German Wirehaired Pointer Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

German Wirehaired Pointer Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

German Wirehaired Pointers are members of the Sporting Group. Like other breeds in that group, they’re likable, energetic, and alert. Sporting breeds follow their well-developed instincts, whether in the forest or the water, making them popular with hunters and people who love the outdoors. The German Wirehair’s beard, whiskers, and eyebrows are distinctive and known as their furnishings to protect their faces and eyes from injury.

German Wirehaired Pointers are intensely devoted to their people and likely to become one-person dogs if raised in a one-person household. However, those raised in a human family will bond with the whole clan, although they still might pick a favorite. They will be happiest if they can spend a lot of time with their humans. Other names used when referring to the German Wirehaired Pointer include Deutscher Drahthaariger, Vorstehund, German Pointer, Drahthaar, and GWP.

Drahthaars stand between 22 to 26 inches high at the withers, and their average weight is 65 pounds. Female GWPs have 6 to 10 puppies per litter once a year, and their lifespan is 12 to 14 years. German Wirehaired Pointers are a great example of a flexible breed. They can perform many tasks, including searching for and pointing different game types. Whether it’s birds or mammals, fearlessly hunting game and retrieving birds from the water while still being loving companions and watchdogs.  

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What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of German Wirehaired Pointers?

German Wirehaired Pointers have that classic working dog trait; they will not be distracted if they have hunting, tracking, or another job to do. In addition to their jobs at home, these pups also have careers in the professional world. With their strong nose skills, they make excellent drug detection dogs. They have even found success as therapy dogs, bonding closely with their person. 

The name pointer comes from the dog’s instinct to point, by stopping and aiming its muzzle towards game. This demonstrates to the hunter the location of their quarry and allows them to move into gun range. Pointers were selectively bred from dogs who had abundant pointing and backing instincts.

Owners must set boundaries of acceptable behavior from puppyhood. Obedience and socialization are essential, and training must be consistent and firm. Without direction, they can quickly get out of hand and train their owners. Without a job, they may figure out something else to do to pass the time, and you may not like what they choose. They are highly intelligent and need to keep their brains as active as their bodies.

More of the Drahthaar breed’s traits and characteristics are listed in the table below.

German Wirehaired Pointer Breed Traits

German Wirehaired Pointer Information


Males 24 to 26 inches

Females 22 to 25 inches


Males 60 to 70 pounds

Females 55 to 70 pounds

Relation with family

Loyal, Affectionate, Guardian, Strong-willed

Relation with children

Playful and lovable if socialized

Relation with other dogs

Good, if raised together

Shedding level


Drooling level


Coat type 

Double water-proof coat

Coat length

Topcoat Medium length wiry and coarse.

Inner coat short, soft, dense.

Coat grooming frequency

Weekly Brushing

Reaction to strangers


Playfulness level


Adaptability level


Openness to strangers


Trainability level


Energy level


Barking level


Mental stimulation needs level



12-14 years 

How Does the German Wirehaired Pointer Interact with Family?

The German Wirehaired Pointer makes a fantastic family pet, but only for the right family. Drahthaars need families with the time and energy to accommodate his exceptionally high energy needs. In addition to enough exercise, he also needs constant stimulation throughout the day to keep his intelligent little brain ticking.

German Wirehaired Pointers love nothing more than to be with their pet parent, especially if you love the Great Outdoors as much as they do. Loyal and loving, they make great family dogs, as long as kids big or little understand and respect the pup’s boundaries. They’re eager to please, and when they’re not engaged in outdoor activities, these pups have a sweet side to their personality that charms everyone they meet.

These friendly pups generally get along well with other dogs and cats if raised with them. Other small animals would be well advised to steer clear of GWPs because Pointers will spot them instantly. Drahthaars will do what they do, point right at the critters, and retrieve any squirrel, rabbit, duck, or other creature in the wild or your backyard.

German Wirehaired Pointers can be phenomenal pets for outdoorsy families who like to spend much time outside. As long as you live running around and playing with your pointer, they will love playing, cuddling, and sleeping with you afterward.

How Does the German Wirehaired Pointer Interact with Other Dogs?

German Wirehaired Pointers are good with other dogs and even cats if properly socialized or raised with them. However, they will probably chase any other cat. Any other animal is fine, but as with any pet introduction, be sure to do it slowly and in a controlled environment to make sure that they like each other. 

If you are a multi-pet household, make sure you know that all the animals get along well before you commit to the Drahthaar.  As long as the GWP is socialized as a pup, he will get along with most other pets. We say most because if you have any type of bird in the home, be that ducks, chickens, parrots, etc., your winged pets are going to have a hard time relaxing around this guy.

How are German Wirehaired Pointers with Older People?

German Wirehaired Pointers are okay with older people; however, their energy level might be overwhelming. Drahthaars need no less than 60 to 90 minutes of brisk walking each day. Furthermore, Vorstehunde prefer spending most of their days outside, and being cooped up in an apartment will cause destructive behavior due to boredom. Seniors in homes with large backyards can get a German Wirehaired Pointer and hire a dog walker for those long daily walks.

How are German Wirehaired Pointers with Children?

