German Wirehaired Pointers are smart, athletic, loyal dogs that love their owners and are a constant source of amusement. Unlike many breeds, male and female German Wirehaired Pointers tend to be close in size. However, some differences between the two genders may impact which is a better choice for you.
In this article, we’ll cover the differences between male and female German Wirehaired Pointers regarding personality, training, health, and breeding. Take a look at this information to help you decide which sex is right for you.
At a Glance
German Wirehaired Pointer 101
German Wirehaired Pointers (GWP) were developed in Germany during the 19th century. Hunting was a popular activity, and breeders of the time were focused on producing dogs who could work alongside humans. Wirehaired Pointers were bred to work on land and water as retrievers and game trackers.
The distinct wiry coat is designed to protect them from the harsh climate and terrain. It is thick, insulating, and water-repellant, with longer protective fur around the face.
German Wirehaired Pointers are active, intelligent, and affectionate dogs. They have a high work drive and are typically easily trained. Since they were bred to hunt all day if needed, the energetic dog needs vigorous daily exercise.
Although they’re friendly to strangers and other dogs, the GWP needs early training and socialization. They are not a good choice for anyone who isn’t able to meet their exercise and mental stimulation needs. German Wirehaired Pointers are also independent, which, combined with their intelligence, can make them a frustrating breed for inexperienced owners.
Male German Wirehaired Pointer Overview
Male German Wirehaired Pointers are energetic dogs. Their mind and body are constantly moving, curious about everything, and always ready to play. They are loyal dogs with protective instincts. Male GWPs are typically friendly to strangers, but that depends somewhat on how well-socialized they are. Research consistently indicates that male dogs of any breed tend to be bolder, braver, more willing to interact with other dogs, and more likely to display aggressive and dominant behavior.1
The German Wirehaired Pointer is considered easy to train due to their intelligence and desire to please. Training a male GWP might be slightly trickier because they’re more likely to have a dominant personality. Combined with their natural independent streak, these dominant tendencies may challenge inexperienced trainers and owners. Male German Wirehaired Pointers, especially if they aren’t neutered, may be more distractable during training, particularly if a female is in heat nearby.
Health & Care
Unneutered male German Wirehaired Pointers are prone to sex-specific health conditions like prostate disease and testicular cancer. Otherwise, they can inherit or suffer from the same medical issues as the female German Wirehaired Pointer.
Male German Wirehaired Pointers reach sexual maturity around 6 months or so. Once they do, they may display behaviors such as urine marking, humping other dogs or humans, and same-sex aggression. They’re also more likely to roam in search of a mate or become agitated and escape-prone if they smell a female in heat. If you choose to breed your dog, make sure to perform all the recommended health screenings first to weed out any of the genetic conditions we discussed in the previous section.
Female German Wirehaired Pointer Overview
Female German Wirehaired Pointers have similar energy levels to males. They are usually smaller than males, but the size difference is less obvious than most other breeds. You can expect them to be more reserved and less dominant. They should have the same intelligence, independence, and work drive. However, female dogs of all breeds tend to be more attentive and attached to their humans than males.
Because they are typically more submissive and responsive to humans, female German Wirehaired Pointers may be slightly easier to train than males. However, they are still independent thinkers and require patient and persistent training. Female GWPs want to use their brains and enjoy activities that allow them to move and think, such as tracking, hunting, or obedience trials.
Health & Care
Unspayed female German Wirehaired Pointers are prone to sex-specific health issues like pyometra and mammary cancer. Otherwise, they have the same health risks as male German Wirehaired Pointers.
Female German Wirehaired Pointers will experience their first heat around 6 months, possibly slightly earlier or later. They can become pregnant as soon as they are in heat. During this time, they may be more irritable and attempt to escape the house or yard in search of mates.
To prevent unwanted pregnancies, female German Wirehaired Pointers should be kept away from intact males while in heat, even those they’re related to. You can expect some spotting and bleeding as well. If you choose to breed your female GWP, they will need genetic screenings first. Pregnancy typically lasts about 2 months, and the dog will need extra nutrition, veterinary care, and support.
Which Gender Is Right for You?
German Wirehaired Pointers aren’t the best choice for first-time dog owners, but females may be slightly easier to handle if you are inexperienced. Male German Wirehaired Pointers may be more assertive, less fearful, and better suited to hunting or demanding athletic activities. If you decide not to spay or neuter your pet, dealing with sexual behaviors in females is mainly limited to twice-a-year heat cycles rather than year-round with males.
Whichever German Wirehaired Pointer you decide is right for you, make sure you’re prepared to deal with a dog that needs frequent exercise, consistent training, and regular mental stimulation. German Wirehaired Pointers need human interaction and won’t tolerate being left alone frequently, either. Male and female German Wirehaired Pointers can make excellent companions and affectionate pets when matched with the right family.
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