The German wirehaired pointer is a medium to large dog that was developed in the 19th century in Germany. Originally bred as a hunting dog and gun dog, the German wirehaired pointer’s ancestors include the griffon, and various other working German dog breeds. Today, they are widely owned as pets and companions, but still remain as the most popular working gun dog in Germany.
The German wirehaired pointer is a muscular dog that is well balanced and lithe, with a weight in proportion to their height. They have the typical pointer dog conformation, but also have webbed feet, which makes them keen and adept swimmers! They share some similarities in appearance with the Spinone Italiano, a breed with which they are often confused.
The coat of the dog is short and wiry, with a thick, dense undercoat in the winter that sheds almost entirely in the summer. They can be seen in colours including liver, liver and white, black and white, or solid black, although not all breed clubs permit the solid black variant.
If you are considering buying or adopting a German wirehaired pointer, it is important to find out about the temperament and core traits of the breed before committing to a purchase. An important part of this involves finding out about the breed’s hereditary health and average lifespan too, which we will cover in more detail in this article. Read on to learn more.
The average lifespan of the German wirehaired pointer is 9-12 years, which presents quite a range of variance across the breed. The top end of the scale is firmly within the average ranking across the board for dogs of a similar size and build, but at the lower end, indicates a shorter lifespan than most equivalent pedigree dogs.
The coefficient of inbreeding statistic for the German wirehaired pointer is 3.6%, which indicates that the breed is relatively genetically diverse, and not subjected to a significant degree of inbreeding. The ideal figure for pedigree dogs is 6.25% or lower, and all pedigree breeders are advised to keep the figure for their own breed lines as low as possible.
While the conformation of the German wirehaired pointer is considered to be healthy and proportionate, the deep chest of the breed does place them at risk of bloat, or gastric dilation. This condition causes the stomach to fill with gas, and possibly twist on itself, which is very painful and can prove fatal without surgery.
A range of health schemes and testing schemes are in place for the breed, in order to identify a predisposition to certain hereditary health problems prior to breeding. This permits breeders to make an informed decision on whether or not to breed from their dogs. Current schemes and tests available include:
The German wirehaired pointer breed is also known to be prone to a small number of other health conditions, but which are not considered to be common enough across the breed as a whole to necessitate pre-breeding testing. Such conditions include:
While it is not possible to test for these conditions prior to breeding or in puppies from the litter, looking at the health and background of the parents and grandparents of the line can help to identify whether or not any given condition has occurred within the breed line before. This can help you to make an informed decision as to whether or not the condition is likely to have a higher chance of developing in puppies from the same line.