German Wirehaired Pointer
German Wirehaired pointers trace their origins back to 1880. They originated in Germany, where breeders wanted to develop a rugged, versatile hunting dog that would work closely with either one person or a small party of persons hunting on foot in varied terrain; from the mountainous regions of the Alps, to dense forests, to more open areas with farms and small towns. The breed the Germans desired had to have a coat that would protect the dogs when working in heavy cover or in cold water, yet be easy to maintain. Careful crosses of the German pointer with many other breeds. Sources differ on the exact lineage, though the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Pudelpointer, Stichelhaar, and Deutscher-Kurzhaar are commonly accepted as the most likely contributors. This is a dog that can fully respond to the needs of its hunter. The goal was to develop a wire-coated, medium-sized dog that could:
- Search for, locate and point upland game
- Work both feather and fur with equal skill and retrieve water fowl
- Be a close-working, easily trained gun dog
- Be able to track and locate wounded game
- Be fearless when hunting "sharp" game such as fox
- Be a devoted companion and pet; and
- Be a watchdog for its owner's family and property.
Some consider the "Drahthaar" (the original breed of German registry) to be a different type of dog than the domestic German wirehaired pointer. While the two breeds are genetically indistinguishable, all "drahts" must meet rigorous hunt and physical evaluations before being eligible for breeding. In addition to searching and pointing, these tests include the tracking and recovery of all game including wounded game such as fox, rabbit, deer and boar, which may not be required of a dog that hunts birds predominantly. A desire to recover and retrieve game must be present in all "drahts" because of German statutes requiring the recovery of all game.
For upland (i.e. non-waterfowl) bird work, many GWPs have distinguished themselves with all-breed Field Championships and Master Hunter titles. When purchasing a working GWP, attention needs to be paid to identifying breeders that place emphasis on all aspects of the versatile hunting dog. Among these breeders can be found accomplished dogs including Dual Championships (both field and show).