Questions You Should Consider Before Getting A German Wirehaired Pointer
German Wirehaired Pointers are considered a hunting “gun dog” breed. They were bred to assist hunters in going after various types of game such as stags, wild boars, vermin and rabbits, as well as ducks and other birds. The purpose of the dog wasn’t to catch the prey, however, but merely to locate it and to “point” towards it with its body. This way the hunters could know exactly where the prey is without alerting it.
Why does this matter to you if you’re looking for a family pet, however? Because it tells you exactly what type of dog pointers are – intelligent, hard-working, social, physically active, and not inherently aggressive.
So, does this mean that it’s the right dog for you? To find that out, let’s go over the most common 25 questions you should consider before getting a German Wirehaired Pointer.
1. Are German Wirehaired Pointers good family dogs?
While not a dedicated family pet, German Wirehaired Pointers can be phenomenal pets for outdoorsy families who like to spend a lot of time outside. As long as you live running around and playing with your pointer, he or she will love playing, cuddling, and sleeping with you afterward. These are smart and social animals which is the prerequisite for a good family pet.
2. How big do German Wirehaired Pointers get?
The average height of an adult German Wirehaired Pointer at the shoulder is 26 inches (66 cm). Females can be an inch or two shorter than males. As for weight, these dogs will usually weigh about 60 to 70 ls (27 to 32 kg).
3. Is the German Wirehaired Pointer a healthy breed?
This is a pretty healthy breed overall. The only rare health problems you should watch out for include hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, gastric torsion (bloating), seizures, hypothyroidism, and eye entropion.
4. How long do German Wirehaired Pointers live?
The average lifespan of these dogs is 12 to 14 years which is pretty great for a mid-sized-to-large dog like the pointer. This is basically a lifespan you’d expect from a small breed. And, if you take good care of your pointer they can even surpass that average.
5. Are German Wirehaired Pointers aggressive toward strangers?
This breed can be a bit wary toward strangers, especially if your pointer is female. However, they are not outwardly aggressive unless they’ve been brought up to be incredibly antisocial. This isn’t a guard dog breed, after all.
6. Do German Wirehaired Pointers have double coats?
This breed does indeed have a functional double coat. This is great for swimming as well as for thermal isolation during both hot and cold weather. It also means seasonal shedding, however.
7. Does a German Wirehaired Pointer shed?
This breed is considered a moderate shedder. They are nowhere near the level of German Shedders, for example, but they do shed a bit. Because they have undercoats, they mostly shed in the spring and autumn which means that you can prepare and “intercept” their shedding with a well-timed grooming appointment.
8. Are German Wirehaired Pointers hypoallergenic?
No breed is technically 100% hypoallergenic but Wirehaired Pointers aren’t even a little bit hypoallergenic.
9. Should you cut your German Wirehaired Pointer’s hair?
Cutting is ok if you want to keep your dog’s hair short. Don’t shave this breed, however, as it needs its undercoat to keep itself isolated from both hot and cold weather.
10. Do you need to take your German Wirehaired Pointer to the groomer?
You don’t “need” to but it’s a very good idea for all wirehaired breeds. That’s especially so before the seasonal blow-out shedding in the spring and autumn.
11. Are German Wirehaired Pointers social and friendly?
Indeed they are. This breed has been working and living with people for centuries. They can be a little wary of strangers but not as much as guard dogs. It’s nothing a bit of socialization can’t fix.
12. Do German Wirehaired Pointers like to cuddle?
You’d think a hunting dog isn’t a passionate cuddler but you’d be wrong. As long as they’ve received enough playtime, pointers love to rest on our laps or on our legs.
13. Are German Wirehaired Pointers smart?
Very much so. This breed has been bred to work with people and to perform complex tasks.
14. Are pointers easy to train?
All pointers are traditionally smart, quick learners, and pretty easy to train. This isn’t one of those breeds who are highly intelligent but also incredibly stubborn. Instead, pointers have been bred to be cooperative and to instinctively follow orders.
15. Do German Wirehaired Pointers suffer from separation anxiety?
German pointers aren’t the most susceptible breed to separation anxiety, especially if they have another dog to keep them company. If they are your only canine, however, and you leave them alone routinely, they will likely start developing some anxiety eventually.
16. Are pointers good with kids?
This breed is pretty tolerant of all family members, including kids. Especially if they have grown with the child they won’t have any problems with it. You should only watch out for their high energy as they can accidentally push and knock an especially small kid on the ground.
17. Do German Wirehaired Pointers get along with other dogs?
Pointers were bred and trained to live and work with other dogs so they don’t have a lot of instinctive aggression toward other canines. Especially if they are properly socialized and have lived with dogs for long, they will love having another dog at home.
18. Can a German Wirehaired Pointer live with a cat?
Pointers are a hunting breed with strong instincts for chasing small furry prey. This doesn’t make them the best roommate for a cat. Extensive socialization and behavioral training from early on can help. If the dog has lived with the cat since its earliest pup years – that’d help too. But it’s generally not a good idea.
19. How much exercise does a German Wirehaired Pointer need?
**This is a high-energy sporting/hunting dog so it needs a lot of exercise. **A bare minimum of two hours of active outdoor time per day is a must. Add some yard time and a few long hikes on the weekends and you’ll get a happy pointer. Otherwise – not so much.
20. Do you need a big yard for a German Wirehaired Pointer?
Big? Not necessarily. But at least an average backyard can help you a lot in keeping your pointer happy and exercised. Do make sure that you have a 6-foot-tall fence, however, as these dogs are escape artists. Otherwise, a strictly indoors lifestyle likely won’t give them enough exercise.
21. Do German Wirehaired Pointers like to swim?
This pointer breed is a fantastic swimmer. While not a dedicated retriever breed, they do love to get wet. And, their wirehaired coats make them even better at keeping warm than shorthaired pointers.
22. Do pointers bark a lot?
German Wirehaired Pointers bark from time to time but not too often. The breed’s “profession” didn’t require a lot of barking as these dogs were meant to quietly sneak up on the prey and point toward it with alerting it. At the same time, pointers are still dogs so they can bark from time to time. If you want your pointer not to bark, you should make sure to socialize your puppy and potentially go through some no-bark training.
23. Do pointers point naturally or do they need training?
Very often they will, yes. This isn’t a guarantee, however, as some training was also involved in raising a gun dog pointer. However, hundreds of years of selective breeding have left their mark and many pointers will instinctively freeze in position and raise one of their front paws when they see something interesting.
24. What is the difference between a German Wirehaired Pointer and a German Shorthaired Pointer?
The only major difference between these two pointers is in the name – one is shorthaired and the other is wirehaired. This matters not just for their looks, however. Shorthaired pointers do well in warmer climates while wirehaired ones can tolerate colder weather better.
25. How much does a German Wirehaired Pointer cost?
The average price for a German Wirehaired Pointer puppy is about $900 or between $800 and $1,200 depending on the breeder. This is relatively low for such a healthy and good family pet breed. We’d recommend finding a good breeder even if the price is higher – it’s worth it for a healthier dog.
In conclusion, even though “gun dog” sounds scary at first, German Wirehaired Pointers actually make for fantastic family pets. These dog’s high intelligence, social nature, and nearly boundless energy are fantastic for a lot of families with and without children. The breed does require quite a bit of time outside, however, so it’d be ideal if you are an outdoorsy family.