German Wirehaired Pointer

AKC Sporting Group


Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The German Wirehaired Pointer was developed in Germany from crosses of the German pointer with many other breeds. Sources differ on the exact lineage, though the Wirehaired Griffon, Poodle-Pointer mixes, Foxhound, Airedale Terrier, and Bloodhound are all mentioned as possible contributors. It was recognized as a breed in Germany in the 1920s, at the same time it came to America. The AKC recognized it in 1959. The German Wirehaired Pointer is a good all-around gun dog, able to hunt any sort of game on any sort of terrain. This dog can track, point, and retrieve on both land and water.


Sturdily built, well-muscled, and of medium size, the German Wirehaired Pointer’s body is slightly longer than tall. The back is short and straight. Tuck-up is defined. The coarse, wiry, weather-resistant coat is about 2 in. long with a thick undercoat. The dog’s coat is fundamentally water-repellent and protects him from brambles. A beard, forehead hair, and whiskers protect his face. The color is liver and white, spotted, roan, or ticked. Sometimes an individual will be solid liver. The nose should be dark brown, and the ears and head should be brown, sometimes with a white blaze. The head has a medium stop, with balanced backskull and muzzle. Eyes are oval. Tail is docked to about two-fifths of original length. The ears hang down limply beside the head.

Key Facts

  • Height:  24 to 26 in. (male); more than 22 in. (female)
  • Size:  Large
  • Weight:  60 to 75 lbs. (male); 50 to 60 lbs. (female)
  • Availability:  May take some effort to find
  • Talents:  Hunting, tracking, retrieving, pointing, agility, and watchdog


Some stripping of coat is needed, but this isn’t very difficult. Can be somewhat high-strung and very active indoors. Needs plenty of exercise to prevent extreme indoor restlessness. Likes to roam. Prone to hip dysplasia. Buy only from stock with OFA, PennHIP, or another national hip dysplasia clearance.


Very affectionate—can be jealous. Vigorous and energetic. Intelligent. Thoughtful and fairly serious. Naturally aloof with strangers—should be well socialized at an early age. Can be rather willful.


  • Children:  Best with older, considerate children
  • Friendliness:  Moderately protective
  • Trainability:  Somewhat difficult to train
  • Dominance:  Moderate
  • Other Pets:  Good with other pets if raised with them from puppyhood
  • Combativeness:  Tends to be fairly dog-aggressive
  • Indoors:  Very active indoors
  • Owner:  Not recommended for novice owners


  • Grooming:  Regular grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  Some trimming or stripping (little skill required)
  • Coat:  Wiry coat
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Docking:  The tail is customarily docked
  • Exercise:  Vigorous daily exercise needed
  • Jogging:  An excellent jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Not recommended for apartments
  • Longevity:  Average (12 to 14 years)

Useful Links

AKC® German Wirehaired Pointer Breed Standard

German Wirehaired Pointer Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the German Wirehaired Pointer

German Wirehaired Pointer Gifts