German Wirehaired Pointer Dog Breed: Pictures, Colors, Bark, Characteristics, and Diet

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German Wirehaired Pointer (Deutsch Drahtaar) is a large-sized dog developed in Germany as a hunting dog.

Recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1959, the German Wirehaired Pointer came from its ancestor, Pudelpointer, a crossbreed of the Pointer and the old German Pudel.

German Wirehaired Pointer near a river
A German Wirehaired Pointer with an amazing coat

Nicknamed as Wirehair or GWP dog, this breed is categorized as a Sporting dog. Like other sporting breeds, GWPs are energetic, likable, and alert.

They may have a resting bitch face, but they are sweet and loving deep inside. They don’t bark a lot, but if they do, they bark loudly. They howl, moan, and whine.

German Wirehaired Pointers have well-developed instincts and can live well in the forest and water. This makes them popular with hunters and dog lovers who love to be outside.

Wirehairs are longer than tall. They have a bushy face, tantalizing eyes, droopy ears, and a long tail.

Their medium double coat is wiry, normal in density, and weather-resistant, usually in liver, white, and black color. They also have white and liver markings or freckles.

Recognized as a large breed, Wirehairs have an average weight of 50 to 70 lbs (23 to 32 kg). Male GWPs are bigger, around 70 lbs (32 kg), and females are 60 lbs (27 kg). 

In terms of height, male Wirehairs are also taller than their female counterparts. Male GWPs are around 24 to 26 inches (61 to 66 cm) tall, and females are about 22 to 24 inches (56 to 61 cm) tall.

Regardless of the size difference, they are both fast as lightning speed. Their speed rate is around 69 kph (43 mph).

GWPs are generally strong and healthy, and they can live for about 12 to 14 years.

While they are not particular about food, they need more protein and fewer carbohydrates. This will make their muscles and bones healthy for their “profession.”

Are you planning to include GWP in the family? Read on to know more.

Table of Contents

What is a German Wirehaired Pointer?

A close-up image of an adult German Wirehaired Pointer
A purebred German Wirehaired Pointer

German Wirehaired Pointer is a large dog of a domestic breed with a wiry coat and facial furnishings as its most distinctive features. They come from the family of Pointer dogs.

This breed is a griffon, a bred for hunting popularized by their coarse and “wiry” hair. 

Why are They Called German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs?

German Wirehaired Pointer got their names from their wire hair. They have a wire-like coat all over their body and face that protects them in all types of weather conditions.

They usually come with a liver color and wiry white markings.

Since this breed has a long name, you can call them GWP or Wirehair. In Germany, they are known as Drahthaar.

Where Did the German Wirehaired Pointer Come From?

As the name suggests, GWP comes from Germany. They are bred to be partners of hunters in the fields. While they originated from Germany, they can be found around the world.

Typically, you can find them from people who love adventures and participate in dog shows or sports.

When Did the German Wirehaired Pointer Originate?

A German Wirehaired Pointer at a river
Meet Kiki, a German Wirehaired Pointer, who likes going to the river – Image source

The history of Wirehairs began in the late 1800s in Germany. German breeders wanted to develop a versatile dog that could do it all.

They can withstand everything – from hunting in varied terrain, dense forests to mountainous locations in the Alps, to open fields and small towns.

Meanwhile, this breed only came to America around the 1920s. In the late 1950s, they were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a separate breed.

However, they only became popular in America in the past years.

How Many German Wirehaired Pointers are there in the World?

The exact number of German Wirehaired Pointers is unknown.

Wirehairs are rare and less popular than their cousins, German Shorthaired Pointers, which ranked ninth in the AKC’s most popular dogs in the United States in 2020.

However, GWPs are still included in that list, ranking 60th and beating Wirehaired Pointing Griffons (63rd).

What are the Characteristics of German Wirehaired Pointers?

