WyoWires German Wirehaired Pointers
The ultimate gun dog for the discriminating hunter.
Lovingly referred to as "the versatile ugly dog", the German Wirehaired Pointer traces its origins
back to the late 1800s. This is a dog that originated in Germany where breeders wanted to
develop a rugged, versatile hunting dog that could be used for feather and fur. They were
expected to work closely with either one person, or a small party of people, hunting on foot in
varied terrain consisting of mountainous regions, dense forests and vast plains. The Germans
desired to create a breed that had a coat that would protect the dog when working in heavy
cover or cold water, yet would be easy to maintain. Their goal was to develop a wire-coated,
medium-sized dog that could search for, locate and point upland game, retrieve water fowl and
be able to track and locate wounded game. This dog should be fearless when hunting "sharp"
game, as well as being a devoted companion and a watchdog for its owners. These dogs made
their way to America in the 1920s and in 1959 became an AKC recognized breed. The German
Wirehaired Pointer is one of the most popular dogs in Germany, where it is known as the
German Wirehaired Pointers are generally a healthy, long-lived breed with many individuals reaching the age of 14-16 years. As with any large breed, hip dysplasia could be of concern. We OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) certify all of our breeding stock to ensure that we are doing everything possible to ensure that we are producing physically sound puppies, but even that cannot guarantee that no dog will have issues. Buyers should verify that the breeder of their new puppy has screened their breeding stock for this crippling joint disease. Other health tests that breeders may use for their breeding dogs include CERF (eyes), elbows, heart/cardiac, thyroid and Von Willebrand disease (a bleeding disorder). All of these things are relatively uncommon in the GWP, but it is important to be aware of all potential issues that could come up.
Upkeep of the German Wirehaired Pointer
Exercise is a daily requirement for this energetic breed. The ideal situation would be to combine exercise with hunting or some type of activity to stimulate his/her mind. As a breed that thrives on human companionship, it does best as a house-dog with access to the outdoors. GWP's also need to be taught basic obedience and socialized early to other dogs and humans. Since German Wirehaired Pointers have a harsh wiry coat, minimal hand-stripping may occasionally be needed. Also because of this wiry coat, shedding is minimum.
Temperament and Training
Along with the intelligence and will the Wirehair possesses, the breed also has the capability to
be very creative and somewhat independent. They prefer to work for who they like and will very
often create their own rules of engagement. Wirehairs generally are a high energy, high drive,
though not “hyper,” breed and the need for a “job” is a must! Even if the job description includes
only retrieving newspapers and slippers, this breed needs to be given meaningful work. GWPs
are extremely devoted dogs. In fact, they crave human companionship, doing best in a home
where they are permitted a very warm, close relationship with “their people.” They are a breed
that typically does not make a good kennel dog, nor a dog that lives all its life in a backyard with
little human contact. When raised in a home with one owner, they become very definite one-
person dogs. When raised in a home with several people, including children, they adopt the
whole family, although some dogs may attach more strongly to one member of the household.
Young GWPs are typically funloving and playful, and with proper supervision for both children
and animal, GWPs and kids do very well together. On the other hand, an adult GWP that has not
been raised with children may need strict supervision if sent to a home with young children.
And, as with any dog, very young children should be taught to properly handle a puppy, as well as to understand the difference between playing with a dog and hurting it. The breed’s high prey drive may not make it the best choice for families with cats and other small animals. Some Wirehairs raised as puppies with cats do just fine, accepting the family cat as part of the pack. Even some adults make the transition from a non-cat to a cat-owning family. But it is not a given and most breeders will caution against it. Since this can be a strong-willed and independent breed, the GWPCA supports permanent identification in case the dog becomes lost or separated from its family. AKC offers a lifetime “Lost & Found” option with AKC registration. The GWPCA Rescue offers low-cost microchipping and registration of the microchip with AKC Companion Animal Recovery program at each year’s National Events.