The German Wirehaired Pointer is a great companion for older children who can stand up to his size and energy level. Still, he may be overwhelming for younger children who could easily be knocked down in play.

Parents should always supervise dogs when they’re around young kids, and the dog can get to know your kids and learn that they’re okay. It also helps if you have kids when you get a young German Wirehaired Pointer so that the dog can grow up around kids. 

The earlier you socialize your German Wirehaired Pointer with kids, the better they will be around kids later. You can get a German Wirehaired Pointer if you don’t have kids now, but make sure you train it to behave around smaller kids and babies. Likewise, parents should teach children how to respectfully interact with dogs from an early age.

How are German Wirehaired Pointers with Neighbors or Guests?

Despite being super cuddly and affectionate, German Wirehaired Pointers do not extend this to strangers. They are wary of those they don’t recognize, and it may take them a while to warm up to unfamiliar people. 

If your family is forever having neighbors and guests, or parties most weekends, the German Pointer will probably not approve. The Drahthaar is a country dog who loves the quiet life with his close family.

Of course, if you’re there, your German Wirehaired Pointer will accept anyone you introduce, and when the neighbors and guests become familiar faces your Wirehaired Pointer might warm up to them and even welcome them upon arrival.

What are the Physical Traits of the German Wirehaired Pointer?

A combination of the best features of the Foxhound, Pointer, and Poodle, the German Wirehaired Pointer is a hunter’s best friend. The Drahthaar medium-size dog can point and retrieve on land and in water. Thanks to a wiry, functional coat protecting him from weather extremes, rough underbrush, and a keen nose for tracking and pointing.

A facial beard gives him a distinctive expression, and a docked tail held horizontally quivers with excitement. Known as the Drahthaar in his homeland of Germany, the breed was developed to be an all-around hunting companion, useful for hunting all types of game in all conditions.

The German Wirehaired Pointer’s physical traits are summarized in the table below. 


Trait information




Males 60 to 70 pounds

Females 55 to 70 pounds


Males 24 to 26 inches

Females 22 to 25 inches



Long, fairly broad, and flat on top. The stop is medium, clearly defined.

The head is moderately long and in proportion to the size. 


Their eyes are oval-shaped and brown and peek out at you from under their distinctive wiry eyebrows.


The German Wirehaired Pointer’s floppy ears are rounded at the bottom and lie close to the head.


Long, with nasal bones straight and broad. The lips are thick, close, and bearded


German Wirehaired Pointers have brown noses with wide nostrils.


A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Exercise Needs



12 to 14 years


The German Wirehaired Pointer has a functional double coat that protects him from wet and cold conditions as well as rough or heavy underbrush. The coarse, wiry coat is one to two inches long.

Coat color

Their coats are typically liver (reddish-brown) and white with spotting or ticking throughout.


German Wirehaired Pointers have high-set tails that are usually docked to two-fifths of their original length.


Long and straight, showing good bone and muscle

How to Feed a German Wirehaired Pointer?

Your German Wirehaired Pointer’s adult size determines its dietary needs through all life stages. Thus, base your Drahthaar ‘s diet on a large breed’s unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout its different life stages. Most dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large, giant, and even toy breeds. 

It is always good to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as your Drahthaar grows. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Drahthaar from the table; all it does is add weight; instead, follow the advice below to ensure your furry friend’s optimal health.

Despite the Drahthaar ‘s large size, it is an agile, athletic breed that needs food containing animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. A dog of this size, activity level, and demeanor will thrive best on premium dry food because this food type contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

However, your German Wirehaired Pointer’s daily food portion depends on life stage, health, metabolism, activity level, and the brand and formula of food it eats. Feed your Dradthaar food formulated for a large breed with recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors, or look for a brand developed for all life stages.

The German Wirehaired Pointer’s daily cups of food should be spread over 2 to 3 meals per day. Feeding  GWP several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. However, fresh drinking water must always be available for your furry friend. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

An example of premium food specially formulated for  GWP and its benefits are listed below:

The best dog food for German Wirehaired Pointers is Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food.

Made with hearty chicken plus Probiotics, Prebiotics, fiber, and digestive enzymes, this food is made to care for your dog’s gut to ensure maximum nutrient absorption and immunity. Plus, it contains essential glucosamine to promote the formation and maintenance of strong bones and joints since Vorstehunds are predisposed to hip dysplasia.

Below is a list of the benefits offered by the five Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food recipes in this range:

  • Protein-Packed: With responsibly sourced real meat meal, containing almost 300% more protein than fresh meat, as the first ingredient, these recipes are packed with animal protein for strong, lean muscles in small breed dogs.
  • Omegas 3 and 6: Naturally occurring omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support skin and coat health.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits help support immune health.
  • Probiotics: Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics are included to support your dog’s digestive health.

When German Pointers are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food is crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should a German Wirehaired Pointer Puppy Eat? 

The German Wirehaired Pointer is a large breed whose puppies need high-quality puppy food formulated for a large breed dog like the German Wirehaired Pointer. It is essential not to feed puppies all their food at once, and they should have it spread over the day. When Drahthaar puppies become three months old, owners can provide them with three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • German Wirehaired Pointer puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for large-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • German Wirehaired Pointers should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • The exceptions are German Wirehaired Pointers with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the Health Tests that a German Wirehaired Pointer Should Take?

