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German Wirehaired Pointer

German Wirehaired Pointer
Clearwater Sam, Courtesy of Ed Nuzum
photo by Matt Laur
Sometimes known by its German name, "Deutsch Drathaar" which translates to "German Wirehair," the German Wirehaired Pointer, as it's formally known in the U.S. by the American Kennel Club, is a fascinating breed that finds its roots in several other hunting dogs. The coat is weather-resisting in every sense of the term, and it is to large extent water-repellent. It is straight, harsh, wiry, and quite flat-lying. One and one half to two inches in length, it is long enough to shield the body from rough cover, but not so long as to hide the dog's athletic outline.

German Wirehaired Pointer
Clearwater Sam, Courtesy of Ed Nuzum
photo by Matt Laur
The breed was first imported into the United States in the 1920's, and was admitted into the AKC's stud book in 1959. Most of the early wirehaired Pointers represented a combination of Griffon, Stichelhaar, Pudelpointer, and German Shorthair. The Pudelpointer was a cross between a Poodle dog and an English Pointer bitch, while the Griffon and the Stichelhaar were composed of Pointer, Foxhound, Pudelpointer, and a Polish Water dog. It's easy, then, to appreciate the different hunting skills incorporated in the wirehaired pointers of a century or more ago.

By the nature of their breeding, these dogs need a lot of exercise, but they will adapt to a small yard or long walks. They are affectionate dogs, and although they may be aloof with strangers, they are devoted and somewhat protective of their families, and they especially enjoy children.

Below is the breed standard as recorded by the AKC:


Breed Standard

General Appearance German Wirehaired Pointer
The German Wirehaired Pointer is a well muscled, medium sized dog of distinctive appearance. Balanced in size and sturdily built, the breed's most distinguishing characteristics are its weather resistant, wire-like coat and its facial furnishings. Typically Pointer in character and style, the German Wirehaired Pointer is an intelligent, energetic and determined hunter.

Size, Proportion, Substance
The height of males should be from 24 to 26 inches at the withers. Bitches are smaller but not under 22 inches. To insure the working quality of the breed is maintained, dogs that are either over or under the specified height must be severely penalized. The body is a little longer than it is high, as ten is to nine. The German Wirehaired Pointer is a versatile hunter built for agility and endurance in the field. Correct size and balance are essential to high performance.

Head
The head is moderately long. Eyes are brown, medium in size, oval in contour, bright and clear and overhung with medium length eyebrows. Yellow eyes are not desirable. The ears are rounded but not too broad and hang close to the head. The skull broad and the occipital bone not too prominent. The stop is medium. The muzzle is fairly long with nasal bone straight, broad and parallel to the top of the skull. The nose is dark brown with nostrils wide open. A spotted or flesh colored nose is to be penalized. The lips are a trifle pendulous but close to the jaw and bearded. The jaws are strong with a full complement of evenly set and properly intermeshing teeth. The incisors meet in a true scissors bite.

Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is of medium length, slightly arched and devoid of dewlap. The entire back line showing a perceptible slope down from withers to croup. The skin throughout is notably tight to the body. The chest is deep and capacious with ribs well sprung. The tuck-up apparent. The back is short, straight and strong. Loins are taut and slender. Hips are broad with the croup nicely rounded. The tail is set high, carried at or above the horizontal when the dog is alert. The tail is docked to approximately two-fifths of its original length.

Forequarters
The shoulders are well laid back. The forelegs are straight with elbows close. Leg bones are flat rather than round, and strong, but not so heavy or coarse as to militate against the dog's natural agility. Dewclaws are generally removed. Round in outline, the feet are webbed, high arched with toes close, pads thick and hard, and nails strong and quite heavy.

Hindquarters
The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters. The thighs are strong and muscular. The hind legs are moderately angulated at the stifle and hock and, as viewed from behind, parallel to each other. Dewclaws are generally removed. Feet as in front.

Coat
The functional wiry coat is the breed's most distinctive feature. A dog must have a correct coat to be of correct type. The coat is weather resistant and, to some extent, water-repellent. The undercoat is dense enough in winter to insulate against the cold but is so thin in summer as to be almost invisible. The distinctive outer coat is straight, harsh, wiry and flat lying, and is from one to two inches in length. The outer coat is long enough to protect against the punishment of rough cover, but not so long as to hide the outline of the dog. On the lower legs the coat is shorter and between the toes it is of softer texture. On the skull the coat is naturally short and close fitting. Over the shoulders and around the tail it is very dense and heavy. The tail is nicely coated, particularly on the underside, but devoid of feather. Eyebrows are of strong, straight hair. Beard and whiskers are medium length. The hairs in the liver patches of a liver and white dog may be shorter than the white hairs. A short smooth coat, a soft woolly coat, or an excessively long coat is to be severely penalized. While maintaining a harsh, wiry texture, the puppy coat may be shorter than that of an adult coat. Coats may be neatly groomed to present a dog natural in appearance. Extreme and excessive grooming to present a dog artificial in appearance should be severely penalized.

Color
The coat is liver and white, usually either liver and white spotted, liver roan, liver and white spotted with ticking and roaning or solid liver. The head is liver, sometimes with a white blaze. The ears are liver. Any black in the coat is to be severely penalized.

Gait
The dog should be evaluated at a moderate gait. The movement is free and smooth with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hindquarters. The topline should remain firm.

Temperament
Of sound, reliable temperament, the German Wirehaired Pointer is at times aloof but not unfriendly toward strangers; a loyal and affectionate companion who is eager to please and enthusiastic to learn.

This standard was approved July 9, 1985 and reformatted May 14, 1989


 
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