German Wirehaired Pointers in the Field
GWP's trace their origins back about 120 years. They originated in Germany, where breeders
wanted to develop a rugged, versatile hunting dog that would work closely with either one
person or a small party of persons hunting on foot in varied terrain; from the mountainous
regions of the Alps, to dense forests, to more open areas with farms and small towns. The
breed the Germans desired had to have a coat that would protect the dogs when working in
heavy cover or in cold water, yet be easy to maintain. The goal was to develop a wire-coated,
medium sized dog that could:
German Wirehaired Pointers in the Show Ring (by Judy Cheshire)
Showing your GWP in conformation classes at AKC dog shows can be both a rewarding and educational experience. Dogs are evaluated against the breed standard and rewarded for their excellence as breeding stock, according to the judge's opinion. In order for a dog to be eligible for a dog show, it must be at least 6 months of age and cannot be spay or neutered (except in the case of stud dog/brood bitch or Veteran classes at a specialty). Most dogs being shown are trying to earn points towards their championships. A dog must earn 15 points, including two majors, under at least three different judges to become a champion. Dogs can earn from 1 to 5 points at each show. A win of 3, 4 or 5 points is called a major. Points are based on the number of dogs in competition.
There are six regular classes in which dogs seeking points may compete: Puppy (dogs 6 months of age but not over 12 months), 12-18 months (dogs 12-18 months of age), Novice (dogs who have not won 3 first prizes in Novice or a first prize in any of the other classes, except Puppy and who do not have points), Bred-by-Exhibitor (dogs that are breeder/owner/handled), American bred (any dog bred in the USA) and Open (open to all). All the winners of first place in each of the classes compete in a 'Winners' class for the best of the winning dogs. The best dog in the Winners class receives the points. Competition at this level in not intersex, so it is repeated for dogs and bitches and points may be awarded in each sex. The Winners Dog and Winners Bitch may then compete with the dogs that are already champions for Best of Breed.
In order to compete in dog shows, you should know the breed standard, know how your dog compares to that standard and become familiar with what the judge will expect from you and your dog in the ring. You can start by reading the standard and asking your breeder to evaluate your dog. Talk to other breeders, owners and handlers, both with Wirehairs and other breeds of dogs. A dog show, particularly a German Wirehaired Pointer specialty show, is a great place to find these resources. Learn about your dog's virtues and faults. Does he seem to meet the standard? Remember that no dog is perfect. Once you've decided that you want to try showing, prepare your dog and yourself for the ring. The judge will need to examine the dog, touch him from head to tail and look into his mouth to check his teeth. The dog must learn to tolerate this and stand still. You will also have to gait your dog so that the judge can evaluate his movement both coming at him, going away and from the side. Be an observer at a dog show and see how this is done. Take your dog to handling classes and matches (practice shows) until you both feel confident that you know what to do.
After you've done these basic things, enter a dog show, take a deep breath and show your dog! But remember it's a sport and it should be fun. It's about sharing an experience with your dog and learning more about the breed. It's not only about winning.
German Wirehaired Pointers in Companion Events (by Gayle Bock)
The GWP is a very "versatile" breed. Bred to hunt, this breed also has many other hidden
talents. I personally do not hunt with my wire but I am involved in obedience and agility and
have done quite well. I have been showing in obedience for over 20 years and have been
teaching for over 15. Five years ago I changed breeds to the GWP. I started out in
conformation, while also training for obedience and agility. These are three very different
sports, but the intelligence and will of the wire have made it possible to title in three
different kennel clubs, AKC conformation, AKC, CKC & UKC obedience and AKC & UKC
agility. We have also started NADAC agility.Along with the intelligence and will the wirehair
possesses, the breed also has the capability to become very creative and somewhat
independent at times making it hard to be a "team" player. Their need to be inquisitive and
explore can sometimes get in the way of training. They generally are a high energy breed
and the need for running in the great outdoors is a must! This breed will not be happy to
be on the couch all day. But given the challenges of the wirehair, I feel this breed can tackle
many a sport if given the proper training. They are a very hard working, strong moving dog.
German Wirehaired Pointers as a Companion
GWP's are extremely devoted dogs. When raised in a home with one owner, they become very definite one-person dogs. When raised in a home with several people, including children, they become devoted to the whole family, although some dogs may attach more strongly to one member of the household. Young GWP's are typically fun loving and playful and with proper supervision for both children and animal, GWP's and kids do very well together. On the other hand, an adult GWP that has not been raised with children may need strict supervision if sold into a home with young children.And, as with any dog, very young children should be taught to properly handle a puppy, as well as to understand the difference between playing with a dog and hurting it.GWP's make superb companion dogs and pets. In fact, they crave human companionship, doing best in a home where they are p permitted a very warm, close relationship with 'their people'. They are one Sporting Breed that does not make a good kennel dog, nor a dog that lives all its life in a backyard with little contact with humans.