German Wirehaired Pointer can be affected by several genetic health problems. Not all of these conditions are detectable in a growing puppy. It can be hard to predict whether an animal will be free of these diseases, so you must find a reputable breeder committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible.

The German Wirehaired Pointer Society of America, which is the American Kennel Club parent organization for the breed in the United States, participates in the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) Program. Breeders must agree to have all test results, positive or negative, published in the CHIC database. You can check CHIC’s website to see if a breeder’s dogs have these certifications.

Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with independent certification that the parents of the dog (and grandparents, etc.) have been screened for genetic defects and deemed healthy for breeding. Having the dog’s vet checked is not a substitute for genetic health testing.

For potential German Wirehaired Pointer puppy buyers, CHIC certification is a good indicator the breeder responsibly factors good health into their selection criteria. The breed-specific list below represents the basic health screening recommendations. It is not all-encompassing. There may be other health screening tests appropriate for this breed. And, there may be other health concerns for which there is no commonly accepted screening protocol available.

The German Wirehaired Pointer Society of America recommends the health screens listed below.

  • Hip Dysplasia (one of the following)
    • OFA evaluation (minimum 24 months of age)
    • PennHIP evaluation (minimum 12 months of age)
  • Elbow Dysplasia
    • OFA evaluation (minimum 24 months of age)
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis
    • OFA evaluation from an approved laboratory (minimum 2 years of age, prior to breeding, and yearly thereafter until 4 years of age)
  • Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist. 
    • Results registered with OFA (any age yearly if in a breeding program)
  • Cardiac Evaluation (one of the following)
  • Congenital cardiac exam, with the exam by a cardiologist
  • Advanced cardiac exam
  • von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) – optional
    • DNA-based vWD test from an approved laboratory results registered with OFA

Additional General Health Check, including Heart, Vaccines, Musculoskeletal, Dental, Fleas, and Worms.

What are the common health problems of German Wirehaired Pointers?

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. The German Wirehaired Pointer has some health conditions that can be a concern. However, even healthy Drahthaars should have regular veterinarian checkups. Owners should ensure the following list of health conditions are monitored throughout the dog’s life.

  • Hip dysplasia is a deformation that occurs and develops as German Wirehaired Pointer puppies grow. It is caused by loose joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Drahthaar ages.
  • Elbow dysplasia happens when the growth of the elbow is disturbed. A condition called elbow dysplasia may ensue. While this condition is generally inherited, other factors, such as nutrition and exercise, also play a role in its development. Most dogs will display symptoms before the age of one – though some may not show any signs until several years old.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease is a bleeding disorder caused by a protein deficiency (von Willebrand factor) that helps platelets stick together and form clots. While most dogs with the disease never show symptoms, some dogs may get a spontaneous nose bleed or have prolonged bleeding after injury or surgery. Drug treatment is available to treat certain cases.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) or Gastric Torsion – often known as ‘bloat’, is a life-threatening disorder that happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and becomes twisted.  To protect your pup from GDV, feed your dog smaller meals throughout the day and wait an hour before and after mealtimes before exercising.
  • Aortic stenosis is an inherited heart condition wherein your pup has a partial blood flow obstruction, making their heart work harder to pump blood. This is most often caught during a routine wellness exam as a heart murmur. No treatment is required for mild cases, but more severe cases may require long-term medication.
  • Hypothyroidism: This is a deficiency of thyroid hormone. Signs of this condition can include dry skin and coat, hair loss, susceptibility to other skin diseases, weight gain, fearfulness, aggression or other behavioral changes. Your vet can conduct a blood screening test annually to screen for it. Treatment is replacement hormones given in the form of a pill.

You can minimize the chances of serious health concerns in a German Wirehaired Pointer by purchasing a Drahthaar from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices and screening for common diseases and conditions.

Are German Wirehaired Pointers Hypoallergenic?

German Wirehaired Pointers are not hypoallergenic dogs. However, Drahthaars don’t shed excessively and would only affect people with severe allergy issues. No dog can be 100% hypoallergenic because, contrary to what most people believe, it is not the dog hairs that cause allergic reactions, but the dander from the dogs’ skin and their saliva that cause that are to blame. 

What is the Exercise Need of a German Wirehaired Pointer?

German Wirehaired Pointers are very demanding when it comes to their exercise needs. Even for an hour or two, a casual stroll around the block will not do here. Instead, the GWP needs at least 60 to 90 minutes of intense exercise every day. And because he is so intelligent, you’ll need to mix his activities up to keep him interested.

Large and powerful, German Wirehaired Pointers have relatively weak limbs. If their exercise shouldn’t be stressed during their primary growing time, lest they develop joint and hip complications as they age. Your Vorstehund is a large canine that requires gentle play, and this means no aggressive running and no over-tiring your puppy in the name of training. However, as your canine companion matures, you can be sure of a capable jogging companion.

What are the nutritional needs of German Wirehaired Pointers?

The nutritional needs of a German Wirehaired Pointer include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the Drahthaar are listed below.

