DNA Testing

DNA Testing and the German Wirehaired Pointer

DNA Testing allows breeders to minimise the risk of producing disease affected puppies. As of March 2009, there is just one DNA test actually available for German Wirehaired Pointer specific conditions and that is for von Willebrands Disease. Breeders can access this through Laboklin Laboratory and the current price is £65.96.  Their contact details are:

Laboklin (UK) 61 Mouldsworth Avenue, Manchester, M20 1GG, Tel: 0161 282 3066.

We strongly encourage the dog owners to perform the DNA testing in order to avoid the possible problems in the future. The price may not be high when we consider that we have a possibility to identify early the potential problems of your dog.

Idiopathic Epilepsy Research

Sadly epilepsy is reported in the breed. However there is an extensive research project underway at the Animal Health Trust to develop a DNA test for this nasty condition.

There are three types of GWP that can valuably contribute to this research:

  • Any GWP that has been diagnosed as affected with idiopathic epilepsy
  • Their close relatives such as siblings, parents and grandparents, nieces and nephews etc.
  • Older GWPs – 8 years and over – who are NOT affected. They do not need to be related to affected dogs. This group acts as a control group.

The researchers require mouth swabs taken from the inside of the dog’s cheeks. You can get swab kits free of charge from the Animal Health Trust or by telephone on 01638 555 621. These kits are needed for the research and can greatly help your dog!

There is no fee required for this – it is currently a free service because it is part of a major study into epilepsy.  The swabs do not harm the dogs.

Once a test has been developed breeders will be able to ascertain whether or not their lines are clear of epilepsy. It may happen that the first test does not show anything, however, it there is even the smallest possibility for a problem, we will usually find something unusual at the initial test.

For many breeders the ‘promise’ of the DNA test has been dangling in front of them for too long without any real breakthrough so a degree of skepticism is forgivable.  However please think about this:

  • The LUPA project is funding research into canine disease to the tune of £50 Million
  • Computer modelling programmes are enabling the research scientists to locate the relevant sections of DNA faster than ever before
  • The speed with which the DNA tests are coming on stream is quickening
  • The Kennel Club has just set up with the AHT a Canine Genetics Centre with more resources than ever.

To find out more about how dogs are contributing to DNA Tests that will ultimately benefit us humans visit the LUPA website.

The more we can learn about the health status of today’s German Wirehaired Pointer population, the more we can guarantee the long-term future of the breed.


The German Wirehaired Pointer: A Falconer’s Dog

Falconry is a challenging field sport, in a wide variety of terrain. The quarry may be in the woodland or the open fields, moorland, or on water and marshland. Such is the variety of species, that a falconer, who does not specialise in one specific quarry, needs a very versatile dog to be the provider for either hawk or falcon. Guess what – one of the best dogs to support this activity is the German Wirehaired Pointer! Although this tradition has not been lasting for a long time, it is going to grow in the future and the demand for the GWPs will be huge!

In the UK, the GWP came into falconry prominence as just such a dog. In its native homeland in Germany it was truly a formidable all-rounder developed specifically to deal with the element of owning one dog capable of a wide variety of tasks in the field. Michael Woodford in his book ‘A Manual of Falconry’ published in 1960 shows a magnificent photo of a GWP lying down beside a goshawk on her perch. This is one of the defining moments for the wirehaired pointer, as it captured the imagination of those who wanted to move away from traditional pointers, setters and spaniels to a breed that could incorporate all their skills, plus there was not the need to be encumbered with a large kennel of specialist breeds to perform a singular task in the field.

After the Second World War GWPs had been imported into the UK in very small numbers and were a rarity. It was not until 1976 when 5 founder dogs were imported from Holland that the opportunity to own this breed was made available for those who wanted to see just what these gundogs were capable of.

With their tough wire coat, excellent pointing skills and a capacity to learn and develop their ability in the field to the highest level, they quickly became the dog of choice for the modern falconer. Unlike some other dogs, this breed is very easily trained for the falconry purposes and therefore it is always expected to achieve a success with this breed.

