German Wirehaired Pointer

PetMD Editorial
By PetMD Editorial on Jun. 18, 2009

The German Wirehaired Pointer is an all-purpose hunting dog, with great scenting power and intelligence. The breed is proficient with many different types of game and sport. Its coat is waterproof and weather-proof.

Physical Characteristics

The German Wirehaired Pointer is physically strong and has a body that is a bit longer than it is tall. It possesses a medium length beard, eyebrows, and whiskers. The German Wirehaired Pointer's undercoat, meanwhile, is sparse in the summer months and dense during the winter months. It has an outer coat that is about one to two inches long and liver and white in color. This particular breed of dog also has a smooth pace of hair growth.

Personality and Temperament

The German Wirehaired Pointer is usually calm, but can sometimes become a little aggressive with children. It is generally obedient in nature and responsive.

This breed has the capability to hunt for long stretches of time. These dogs can be great companions but are sometimes strong-headed. German Wirehaired Pointers are generally protective toward other dogs, as well as strangers.


German Wirehaired Pointer dogs need to be brushed once a week, and occasional hand stripping will also do. One of their major requirements is exercise on a daily basis, for about an hour. It performs best when kept inside the house with access to a yard.


The German Wirehaired Pointer, which has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, can occasionally suffer from heart disease, seizures, elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, entropion, and hypothyroidism; other major health concerns include canine hip dysplasia (CHD). To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend cardiac, hip, thyroid, and elbow tests for this breed of dog.

History and Background

The German Wirehaired Pointer, sometimes referred to as Drahthaar, is a well-known bird dog originating from Germany. This lovable companion is the result of the popularity of game-bird shooting that demanded excellent trackers for bird-hunting. It has an outstanding quality to track its target and retrieve it.

The German Wirehaired Pointer's ancestor is the Pudelpointer, a crossbreed of the Pointer and the old German Pudel. Other breeds used to create the German Wirehaired Pointer include the Polish Water Dog, the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Stichelhaar, and the Griffon.

The German Wirehaired Pointer was admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1959, but today is still more popular in Germany than the United States.

Help us make PetMD better

Was this article helpful?

Get Instant Vet Help Via Chat or Video. Connect with a Vet. Chewy Health