German Wirehaired Pointer: Breed Facts and Temperament
If you are reading this article, the chances are you are looking for the ideal outdoor dog, you are just curious, or you clicked on this article by mistake. But whatever the reason is that brought you here, you have got an interesting read waiting for you in this article as we will cover everything important thing you need to know about the German Wirehaired Pointer. This even-tempered, outdoor dog is not suited for small indoor homes as it needs vigorous exercise on a daily basis. Owners of German Wirehaired Pointers can attest to this dog’s loyalty and hardiness. This multitasker is capable of pointing and retrieving, both on land and in water.
History of the German Wirehaired Pointer
Alright. Before we proceed, let’s take a look at the history of this special breed of dog. The German Wirehaired Pointer, also known for short as the gwp dog, combines the finest features of Standard Poodle, the Pointer, and the Foxhound. The history of the gwp dog can be traced all the way back to 1870 in Germany, during a period where German hunters were slowly growing tired of the ‘one-trick’ dogs they worked with. Back then, their dogs could only retrieve or point. But what these hunters wanted was a dog that could do both – point as well as retrieve. This combines feature was ideal for hunting for food in the various terrains that ranged from Alps’ mountainous regions to the open fields and dense forests. In addition to being able to multitask, the hunters also wanted a dog with a coat that can withstand cold weather, whether on land or in water. In the initial stages, the hunters crossed several dog breeds that included the Polish Water Dog, the Griffon, Pudelpointer, and the German Shorthair. The result was the all-purpose German Wirehair, also known as the Deutsch Drahthaar. Although the German Wirehair received breed status early in the 1870s, it only received recognition decades later in the United States of America after they made their appearance on U.S. soil in 1920. The American Kennel Club gave this breed its recognition in decades later in 1959.
Quick Facts About The German Wirehaired Pointer
As a result of the various crossings, what we now have is a unique breed of dog with a wire coat and a multiple of abilities inherited from its ‘parents.’ It is time to take a look at some quick facts about the gwp dog.
- Size: An adult German Wirehaired Pointer has an average weight that falls between 45 pounds and 75 pounds. This is true for both male and female dogs. The adult male stands at the height of 25 inches. The female is usually an inch shorter at 24 inches.
- Life Expectancy: The German Wirehaired Pointer is expected to live for an average of 12 years to 14 years, all things being equal. This is to say that if the dog is well catered for.
- Coat: The GWP dog has a wiry coat (hence its name) that is also water-resistant. The coat can withstand very harsh weather conditions and, thus, provides all the protection the dog needs.
- Appearance: The German Wirehaired Pointer is a medium-sized dog that is popular not only for its hunting skills but also for its eyebrows, whiskers, beard, and brown eyes. These features give a somewhat human facial expression but also helps to protect its face.
Things You Should Know
If you have any intentions of getting yourself a German Wirehaired Pointer, then this section is a must-read before you dash off to the pet store. In this section, we will cover every important thing you need to know about the dog’s temperament and care needs.
As hardy as this breed of dog is, just like any other dog, it is still prone to certain health conditions. This is not to suggest that your German Wirehaired Pointer will definitely be plagued by any of the health conditions we are to mention. But it is very important to arm yourself with the information and be aware of the possibility.
- Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a painful condition that affects the thigh bone of a dog and can lead to immobility. The condition occurs when the thigh bone does not connect properly with the hip joint.
- Entropion: Entropion occurs when the eyelid rolls inwardly. This usually happens with the dog’s lower eyelid. It normally affects both eyes when it occurs and can lead to irritation as well as visual impairment. This condition is more frequent in GWP puppies.
- Von Willebrand’s disease: This condition is hereditary. It is a disorder of the blood that makes it impossible to form clots. It is mainly characterized by non-stop bleeding after an injury or surgery. Other symptoms include bleeding of the gums and nose-bleeding.
All the above-mentioned health conditions require the immediate attention of a vet.
When it comes to training, it always best to begin early with your German Wirehaired Pointer puppies to give them enough time to grow into the habit. This dog breed has a very strong personality. Thus, it is very important to establish your superiority as the ‘alpha dog’ or leader of the pack for your dog to be ready to follow your lead. To do this is always ensure that you walk ahead of your dog and take your meals first (before feeding your dog). Also, do not allow your dog to have its way. Begin basic command training at an early age. Your dog should be able to understand and follow simple instructions like “sit” and “stop.” if you have an adult dog that you are struggling to train, you can always employ the services of a professional dog trainer. The German Wirehaired Pointer is a smart dog that is very easy to train once you are able to establish who is in control. Training your dog to use the crate should not also be a problem. However, you need to get the right size of crate that has enough room for your dog to feel comfortable in it. Place the crate at your dog’s favorite part of the house and encourage it to use it with the help of treats. Leave the door open and leave some treats in the crate until your dog is able to associate the crate with treats. Once your dog is comfortable with its crate, you can start closing the door for a couple of minutes in the beginning. But be sure to show your presence. Crate-training should not take you too long.
