How to Train a German Wirehaired Pointer 

With his sporty weatherproof coat and can-do attitude, the noble German Wirehaired Pointer is a versatile, sturdy gundog who thrives on outdoor activity. Around the house, the GWP is an eager, affectionate, and amusing family companion. Standing as high as 26 inches at the shoulder, GWPs are a bit taller and heavier than their close relative, the German Shorthaired Pointer. GWPs are balanced, well muscled, resilient, agile, and generally built to beat the bushes all day long without tiring. The harsh wire coat protects against thorny underbrush and foul weather, and the shaggy beard and eyebrows complete an intelligent, worldly expression.
‘The need for running in the great outdoors is a must!’
says one veteran owner. ‘This breed will not be happy to be on the couch all day.’ GWPs are bright and eager, but their independent, inquisitive nature might frustrate novice owners. A good fit for those looking for a loving companion who enjoys sports and togetherness.


British sportsmen bred specialized hunting dogs for various types of birds and different kinds of terrain, to work on either land or lake, and with disparate hunting techniques—hence the profusion of British setters, spaniels, and retrievers. The hunters of Continental Europe took a different approach: They created bird dogs capable of doing it all. Italy’s Spinone, Hungary’s Vizsla, and Germany’s GWP are examples of these famously versatile hunting companions, sometimes called the “European utility breeds.”

The name German Wirehaired Pointer is the English translation of the German breed name, Deutsch-Drahthaar. The breeding of wire-coated pointing dogs was something of a mania among German sportsmen of the early 1800s. During the second half of the century, dog people in Britain and on the Continent became passionate about classifying dogs by breed rather than merely type. Thus, such harsh-coated gundogs as the GWP, Pudelpointer, and German Broken-coated Pointer, among others, were officially established as separate breeds.

From the breed’s very beginning, fanciers have considered the GWP’s coat to be of the utmost importance. Understandable, considering breeders conceived the GWP as an all-terrain, all-weather hunter, proficient in tall grass, deep woods, or water. The wiry coat serves as a waterproof suit of armor, and the shaggy brows and beard protect the eyes and face from the lacerations of thorny brush and brier.

North American sportsmen began importing GWPs in the 1920s, and the AKC admitted the breed to its studbook in 1959.

Quick Facts 

Temperament: affectionate / eager / enthusiastic

Height: 22 to 26 inches

Weight: 50-70 pounds 

Life expectancy: 14-16 years

Sporting Group


While German Wirehaired Pointers are generally healthy dogs, there are several health and genetic screening considerations specific to the breed. Responsible breeders test their stock for conditions the breed can be prone to and communicate with other dedicated breeders regularly, working together for breed health and preservation of the breed’s qualities. A German Wirehair’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.

Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
  • Hip Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation


The German Wirehaired Pointer’s harsh, wiry coat requires minimal maintenance. A weekly grooming with a comb and soft slicker brush will help to remove dirt and loose hair and keep the dog looking his best. The earsshould be regularly inspected and cleaned if needed with soft gauze and an ear-cleaning solution’¿the dog’s veterinarian can recommend a good brand to use. The nails should be trimmed often, as overly long nails can cause the dog discomfort and problems walking and running.


German Wirehaired Pointers are high-energy sporting dogs who enjoy outdoor activities with human partners and make great companions on long walks or hikes. Regular daily exercise such as long walks and play sessions with their owner will help keep them healthy and happy. The breed also exercises mind and body by participating in hunting, obedience, tracking, agility, rally, and other activities that can be enjoyed by dog and owner.


German Wirehaired Pointers are very intelligent, responsive, and eager to please, so they are generally easy to train. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended and help to ensure that the dog grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion. The breed is smart, talented, versatile, and athletic and excels in a wide range of canine sports and activities. German Wirehairs crave human companionship, and undesirable behaviors can result if they are regularly left alone for long periods of time.


The German Wirehaired Pointer should be fed a high-quality dog foodappropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and activity level. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet or the dog’s breeder if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should always be available.