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German Wirehaired Pointer

Gun Dog Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The translation of "Deutsch Drahthaar" is “German Wirehair.” The foundation stock for the breed is the Pointer (probably black), the Griffon, Stichelhaar and Pudelpointer. He was developed as a dual-purpose hunter. He is expected to point his game on land, retrieve from water or retrieve a rabbit if shot. The German Wirehaired Pointer has been a recognized breed in its native country since 1870. The breed was introduced to America about 1920.

The German Wirehaired Pointer was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

General Appearance

The breed is medium in size. It is nearly square in proportion. It has a straight topline, with a slight slope from the withers to the croup. Its coat should be wiry and dense, but lay flat. It should have whiskers on the face and eyebrows. The coat color can vary from solid liver to liver roan. The tail is customarily docked to 2/5 of its original length.

Working dogs are not to be penalized under any conditions for scars or blemishes that are due to hunting injuries.

Disqualifications: Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.


Friendly and intelligent, but can be aloof. Hardy, sturdy and energetic, he is a dual purpose hunter.

Disqualifications: Viciousness or extreme shyness.


The head is moderately long and in proportion to the size and sex of the dog.


Long, fairly broad and flat on top. Stop is medium, clearly defined.


Long, with nasal bones straight and broad. The lips are thick, close and bearded.


A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Eliminating Faults: Undershot or overshot bite.


Medium size, oval in shape, as dark as possible, with close fitting rims. Expression is bright and intelligent.

Eliminating Faults: Entropianism, ectropianism.


Well-pigmented, corresponding to color of coat. (Dark brown in liver dogs; black in black dogs.). The nostrils are wide open.


Set on high, rounded and not too broad. Hang close to sides of head; medium in size.


Strong and of medium length. Slightly arched and devoid of dewlap.


Shoulders sloping and very muscular, with top of shoulder blades close; upper arm long and well covered with lean muscles, angled to set elbows well under the body.


Parallel, straight and lean with strong, flattened bone. Pasterns strong and very slightly sloping. Length of leg from elbow to ground is half the height at the withers.

Removal of dewclaws is preferred but not mandatory.


The chest is broad and deep, with well-defined forechest. Withers are high, back is strong and straight, and the topline slopes from withers to set on of tail. Ribs are well sprung; loin is short and strong with graceful tuck-up. Croup slopes slightly. Skin on the body is close-fitting.


The hips are broad and wide, falling slightly towards the tail. Thighs strong and well muscled. Good angulation between the pelvis and the upper thigh.


Long and muscular, with good angulation at the stifle and hock. Rear pasterns short and perpendicular to the ground. Removal of rear dewclaws is preferred but not mandatory.


Compact, close knit, round-to-spoon shaped, well padded; should turn neither in nor out. Toes well arched with strong nails.


Set high, carried at or slightly above the horizontal. Customarily docked to 2/5 original length.

A natural tail is acceptable. It should reach to the hocks, and should be carried straight or slightly saber-like.


Coat is a defining characteristic of the breed. It is wiry and very harsh, of medium length, and thick, with a close fitting undercoat. It should not hide the body shape, but it should be long enough to give good protection from the weather and cover in which the dog is hunted. The coat should lie close to the body. The hair on the lower parts of the legs should be shorter. Also short, but very thick, on the head and ears. Eyebrows and beard harsh and full but not overly long.

Faults: Coats that are too short and smooth, too soft, or excessively long.


Solid liver, liver and white spotted, liver and white spotted and ticked, liver and white ticked, with or without patches.

Solid black, black and white spotted, black and white spotted and ticked, black and white ticked, with or without patches.

Disqualifications: Albinism.

Height & Weight

Males range from 24 to 26¾ inches, and 55 to 70 pounds. Females are smaller, ranging from 22 to 25 inches, and 45 to 60 pounds.


Smooth, covering plenty of ground with each stride; driving hind action, elbows neither turning in nor out. Definitely not a hackney action.

Eliminating Faults

(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.)
Undershot or overshot bite.
Entropianism, ectropianism.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.

The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.

UKC Breed Standards: German Wire Haired Pointer

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Official UKC Breed Standard

Revised December 1, 2014

©Copyright 1992, United Kennel Club