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German Wirehaired Pointer standing in a green grassy field.
©Courtney Bastian

German Wirehaired Pointers are loving and enthusiastic gundogs that make versatile hunting partners or eager companions for dog sports. Here are some fun facts about the breed to help you get to know them better.

1. Members of the Sporting Group

Like their fellow breeds in the Sporting Group, they’re likable, energetic, and alert. Sporting breeds follow their well-developed instincts, whether they’re in the forest or in the water, which makes them popular with hunters and people who love the outdoors.

2. Their Many Nicknames

Looking for a way to abbreviate the three-word breed name? You can also call the German Wirehaired Pointer a “GWP” or “Wirehair.”

3. An Energetic Breed

GWPs have high activity levels, so they need regular, vigorous exercise. They do well with a fenced yard, daily walks, and participation in physical activities like outdoor sports. This is not a breed to be a couch potato or lap dog.

German Wirehaired Pointer sitting outdoors.
PavelRodimov/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

4. A Desire to Work

Aside from being smart, curious and determined, they also have an independent streak and will sometimes only work for someone they like. This combination can be challenging for new dog owners or inexperienced trainers. Giving GWPs a job to do can be helpful because it engages their minds and gives them a satisfying sense of purpose. The job doesn’t need to be complicated—it can be as simple as fetching the paper from the front stoop every morning, as long as it keeps them busy and out of trouble.

5. Weather-Resistant Coats

The wiry German Wirehaired Pointers’ coat is weather-resistant and virtually water-repellent, allowing them to work in harsh conditions. Their fur is rough and straight, from one-and-a-half to two inches long, and lies flat against the skin. It protects a GWP’s body from thorny bushes and bad weather while they’re hunting on land, and its density helps the dog work equally well in cold water.

6. Bushy Beards and Eyebrows

Besides their characteristic wire-like coat, you can also identify German Wirehaired Pointers by their distinctive bushy beard and eyebrows. These are typical of many German breeds, and they give the GWP an intelligent expression.

German Wirehaired Pointer getting attention.
©rodimovpavel -

7. A Multi-Purpose Breed

In the 1800s, when hunting breeds were being developed all over Europe, breeders in England decided to breed specialist dogs. The continental Europeans took a different approach, developing all-round hunters that could work many types of game on any terrain. German Wirehaired Pointers are a great example of such a flexible breed that can perform many tasks. GWPs can do it all and are adept at searching for and pointing different types of game, whether it’s birds or mammals, fearlessly hunting game and retrieving birds from the water, all while still being loving companions and watchdogs.

8. Related to the German Shorthaired Pointer

A close relative of the German Wirehaired Pointer is the German Shorthaired Pointer. Besides the difference in coats, the GWP is the slightly heavier and taller of the two breeds.

9. Devoted to Their Owners

If they’re raised in a one-person household, German Wirehaired Pointers are likely to then become one-person dogs. But those raised with a human family will bond with everyone, although they still might pick a favorite. They are happiest to spend a lot of time with their owners.

Related article: The Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2022
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