Falconry manuals and reference works rarely refer to how to train the dog as authors tend to concentrate solely on how to get the falcon or hawk prepared for the field. The truth of the matter is the dog is an essential ingredient to proficient hawking. It had become customary for the falconer to concentrate on flying the hawk whilst an assistant hunted the dogs either for the flush or for the point. Therefore you could indulge in having several brace of setters or pointers, or a compact team of spaniels.

The GWP is very quick to learn. They simply love to run around, and they enjoy in commands and directing them! Despite the fact that they also have strong retrieving instincts, there is no conflict in their minds when working with hawk or falcon. Much of the early work that they are taught is exactly the same as training the dog to the gun. They need to be able to sit, stay and be steady on command. As the become competent they will continue to put into practice this training in conjuction with the hawk or falcon. Once they learn the basics, the further progress is easy!

Their capacity to switch from dense woodland with bramble and briar undergrowth, to endurance running on moorland producing a perfect point for the falcon, makes them highly desirable and truly a great all-rounder.  They can be hunting and pointing for goshawks and Harris hawks, and switch their attention to partridge, grouse and duck for the falcon.

Young wirehairs need to be taught their lessons carefully as falconry dogs. This discipline branches away somewhat from shooting, as the dog will eventually be relied upon to do much of the field work away from the falconer and having located the quarry to be very steady on point, quite often for some time, whilst the hawk or falcon is brought into a commanding position, prior to the flush.

Knowledgeable breeding of GWPs for work in the field is paramount if the owner is to benefit from them as falconry dogs. The quality of selection in Germany is such that the very best dogs and bitches are used to produce the next generation’s working gundog. This pattern can also be seen in many good kennels in the UK today.

There is a tendency to believe that all wirehairs will make good dogs in the field whether for gun or hawk because that is what one expects from them. Unless they have been bred specifically as working dogs and both dam and sire can acquit themselves in the field, in shooting or falconry disciplines, then the likelihood is that you will be disappointed. As a safeguard, if you are going to invest time, effort and money into training a dog or bitch then make sure it was bred for that purpose.


GWP Rescue

The GWPC Rescue is run solely by volunteers and relies on donations to help GWPs. Thanks to many donations from all around the world, we managed to succeed in the very beginning. If there was no donations, we would not have existed ever!

The National Rescue Co-ordinator is Jay Boden and you should contact her in the first instance regarding rescuing a GWP unless otherwise stated. She is the charge of the rescuing process and can help you with everything you need!

German Wirehaired Pointer Club Rescue & Re-homing (GWPC Rescue) is the only official Kennel Club-recognised Rescue & Rehoming organisation for the German Wirehaired Pointer.

We deal with true rescues and abandonments along with those dogs which are required to be re-homed for personal reasons. Please bear in mind that each of the dogs we feature is genuinely in need of a new home. For that reason, we would like to point out also that we would like to give a dog to someone who has a house and a big yard/garden!

Many breeders of German Wirehaired Pointers and stud dog owners are members of the GWP Club, and as such have an obligation to assist with the re-homing of any dog that they have produced.  GWP Club Rescue likewise has an obligation to notify member breeders and stud dog owners if one of their dogs needs to be rescued/re-homed.

We are in need of foster homes for rescue GWPs expected in the future. If you want to be considered as a prospective foster home then please contact Jay Boden. She can give you all the necessary information and instructions regarding the rescue procedure!

GWP Club Members interested in the operation of the Rescue & Rehoming Service can obtain a copy of the Rescue & Rehoming Coordinator’s operating guidelines on request from the Club Secretary.

The German Wirehaired Pointer Club Rescue and Rehoming (GWPC Rescue) is the only official Kennel Club recognised Rescue and Rehoming organisation for the German Wirehaired Pointer.

Buying a GWP

German Wirehaired Pointers are not the breed for everyone – there is a breed for everyone and it is essential that you look at what you are able to offer a dog and what you want/expect from a dog before deciding on the breed. If you set out down the wrong road because you ‘like the look of a puppy’ you could ultimately be setting yourself up for a lot of work and heartache.

If you decide that the German Wirehaired Pointer is the way to go then your ‘puppy safari’ commences. This obviously starts with your homework. German Wires are by no means a popular commercial breed – with an average of around 300 a year being registered with the Kennel Club (although obviously more are born). It is fair to say that puppies are always available if the purchaser is prepared to travel and has no firm ideas of exactly what they want ie dog or bitch, liver or black etc. Endeavour to gain as  much information as possible about the breed, read books/journals, check the internet, visit shows and talk to the exhibitors, try to visit dogs in their home settings and if possible go along to a gundog working test or field trial.

