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German Wire-Haired Pointer

German Wire-Haired Pointer

The German Wirehaired Pointer is a medium-large hunting dog, slightly longer than they are tall and with a harsh wire coat that protects the body. They come with distinctive eyebrows and a distinguished-looking beard. These dogs are full of stamina, so they like to be kept active with lots of walks and games. 

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking more than two hours a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • Great family dog

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Weight:  25-34kg for males and 20.5-29kg for females
Height:  60-67cm for males and 56-62cm for females
Colours:  Liver and white, solid liver, and black and white 
Size:  Large
UK Kennel Club Groups: Hound


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 2/5


Gentle and even tempered, the German Wire-Haired Pointer is a friendly, hard-working companion, and while they lack a little of the speed of their smooth coated cousins, they are the stronger, more rugged of the German Pointers, and really can go all day. Keen to learn and affectionate to their loved ones, the GWP needs to be well exercised mentally and physically, and to spend quality time with their family to remain happy and well-balanced.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Germany

Germany has a long history of hunting with dogs and particularly with wire-coated multi-function dogs that are hardy, resilient and can point, flush, and retrieve in all weathers. It is hard to pin-point the GWP’s exact ancestry, as breeders were more interested in function than appearance and so bred from dogs with good working records that suited their needs rather than dogs that looked the same! As the GWP was one of the less speedy gundogs, they nearly died out as a type, until a local breeder who recognised their value set out to save them in 1865. It wasn’t until 1970 however that the breed was officially recognised. 
It is possible the German Wirehaired Pointer has links to Airedale TerriersFoxhounds, possibly even French Griffons as well as other German pointing breeds. 

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming German Wire-Haired Pointers

Training German Wire-Haired Pointers

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

In Britain in the 1800’s the trend was to develop specific dogs for each hunting task, hence the wide variety of spaniels, setters and pointers we have today! In mainland Europe however breeders focused on producing all-rounders, the ‘Hunt/Point/Retrieve’ or HPR breeds. These dogs, of which the German Wire-Haired Pointer is one example, were excellent at hunting, pointing, flushing, springing and retrieving, meaning all those jobs could be done by one dog. European efficiency at its best!

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