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German Wirehaired Pointer - Temperament & Personality

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
German Wirehaired Pointer


The German Wirehaired Pointer is a people-oriented dog who loves human companionship and will want to be a part of every aspect of family life. They are attention-seekers and will clown around or even make a little mischief in order to maintain his “star” status. Wirehaired Pointers are hunting dogs, who are at their happiest when out in the field, working alongside people. After a long day in the brush, he'll want to come home and be pampered with praise, treats, and lots of belly rubs. While they aren't the best choice for families with small children, they get along great with older children, especially if the older kids are willing to play outdoors. They are protective of their property and family and make excellent watchdogs.

Activity Requirements

German Wirehaired Pointers have their roots in the hunting field. They can run all day, and still come back for more. When they catch a scent, they become focused, efficient trackers and they are versatile enough to hunt on land or retrieve out of water. They are best suited in homes where they will be utilized in the field, or where families are already committed to an active, outdoor lifestyle. Two hours a day of vigorous activity is required for healthy development of a Wirehaired Pointer, and if they don't get enough exercise, they will become high strung, anxious, and destructive.

Pointers don't really are what they are doing outside, as long as it involves the company of the people they love. Simply opening the back door and hoping the dog will entertain himself won't cut it. Pointers make excellent jogging companions, love to take long hikes, especially if there is a river or lake nearby where he can take a swim. In the back yard, “hide and seek” style games where he can search out toys and treats are a good choice.


German Wirehaired Pointers are strong willed and stubborn. Training them in basic obedience is can be challenging for first time dog owners, as it requires calm-assertive leadership and absolute consistency. Bend the rules once, and you have to start the process over from scratch. Training should be done in short spurts, to keep them interested and conducted with an abundance of treats. Once leadership is established and basic obedience mastered, Pointers should be graduated into advanced obedience and if possible, agility training. This breed needs to keep their minds active in order to be happy, and though they can be stubborn, they enjoy the physical and mental stimulation of the agility track. In recent years, search and rescue teams have come to use the German Wirehaired Pointer, as their hunting instincts are strong, and they thrive on the reward of finding missing people.

Housebreaking a Wirehaired Pointer can take as long as six months. Some may pick it up faster than others, but crating is the best way to get through this drawn out process.

Behavioral Traits

Separation Anxiety is common among this breed. They require a lot of physical and mental stimulation in order to maintain an even temperament, and if their requirements are not met, anxiety sets in and that means destructive chewing and excessive barking. Couple their need for activity with their strong need for human companionship, and things get much worse. People who work long hours should consider another breed, as the Wirehaired Pointer does best in homes with a stay at home parent, or among people with flexible work schedules.

Their tendency for jealousy and possessiveness makes this breed less than ideal for families with small children. Wirehaired Pointers don't want to share the attention of their people with smaller animals or people, and their possessive nature can get out of hand. Their tendency to jump and bounce also makes them a hazard for toddlers.

Cats and other small household pets are in peril around Pointers. Their chasing instinct is strong and can't be trained out of them, even if raised alongside a cat from puppyhood.

Neat Freaks be warned: Wirehaired Pointers are notoriously messy. Their beards hang in their water dishes and they will trail water around the house.

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