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German Wirehaired Pointer Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care & More

Written by: Dogster Team

Last Updated on May 7, 2024 by Dogster Team

a german wirehaired pointer dog standing on grass

German Wirehaired Pointer Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care & More

The German Wirehaired Pointer is an all-purpose, sturdy gun dog that lives for the outdoors. These dogs were bred to hunt and act as devoted family companions, so they’re often a good choice for families as long as their needs are met.

However, German Wirehaired Pointers have high energy and need an owner who can handle their training and meet their enrichment needs. Here’s everything you need to know before bringing home one of these versatile hunting dogs.

Breed Overview


22–27 inches


60–71 pounds


12–14 years


Liver, liver and white, black and white

Suitable for:

Active owners, hunters, canine competitors


Hardy, steadfast, intelligent, energetic

One of the most important traits of the German Wirehaired Pointer is the wire coat. Because these dogs were developed to hunt in diverse terrain and weather conditions, including land and water, tall grass, and dense woods, the weatherproof wire coat is a protective layer that keeps them comfortable and prevents injuries from brier.

German Wirehaired Pointer Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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German Wirehaired Pointer Puppies

German Wirehaired Pointer Puppy with toy closeup
Image Credit: B. Shay, Shutterstock

Though they’re one of the most popular dogs in Germany, German Wirehaired Pointers have only modest popularity in the US. There are some reputable breeders in the US, but it may take time to find an available litter. Avoid the temptation to buy a puppy from a backyard breeder or potential puppy mill, as these dogs are raised in horrible conditions and often come with health and behavioral problems.

Though equally rare, German Wirehaired Pointers may show up in animal rescues or breed-specific rescue organizations. These dogs are high-energy and like having a job to do, so they may be surrendered if they are a handful for their owners.

German Wirehaired Pointer Origin & History

While British sportsmen were creating specialized hunting dogs to traverse rugged, diverse terrain and track birds, European hunters were developing all-purpose bird dogs that were favored for versatility and utility. The Vizsla, Spinone Italiano, and German Wirehaired Pointer are among them.

Their original German name is Deutsch-Drahthaar, which translates to German Wirehaired Pointer. Wirehaired pointing dogs were popular with German sportsmen in the early 1800s, but they were eventually classified as separate breeds. German Wirehaired Pointers were imported to North America in the 1920s, and they were officially added to the studbook in 1959.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the German Wirehaired Pointer 🧠

German Wirehaired Pointers are affectionate, lively, intelligent, and hardworking dogs, but they like having a job to do. They require an owner who can be consistent in their approach, not a casual owner looking for basic companionship. This breed generally gets along with people and other dogs, but they can be aloof and need socialization to become well-adjusted adults. As hunting dogs, they are accustomed to working alongside their owners and developing strong bonds, so they don’t do well with owners who spend a lot of time away.

Image Credit: eAlisa, Shutterstock

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

German Wirehaired Pointers can be good family dogs with proper boundaries and socialization. However, they’re not as tolerant of roughhousing as some dogs. It’s crucial to teach children to interact with dogs appropriately and never leave the dog alone with children.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?🐶 😽

German Wirehaired Pointers can get along with other dogs, but they tend to be more interested in the human members of the family. As hunting dogs, they have a high prey drive that can be a problem with cats or small animals. Always supervise interactions with the dog and cat until you see how they’ll get along. German Wirehaired Pointers should never be allowed to interact with small pets, especially birds and rodents.

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Things to Know When Owning a German Wirehaired Pointer

If you want to bring a German Wirehaired Pointer home, here’s everything you need to know to ensure they fit into your lifestyle:

Food & Diet Requirements🦴

German Wirehaired Pointers have a lot of energy and need high-quality dog food that’s appropriate for their life stage and activity level. These dogs should always be kept at a healthy weight. If they become obese, they can develop health problems like joint issues and diabetes. If you have any concerns about your dog’s diet or body condition, speak to your vet.

Image Credit: Kenneth-Schulze, Pixabay


German Wirehaired Pointers are extremely high-energy sporting dogs. They thrive in the outdoors and like bonding experiences with their owners, so you may have a jogging or hiking companion. If you don’t keep up with a Pointer’s desire for exercise, they may develop destructive behaviors like nuisance barking or chewing. These dogs excel at sports like hunting, obedience, rally, scent work, and agility, both as a hobby or a competition.

Training 🦮

These dogs are highly intelligent and eager to please, so they’re easy to train. Early socialization is crucial to ensure that your dog is confident and sociable. German Wirehaired Pointers like having a job to do, so enrolling them in canine sports or taking part in activities is good for their physical and mental well-being. Always use positive-reinforcement training, not aversive methods, to train the German Wirehaired Pointer.

happy german pointer running on a sunny day
Image Credit: Jus_OI, Shutterstock


German Wirehaired Pointers have harsh, wiry coats that don’t need much maintenance. Weekly brushing with a slicker brush can remove loose hair and dirt to keep their skin and coat healthy. You should also clean your dog’s ears and trim their nails regularly.

Health and Conditions ❤️

German Wirehaired Pointers are healthy dogs, but there are some genetic health conditions to be aware of. Reputable breeders test their breeding stock to prevent these conditions, but some common problems include hip and elbow dysplasia, thyroid problems, heart problems, and eye problems.

Minor Conditions
  • Thyroid problems
  • Arthritis
  • Parasites
Serious Conditions
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Heart conditions
  • Eye conditions

Male vs Female

Female and male German Wirehaired Pointers are similar in personality and temperament. The males may be slightly larger, but it can vary by the individual. Otherwise, the differences are negligible, especially if you spay or neuter your dog. This prevents problem behaviors related to sex hormones, such as roaming or vocalization, as well as infections and cancers of the reproductive system.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the German Wirehaired Pointer

1. They Have Webbed Feet

German Wirehaired Pointers are ideal all-around hunting dogs for versatile environments, including water and marshland. Like other German pointer breeds, they have webbed feet that help their ability to swim.

2.  They’re Weather Resistant

German Wirehaired Pointers have a coat that’s weather-resistant in every sense. Their fur is straight, harsh, and wiry, protecting them from brush and briers, ice and wind, extreme heat and sun exposure, and wet environments.

Image Credit to: Ricantimages, Shutterstock

3. They Lived Up to High Demands

When the breed was first developed, the goal was a versatile hunting dog that could respond to the needs of the hunter, search for and point upland game, work both feather and fur, retrieve waterfowl, adapt to guns, track and locate wounded game, show bravery against game predators, and be a watchdog for family and property.

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Final Thoughts

German Wirehaired Pointers are remarkable dogs with specialized breeding to make them ideal for all types of hunting environments. While they’re often kept as family pets, these dogs need regular exercise and enrichment to avoid destructive behaviors. They may be a bit much for a novice owner or someone who spends a lot of time away.

Featured Image Credit to: Ollinka, Shutterstock

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