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How to Groom a German Wirehaired Pointer: 9 Expert Tips

Jordyn Alger

By Jordyn Alger

German Wirehaired Pointer outdoors

The German Wirehaired Pointer is a magnificent breed that is beloved for their affectionate and enthusiastic nature. Their roots can be traced back to 19th-century Germany, where they were put to work as versatile hunting dogs. They possess extraordinary hunting skills and an agreeable disposition, making them excellent hunting dogs and friendly companions.

As the breed’s name suggests, the German Wirehaired Pointer has a wiry coat and has different grooming needs when compared to dogs with smooth coats. In this article, we will review nine tips for grooming your German Wirehaired Pointer.


Before You Start

Some dog owners view grooming as an unpleasant chore, and many dogs feel the same. However, grooming doesn’t have to be a miserable affair. When done correctly, grooming your German Wirehaired Pointer can be a pleasant bonding experience. To make the experience as enjoyable as possible, it is recommended that you start with husbandry training.

Husbandry training involves preparing your dog for grooming, teeth brushing, nail trimming, and veterinary appointments. Through husbandry training, you can help your dog actively participate in the process, making grooming easier and more enjoyable for both of you.

One key way to prepare your dog is by teaching them to be comfortable with your hands touching them. Most dogs love to be petted, but touching paws, ears, or other sensitive areas can be a startling experience for them. You can help your dog grow accustomed to your touch by handling them regularly. Thus, when you need to groom your dog, they will not be startled by your contact.


The 9 Tips for Grooming a German Wirehaired Pointer

When it is time to groom your German Wirehaired Pointer, follow these nine steps for the best results.

1. Find the Right Brush

As mentioned before, your German Wirehaired Pointer has a wiry coat. Therefore, you need to find a brush appropriate for their fur texture. For this breed, a soft, slicker brush is a great option. Other good choices include pin brushes and bristle brushes.

Examples of slicker brushes you can use include the FURminator Firm Slicker Brush for Dogs and the Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs. For a pin brush and bristle brush combination, check out the Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush.

mans hand holding dog grooming brush
Image Credit: gaikova, Shutterstock

2. Know When and How to Brush

German Wirehaired Pointers don’t require excessive brushing, but you should still brush their coat every week. For a wiry coat, it is helpful to brush over your dog’s fur with the pin brush first, then brush through it again with a comb. Lastly, you’ll brush them again with a slicker brush. The pin brush helps remove dead hairs and excess undercoat, while the comb untangles hairs and smooths the coat. Finally, the slicker brush helps keep the coat looking healthy.

3. Understand How Wiry Coats Should Look

Wiry coats can look very different from smooth coats or other coat types. If you are grooming your German Wirehaired Pointer with the idea that they should look like a sleek Labrador Retriever when you are done, then you will need to readjust your expectations.

Wire-coated dogs appear to have rough, coarse fur. They are often described as being scrappy. Due to this, your German Wirehaired Pointer’s coat will never be perfectly smooth.

Two German Wirehaired Pointer close up
Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock

4. Strip the Coat

Brushing your German Wirehaired Pointer’s coat is essential, but equally important is stripping it. Stripping the coat essentially means plucking dead hairs from your dog’s coat. This process is tedious and time-consuming, but it is essential to the health and quality of your German Wirehaired Pointer’s coat.

5. Pluck Dead Hairs Over Time

Stripping your dog’s coat can consume a lot of time, but if you approach it strategically, it doesn’t have to. Rather than make a huge event out of plucking every single dead hair from your dog’s coat, you can pluck small bits of dead fur from their coat over time.

This can not only make the task more manageable, but it can also give your German Wirehaired Pointer’s coat a better appearance. Plucking all the dead hairs at once can sometimes make your dog appear patchy and fuzzy. By doing it bit by bit, you can keep their coat looking full and appealing.

stripping dogs dead hair
Image Credit: Glom, Shutterstock

6. Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Caring for your German Wirehaired Pointer’s coat isn’t the only important part of their grooming care; trimming their nails is another key part of caring for your dog. Generally, your German Wirehaired Pointer will need their nails trimmed every 3–4 weeks.

This task can be daunting even for experienced dog owners, so if you are having trouble clipping your dog’s nails, do not hesitate to contact a professional groomer for assistance.

You will need canine nail trimmers to care for your dog’s nails. Nail clippers for humans are not appropriate for your dog and can cause harm. Use the canine nail clippers to trim your dog’s nails bit by bit before reaching the quick. When you see the quick, that is your clue to stop trimming.

7. Don’t Forget Dental Care

Dental hygiene is a key component of caring for your dog. By providing canine dental chews, your dog can clean their teeth while gnawing on a treat. Brushing their teeth is another important part of caring for their dental health. You can buy a canine toothpaste and toothbrush so that you can brush your dog’s teeth regularly (as much as two times per day).

brushing dog teeth
Image Credit: DWhiteeye, Shutterstock

8. Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Husbandry training will come in handy for this step especially. When your dog has their ears cleaned, it can be a startling experience. With husbandry training, you can help make the process smoother and more enjoyable.

To clean your German Wirehaired Pointer’s ears, you must fill their ear canal with an ear-cleaning solution. Then, gently massage the base of the ear for around 30 seconds, listening for a squishing sound as the product dislodges debris from your dog’s ear.

Once this part is done, you can allow your dog to shake their head. You can use a microfiber towel to clean up the liquid they spray on your furniture and clothes. When your dog is done shaking their head, you can use a cotton ball to wipe the ear gently but do not insert anything inside of your dog’s ear.

9. Bathe Your Dog as Needed

If your German Wirehaired Pointer is smelly or dirty, it is a good time to bathe them. For wiry coats, it may be beneficial to strip the coat before bathing your dog so that you don’t waste time washing dead hair.

Hepper Colloidal Shampoo


Final Thoughts

German Wirehaired Pointers are beautiful dogs that require specialized grooming to keep their coats healthy. Preparing your dog for grooming with husbandry training is a great way to make the experience more pleasant for everyone involved. Similarly, by equipping yourself with the proper tools, you can make brushing and stripping your German Wirehaired Pointer’s coat easy. If you ever feel you are in over your head when grooming your dog, never hesitate to contact a professional groomer for assistance.

Featured Image Credit: Drazen Boskic PHOTO, Shutterstock

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