A German Wirehaired Pointer running
A German Wirehaired Pointer enjoying an autumn run – Image source

Generally speaking, Wirehairs have great personality traits that make them good pets. If you wish to know them better, you can find their notable characteristics below:

  • Active: Wirehairs are very energetic. They need to burn off their extra energy to have a good mood. They will be extra challenging to manage without exercise. You will mostly see them playing or running around the house. As such, they need to be in a hands-on household willing to make time for them.
  • Curious: Since GWPs are hunting dogs, they are inherently curious. This is an advantage for their profession, but it is a disadvantage when training them. They are easily distracted by noise and sigh. They don’t have a long attention span. Inexperienced trainers may find it hard to train them.
  • Loving: German Wirehaired Pointers are devoted to their owner and family. If they are raised solely by their owner, they love to be with their master alone. If raised in a family, they love to bond with them.
  • Aggressive: GWPs are aggressive with strangers and not toward their families. They also have a strong prey drive. They are always tempted to chase small pets and cats. 
  • Friendly: Wirehairs generally love connection. If they are not raised in isolation, they want human contact. They are child-friendly but only with children who can keep up with their energy. They are not advisable to be around younger children as this breed is not tolerant of ear pulling and rough pats.

Take a look at the table below to see how we rated the German Wirehaired Pointer’s overall behavioral characteristics.

German Wirehaired Pointer Characteristics Rating
Relation with family 5
Good with children 4
Friendly with strangers 3
Friendly with other dogs 3
Easy to Train 5
Energy Level 5
Barking Level 3
Mental Stimulation Needs 4

What Does a German Wirehaired Pointer Look Like?

A German Wirehaired Pointer sitting outdoors
A German Wirehaired Pointer loving the outdoors

The most notable look of GWPs is their wire-like coat which is shiny and curly. You can easily see their wire hair on their face and ears.

They have big eyes, usually surrounded by facial hair. 

This breed has a scruffier coat, broader head, droopy ears, and long muzzles. They have a broad and deep chest compared to other Pointers and Griffons.

This dog is usually mistaken as Spinone Italiano.

Here’s a video of a cute GWP puppy to make your day.

How big is the German Wirehaired Pointer?

Male GWPs are around 24 to 26 inches (61 to 66 cm) tall, while females are about 22 to 24 inches (56 to 61 cm) tall. Both weigh around 50 to 70 lbs (23 to 32 kg). 

Here is more detailed information about the GWP’s physical features:

German Wirehaired Pointer
Physical Features
Male Female
Height  24 to 26 inches
(61 to 66 cm)
22 to 24 inches
(56 to 61 cm)
Weight 50 to 70 lbs
(23 to 32 kg)
50 to 70 lbs
(23 to 32 kg)

How long does a German Wirehaired Pointer grow?

German Wirehaired Pointers can reach their total growth around 1.5 to 2 years old. They are quite a late bloomer than other dogs.

They will stop growing in the 18th month, but they can be bigger by extra pounds.

What is the average weight of a German Wirehaired Pointer?

The average weight of a German Wirehaired Pointer is 50 to 70 lbs (23 to 32 kg).

Female Wirehairs are about 32 kilograms (70 pounds), while male Wirehairs are about 27 kilograms (60 pounds).

They are prone to being overweight, so you need to watch out for their food intake.

What is the Average Life Expectancy of German Wirehaired Pointers?

A German Wirehaired Pointer resting
Wilbur, a German Wirehaired Pointer, stays warm indoors – Image source

Generally, German Wirehaired Pointers are healthy dogs with an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years. Their life can be extended with a lot of care, good eating habits, and enough exercise.

GWPs are also prone to some diseases such as heart disease, hip dysplasia, and Von Willebrand’s disease. While not all GWPs will have these illnesses, it’s vital to know them.

Make sure to buy or adopt this breed from reputable breeders.

What Coat Type Do German Wirehaired Pointers Have?

A German Wirehaired Pointer on its bed
Bonnie, a GWP, flaunts her beautiful double coat – Image source

German Pointer has a functional double coat. It is wiry, medium, and with normal density. This breed is known for its wired hair hence the name.

Their coat is water-repellant and weather-resistant, protecting them from any weather condition.

What is the German Wirehaired Pointer dog’s coat like?

Besides being known for their wire-like coat, they are also famous for their bushy hair on the face.

