Bred as a multi-purpose hunting dog, the German Wirehaired Pointer temperament is willful, loyal, and intelligent.
German Wirehaired Pointers came about because German hunters were fed up with single-purpose working dogs (those who only pointed or retrieved).
So they created a versatile, rugged breed: the German Wirehaired Pointer.
German Wirehaired Pointers would scent out, point, and retrieve multiple types of game from both land and water. In fact, they actually have webbed feet, which helped them wonders in retrieving waterfowl!
German Wirehaired Pointer Temperament and Personality
He is a loyal family dog
German Wirehaired Pointers are very affectionate with their humans. When raised with a family, they are devoted to everyone but may choose a favorite. So, if you’ve felt jealous in the past when your pet seemed to love your spouse more than you, be prepared to go through that all over again with the German Wirehaired Pointer.
Above all, though, these dogs love human companionship. He may not enjoy the company of human strangers, though, but you should be able to train him out of this with early socialization. (More on this below.)
German Wirehaired Pointers are protective
The German Wirehaired Pointer breed make great watchdogs – barking if intruders are near. They can, however, be possessive of things and humans. Watch them around strange or stray dogs as they will defend their family if they believe they are in danger.
They do well with older children but are dog selective.
German Wirehaired Pointers are great companions for families with older children. Their size and energy level may be too much for younger children, but it all depends on the individual dog and how the children interact with him.
They can be aggressive towards new or unfamiliar dogs but if raised with them, they will get along perfectly fine.
Be wary of strangers.
German Wirehaired Pointers can be anywhere from aloof to completely unfriendly toward strangers. This is not true for all Germans, of course, but it is a generalization that often applies.
However, the earlier you socialize your dog, the better his relationships with people will be. While this kind of behavior sounds perfectly fine from a protective standpoint, you want to be sure he won’t completely snub your new friends or your neighbors who are outside during your daily walks.
German Wirehaired Pointers aren’t made for apartment life.
This is an active and boisterous breed that is not suited for apartment life. A house with a fenced-in yard is a must for the German Wirehaired Pointer. He’s a wired dog for sure – after all, it’s right there in his name!
Any hunting dog will require the same – it’s in their blood. They need to have a large yard to run around in, as well as daily walks, to satisfy their need to expel excess energy.
Else, you’ll have a bored dog on your hands. And, as we all know, the fastest way to destroy your house and all your belongings is to allow your dog to grow bored! A bored dog can become a barker, a chewer, and an all-around nuisance and destroyer.
Don’t let this happen to your dog! Give him the space and exercise he needs, and everyone will be happy.
Don’t be afraid to take control!
The German Wirehaired Pointer is not a good selection for someone who has never owned a dog and feels timid around dogs. You must be able to let this breed know where you stand, that you are the leader here, not him.
The German Wirehaired Pointer is a determined dog with a strong will. You need to be able to help him rein it in if you have any hope of ever having a healthy relationship with your dog.
Does dog drool drive you crazy? Do you want to squirm when you step in a puddle of water in the kitchen, left behind by a dog who just sloppily drank out of his dish? If so, then the German Wirehaired Pointer does not a good match for you make.
The German Wirehaired Pointer is one messy dog. Be prepared to regularly dry his beard with a paper towel, else risk your floors being regularly soaked from the water that drips onto it from his beard, which he soaked in the water dish as he drank from it.
How to Train a German Wirehaired Pointer?
The intelligent German Wirehaired Pointer – like most other sporting breeds – does well with training. They are eager to please and responsive – but they are also independent thinkers.
Stay one step ahead of a German Wirehaired Pointer or they’ll put their own twist on what you are trying to train.
Give him a clear set of rules, and don’t stray away from them.
Be consistent with German Wirehaired Pointer training and use positive reinforcement methods like praise and treats. To avoid boredom, keep sessions short and fun.
Thanks to their origin as versatile hunting companions and their extreme stamina, German Wirehaired Pointers excel in field sports. If you aren’t a hunter, channel their energy and intelligence into dog sports like flyball, agility, rally, and obedience.
German Wirehaired Pointers also make excellent therapy, search and rescue, and drug detection dogs.
One thing’s for sure: you’ll be impressed with how hard this dog works. Just make sure the work he’s doing is in your favor, rather than against it, and you two will get along just fine!
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your German Wirehaired Pointer dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
Finding the Perfect German Wirehaired Pointer
Think the German Wirehaired Pointer will make the perfect addition to your family? Now is the time to decide whether to purchase a German Wirehaired Pointer puppy from a breeder or adopt from a rescue.
Do you have the time to dedicate to a puppy? Or, does it make more sense to adopt an adult German Wirehaired Pointer from a rescue? Adults are often already housetrained and have a grasp on basic obedience commands.
A great place to start your search is the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America. They have information on breeders as well as rescues.
German Wirehaired Pointer Puppies for Sale
How much is a German Wirehaired Pointer you ask?
Purebred German Wirehaired Pointer puppies for sale will cost between $700-$900.
The German Wirehaired Pointer cost depends on litter availability, location, and pedigree.
Expect to pay closer to $900 for a champion bloodline or show-quality dog.
The German Wirehaired Pointer price for adoption depends on location and the rescue organization but typically costs between $200-$500.