As posted at www.gwpca.com
Do German Wirehaired Pointers like the water?
Most German Wirehaired Pointers LOVE the water and will naturally go into the water to
retrieve. Many hunters like to use their GWPs for waterfowl hunting in addition to upland
game such as pheasants, chukars, etc. They have been bred to retrieve, but it is important
to nurture this natural instinct in your new puppy by playing retrieving games (fetch) with it.
Once you enter the field with your new pup, it may take a few birds before it decides to
bring the bird back to you. That's okay, remember, that bird is his treasure and if you make
a big fuss about taking the bird away, he may not bring you the next one. Make the big fuss
over the fact that he did bring it back, let him hold if for a few minutes, and then take the
bird, all while still making the big fuss! Once the pup has learned you will shoot more, it will
happily return shot birds to you. GWPs usually have good noses and use their noses to find
birds that have been shot that you may not find without a dog.
Do GWP's Shed Much?
The GWP retains several characteristics of its Pudel ancestors: high degree of intelligence, trainability, biddability, and excellent water retrieving ability. And, delightfully, a coat that sheds only lightly year-round. GWP's do not shed drastically or "blow" their coat twice a year like many breeds. All dogs do shed, however, GWP's shed at a rate that is not normally very noticeable.A GWP with a correct coat requires only a minimum of grooming to remain neat and presentable. A correct coat is harsh; lies flat, tight and close to the skin; and is about 1 to 2 inches long on the body. A correct coat is also water repellent, permitting the dog to dry quickly after a bath or a swim.
What are Some Things I Can Do With a GWP?
First, and most important, enjoy one of the closest and most interesting relationships with a
dog that you are ever likely to experience. Then ask yourself what you enjoy doing. It's pretty
likely your GWP can participate.Aside from its unique coat, one of the most distinguishing
features of the GWP is its versatility and its adaptability. Waterfowl retriever...Pointer of
upland game birds...Blood tracker of wounded deer...Hunter and Retriever of fox, hare,
rabbit and similar small furred game; this breed is all of this and more.GWP's have competed
successfully in Schutzhund trials in Germany. In Scandanavia, in addition to hunting, the
breed competes in a form a ski racing in which the dog pulls its human partner, the skier, by
means of a special harness. In North America, the breed is a popular personal gun dog in
addition to having achieved success in AKC
Field Trials, Hunt Test and NAVHDA. The
GWPCA has long stressed the dual purpose
dog throughout its history. Unlike other
members of the Sporting Group, with few
exceptions, there is still no split between
'field type' and 'show type.' In the US, the breed has had many Best in Show winners, and a large number who have won or placed in group. It also has many dogs with agility, obedience and tracking titles. A sizeable percentage of titled GWP's have achieved titles in more than one activity, and many show, agility
and obedience dogs are also used as hunting
dogs.In fact, attaining excellence in more than
one field of endeavor is not uncommon to the
breed. Several hundred GWP's have run in the
North American Versatile Hunting Dog
Association (NAVHDA) tests since that organization's founding in 1969, and a high percentage
qualified in those tests. Many of those dogs were also show champions, field champions,
hunting title holders and obedience title holders. Many have done well in National Shoot to
Retrieve trials. GWP's have performed with the Ringling Bros. circus (one was a show champion),
and have acted in movies. The star of Walt Disney's movies The Biscuit Eater and Bristleface
were both GWP's. As with most 'stars', there were even several fellow GWP's who acted as
stand-ins! This is a breed that enjoys plenty of exercise. Even GWP owners who prefer not to
participate in any particular organized dog activity find that their dog makes an excellent
companion on camping and fishing trips (your dog will want to retrieve your bait and your fish!).
They even make fine jogging companions.In short, the activities in which you can participate with
your GWP are limited only by your interests, financial resources, the location in which you live,
and the time you have available to devote to your dog's training