Their outer coat is long but just enough not to cover the outline of their body. On their legs, the coat is shorter and softer between the toes.

On their head, the coat is close fitting and short. Over the tail and shoulder, the coat is hefty and dense. Their tail is bushy, specifically on the underside.

How long is the German Wirehaired Pointer’s coat?

German Wirehaired Pointers’ coats are medium-length, around one to two inches long. Their coat protects them from cold and wet conditions.

They don’t need regular brushing because their fur is already soft and silky. But brushing their hair could help minimize shedding.

What is the German Wirehaired Pointer’s coat density?

Overall, Wirehair has a dense coat. The undercoat is slightly dense, but enough to insulate their body against cold weather but can be too thin in hot conditions.

Their coat may be dense, but it needs minimal grooming. But you have to brush them to keep their coat clean.

Do German Wirehaired Pointers shed much?

German Wirehaired Pointers are low-shedding dogs. They shed lightly all year round. As such, this breed requires minimal grooming.

They don’t need regular bathing either. Bathe them only when needed.

Can German Wirehaired Pointers Live in Hot Weather?

A close-up image of a German Wirehaired Pointer
A joyful German Wirehaired Pointer

Wirehairs can withstand both hot and cold weather. Their wire-like coat is weather-resistant, making them great in all types of climates.

Their undercoat, big muzzles, slim build, and long ears make them outstanding in humid and cool environments. 

Do German Wirehaired Pointers Love Water?

German Wirehaired Pointers is a good swimmer.

Swimming is one of their favorite physical activities because it can burn their energy efficiently. They love to swim and retrieve.

If they live in a country with a tropical climate, swimming will keep them cool.

What Colors are German Wirehaired Pointers?

The majority of German Wirehaired Pointers are brown (liver) and white. But some Wirehairs come in black, white ticked, and roan.

They have solid patches that are in solid brown color or white. Most patches are located on their chest.

What Markings Do German Wirehaired Pointers Have?

Besides their liver, white, and black color, a German Wirehaired Pointer also has markings of the same color. It can be white, black and liver.

Most of the time, however, their markings are in color white. Some GWPs will also have dark ticking little freckles across the lighter section of their coat.

Are German Wirehaired Pointers Good Family Dogs? 

Two German Wirehaired Pointers in a car
Holly and Liv, two GWPs, are on the way to their next adventure – Image source

Yes, German Wirehaired Pointers are good family dogs. They are great as a pet or human companionship. They love to interact and bond with the whole household.

However, while they love the entire family, there will always be someone who would be their favorite. 

This person is the one who feeds, plays, or walks with him. In general, anyone from the family who spends the most time with him would be his favorite.

The table below might help you determine whether Wirehairs are a good family dog:

German Wirehaired Pointer’s Temperament Rating
Adaptability 4
Friendliness 5
Mouthiness 3
Playfulness 5
Family-oriented 5
Stranger tolerance 3

Are German Wirehaired Pointers good with other dogs?

Most GWPs are good with other dogs, but some are also bossy with other dogs of the same sex. They like to socialize, though.

Once trained to be more used to other dogs, they are pretty friendly.

Are German Wirehaired Pointers friendly with other people?

In general, GWPs are only friendly to people they know. They are aloof and a little aggressive with strangers.

They are moderately outgoing with new people, so they need more time adjusting and getting used to other people.

Can German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs get along well with strangers?

German Wirehaired Pointer dogs may not get along with strangers on first meeting.

GWPs are protective of themselves and their family, so they are pretty cautious and shy of strangers.

How do German Wirehaired Pointers get along with young children?

A young girl combing a German Wirehaired Pointer's coat
A German Wirehaired Pointer whose coat being combed by a little girl

Don’t worry about GWPs when left with children because they love kids. However, younger children may be overwhelmed with the energy of this breed.

Only older children who can keep up with GWPs’ energy levels are recommended to be around them.

When GWPs are raised in isolation, they might not be good with children. This breed will get along better with younger children when raised with them. 

Can German Wirehaired Pointers Adapt Easily?

One of the reasons many people love GWPs is that they are adaptable. They can live in any type of living condition.