  • Protein: German Wirehaired Pointers need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids essential for Drahthaar ’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the German Wirehaired Pointer’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior German Wirehaired Pointers need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the German Wirehaired Pointer sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, too many carbohydrates can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in German Wirehaired Pointer puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging  GWP by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of the German Wirehaired Pointer.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in German Wirehaired Pointers are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for a German Wirehaired Pointer’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of  GWP.

What is the Shedding Level of German Wirehaired Pointers?

German Wirehaired Pointers have short bristly fur that goes through a shed once a year, usually in late spring or summer. The great thing about  GWP is you’ll never have to worry about getting their hair trimmed or styled, but to keep the loose hair under control, daily, or at least weekly brushing is necessary.

What is the Coat Grooming Frequency of German Wirehaired Pointers?

The Drahthaar standout feature is their unique wiry outer coat, functional as a water-repellent cover for this field- and forest-loving dogs. While it’s a low-maintenance coat, all that foraging does mean your dog will come home with various bits and bobs stuck to their fur. A proper deep brush one or more times per week is recommended. 

Note: Overbathing will strip them of their protective oils and destroy their coat’s water resistance. So keep bathing to a minimum, it would be best to rinse any dirt off with clear water without shampoo or other chemicals.

Coat grooming is essential for various reasons, as listed below.

  • Grooming gives your dog a healthy look and promotes hygiene. 
  • Proper grooming lowers the risks of skin infections.
  • Your German Wirehaired Pointer smells nice through grooming, thus raising the hygiene conditions.
  • Grooming promotes the growth and development of a lustrous and shiny coat.
  • Grooming allows you to check for fleas and take early preventive and treatment measures.
  • Proper grooming lowers the risks of ear infections since you can check the ears and wipe them dry after grooming regularly.
  • While grooming, you can check the skin folds for any skin problems and alert the vet before they worsen.
  • Grooming boosts the bond between you and your German Wirehaired Pointer Dog.

Your dog should be calm during grooming. Short walks before the grooming session could calm your Drahthaar enough to make the grooming process the ideal time for bonding with your furry friend. You can also give your Drahthaar their favorite treat to munch on while you groom them. Grooming must be enjoyable and a stress-free process for your German Wirehaired Pointer. 

What is the Drooling Level of German Wirehaired Pointers?

As a Vorstehund owner, you should expect to find some drool but not excessive. However, drooling is a natural process,  and the primary triggers of drooling are listed below, which, in  GWP, will increase drooling levels. In the event of unusual excessive drooling, a trip to the vet is recommended.

  • The thought of delicious meals like a favorite treat or meat
  • Mouth and throat problems like fractures in the mouth, throat, or esophagus.
  • Plaque build-up can also irritate the mouth and cause excessive saliva.
  • A foreign object stuck in the throat prevents swallowing, thus causing drooling. 
  • Growth in the mouth also stimulates drooling.
  • Stomach upsets.
  • Excessive heat, especially during summer
  • The main symptom of diseases like kidney disease, liver problems, seizures, botulism, and rabies is drooling.
  • Motion sickness and anxiety. Dogs who do not like traveling will get anxious whenever they board a car. Stress makes a dog pant and breathes with open mouths, thus causing drooling.
  • Excitement and agitation make dogs drool.
  • Sexual excitement, like when a male Drahthaar spots a female Drahthaar in heat, causes drooling. Likewise, a female in her heat cycle might drool if she picks up the scent of a male.

What is the Coat Type of the German Wirehaired Pointer?

The German Wirehaired Pointer has a functional double coat that protects him from wet and cold conditions and rough or heavy underbrush. The coarse, wiry coat is one to two inches long.

What is the Coat Lenght of the German Wirehaired Pointer?  

The coat is a defining characteristic of the German Wirehaired Pointer breed. It is wiry and very harsh, of medium length, and thick, with a close-fitting undercoat.

What are the Colors of German Wirehaired Pointer?

The German Wirehaired Pointers have several shades of coats like the liver variations and the black range, as listed below.

Liver: Solid liver, liver and white spotted, liver and white spotted and ticked, liver and white ticked, with or without patches.

Black: Solid black, black and white spotted, black and white spotted and ticked, black and white ticked, with or without patches.

What are the Social Traits of the German Wirehaired Pointer Breed?

The social traits of the German Wirehaired Pointer are affection, playfulness, friendliness, and possessive nature. The Drahthaar Pointer is intelligent and learns fast, but they can be bored with long training sessions.  GWPs are fun-loving and have the charm to lighten you up when you are not in a happy mood. Your furry friend will have a favorite family member, and follow that person wherever they go – inside and outside. If yours is a hunting dog, he will likely choose the hunting master as his favorite dog daddy.  Other social traits of German Wirehaired Pointers are listed below.

