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10 German Wirehaired Pointer Pros and Cons: What To Know Before Getting One

Hanh Duong

By Hanh Duong

German wirehaired pointer standing on the river

If you love getting outside and exploring the great outdoors, you might want to consider getting yourself a German Wirehaired Pointer (GWP). These canines are super active and love to go on adventures with their humans. The cool thing about GWPs is that they’re easy to train and always eager to please their owners. Plus, they make great pets for families.

These dogs have a ton of energy, and if you give them enough love and attention, they’ll shower you with boundless love.

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The 5 German Wirehaired Pointer Pros

1. Weather-Resistant Coat

The German Wirehaired Pointer boasts a distinctive coat that exudes resilience and endurance. The wiry texture is virtually waterproof, allowing the dog to hunt in various environmental conditions without any hindrances. The fur is rough and straight, measuring 1.5 to 2 inches long, and lies flat against the skin, providing optimal protection from thorny shrubs and harsh weather.

The coat’s density is also crucial to the dog’s performance, enabling them to work efficiently and comfortably in cold water.

German Wirehaired Pointer
Image Credit: Anna Tronova, Shutterstock

2. A Multi-Purpose Breed

During the 1800s, Europe witnessed the creation of numerous hunting breeds. While England concentrated on developing specialized dogs, continental Europeans had a different approach. They focused on breeding all-around hunters that could effectively handle various game types on any terrain. This approach gave rise to breeds like German Wirehaired Pointers, which possess exceptional versatility.

These dogs are highly skilled at searching for and pointing out different types of games, whether mammals or birds. They are fearless and tenacious hunters, unafraid to go after the game and even retrieve birds from the water. GWPs also make excellent companions and effective watchdogs, further adding to their appeal and usefulness.

3. Devoted to Their Owners

It has been observed that German Wirehaired Pointers tend to prefer one particular person. This could be attributed to the dog’s innate desire to bond deeply with their owner since they’re super loyal and devoted.

However, when raised in a human family, these canines are known to be pleasant and friendly and can have a good relationship with everyone in the household. While GWPs may still have a favorite person, they enjoy spending time with all family members. They enjoy spending a lot of time with their owners and are happiest when doing so.

German wirehaired pointer dog sitting next to his owner the hunter being caressed
Image Credit: Leoniek van der Vliet, Shutterstock

4. Minimal Grooming Needs

The wiry coat of a German Wirehaired Pointer does not require much maintenance. They shed lightly throughout the year and brushing or combing their fur once a week will help remove any trapped dirt or debris. Grooming, checking, and cleaning their ears regularly is also necessary. This is also an excellent time to trim their nails, as long nails can cause discomfort during activities like walking, playing, or running.

Despite spending much time outdoors, German Wirehaired Pointers do not need frequent baths. Their weather-resistant coat allows mud and dirt to be brushed out once it dries. Only bathe them a few times a year or if they encounter something incredibly stinky while exploring.

5. Great for Active Owners

A German Wirehaired Pointer is an excellent choice for individuals who have a passion for the great outdoors and enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle. This breed is ideal for those looking for a pet to join them on long hikes through rugged terrain or for those who enjoy daily walks around their neighborhood.

The German Wirehaired Pointer is also suitable for families who like camping trips, as their robust build and outgoing personality make them a great addition to outdoor adventures. Anyone who considers themselves a true nature lover would find great joy in owning and spending time with this breed.

Portrait of a German wirehaired pointer dog sitting next to his owner
Image Credit: MykolaMoriev, Shutterstock

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The 5 German Wirehaired Pointers Cons

6. They’re Not Suitable for First Time Owners

Selecting the perfect canine companion can be daunting, especially for those new to dog ownership. When evaluating potential pets, it is crucial to consider their sensitivity, independence, and assertiveness levels. Managing dogs with these traits can require extra effort and attention. Additionally, it is critical to consider one’s prior experience as a dog parent when choosing a new furry friend.

For instance, German Wirehaired Pointers (GWPs) are not suitable for novice owners due to their high energy levels and constant need for attention. Researching and carefully weighing all factors before deciding on a new pet is always advisable.

7. They’re Highly Active

Having a German Wirehaired Pointer as a pet can be tiring due to its high energy levels. As a breed initially developed for hunting and outdoor activities, GWPs naturally prefer to run and explore their surroundings. This also means they require significant exercise to maintain their mental and physical well-being.

German Wirehaired Pointer
Image Credit: Vellicos, Shutterstock

8. Can Be Overprotective at Times

While some German Wirehaired Pointers are pretty friendly, most tend to be reserved with unfamiliar people and may exhibit protective behavior (although not typically aggressive). However, they may be aggressive or dominant with unknown dogs and display a high prey drive, leading to attacks toward cats.

One of the defining characteristics of German Wirehaired Pointers is their strong-willed and determined nature. As a result, they require an owner who can provide them with the necessary leadership. Compared to their German Shorthair counterparts, they are often more serious and discerning in temperament, though some possess a more playful demeanor.

9. Easily Bored

If proper activities are not provided for German Wirehaired Pointers (GWPs), they may engage in destructive behaviors such as digging, barking, and chewing. This will undoubtedly be frustrating for their owners, who may have to deal with the aftermath. Therefore, allocating sufficient time for training and engaging with your GWP is crucial to fix these unwanted behaviors.

It is worth noting that GWPs are naturally eager to please, and positive reinforcement is the most effective approach to training them to become well-behaved pets. Owners can mold their GWPs into obedient, well-rounded companions with patience and consistency.

German Wirehaired Pointer Puppy
Image Credit: B. Shay, Shutterstock

10. Health Issues

The German Wirehaired Pointer breed is usually healthy but prone to more health issues than their shorthaired counterparts. Eye, joint, thyroid, and heart disorders are common issues. In addition, they are susceptible to blood clotting disorders. Nevertheless, responsible breeders can prevent many of these conditions by screening.

It is also essential to check their ears regularly for any signs of infection and provide proper care. By taking these preventive measures, you can ensure that your pet remains healthy and happy for years to come.



Ensuring that your German Wirehaired Pointer leads a happy and fulfilling life depends heavily on finding the right family. These canines require plenty of attention and exercise, so they shouldn’t be left alone for extended periods. They should have access to large open areas or trails to help them stay active and burn off excess energy. If these conditions are met, the GWP will make a perfect companion.

German Wirehaired Pointers can make wonderful family pets, particularly for families with older children. However, it’s essential to socialize them early on and have a confident owner to prevent aggressive behavior. If you encounter any issues or concerns, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a specialist in dog behavior. Remember, your pet’s happiness and well-being should be your top priority.

Featured Image Credit: eAlisa, Shutterstock

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