Speak to a variety of people/breeders and decide who you feel comfortable purchasing a puppy from. A responsible breeder will be keen to find out about the sort of home you will be able to offer the puppy and will encourage ongoing contact between you. Still, have in mind that the slight differences in prices may be present, as the different breeder has a right to list the price according to its standards.

GWP puppies are to die for – they have ‘swoon appeal’ in bucket loads and ‘cute’ running through them like a stick of Blackpool rock – but don’t be fooled! They are going to develop into large, powerful and more-often-than-not challenging adults that will certainly need time and effort on your part to allow them to reach their full potential.

When selecting your puppy, ensure that you see the babies with their mother – it is not unusual that you cannot see the father, but if he is on the premises you should be able to see him also, plus any other members of the extended family. Whilst mum may be a little guarded or protective of her brood, with reassurance from her owner she should allow you to touch and interact with the puppies. However if she doesn’t allow you near, then her overall temperament may be suspect and it may be advisable to view other litters. Remember you do not have to buy a puppy from the first litter you see, if you are unsure about anything there will always be other litters to consider. Take time to make your selection – you will hopefully have to live with this family member for the next 12-15 years! Ask as many questions as you like – a few suggestions being:

Are both parents and puppies KC registered?

This is important if you want to find a real GWP puppy, as you do not want a mix of two breeds.

Is the person selling the puppies the breeder/owner of the bitch?

Is it possible to contact the stud dog owner to talk to them?

Have parents had any health checks?

Are the puppies wormed/vaccinated/chipped?

Check what endorsements (if any are in place)

If you go ahead with the purchase then a responsible caring breeder will always be on the end of the telephone if needed to offer advice and guidance once you have your new puppy home. The amount of information provided varies from breeder to breeder, however you s should certainly receive a comprehensive diet sheet, some food to carry over for a day or two, details of vaccinations and worming carried out and when the next ones are due and all paperwork pertaining to your puppy.  If the paperwork is not available then written assurance that they will follow. A receipt for monies paid should also be obtained.

Have your puppy checked by your own vet soon after purchase.  If any concerns are raised discuss these with the puppy’s breeder.  Breeders generally love to receive puppy/adult updates even if it is only in a Christmas card to know how little things are going. Breeding a puppy is a work that becomes a bit sentimental over the time and you simply like to get some feedback from the people who decided to take of your hairy little four-leg baby. Also, whilst the majority of breeders go out of their way to produce healthy, well natured dogs things may sometimes not pan out this way. So, more out of courtesy than anything else, any problems with your dog should be reported back as ultimately this knowledge may have an impact on future breeding plans from siblings.

If you are looking for a GWP puppy please refer to the GWPC breeder listings and also the GWPC Puppy Register. You can also get general puppy advice from any of the GWPC Committee.

You can also find details of litters registered with The Kennel Club on their website. Feel free to browse and ask whatever you want to know before you decide to buy a puppy!


In the UK the German Wirehaired Pointer is judged to its own UK Kennel Club breed standard.

The breed standard is a guideline for judges and describes what the ideal wirehair should be like. It describes the correct structural conformation of the dog and the individual traits and characteristics of the dog that give the breed type and prevent it from being mistaken for any other breed of dog.

Many GWPs are shown in the UK and there are many events around the country at which the breed can be seen. Each event hosts some international visitors and clubs who breed voluntarily this breed, so if you want to be a part of the event, just let us know. We can organize your staying, accommodation, food and everything you need for your hairy friends!

Making-up a Show Champion and Full Champion

There are a number of titles which can be obtained by a GWP, two of which are Show Champion (denoted by Sh Ch before their kennel name) or Full Champion (Ch).