  • Elderly-friendly: German Wirehaired Pointers love the interaction with their family, from children to grandparents. However, they are highly energetic and need between 60 and 90 minutes of vigorous exercise each day. However, in a multi-generational home, the older family members can share the quiet times with the Drahthaars, while the younger generation takes care of playtime and walking, jogging, and other exercises.
  • Children-friendly: German Wirehaired Pointers enjoy running around or chasing after children and playing catch is one of their favorite games. Vorstehunds are sensible enough to take care when young children are part of the play. However, supervision is essential in such circumstances. Socialization is vital for kids and dogs.
  • Family-friendly: German Pointers are the perfect canine companions for active families. They are not couch potatoes and prefer to spend most of their time outside. Drahthaars will always be ready to join a family member jogging, skateboarding, cycling, or hiking.
  • Pet-friendly: German Wirehaired Pointers can get along great with cats and other animals, especially if they’re raised with them. However, the innate prey drive of the WHPs means any small pets like rabbits, hamsters, and other furry critters will not be safe. Likewise, for those Vorstehunde working with a water foul hunter, any pets of the feathered types will be at risk.

How Do German Wirehaired Pointers Interact with Strangers?

German Wirehaired Pointers are not friendly toward strangers. The Vorstehund is wise enough to identify who is a threat and who isn’t. While many Drahthaars are hesitant or even aggressive around strangers, they display a very affectionate and loving personality with their family members. They also often display protective traits, which means you could train a German Wirehaired Pointer to be a good watchdog.

Is the German Wirehaired Pointer Playful?

German Wirehaired Pointers are very playful with older children, adults, and even senior citizens and make excellent family dogs. Unlike most large dogs, the Vorstehund instinctively knows to be careful when young children are part of the play. Although that is one of the character traits of the German Wirehaired Pointer, there are no guarantees that your small child will be safe if left unsupervised to play with the furry family pup. Having your dog and your children socialized will give peace of mind.

Are German Wirehaired Pointers Protective?

Yes, German Wirehaired Pointers are protective. They are always alert and aware of everything that goes on.  GWP will let their families know when someone is on the property outside of his family unit, making them excellent watchdogs. They will use their warning bark to let his family know about potential dangers and protect them in any way necessary.

What is the Adaptability Level of German Wirehaired Pointers?

German Wirehaired Pointers are highly adaptable. Even if relocating from a farm or a ranch to an apartment in the city, they will quickly adapt if they are not separated from their human families and if they have ample outside play space. They would not live happily in an apartment with limited outdoor space. Boredom can quickly lead to destructive behavior.

What are the Personality Traits of German Wirehaired Pointers?

Affectionate and loyal to his family, the German Wirehaired Pointer is friendly toward people he knows but aloof with strangers. When raised in a family, he’s devoted to everyone but may have one person who’s a particular favorite. More than just a hunting dog, he loves human companionship and makes an excellent house dog and family member as long as he receives plenty of physical and mental exercise.

The GWP is a good watchdog, barking when strangers approach his property. He’s possessive of his things and people and could be aggressive toward strange dogs. He will defend his home and family if they’re in danger. Early socialization is a must, as it is with any breed. Trainers will find a sharp “No” more effective than harsh or rough treatment. Respect his intelligence, and you’ll find that he has a strong desire to please.

Can German Wirehaired Pointers be Aggressive?

The German Wirehaired Pointer breed can be wary toward strangers, especially if your pointer is female. However, they are not outwardly aggressive unless raised to be aggressive and incredibly antisocial.

Can German Wirehaired Pointers be Dangerous?

When confronted with a threat, a proper German Wirehaired Pointer will be somewhat more ready to fight than to flee. However, Drahthaars are more likely be pose danger to other dogs. They are dominant and will not hesitate to show other dogs their status within their family. They are more likely to threaten dogs of the same sex.

Do German Wirehaired Pointers Ever Attack?

German Wirehaired Pointers are more standoffish than aggressive with people they don’t know. If they weren’t properly socialized as pups, they could be aggressive towards other dogs. But for the most part, Drahthaars stand their ground and won’t go on the offensive unless clearly provoked or they sense immediate danger to themselves or their family.

Can German Wirehaired Pointers Kill Humans?

Yes, German Wirehaired Pointers can kill humans, although it is unlikely. These dogs may appear dangerous to some, but they will never hurt anyone. To be on the safe side, always train the dogs early to get them used to human interactions.

Do German Wirehaired Pointers cope with being left alone?

German Wirehaired Pointers are known to develop separation anxiety when they are left alone. With patient behavior training, your GWP can stay home alone for a few hours at a time but will become bored if you leave him longer. 

Can I Leave my German Wirehaired Pointer at Home?

German Wirehaired Pointers tend to become anxious and withdrawn when being left alone for some time, and they prefer to be at home with one of their human companions present. Many Drahthaars tend to form strong bonds with one family member. When that person has to go somewhere, the Vorstehund will be okay if some family members remain behind to show your Drahthaar Pointer he is not abandoned.

Can German Wirehaired Pointers be left alone for 8 hours?

Drahthaars need company, and they do not enjoy spending time alone for many hours and may develop separation anxiety. Don’t get a German Wirehaired Pointer if you must leave him on his own for hours on end. You can, however, leave him alone for short periods. Leaving your Drahthaar alone for more than four hours at a time is not recommended. If there is no other way, getting a dog walker or a sitter for a part of the day could prevent separation anxiety.

How to Train a German Wirehaired Pointer?