It is ideal for them to live in a large yard, but they can adapt to an apartment with enough exercise. Without exercise, this breed will be hyper and restless.

A German Wirehaired Pointer puppy in a yard
Crowley, a GWP pup, likes catching sunlight in his yard – Image source

Are German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs Aggressive?

German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs are naturally aggressive to both people and animals they don’t know. They are pretty aloof and suspicious of strangers.

Developed as hunting dogs, this breed also likes to be dominant, especially with male dogs and smaller animals, even cats.

Are German Wirehaired Pointers Dangerous?

Due to Wirehair’s prey drive, German Wirehaired Pointers can be dangerous at times if they are not well-trained.

They have male-to-male dog aggression issues and strong instincts to fight and chase cats and other small pets. 

Do German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs Bite?

German Wirehaired Pointer dogs bite but not in a vicious manner. As mentioned, the heritage of this breed is hunting, which makes them inherently aggressive. 

GWPs only bite dangerously when threatened. They have a biting force of around 235 PSI.

You can minimize their biting tendencies with proper training and allowing them to socialize more.

Are German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs Protective?

Yes, German Wirehaired Pointers are protective dogs. They want to protect themselves, their family, and their territory from strangers or suspicious events.

They are also possessive with their things, especially toys. They tend to be aggressive when they’re protecting and defending their belongings.

This breed can be dangerous when he feels like someone is stealing his things. Advise children never to touch their things or food to keep everyone safe. 

Are German Wirehaired Pointers Affectionate?

A German Wirehaired Pointer cuddling with its owner
Marvel, a GWP, asks his hooman for some cuddle time – Image source

German Pointers are overly affectionate with their family.

They love to spend time with their loved ones. They love to please their favorite person and do everything to get their attention. 

In general, GWPs are sweet with everyone they know. With strangers, they can be a little “bitey” and bossy.

Are German Wirehaired Pointers Loyal?

German Wirehaired Pointer dogs are very loyal. They form strong bonds with their owner or family.

They enjoy being around people they love and want nothing but part of family life. Once they consider you like family, they will be loyal to you for life.

Do German Wirehaired Pointers Like to Cuddle?

German Pointers like to cuddle on the owner’s bed. This is how they show affection to the people they love. They love the comfort of being close to their masters.

However, some GWPs dislike being embraced or kissed. They need to be trained to accept these types of gestures.

Does the German Wirehaired Pointer Love Freedom?

A German Wirehaired Pointer running freely
A German Wirehaired Pointer, with a smile on his face, runs freely – Image source

While German Wirehaired Pointer dogs love freedom, they don’t like being alone.

They love to be independent while playing, but they need to have at least one person in the family to supervise them.

GWPs love company. They will not thrive in a busy household that does not make time for them. They get additional stimulation at home with their family.

Are German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs Easy to Train?

The good thing about Wirehairs is that they are easy to train. They are very intelligent and can easily catch up to the training session.

Their intelligence makes them a strong competitor in dog shows. 

But as much as they are very eager to learn, they can easily get distracted by noise, sight, and smell. They need a patient and consistent handler. 

How Smart is the German Wirehaired Pointer?

A leashed German Wirehaired Pointer puppy
Ka-Pow, a GWP pup, is learning how to hunt at eight months – Image source

German Wirehaired Pointers are very smart. However, they also love to be independent, so they might not enjoy long hours of training sessions.

To make his training session fun and effective, make it short and reward them with treats.

Can German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs be used as working dogs?

Yes, GWPs can be used as working dogs. They are developed to work in the fields or wild as hunting dogs. They can withstand any sort of terrain and hunt any type of game. 

They are effective working dogs on both land and water. They can track, run fast, and be hardworking.

Do German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs Bark a Lot?

German Pointers do bark but not too much. They are not known for their barking habits.

After all, their profession doesn’t require them to be frequent barkers. They are meant for hunting or to sneak up on prey. 

But German Pointers are still dogs, so they bark at times. They will mostly bark if they are suspicious or want attention from people.

Their barking tendencies can be minimized with training and regular exercise.

How does a German Wirehaired Pointer bark?

