Whereas the German Shorthaired Pointer is becoming known as a family companion as well as a hunter, the German Wirehaired Pointer remains almost strictly a working dog. Although this breed is a highly skilled gun dog, it has a temperament which is closer to a generalized hunting breed such as Curs and Hounds than most pure gun dogs. This makes sense as the German Wirehaired Pointer was bred to tackle any species of game in any environment.
German Wirehaired Pointers are known to form some of the closest bonds of any sporting breed. These dogs are extremely loyal and become extraordinarily devoted to their master. This breed is known for being a one-person dog. They tend to have a favorite person, and to greatly favor that person over all others. This is most certainly the case when one of these dogs is raised by a single person. When raised with a family, the German Wirehaired Pointer will form very close bonds with every member of the family, but still usually selects one person to become especially attached to. This bond can become problematic as this breed absolutely craves human companionship. It is quite common for a German Wirehaired Pointer to suffer from very severe separation anxiety, and these dogs do very poorly when left alone for long periods. This is definitely a dog that prefers the company of those it knows to those it does not. Even well-socialized German Wirehaired Pointers tend to be quite aloof with strangers, and show very little interest in them.
This breed; however, is rarely aggressive. These dogs are willing to make new friends, but it can take quite awhile and usually don’t make many new good friends. Breed members tend to make very good watchdogs, and their barks can be quite intimidating. The average German Wirehaired Pointer would probably not make a very good guard dog as they are simply not aggressive enough. German Wirehaired Pointers can make a very good family companion, and most do fine with children. This breed is fairly tolerant, and most absolutely love the affection and playtime that children provide. However, children must be taught how to display proper leadership skills. German Wirehaired Pointers quickly figure out which family members are below them in status and may become bossy with them. Young German Wirehaired Pointers may be too rambunctious for very young children, and may accidentally play a little bit too rough with them.
While this breed is not known for extreme animal aggression, German Wirehaired Pointers are known for having issues with other animals. As is the case with all breeds, German Wirehaired Pointers will form close bonds other dogs. However, this breed definitely tends to be dominant and pushy with other canines. These dogs like to be in control, and are willing to do what it takes to be in control. As they are not especially willing to back down, German Wirehaired Pointers do have a tendency to get into scraps. When not properly corrected from a young age, this dominant tendency can lead to full-fledged dog aggression. As is the case with most breeds, issues are more severe between dogs of the same sex, and most severe between unneutered males. Issues may develop between German Wirehaired Pointers and very small toy breeds, as the smaller dog may be mistaken for potential prey. German Wirehaired Pointers are bred as hunting dogs, and they retain a substantial amount of prey drive. Unless very well trained, this breed will attack small animals. Pets such as rabbits and hamsters are probably not safe around a German Wirehaired Pointer.
As is the case with all dogs, German Wirehaired Pointers can more than likely be socialized to coexist with cats. However, this breed will probably take great pleasure in chasing and harassing household felines. Always remember that a German Shorthaired Pointer that peacefully lives with a cat that it has known for years very well may pursue and attack a neighbor’s cat which is strange to it. The German Wirehaired Pointer definitely has a reputation as a cat killer, although not to the extent of some breeds such as the Siberian Husky and the Bluetick Coonhound. German Wirehaired Pointers which are left outside for extended periods will most likely bring home animals which they have killed, which may range in size from a spider to a raccoon.
German Wirehaired Pointers are quite trainable, and are regarded as highly intelligent. This breed has competed very well in obedience and agility trials. Breed members are natural hunters and take to work in the field very quickly. This breed makes an excellent and willing hunting companion, capable of hunting all types of game on all terrains. However, this breed will give most owners substantially more training difficulties than the average gun dog. Owners who are accustomed to working with such breeds as the Labrador Retriever or Brittany will likely be very frustrated by a German Wirehaired Pointer. While most breed members are generally willing to please, they certainly do not live to do so. Many breed members have a stubborn streak, and some are deliberately willful.
This is a dog which is more than smart enough to figure out exactly what it can and cannot get away and which will choose to live its life accordingly. Unlike many gun dogs, German Wirehaired Pointers frequently challenge an owner’s authority. Owners of these dogs must remain in charge at all times. Otherwise, a German Wirehaired Pointer will take charge on its own. German Wirehaired Pointers will almost certainly not obey anyone whom they see as lower than themselves on the social totem pole. Even when well-trained, German Wirehaired Pointers tend to be distractible. It is not uncommon for one of these dogs to catch a scent and go chasing after it, ignoring all commands to return in the process. Owners who are willing to take the extra time and effort, and who are able to consistently remain in control, are likely to be rewarded with a very well-trained German Wirehaired Pointer. However, they will probably never get quite the results that they may from many other breeds.
German Wirehaired Pointers are an extremely energetic breed. This is a working dog through and through, and is capable of hunting for hours on end in extremely difficult and challenging environments. The average German Wirehaired Pointer is capable of running even the most active owner into the ground, day after day after day. There are very, very few dogs that require as much exercise as a German Wirehaired Pointer. This is not a breed that will be fully satisfied with even a very long walk. These dogs need a long daily run, and greatly prefer time to run around off leash. While every individual dog is different, expect a minimum of between one and two hours of vigorous activity, preferably in addition to time off leash. This is a breed which adapts very poorly to apartment or even close-quarters suburban life, and it is very difficult to keep them happy without a large yard.
It is absolutely imperative that owners meet their dog’s exercise requirements. A German Wirehaired Pointer which does not have its needs met will almost certainly develop mental and behavioral issues, and quite possibly extreme ones. This is a dog that will find its own means of releasing energy if one is not provided for it. Bored German Wirehaired Pointers will almost certainly become very destructive, excessively vocal, hyperactive, and overly excitable. If you are not willing or able to provide a dog with long period of rigorous exercise, you should most certainly not acquire a German Wirehaired Pointer. The energy levels and work drive of a German Wirehaired Pointer actually make it appealing to most fanciers. This is a dog that loves to hunt, and will do so for very long hours in the field. Although hunting is definitely most breed members’ favorite activity, they would most likely enjoy a number of other extreme activities such as hiking or swimming as well.
Similar to the German Shorthaired Pointer, the German Wirehaired Pointer is a talented escape artist. This dog is driven to roam and explore, and to do so over vast areas. They love to follow their senses, and are very dedicated in the pursuit of quarry. This breed was developed to follow game through some of the harshest terrain in Europe and America, and the average fence will not be a major impediment to them. This dog is one of the dog world’s most extreme athletes, and even six foot tall fences are easily scaled by them. If a fence is too high to go over, these dogs can and will dig under them. This powerful and determined breed is also capable of breaking or chewing through a weak fence. Any enclosure which holds a German Wirehaired Pointer must be very, very secure.