German Wirehaired Pointer

Lifestyle Needs

German Wirehaired Pointer

The German Wirehaired Pointer is part of the group of Gundogs known as hunt, point, retrieve, he therefore has a strong hunting instinct.  He is a large, strong athletic dog who needs more than two hours exercise every day and plenty of free running.  Ideally he should live in a house with a garden.  The GWP is noted for his harsh, wiry, protective coat which needs to be groomed a couple of times a week and occasionally ‘stripped’.  He needs a firm, experienced owner who is willing to invest time in his training.  There can be temperament issues, including aggression and separation anxiety.  He does not make an ideal family dog.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 3.6% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) (Bloat/Torsion) Associated with deep chested breeds.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia: breed mean score 10.4 (parents should be lower).

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

  • von Willebrands disease (vWD) type 2
  • Factor 1X Deficiency (Haemophilia B)
  • Factor V11 Deficiency
  • Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)
  • Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa (JEB)
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test. Good breeders will have followed the recommendations of the appropriate breed clubs, Kennel Club and/or other qualified experts.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

Breed club testing by echocardiogram for Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Atopy
  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Entropion
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cataract
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
  • Lipoma

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

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