The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred German Wirehaired Pointer

Information and Pictures

A brown and grey with white German Wirehaired Pointer is standing in patchy grass

After-hours Electrik Ace aka "Winston" the GWP at 3 years old

Other Names
  • German Wire-haired Pointing Dog

jur-muh n wahyuh r-haird poin-terspeaker


The German Wirehaired Pointer is a medium-sized, well-muscled dog. The body is a little longer than it is tall. The skull is broad with a moderate stop. The muzzle is long and straight leading to the dark brown nose. The medium-sized, oval eyes are brown, with medium length eyebrows. The ears are rounded, hanging close to the head. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The neck is strong and slender. The chest is deep and wide. Dewclaws are usually removed. The high-set tail is docked to two-fifths of its original length. Note: Docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The coat has an undercoat that is dense in the winter and thin in the summer. The weather-resistant, water-repellent, wiry outer coat is straight, lying flat and harsh about 2 inches (5.8 cm) long. Hair on the beard, forehead and whiskers is slightly longer to protect the face. The coat colors are liver and white, either with ticking, roan or spotted and sometimes a solid liver. The head is liver, with or without a white blaze and the ears are liver.


The German Wirehaired Pointer is very active and intelligent. Eager to learn and loyal to its family, it needs a handler who is consistent in approach. The GWP likes to be occupied and enjoys working for its owner. It is friendly with those it knows, but can be distant with strangers and should be socialized, preferably at an early age. If it senses its owner is meek or passive it will become rather willful. Its hunting instincts lure it to roam. Powerful and energetic, the GWP can become bored and hard to manage without enough exercise. The German Wirehaired Pointer is a good all-around gundog, 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. It is steady, lively and vigorous. Children should be taught how to display proper leadership skills. If this dog does not see humans as above it in the pecking order it will become dominating and pushy and may try to dominate other animals. With proper leadership it will get along well with other dogs and household animals. GWPs make good watchdogs.

Height, Weight

Height: Males 24 - 26 inches (60 - 67 cm) Females 22 - 24 inches (56 - 62 cm)
Weight: 60 - 70 pounds (27 - 32 kg)

Health Problems

Some lines are prone to hip dysplasia, ear infections, genetic eye disease and skin cancers.

Living Conditions

The German Wirehaired Pointer is not recommended for apartment life. It can be somewhat high strung and very active indoors; needs plenty of exercise to prevent extreme indoor restlessness. It will do best with at least a large yard.


This dog is extremely energetic and tireless. It is very important that it gets daily vigorous exercise to prevent it from becoming high-strung with extreme indoor restlessness. This breed can be a challenge for even the most active family and they should not be taken on as a family pet unless they can guarantee plenty of daily vigorous exercise. It needs to be taken on a daily, brisk, long walk, jog or run alongside you when you bicycle. They are excellent jogging companions and love to swim and retrieve. While out on a walk or jog, be sure to make the dog heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, never in front, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human.

Life Expectancy

About 12-14 years.

Litter Size

About 6 to 10 puppies


The coat of the German Wirehaired Pointer should be brushed about twice a week with a firm bristle brush. The coat needs some stripping, but is not hard to learn how to do. The hairs should be hand plucked occasionally depending on the condition of the coat. It is usually thinned in the spring and fall. Bathe only when necessary. The hair of the coat should be as hard as possible, but must not look untidy. Check the ears to make sure they are clean. The feet should be checked after the dog has been out working. This breed is an average shedder.


The German Wirehaired Pointer is a split off of the Deutsch Drahthaar. The split occured when the dogs were imported to the US in the early 50s. At that time the US breeder hopefulls found the regulations of the Verein Deutsch Drahthaar (VDD) the German Breed Club that controls the breed worldwide to be to restrictive. While they could breed the dogs, they could not be registered so they could not sell them as pure bred or registered dogs. They worked through the American kennel Club to get the GWP added for the purpose of being able to register their dogs. The dogs were developed in Germany in the beginning of the 20th century by crossing the German Shorthair Pointer with the Griffon, Stichelhaar (a dog that was developed by crossing the Pointer, Foxhound, Pudelpointer, and Polish water dog) and the Pudelpointer (a dog that was a cross between the Poodle and Pointer). The dogs were able to point, track, retrieve, and work as a gundog, in both field and water for both feather and fur. They were recognized by the AKC in 1959. The German Wirehaired Pointer’s talents are show dog, obedience, gundog, retrieving, tracking trials, field trials and hunting tests.


Gun Dog, AKC Sporting

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANNC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • GWPCA = The German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
A white with brown German Wirehaired Pointer Puppy is sitting on a rock surface. There is a grey and brown German Wirehaired Pointer puppy walking next to it

German Wirehaired Pointer pups, photo courtesy of the John Family

A white and brown German Wirehaired Pointer puppy is sleeping in between a house and a wooden rail

German Wirehaired Pointer pup, photo courtesy of the John Family

See more examples of the German Wirehaired Pointer