One of the standout qualities of a German Wirehaired Pointer is their intelligence, making them a pleasure to train. Start training them early to ensure they grow up to be well-socialized and well-versed in manners with both people and other dogs. To bring out the best in your German Wirehaired Pointer puppy, use lots of positive reinforcement during your training times. Toys, treats, and praise are great ways to reward your pup. These dogs love to be challenged and rewarded by their pet parents.

And don’t forget socialization. Start socializing your Drahthaar early to help get your puppy used to meeting new people and other dogs. Take your German Wirehaired Pointer puppy on leashed walks and let them safely meet new people and other dogs. Enroll in puppy preschool, where they’ll learn to play nicely with other puppies and meet new people all under one roof.

Drahthaars are serious workers and are known for their excellent memory and vision. So, once the German Wirehaired Pointer learns something, they’ll remember it. Be respectful of their learning ability. Don’t bore them by trying to drill the same command repeatedly when it’s clear they know what to do. A good outlet for German Wirehaired Pointers is hunting – specifically, duck hunting. Giving them a job to do will help with training and keep their minds sharp.

How to Train a German Wirehaired Pointer to Hunt?

These intelligent, athletic, affectionate dogs make great family members, but they were bred for hunting. Their powerful hindquarters were designed to get the dogs to prey quickly, and their webbed feet are made for retrieving birds from water with ease and grace. They are accustomed to working hard and crave activity.

Reacting to any action your dog makes can reinforce it over time. If your Drahthaar is a natural pointer, you might be able to train him to point for specific reasons, such as when he sees a neighborhood cat or needs to go out. If your dog shows an interest in pointing or is interested in seeing if your dog can point, you can reinforce the behavior in several ways:

  • Use a whistle, bell, or verbal command to teach your dog to “stop.” Dogs should be able to stop on command before learning to point.
  • Keep in mind what you are training your dog to point at and determine the chain of events that needs to happen before and after the point.
  • Keep the chain of events consistent while training: walk, stop, focus, point, pause, and praise.
  • Start your training in a small area with minimal distractions and move to larger areas with more distractions as your pup improves.
  • If he stands still, you have to stand with him. Concentrate and be silent and focused with your dog for a moment before rewarding him for pointing.
  • Seek other trained pointer dogs to help teach your dog the skill.

Although pointing is somewhat instinctive in a few breeds of dogs, it is primarily a learned behavior. It’s important to point out that it’s never too late to teach your dog something new.

How Frequently does a German Wirehaired Pointer Bark?

German Wirehaired Pointers dogs are calm, naturally protective, intelligent, and loving. And although a Vorstehund isn’t known to bark incessantly, they can get quite loud and aggressive if they detect impending danger. 

However, the frequency of your GWP bark will not be enough to upset your neighbors. Most dogs have different-sounding barks for different purposes, and after all, that is the only way canines can have their say.

Below is a list of bark types that owners will learn to recognize. 

  • German Wirehaired Pointers hate being left alone, and one way of coping with loneliness is barking. 
  • A lack of exercise and anxiety can also trigger barking.
  • Alarm barking is when your Drahthaar is barking as a way of alerting you of approaching danger. Alarm barking can save you from danger; however, GWPs may bark before ascertaining that there is a real danger.  
  • Another type of barking is demand barking, where a Drahthaar feels entitled to something or your attention and would bark as a way of demanding their rights. This type can be lowered through proper training and ignoring the barking.
  • The German Wirehaired Pointer uses arousal barking to show their frustrations.
  • Boredom barking signals that your German Wirehaired Pointer is tired or bored due to being left alone or infrequent exercises. 
  • Frequent barking can be a nuisance to both the owner and neighbors. Some types of barking tend to be monotonous and continuous. 

What is the need for Mental Stimulation of a German Wirehaired Pointer?

Your German Pointer needs constant stimulation throughout the day to keep him happy. Brain games are a great and easy way to stimulate his mind, so be sure to rotate a few of these games throughout the week to keep him occupied.

 GWPs are smart and learn fast, and they need regular mental stimulation. The playful and intelligent nature of GWP further calls for frequent mental activity. There are different ways of mentally stimulating your Drahthaar, and some of them are listed below.

  • Playing with interactive games or toys, including dog puzzles and canine board games.
  • Encourage sniffing during regular evening walks.
  • Provide healthy chews like dehydrated sweet potato strips. Chewing for extended periods calms the brain, thus lowering stress levels.
  • Hide and seek games
  • Drop and fetch games
  • Regular walks

These mental stimulation techniques should start at an early stage. German Wirehaired Pointers who are six years and older tend to have problems with their thinking ability and other cognitive functions. The primary signs of mental disorientation are listed below.

  • Excessive anxiety
  • Frequent accidents
  • Failure to recall previously learned commands
  • Changes in sleep and wake patterns
  • Low interest in physical activities
  • Poor social skills

What are the Breed Standards of German Wirehaired Pointer?

The German Wirehaired Pointer was developed as a dual-purpose hunter. He is expected to point his game on land, retrieve from water, or retrieve a rabbit or other small game if shot. The German Wirehaired Pointer has been a recognized breed in its native country since 1870. The breed was introduced to America in about 1920.

Some of the breed standards of German Wirehaired Pointers are given in the table below.

