Pete The German Wirehaired Pointer

The beloved rescue within my family is a German Wirehaired Pointer, Pete. What a bundle of crazy fun he is. Of course every individual dog is unique to each other but pointers certainly come with their own fun fuelled and curious ways as I have found out along the way.

Intriguing, versatile, and full of character, the German Wirehaired Pointer is a breed that has captivated dog enthusiasts for years. With its distinctive wire-like coat, it stands out amidst a sea of smooth-coated canines. But there’s more to this German breed than just its unique appearance.

Originally developed in the late 19th century, the German Wirehaired Pointer was bred to be a versatile hunting dog, capable of working on both land and water. Its ancestors include the German Shorthaired Pointer, Poodle, and several other breeds renowned for their hunting skills. The result? A dog with incredible stamina, an exceptional sense of smell, and an unwavering determination to track down game.

ear flapping german wirehared pointer

But it’s not just its hunting abilities that make the German Wirehaired Pointer stand out. This breed also possesses a strong and loyal temperament, making them excellent family companions. They are known for their intelligence, trainability, and love for their human pack. Whether you’re an avid hunter or simply seeking a loyal four-legged friend, the German Wirehaired Pointer is a breed worth getting to know. So, let’s delve into its captivating history and extraordinary traits.

Social Wellness Walks

History of the German Wirehaired Pointer

The German Wirehaired Pointer has a history that dates back to the late 19th century. It was developed in Germany by crossing various breeds renowned for their hunting abilities. The goal was to create a versatile hunting dog that could excel in both land and water. The German Shorthaired Pointer, Poodle, and Griffon are some of the breeds believed to have contributed to the development of the German Wirehaired Pointer.

During this time, German hunters needed a dog that could withstand harsh weather conditions, navigate through dense vegetation, and retrieve game from water. The German Wirehaired Pointer was specifically bred to possess these qualities, making it an invaluable asset to hunters. Its wire-like coat served as protection against thorns and underbrush, while its webbed feet allowed for efficient swimming.

german wirehaired pointer sitting

Physical traits and appearance

The German Wirehaired Pointer is a medium to large-sized dog with a well-muscled and athletic build. Its most distinctive feature is its wiry, weather-resistant coat, which can be either liver and white, or solid liver in color. The coat requires regular grooming to maintain its texture and keep it free from tangles and matting.

Most German Wirehaired Pointers that I have come across are mainly liver with bits of white. As you can see, Pete is the other way around, mainly white.

I can spot one a mile away now when out walking. They look virtually like a German Shorthaired Pointer, but with hair.

The breed’s head is broad and slightly rounded, with bushy eyebrows and a beard that further add to its unique appearance. The eyes are medium-sized and expressive, reflecting the dog’s intelligence and alertness. The German Wirehaired Pointer’s ears are set high on the head and hang close to the cheeks, giving it a keen sense of hearing.

In terms of size, males typically stand between 24-26 inches at the shoulder and weigh around 60-70 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, measuring 22-24 inches in height and weighing around 50-60 pounds. Despite their size, German Wirehaired Pointers are known for their agility and grace.

german wirehaired pointer in the snow

Personality and temperament of the German Wirehaired Pointer

The German Wirehaired Pointer is not only a skilled hunter but also a loyal and devoted companion. This breed is known for its strong bond with its human pack and is happiest when surrounded by loved ones. They are affectionate and friendly, making them excellent family pets.

German Wirehaired Pointers are highly intelligent and eager to please, which makes them highly trainable. However, they do require consistent and firm guidance to prevent any stubborn behavior. Early socialization and positive reinforcement training methods are crucial for shaping their behavior and ensuring they grow into well-rounded dogs.

While they are generally good with children and other animals, proper introductions and supervision are essential. As hunting dogs, they have a natural prey drive, which may cause them to chase small animals. However, with proper training and socialization, they can coexist peacefully with other pets.

One thing I have noticed with Pete and when speaking to other owners. They are so loyal, so very loyal. Be careful that doesn’t turn into separation anxiety etc. He is so so soft and gentle and just wants to say a friendly hello to everybody and wants to love all who love him.

If you are a family getting a German Wirehaired Pointer then you will see they adore everyone, but their instinct is to latch onto one person more than all the rest, it is in their nature.

happy german wirehaired pointer

Training and exercise requirements

The German Wirehaired Pointer is a highly active breed that thrives on physical and mental stimulation. Regular exercise is essential to keep them physically and mentally fit. Long walks, jogs, hikes, and playtime in a securely fenced yard are all great ways to fulfill their exercise needs.

In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is equally important for this breed. They excel in activities such as obedience training, mantrailing, agility, tracking, and retrieving games. If you are getting a dog that was bred for work then it always good in my opinion to give the dog a sport. Engaging their minds through puzzle toys and interactive games will also help prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Training the German Wirehaired Pointer requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. They are sensitive dogs that respond best to reward-based training methods. Harsh or forceful training techniques can lead to fearfulness and distrust. With the right approach, this breed can excel in various dog sports and activities.

