GWP Breed Information

A young Ch Bareve Bonnabee with Sashal - first experience on the grouse moors in Northumberland

A young Ch Bareve Bonnabee with Sashal – first experience on the grouse moors in Northumberland

General Appearance:

The GWP is a medium sized gundog, in the UK he should be slightly longer than he is tall, he should have wire hair completely covering the skin – this includes the inside of the legs and the chest. He has a full but not overly long beard and should have eyebrows apparent. The GWPs shape and build allows for him to work tirelessly all day – a dog who is overly tall with heavy bone has the potential to tire more easily in the field than a dog who is medium sized with bone to balance.

The structure of the GWP as laid out in the breed standard is necessary for it to work a whole day in the field efficiently using the minimum of energy and minimising    injury. Therefore the GWP should not have extreme front or  rear angulation – a feature that would allow for weakness. The GWP should also have ribs that reach well back and should not be excessively long in the loin – this allows for heartroom and a rib cage that reaches well back will offer maximum protection.

Living with the GWP:

The GWP is an active breed that was and still is bred to hunt fur and feather. They are members of the Hunt Point and Retrieve breeds due to the way they work. They hunt for game, once found, they will then point the game and (assuming training) will, when commanded flush the game for the guns.

In order for a GWP to carry out its job correctly it therefore needs to have the ability to hunt, point and retrieve. Without one of these abilities it is unable    to do so effectively. If a dog has no desire to hunt it can never find game for pointing and retrieving!

The GWP does not have a hunting switch that can be turned on and off – it is there all the time. Therefore even if you have a GWP purely as a family pet (and there    is nothing wrong with that as all ours are too) they are still going to hunt when out on a walk. Therefore we strongly recommend that all GWPs should go to obedience and/or gundog training classes in order to channel that instinct correctly for an obedient dog.

The GWP is not just a pretty face, it is a highly intelligent and loyal companion.  They make excellent family members but often they will become attached more to one person – usually the one who has the most interaction/training with them.

The GWP is not an easy breed to train, however they are very intelligent, very willing    to learn and very eager to please. They need consistent firm but fair training and this training begins as soon as you get your GWP home. It is essential that any GWP puppy purchased comes from biddable parents. A dog who is not biddable, has a desire only to self hunt and no desire to focus on the needs of its handler can never achieve    its potential as a well trained GWP.

The breed can be aloof on first meeting strangers and up to a few years ago this was a trait listed in the breed standard (and still is in other standards). This does not however, mean that they are unfriendly or aggressive with either dogs or people.

It is essential that before you decide that the GWP is the right breed for you, that you do your homework, meet the breed at working and show events, speak to owners/breeders/handlers and learn as much as you can about the breed to make sure it suits your needs.

We would not be without the breed – we enjoy their company, their characteristics  and their keenness to learn. Please remember and respect this is our opinion of the breed from 18 years of owning GWPs

Link to the UK GWP Breed Standard

 German Wirehaired Pointer Club

 German Wirehaired Pointer Club Health website