Breed Standards 

German Wirehaired Pointer Breed Information 


Solid liver, liver and white spotted, liver and white spotted and ticked, liver and white ticked, with or without patches.

Solid black, black and white spotted, black and white spotted and ticked, black and white ticked, with or without patches.


German Wirehaired Pointers are classified as a large breed

Eye Color 

Medium size, oval in shape, as dark as possible, with close-fitting rims. 

Average Weight 

German Wirehaired Pointers’ average weight is 66 pounds.

Average Height

German Wirehaired Pointers’ average height is 24 inches

Average lifespan 

German Wirehaired Pointer Dogs have a lifespan of 12 to 14 years

What is the General Information about German Wirehaired Pointer?

A dog “points” by freezing his body, often with one front paw up and aiming his nose at a particular spot. He will do this to bring attention to something and notify his pet parent of where to look. Although many people associate this behavior with dogs historically bred for hunting, other breeds can and will point.

What does it mean when a dog points? Usually, it’s that he found something interesting. That could be a duck, a squirrel, or even a tennis ball. Some dog breeds have the word in their name, such as the German Wirehaired Pointer, because of their love of finding, pointing at, and flushing small animals.

Where to Buy or Adopt a German Wirehaired Pointer?

German Wirehaired Pointers from breeders such as American Kennel Club cost about $600 to $950. The average cost for puppies under six months is approximately $800. Purebreds with an exceptional parental lineage may cost over $1,500.

If you want to bring a German Wirehaired Pointer home, you should not rush. The only “purebreds” available upon request are not the real thing and are likely bred on puppy farms. The more realistic way is to put your name on a waiting list, and while you’re waiting, learn as much as you can about this giant dog in the cutest little dog body.

Finding a reputable breeder or rescue facility is crucial. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. They are more interested in placing pups in suitable homes than making big bucks. 

Be wary of breeders who only tell you the good things about the breed or make irrational promises to promote the dogs. Be especially suspicious when you are offered a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. 

German Wirehaired Pointer puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they are so popular. Cute puppies sell, making the Drahthaar a favorite of puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. Do your homework before buying one of these little dogs, and you’ll be well rewarded with a beautiful companion dog.

The best way to ensure you get a healthy German Wirehaired Pointer puppy from a breeder or a rescue organization is to reach out to the registered organizations for the specific breed, if available. The German Wirehaired Pointer is recognized by the AKC, UKC, and FIC, listed below, along with other registered kennel clubs that might put potential Drahthaar owners in touch with reputable breeders. 

  • Fédération Cynologique Internationale (International)
  • United Kennel Club (International)
  • The Kennel Club (United Kingdom)
  • American Kennel Club Market Place
  • Europetnet
  • Canadian Kennel Club
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • United All Breed Registry
  • German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America 
  • The German Wirehaired Pointer Club (United Kingdom).

If you manage to track down German Wirehaired Pointer breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. German Wirehaired Pointer puppies are often peppy and playful—all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes. 

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

You might find a German Wirehaired Pointer puppy or a rescued adult to adopt or buy from abroad, but not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries will enable the importation of German Wirehaired Pointers may find the logistics challenging. 

Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the German Wirehaired Pointer is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel. Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What are the Rescue Clubs for German Wirehaired Pointers?

There are millions of homeless dogs worldwide; many are purebreds needing homes. Adopting a German Wirehaired Pointer can be life-changing, not only for the dog but also for the adopter. If you prefer adoption over purchasing a pup from a breeder, then your first stop should be the National German Wirehaired Pointer Rescue website. A German Wirehaired Pointer rescue group is an excellent idea if you want to adopt an older dog or even a German Wirehaired Pointer mix. 

The adoption fee for a Drahthaar from a rescue group or animal shelter will probably be between $150 and $200. Most dogs from rescue groups and shelters will be vaccinated, microchipped, spayed/neutered, and vetted before adoption

You can also reach out to your local rescue organization or animal shelter and ask if they have any German Wirehaired Pointers or related mixes available for adoption. If not, you can always put your name on a list so that when one comes in, you’re the first one they call.

Below is a list of registered rescue centers and kennel clubs to reach out to for guidance.

  • Canada Guide To Dogs (National German Wirehaired Pointer Rescue, Inc.)
  • Canada German Wirehaired Pointer Dog Rescue Group
  •  US German Wirehaired Pointer Club’s rescue network
  • National GWP Rescue
  • German Wirehaired Pointer Relief & Rescue
  • American German Pointer Club (ACC) Rescue Network

Facebook is another resource for pet adoption. You can search for German Wirehaired Pointer rescue groups in your region.

You can also search for adoptable German Wirehaired Pointers online through reliable websites such as

  • AnimalShelter 

German Wirehaired Pointer mixes may be available for adoption in shelters and rescues. If you want to adopt an AKC registered or a mixed breed German Wirehaired Pointer, the best first step is to contact shelters and breed-specific rescues to let them know you’re interested.

Below is a list of several German Wirehaired Pointer mixes.

