking out what is under the snow.Jack taking a swim.  GWP's love the water.  Did you know they have webbed feet?Grandson with Joey when he was only 8 weeks old.Jack's expression when we brought Joey home.Joey in the yard after a romp.  He was 5 months old.Joey at 1 year.Joey running in the field.  He loves to run.Jack and Joe in the field.Jack listening to directions.Joey waiting for his next command.
Curious Jack checking out what is under the snow.
Curious Jack checking out what is under the snow.
Jack taking a swim.  GWP's love the water.  Did you know they have webbed feet?
Jack taking a swim. GWP's love the water. Did you know they have webbed feet?
Grandson with Joey when he was only 8 weeks old.
Grandson with Joey when he was only 8 weeks old.
Jack's expression when we brought Joey home.
Jack's expression when we brought Joey home.
Joey in the yard after a romp.  He was 5 months old.
Joey in the yard after a romp. He was 5 months old.
Joey at 1 year.
Joey at 1 year.
Joey running in the field.  He loves to run.
Joey running in the field. He loves to run.
Jack and Joe in the field.
Jack and Joe in the field.
Jack listening to directions.
Jack listening to directions.
Joey waiting for his next command.
Joey waiting for his next command.

Never Ever feed these foods to your pet

1. Alcohol

2. Apple cores

3. Avocado

4. Bones

5. Caffeine

6. Cheese

7. Chocolate

8. Dough

9. Fat

10. Garlic

11. Grapes

12. Ham

13. Liver

14. Milk

15. Moldy Foods

16. Mushrooms

17. Onions

18. Potato Peels

19. Raisins

20. Tuna

  1. If you love your pet you will never feed these foods to him.

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Temperament of the Breed

GWP's are extremely devoted

German Wirehaired Pointers are extremely devoted dogs. They crave human companionship and do the very best if kept in the home where they are allowed a very close relationship with their "humans". This breed typically does not make a very good kennel dog or a dog that lives all its life in a backyard with little to no human contact.

When raised in a home with several people, including children, they adopt the whole family, although some dogs may attach more strongly to one member of that family. For instance, my husband is the one who feeds our dogs and he is the one who takes them hunting. Their two most favorite things. But, if they aren't feeling well or if they want to play, they seek me out. Different people for their different needs.

The GWP has a high prey drive therefore this breed might not be suitable in homes with other animals such as cats or gerbils. Now some German Wirehaird Pointers do just find with cats if cats were in the home when they came as a pup and accept the cat as part of the family. Our daughter has a cockatiel and she asked us to babysit while she was going to be away. Of course we said yes but...we had forgotten the prey instinct of our dogs. We had to put the bird in a spare bedroom with the door closed and still Joey sat outside that door for hours. Very focused are these breeds.

Give me some feed back

PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF GERMAN WIREHAIRED POINTERS

Tell me about your dog

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    • ShariBerry profile image
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      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      @flinnie lm: So glad you were reunited with Lacy. I'm not sure what you should do about her wanting to get out of the yard. I do know that a tired dog is a happy dog.

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      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      My dog Lacy is never happy to be in my yard. If I let her outside by herself she will dig her way out.That how she got picked up by a nice lady. I though she was lost for good, but she is back home now.

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      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      @anonymous: I checked out your web site and see you are in MN.  Your dogs look just like our Joey.  We had to put Jack (only 6 years old) to sleep last October.  He became very sick and we discovered he had cancer that was progressing very rapidly.  We miss him deeply and are now down to one dog.  Best of luck with your kennel.  Thanks for visiting my lens.

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      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      @anonymous: I'll do that. GWP's are excellent hunters and love doing their job. They also make great family pets.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I own a breeding kennel for GWP's its called Better Than The Best Kennels. have 2 the best dogs iv ever owned, excellent hunters, Currently have 10 pups also born in February 8th, check out my website www.betterthanthebestkennels.com

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      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      @CampingmanNW: And I'll bet he's handsome too.

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      CampingmanNW 4 years ago

      He is a shorthair pointer. Knows what I'm thinking before I do. Excellent bird dog, great pal, gentle guard for my kids

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      Heliter52 5 years ago

      Nice lens...

      Dog Kennels | Chicken Coops | Rabbit Hutches

    • ShariBerry profile image
      Author

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      @Gypzeerose: Thank you!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Lovely lens, pinned to my board on Dogs.

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      uneasywriter lm 5 years ago

      good information. I have 2 field spaniels which I love, also good hunting dogs!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      My heart was won on sight of, a cutey pie indeed and well presented on this magnificent hunting dog with the sweetest of faces!

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      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Blessed! Please add this to the Non Zazzle plexo on my Zazzle and Blessings for November 2011 lens.

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      Sharon Berry 6 years ago from Michigan

      @tvyps: Thanks for the Squid Angel Blessing and leaving a comment tvyps.... All the photo's are of my dogs, Jack and Joey. That is Jack in the water and believe it or not he is hunting for fish. He could be in the water for hours looking for fish and chasing them. Too bad he never caught one!

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      My dog is what my dad used to call a "Sooner"..sooner eat than sleep, sooner go to the bathroom in the house than outside...ha! She is a mutt (rescue dog) but I love her...she is getting old now though...Cool lens, I like the photo of the pointer in the water...a true hunting dog! Squid Angel Blessed!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 6 years ago

      Love your photos. I am familiar with the short hair and loved seeing and reading about the wire hair. I love all animals but dogs are a must have at my house. My dog is a Lab Greyhound mix. He was an older puppy that was mistreated. No one wanted him. So we had to have him. He is very quirky and fits in great with all of our misfit rescues.

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      Jerrad28 6 years ago

      I see why you love your GWP so much! My Pit Bull Sadie has a lens or two on my profile if you would like to check it out.. There's just too much to say about her in a comment haha

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      bossypants 6 years ago from America's Dairyland

      I was more familiar with the German Short haired pointer than the GWP. What an adorable face! I think I am in love with Jack. The head in the snow picture made me smile, too! Enjoyed your comprehensive lens and good advice to pet owners. I've lensrolled yours to mine.

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      Sharon Berry 6 years ago from Michigan

      @norma-holt: Wow! What kind words, thank you so much.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      This is a nice lens and *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Angel bkessings for Dogs on Squidoo.

    • ShariBerry profile image
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      Sharon Berry 7 years ago from Michigan

      @Charmcrazey: Rescue dogs are the best! Thank you for having a heart for animals. You truly are an angel. Thanks for the blessing.

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 7 years ago from Central Florida

      My dogs are mixed breeds from a rescue organization and the give me much joy. The photo of your dog with his head in the snow is priceless. Another squid angel blessing.