German Wirehaired Pointer Rescue and Adoption
If a German Wirehaired Pointer adoption is best for your family, begin your search at the National German Wirehaired Pointer Rescue. They have adoptable pups all over the United States as well as information on the German Wirehaired Pointer breed.
Adopting from a German Wirehaired Pointer rescue is great for those who aren’t looking to add a puppy to the family.
Most dogs available for adoption are older, already trained, and much calmer than German Wirehaired Pointer puppies!
German Wirehaired Pointer Breeders
Decided on a German Wirehaired Pointer for sale from a breeder? Your first stop should be the AKC Marketplace. Here, you can search for German Wirehaired Pointers breeders based on location, distinction, puppies available, and champion bloodlines.
To find the perfect breeder, don’t skimp on research. There are a lot of reputable breeders but there are also non-reputable ones.
A non-reputable breeder will not provide health certificates or be able to answer questions about the breed. They may have unsanitary German Wirehaired Pointer kennels and not treat their dogs and litters with respect.
Reputable breeders, on the other hand, will be able to answer your questions, ask you questions in return, and be able to provide health certificates. And, they’ll have clean kennels!
Caring for a German Wirehaired Pointer
The German Wirehaired Pointer weighs between 50-70 pounds and will live between 14-16 years.
Full-grown males stand between 24-26 inches and females stand between 22-26 inches.
How to Groom a German Wirehaired Pointer?
German Wirehaired Pointers have a double coat that protects them from cold and wet conditions.
The wiry, coarse coat is around one to two inches long.
Their distinctive beard and bushy eyebrows are more than just looks, they protect the face and eyes from cuts or scratches.
Their coat comes in different combinations of liver and white. Like the coat, they have liver-colored noses, lips, and spots in the mouth.
German Wirehaired Pointers require minimal grooming.
Regular brushing will suffice and only bathe them as needed.
If you’re wondering “do German Wirehaired Pointers shed?”, the answer is yes, but they shed lightly year-round, so they’re not very high maintenance. It’s certainly nothing compared to owning, say, a Husky!
On that note, I can answer another question for you: no, German Wirehaired Pointers are not what you might consider “hypoallergenic.” Typically, any dog who sheds can cause an allergic reaction, but you can also be allergic to the dog’s saliva or dander.
That’s why no dog is truly “hypoallergenic.” The only way to know for sure if you’ll have a reaction is to spend a significant amount of time with German Wirehaired Pointers.
Staying Healthy: Germain Wirehaired Pointer Health Issues
The German Wirehaired Pointer can suffer:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Entropian (inward rolling of the eyelid)
- Von Willebrand’s disease (inherited blood disorder)
Note: Few things are more important than our Health. It's no different with our Dog's Health. Some visits to your Vet can be prevented if only we knew what to do to keep our dog healthy. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is the answer. No dog owner should be without this handy guide. It's no substitute for your vet but will help you quickly understand and recognize symptoms before they become a serious problem for your dog.
Also, see our article on Dog Ailments to learn more about health risks to your dog.
The German Wirehaired Pointer is a highly active breed. They are sporting dogs who love outside activities – like long walks, runs, hikes, or play sessions in the backyard.
Make sure they have enough physical and mental exercise to avoid boredom and destructive behavior.
Top German Wirehaired Pointer Mixes
If you’re a sucker for a mixed breed, then you may be interested in bringing home a German Wirehaired Pointer mixed breed. If so, then you may want to check out some of the following popular German Wirehaired Pointer mixes:
- German Wirehaired Lab (Labrador Retriever mix)
- German Wirehaired Pointing Vizsla (Vizsla mix)
- German Hund Pointer (Dachshund mix)
- German Wirehaired Pointing Wolfhound (Irish Wolfhound mix)
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon vs German Wirehaired Pointer
Sure, they both have “point” in their names, and some may even think they look alike, but what exactly separates the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon from the German Wirehaired Pointer? Well, for one thing, while every dog is different, the generalizations we can make about the temperament of both dogs are vastly different.
As a hunter, the German prefers to be more aggressive, protective, and distant. The German also needs more space than the Pointing Griffon does.
If you’re a first-time dog owner, then the Pointing Griffon is the better choice, hands down. The German is a bit harder to handle. Both dogs are generally good with kids of all ages, though the Pointing Griffon is significantly better with both dogs and cats than the German is.
Surprisingly, the Pointing Griffon is more aloof with strangers than the German is, though the German is more likely to be the howler out of the two.
Conclusion: Why the German Wirehaired Pointer?
The German Wirehaired Pointer temperament is a willful and stubborn one, but they can also be affectionate and loyal dogs.
While they can be aloof with strangers, they are very hopelessly devoted to their family.
They are intelligent and eager to please, making them (almost) perfect training candidates.
German Wirehaired Pointers are great with both young and older children, and they will get along with both dogs and cats when raised with them.
If you’re looking for a dog who has an independent, eager to learn, and active temperament the German Wirehaired Pointer should be your next companion.
Kailyn has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2012, and during that time she has written about nearly every dog breed imaginable. Her mother loved Collies, and so Kailyn grew up with three of them throughout her childhood – including a blonde one who was half-blind! Now her home belongs to her first official dog, Macho, a Dogo Argentino rescue.