Your German Wirehaired Pointer was ‘designed’ for the thrill of the outdoors. Thus, it gets bored very easily when it does not get enough time outside, and this can have a negative effect on its temperament. The gwp dog is an active and energetic dog that requires at least two hours of exercise on a daily basis. Thus, if you do not have that much time to spare, then you should consider hiring the services of a professional dog walker. Aside from going for walks and running, you can play an active game of fetch with your dog right in your backyard. The big idea is to ensure that your dog gets well-pumped up every day, and you will have a happy and loyal dog with you. Without enough exercise, your dog will be moody and depressed, and that is exactly what you do not want. Besides, good exercise will not only work on your dog’s mood, but it will also keep it healthy and prevent it from getting obese. Exercise helps to promote healthy blood circulation and promote a healthy heart. Plus, it will be good for you too.
The German Wirehaired Pointer requires a diet that is rich in protein to keep it healthy and help to fuel its lean muscles. As mentioned earlier, this is a high-energy breed of dog. Thus, its diet should reflect its energy requirement. However, you must be careful not to feed your dog with too many carbs in order not to risk it becoming overweight. Your dog’s ideal diet should be made up of at least sixty percent high-quality protein natural sources. It should also contain enough amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. The simplest way to ensure that your dog gets the proper nutrition it needs it to invest in already-made dog food. There are various brands available that have been specially formulated to suit the requirements of high-energy dogs. You can speak to your vet for some recommendations. Most dog experts recommend opting for high-quality dry dog food.
When feeding your German Wirehaired Pointer, a daily amount of two and a half to three cups of high-quality dry dog food is enough. This should be divided into two daily meals. In order to be sure that you are purchasing the right food for your dog, be sure to take into consideration its age and weight.
So, do German Wirehaired Pointers Shed? The German Wirehaired Pointer has a double coat that is ideal for protecting it in wet and cold weather conditions. However, it also works very well in protecting the dog against rough underbrush. As its name suggests, the coat has a wiry and a course look and feel about it. The coat itself is about an inch to two inches long of harsh, straight hair that lies close to the skin. During cold seasons, the coat provides the needed insulation for the dog by becoming dense. However, there are some German Wirehaired Pointers that have a coat with a woolly feel and soft, silky hair. This latter requires a lot more care with it comes to grooming than the dense, wiry hair coat. The dense coat sheds minimally throughout the year and, therefore, only needs regular brushing to keep it clean. When brushing, it is best to follow the direction of the flow of the hair as they lie very close to the skin. You should only give your dog a bath when it is needed. Also, only dog-grade shampoo should be used when giving your dog a bath. Thankfully, because its haircoat is water-repellant, it dries off very quickly. Aside from its coat, be sure to trim its nails regularly to prevent any toenail injury. The best way to know when it is time to trim its nails is when you hear them clicking on the floor. Your dog’s teeth also need regular brushing, preferably three times every week. Again, stick with dog-grade toothbrush and toothpaste. Be sure to inspect its ears regularly for dirt, infections, and excess wax build-up. Use a soft and damp towel to gently clean out the inner part of its ears when you need to.
If you are looking for a loyal, active, and yet affectionate dog, then you may be looking for a German Wirehaired Pointer. Aside from their boisterous and energetic nature, these dogs love the attention of their owners. And they do not mind letting you know that they need attention. However, they can be a bit domineering if they are not well-trained at a young age. They have a personality that will not hesitate to take the leadership role in your home unless you prove that you are really in charge. They have the stamina and energy levels that come naturally due to what they were originally ‘designed’ to be – hunters, pointers, and retrievers. They learn quickly and are very good swimmers when trained. The German Wirehaired Pointer is very adaptable and can fit in with any family size as long as it gets its required amount of exercise. They are natural guard dogs that will put the security of your family into their priority list. However, because of their boisterous nature, they require large spaces. Thus, tiny homes and apartments may not be ideal for them.
In conclusion, the German Wirehaired Pointer is an affectionate, active, boisterous, loyal, and energetic breed of dog. Its high-energy demands may be too much for some people. But if you are certain that you have what it takes to take care of a gwp dog, then you cannot go wrong with getting one for yourself.