Wirehairs are not known for the sound of their barks. Like other dogs, they can bark loudly when strangers approach their families and properties.

They moan, whine, and howl. They usually have a rough voice. 

Do German Wirehaired Pointers Have High Energy levels?

A German Wirehaired Pointer with a frisbee
Kiki, the GWP, found her missing frisbee – Image source

German Wirehead Pointers have high energy levels. If you want to buy or adopt this type of breed, you have to ask yourself whether you can keep up to their energy level. 

This breed doesn’t like lying or sitting with you for hours. They have to express their high energy; otherwise, they can be restless and destructive.

Are German Wirehaired Pointers Active?

German Wirehaired Pointers are energetic, so it’s no wonder that they also have an active lifestyle. They require a 40-minute to 1-hour of exercise every day.

They could exercise longer than that and would love to run with other animals they are closed with. 

This breed likes to be outside rather than staying home as they can easily roam around outdoors.

They will not thrive living in an apartment or tiny houses without having enough room for them to play and run around.

Are German Wirehaired Pointers Playful?

Don’t judge German Wirehaired Pointers based on their serious face, as these dogs are very playful and quirky.

They love spending quality time with their owners. Quality time for them means playing, running, or walking.

They are very athletic; thus, taking them for a jog, playing in the park, or riding a bike is their favorite outdoor activity.

They do better in active homes, so make these activities a priority if you wish to have them. 

Does the German Wirehaired Pointer Drool a Lot?

Yes, German Wirehaired Pointer drools, but they are not excessive droolers. They usually drool after intense physical activity.

Minor drooling is normal for them, but consider making an appointment with a veterinarian if you think it becomes excessive.

What Does the Family Life of German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs Like?

Two German Wirehaired Pointers
Two German Wirehaired Pointers looking cool – Image source

German Wirehaired Pointers can make an excellent family dog in a household who is willing to make time for them.

A GWP for a busy family may be too strong and active to make a family pet.

GWPs are athletic and great for dog shows. Thus they need a family who is patient and calm.

They do great in a family with children if they grow up with them.

However, some experts don’t advise GWPs to be in a household with children below seven. They might be overwhelmed by the high energy level of this breed.

What Kind of Food Should German Wirehaired Pointers Eat?

German Wirehaired Pointers’ food should contain more protein and fewer carbohydrates. This is good for their muscle growth necessary for their active lifestyle. 

Moreover, make sure that you don’t overfeed them as they are prone to obesity. The ideal amount of food they need is about 2.5 to 3 cups per day.

It’s also best to consult the vet for the best diet.

What are the Best Dog Foods for German Wirehaired Pointers?

A German Wirehaired Pointer receiving its meal
A German Wirehaired Pointer receiving his yummy meal

German Wirehaired Pointers are active dogs. They need to be fed food appropriate for their strong, muscular, and sturdy breed.

They are not picky, but you must provide them with the food they like.

Here are the best puppy foods for GWPs:

Meanwhile, here is the list of the healthiest dog food that you can buy for adult Wirehairs in the market:

What Other Dog Breeds Look Like the German Wirehaired Pointer?

A Spinone Italiano
A Spinone Italiano dog – Image source

There are a lot of breeds similar to the German Wirehaired Pointer. After all, this breed results from a variety of mixed breeds. Below are some dog breeds that look like the Wirehair:

  • Spinone Italiano
  • Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
  • English Pointer
  • Pudelpointer

Is a German Wirehaired Pointer a Good Pet?

German Wirehaired Pointers may not be as famous as other hunting dogs. However, they can be your all-around companion.

Wherever in the world you’re from, this breed can thrive and live happily with you.

GWPs are affectionate, fun, and intelligent, making them a great partner for all adventures. They love to be part of your day-to-day activities.

Wirehairs’ high energy can be overwhelming, and if you fail to keep up or if you don’t make time for them, they will be frustrated and more hyper as a result. 

If you can match their intense energy, you will indeed have a companion friend to be at your side in both the highs and lows of life. 

Do you have a German Wirehaired Pointer dog? What do you love most about them? Let us know in the comments!

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