Do you have a special liking for pointer dog breeds? The Deutsch Drahthaar, also known as the German Wirehaired Pointer, might be the dog you are looking for. Read about its interesting lineage, its personality, and what it is like to have one.
The German Wirehaired Pointer has its origins in Germany, in the late 19th century. It is believed that they are descendants of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Pudelpointer, Stichelhaar, and Deutscher-Kurzhaar. In their native country, they are simply known as the Drahthaar.
This breed was originally developed by a small group of dedicated breeders aiming to have one breed that will meet the aspects of German hunting in the field and in the water. They worked closely with people while hunting in forests, in farms, or in small towns.
At present, these dogs are the top choice for German hunting establishments. They are gaining popularity in other regions, like the United States and other parts of Europe, due to their versatile hunting skills and they are often used for this activity.
This medium-sized breed usually grows anywhere from 27 to 32 kilograms and stands 57-68 centimeters at the shoulders. Males and females have the same average weight but males are usually taller than females.
These dogs may come in three different coat colors. If not the usual liver and brown, they may come in black and white or a solid liver color that may or may not have white patches on the chest area. They have brown or amber colored eyes and black or brown colored noses.
Although they are not as big as other pointer breeds, they are known for their sturdy built. They have a good amount of muscle in their body and they can be easily identified due to their facial furnishings like the mustache and the wiry brows. Their ears hang down while their tail is docked.
The German Wirehaired Pointers are naturally active and intelligent given that they are bred to be hunting dogs. They are often used in the field and dog shows because they are easy to train. This is due to their natural enthusiasm to learn new things. Obedience is also one of their ways of showing loyalty to their owners.
But beyond their active and smart nature, they are also among the most affectionate breeds you will ever find. Their loyalty is beyond comparison and they can be strongly attached to their favorite humans. When raised well, they can be extremely friendly around kids and even strangers. Just keep a close eye on your pointer when he is with other animals because it has the tendency to dominate other pets.
This wire-coated dog is weather-resistant but it can be sensitive to heat at times. The wiry coat actually serves as the dog’s protection from cold weather. If you are living in a quite humid region, you should condition your dog before letting him hunt. This breed requires moderate grooming because even if it has a short coat, it has a hard texture.
Bathing should be done occasionally but when you decide to bathe your dog, consider using a shampoo specially made for wired coats. This will help keep the natural quality of your dog’s coat. Other than that, your pet only needs weekly brushing using a bristle brush. At times, a stripping comb may be helpful especially when you want to get rid of old hair strands.
As a working and hunting dog, your buddy needs a fairly high amount of protein and a decent amount of fat on a daily basis. With all commercial dog food out on the market nowadays, it can be quite tricky to find the best one for your dog.
The best way to find out which one to choose is to see if the certain product meets the standard set the Association of American Feed Control Officials. When choosing a protein-rich formula, ensure the main ingredient comes from animal-based protein like chicken and beef.
Keep in mind that there is a formula made for every life stage and condition. If you have a pet that is a few weeks months old, your vet will recommend a puppy formula to start with. The only difference between this and the adult formula is the amount of protein per serving. In case you have a dog prone to allergies, research the common food sources of allergies like wheat, egg, and soy.
This breed lives between 12 to 14 years, on average. But just like other breeds, it is predisposed to certain conditions, like the following:
- Von Willebrand’s Disease type 2 – this disease is divided into three categories but only the type 2 is often associated with the German Wirehaired Pointers. A dog can inherit it if it has two copies of an abnormal gene related to the disorder. The second type refers to the abnormal function of the essential protein required for normal blood clotting. Bleeding disorders are often seen in dogs with this condition and they can go from mild to severe.
- Hip dysplasia – it can be a major hindrance in a dog’s ability to work because this refers to the deformity or misalignment of the hip joints. If you are looking forward to getting your dog approved for breeding, it should pass the HD-free test which proves that your pet does not suffer from hip dysplasia or hip joint ailment. While your buddy is a naturally active one, you don’t want to pressure him into doing things that will be strenuous for him, including giving him too much exercise.
- Heart disease – one of the concerns in the breed, it can be caused by a multitude of causes. It can be because of overweight, aging, and heartworm. It can be prevented by giving your pet healthy diet options and the right amount of exercise needed for his age. Heartworm disease can be avoided by having the dog annually tested for it even if he is already on preventive meds like chewable tablets and topical medication.
If you want to raise a dog that will be great at pointing and retrieving, consider giving your buddy a lot of exposure and play training as early as the first few months of life. Expect to have lots of play time and physical activities with this dog because it is naturally very energetic. Starting at six months of age, you can spend a few hours on upland hunting with your pet.
Apparently, this breed needs a vigorous amount of exercise and it should be done no less than 40 minutes per day. Keep this rate constant because too much exercise could put pressure on his hip joints and may lead to hip dysplasia. Due to their active nature, Drahthaars may not be applicable for apartment living. It will be much better if you have a large yard where they will be allowed to run freely.
Tips before Adopting/Buying a Deutsch Drahthaar
Secure certifications like a spring puppy test or a fall breed test from your prospect breeder. These tests determine your pointer dog’s traits in hunting situations. Do note that these tests are for the purpose of evaluation and not for competition purposes. Ensure that your breeder adheres to the ability testing and breeding controls.
The German Wirehaired Pointer is ideal for pet parents with an active lifestyle. As a very energetic one, this breed will require lots of play time and exercise. If you cannot manage such an active dog, you should consider other breeds. This breed is also suitable for pet parents who don’t mind having an average shedder and one that requires moderate grooming.