  • German Wirehaired Pointer x American Pitbull mix = Pointer Pit
  • German Wirehaired Pointer x Beagle mix = Boingle
  • German Wirehaired Pointer x Border Collie mix = Border Point 
  • German Wirehaired Pointer x Labrador mix = Lab-Pointer 
  • German Wirehaired Pointer x Boxer mix = Boxapoint

German Wirehaired Pointer mixes adopted from a shelter may share physical characteristics of the breed, but their temperament may not match the breed standard. Shelters and rescues attempt to determine each dog’s personality through a series of evaluations; even if the dog’s temperament does not follow the breed standard, you can get the dog that suits your home.

What is the History of the German Wirehaired Pointer?

Though called a pointer, GWPs were painstakingly developed in Germany in the 1800s as versatile hunting dogs adept at scenting, pointing, and retrieving on land or water. Breeds in the crossbreeding mix include the German Shorthair Pointer, Pudelpointer, Griffon, and the Polish Water-Dog. The breed was officially recognized in Germany in 1870 and came to the US in 1920. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the German Wirehaired Pointer in 1959. The dog is popular in America for its hunting prowess.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for German Wirehaired Pointers?

The prices of German Wirehaired Pointers range between $600 and $950. The cost of a puppy from a registered breeder could vary, depending on the breeder you select, the location, the sex of the puppy, and, of course, the demand for the breed at the time. 

The bloodline of the puppy and its parents could also affect the price. You will be hard-pressed to find this breed in a shelter, but if you do, the price could be $300 to $500, based on the cost of care provided while keeping the German Wirehaired Pointer and extras like vaccinations and sterilizations. 

It is always best to consider annual expenses related to maintaining your German Wirehaired Pointer and its wellbeing before making the purchase. The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, sterilization, licensing, etc. You can expect to spend about $6,900 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $2,100 a year.  

Food and medical only, excluding toys, food and water bowls, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc., could cost an average of $850. The most regular annual expenses for dogs similar to the German Wirehaired Pointer are listed below.

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. Grooming would likely not affect the maintenance costs of German Wirehaired Pointers because they don’t need professional grooming about once per month to trim and bathe them.

How to Name a German Wirehaired Pointer?

Choosing a name for your German Wirehaired Pointer involves essential building blocks, including the significance of the sound. The Drahthaar ‘s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but for your canine companion, only the sound matters.

German Wirehaired Pointers respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

It is always a good idea not to rush into choosing a name. Spend a week or so with your new Drahthaar pup, and its character traits might be all the inspiration you need. Call out any name ideas, using different tones and sounds for the two syllables, and watch your puppy’s reaction to the sound. Remember, you must compose a sound that your Drahthaar will recognize from a distance, among many other sounds. 

Choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction and yelling or calling your German Wirehaired Pointer. Below is a list of suggestions of names inspired by your Drahthaar ‘s ancestors and country of origin. 

German Wirehaired Pointer Names

For German Breeds

German Wirehaired Pointer Boy Names

German Wirehaired Pointer Girl Names


Ruler of the people


The sister in the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel


Famous German composer


Lady of sorrow


Rising wolf


Precious stone




Popular German dumpling dish


Complete in mind, body, and spirit


Little flower or rose

What are the Different Types of German Wirehaired Pointers?

The term “pointing” describes a type of dog breed that tracks the scent of a prey item then instinctually freezes once it has located its quarry. The typical pointing position shows the dog’s body stiffening, holding one paw up in the air, the tail pointing upwards, and the nose signals towards the scent.

Below is a list of popular pointer breeds, several not including the word “Pointer” in the name. 

  • Bracco Italiano
  • Brittany
  • English Pointer
  • English Setter
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Spinone Italiano
  • Vizsla
  • Weimaraner
  • Irish Setter
  • Gordon Setter

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the German Wirehaired Pointer?

German Wirehaired Pointers may not be too difficult to find, but purebreds are expensive and involve long waiting lists. Finding a Drahthaar at a rescue center might be equally challenging because they are so popular. However, as wonderful of a dog as the German Wirehaired Pointer may be, they aren’t for everyone. Some dogs that are similar to the German Wirehaired Pointers are listed below.

Below is a list of similar breeds that might be a good match for your family.

  • Irish setters: Like pointers, Irish setters are also gun dogs, meaning they were bred to help hunt game, specifically birds. These dogs point to alert their owners to the birds they are trying to hunt. Both breeds are very energetic and loving. Pointers have a very dense coat that requires very little grooming, while Irish setters have curlier fur that will require much more attention.
  • Labrador retrievers: Labrador retrievers are another type of pointing dog, like pointers. They are around the same height as a pointer (between 22 and 24 inches), but are normally a little heavier (Labrador retrievers weigh between 55 and 75 pounds, while pointers weigh between 45 and 65 pounds. Both dogs are intelligent, playful, and easy to train. Pointers are typically more affectionate than Labrador retrievers.
  • English springer spaniel: The English springer spaniel is yet another type of gun dog. They have a more feathery coat compared to the pointer’s denser coat. Because of this difference, English springer spaniels require much more grooming than pointers do. Both breeds enjoy interacting with people and other animals, and they can be very active and playful. They both make good family pets and do well with other dogs. English springer spaniels are also cat-friendly, but pointers do not typically do well with cats. know more about English Springer Spaniel Social life care & diet information.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.