My Pete learnt so much himself from Malc, my Border Collie. So much so that sometimes he thinks he is a border collie himself. There are things that do stand out with the pointer that makes a difference.

One thing is for sure. Even if being a little naughty, the German Wirehaired Pointer is so comical in its ways.

paul steele and the 2 dogs

Pete the Pointer is definitely more driven and excitable when he has a mission, or something he really loves doing. A lot less measured than a lot of dogs. You can definitely get him to learn anything for a treat. But if there is no treat then it can be up to him.

He is very clever, but acts dumb. Learns bad habits as fast as good ones so keeps me on my toes. I found a combination of clicker, treats and big rewards helps to train him very fast. They so love affection and attention. Always demanding attention.

For recall I have found a whistle to be perfect and whisltle equals treat, always a winner.

Difference between a German Wirehaired Pointer and an Italian Spinone.

While both the German Wirehaired Pointer and the Italian Spinone are energetic sporting dogs with charmingly scruffy coats, their personalities, shape and specialties diverge as much as their first appearances.

Once you have spent time with one or the other you see a difference straight away in appearance. In short the German Wirehaired Pointer is slimmer and low chest. The Spinone is much broader.

The Pointer, a sleek athlete built for speed and precision, thrives in open fields, using its keen nose and boundless energy to track down feathered prey. On the other hand, the Spinone, with its soft, truffle-like coat and gentle nature, prefers the dense undergrowth, relying on its powerful sense of smell and methodical hunting style to flush out game.

In essence, the Pointer is a swift, focused hunter, while the Spinone is a patient, determined explorer, each excelling in their own unique way.

german wirehaired pointer sunset

Deutsche Drahthaar or German Wirehaired Pointer

This one causes a lot of debate and depending on where you are in the world you get a different answer. Let’s start with the basics.

Deutsche Drahthaar translates as ‘German Wirehair’. That doesn’t help clear things up does it?

The way I see it is they are the same breed and we have translated it and added the pointer at the end. In Europe you will hear a lot more Drahthaar being used.

In America it gets more complicated as they really do consider them different breeds. A Drahthaar to an American is one that can be tested as coming through the German breeding system. A German Wirehaired Pointer is not as pure German.

A lot of the hunting community will say the same. It all depends on how pure the lineage is.

pointer in the snow

Health considerations for the German Wirehaired Pointer

Like all dog breeds, the German Wirehaired Pointer is prone to certain health conditions. While not all individuals will experience these issues, it’s important for potential owners to be aware of them. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can help minimize the risk of developing these conditions.

Some health concerns that can affect the German Wirehaired Pointer include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and various forms of cancer. Responsible breeders conduct health screenings on their breeding dogs to reduce the likelihood of passing on these conditions to their offspring. Prospective owners should inquire about the health clearances of the parents before purchasing a puppy.

Maintaining a balanced diet, providing regular exercise, and keeping up with vaccinations and preventative measures are essential for keeping the German Wirehaired Pointer in optimal health.

In my pics of Pete for instance you may see his hair is missing from his sides and legs etc. This is due to hereditary hormonal alopecia.

german wirehaired pointer on the grass

German Wirehaired Pointer as a family pet

While the German Wirehaired Pointer is primarily known as a hunting dog, it also excels as a family pet. This breed is highly adaptable and can thrive in various living situations as long as its exercise and mental stimulation needs are met. They are loyal and protective of their families, making them excellent watchdogs.

However, potential owners should be aware that the German Wirehaired Pointer is not the best choice for those with a sedentary lifestyle. They require an active and committed owner who can provide the necessary exercise, training, and mental stimulation. If these needs are met, the German Wirehaired Pointer can be a loving and devoted companion for years to come.

pete at sunset

Common misconceptions about the breed

Despite their many admirable qualities, there are some common misconceptions about the German Wirehaired Pointer that deserve clarification. One misconception is that they are aggressive or difficult to handle. In reality, this breed is generally very friendly and obedient when properly trained and socialized.

Another misconception is that the wirehaired coat requires extensive grooming. While regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting, the coat does not require as much maintenance as one might think. Occasional hand-stripping or professional grooming can help maintain the coat’s texture and ensure it remains in good condition.

Finally, some people believe that the German Wirehaired Pointer is only suitable for hunters or active individuals. While they do require a fair amount of exercise and mental stimulation, this breed can adapt to various lifestyles as long as their needs are met. With proper training and a commitment to their well-being, they can thrive in urban or rural environments.

german wirehaired pointer and a border collie


The German Wirehaired Pointer is a breed that embodies both beauty and skill. Its distinctive wire-like coat sets it apart from other breeds, while its hunting abilities and loyal temperament make it a remarkable companion. Whether you’re an avid hunter or a family looking for an active and devoted pet, the German Wirehaired Pointer has it all.

From its intriguing history to its exceptional traits, this breed has captured the hearts of many dog enthusiasts. With proper care, training, and socialization, the German Wirehaired Pointer can bring joy, companionship, and adventure into your life.

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  1. Thanks that was a great lot of information. Thank you .

    1. Paul Steele says:

      So glad it was informative for you

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