The title of Show Champion is obtained by a show dog or bitch following the winning in the show ring of three Challenge Certificate’s (or CC’s) which have to be awarded by three different judges. At certain Championships dog shows throughout the year Challenge Certificates are available – two Challenge Certificates per breed, one to the top winning dog in a particular breed on the day and another to the top winning bitch and then the overall winner in the breed (top winning dog against top winning bitch) goes on to be awarded Best of Breed. A puppy that wins three Challenge Certificates under the age of twelve months must win a fourth CC after its first birthday before claiming it’s Show Championship title.

On obtaining three CC’s under different judges, dogs in some breeds automatically become Champions, however as a gundog the German Wirehaired Pointer on obtaining it’s Show Championship title may go on to become a Full Champion by proving it’s worth in the field as well as the show ring. This can be done in two ways: by obtaining an award (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or Certificate of Merit) at an HPR  Field Trial  or by being awarded a Show Gundog Working Certificate (SGWC) during which a dog/bitch has to prove its ability to hunt, point and retrieve game. The opportunity to run for a SGWC is usually only available to dogs/bitches that have already achieved at least one CC.

If these things are bit confusing to you, just contact us and we will send you the detailed information in the form of leaflet that explains everything. Also, if you need any additional information about the conditions and regulations, do not hesitate to contact us!

It is the ability to achieve awards in the show ring and field that make the GWP a ‘dual purpose’ breed.

To date of writing there has been 96 GWP Titleholders in the UK since the Kennel Club formally recognized the breed, and of these, 19 are Full Champions.

Club show dates

Below are the complete schedule and timetable of the club events. The schedule contains the information of some previous events and shows if you are interested in. There you can also find the name of judges, as well as the place for every event that will be held. Note that some information are going to be revealed yet, so if you cannot find the information at the moment, you might want to check it out in a few months later. The exact schedule will be published a few days before the event.


Saturday 6 July 2018

GWPC Championship Show – Tomlinsons Canine Centre, Markfield, Leicester

Main Judge Mrs Anne Webster (Asquanne)

Specials Judges – Kim Lathaen (Tyrdyma) – Dogs, Alex Galbraith (Inverwire) – Bitches

Sunday 29 September 2018

GWPC Open Show – Shirland Village Hall, Shirland, Derbyshire

Main Judge – Meriel Hathaway (Melfricka)

Specials Judge – Gill Packer (Paxamber)


Sunday 6 July 2019

GWPC Championship Show – Tomlinsons Canine Centre, Markfield, Leicester

Main Judge Mrs Maggie White (Magalan)

Specials Judges – Donald Jacobs and Megan Lamberta


Sunday 28 September 2020

GWPC Open Show – Shirland Village Hall, Shirland, Derbyshire

Main Judge – Mrs Mandy Geary (Germanus)

Specials Judges – To be confirmed


Sunday 5 July 2020

GWPC Championship Show – Tomlinsons Canine Centre, Markfield, Leicester

Main Judge – To be confirmed via membership vote in 2019

Specials Judges – To be confirmed.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us!


Fun Facts About The German Wirehaired Pointers You Did Not Know

The German Wirehaired Pointers are the breed of dog that is one of the most favorite, especially in sporting competitions. It is a medium-large sized type of dog’s breed that originated from Germany in the middle of the 19th century. They are really energetic, fast, agile and simply love to hunt a pray as this is their natural habit! The GWPs are types of dogs that simply do not like living indoor, so they are best for houses and huge properties. In this article, we will give you some surprising facts you did not know about these little friends!

A high level of intelligence

Although look goofy since they run all the time and jump, these dogs are actually really smart. Their nature lays in curiosity, exploring and running, and therefore, they do not like to be static. They simply seek for the task or assignment, as they cannot rest idle and do nothing. The level of intelligence can be compared to the German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois or Doberman so if you consider getting one of those just to stay in your living room, forget about it. You must give them tasks and some kind of job – it can be as simple as getting the newspaper from the sidewalk to your doorway!

The coat is literally weather-resistant

Yes, they are weather-resistant! For this reason, the old Germans used this dog for the hunting and cutting through the dense forests of Bavaria during the cold and rainy seasons. The water-repellent skin protects them from water, snow and mud, keeping the cold way outside of their bodies. Also, the hair so dense that no bush can penetrate through it! These can swim efficiently without getting cold as the dense hair, and water-resistant skin simply rejects the particles of water and keep them outside.

The GWPs are well-versatile

Although used for sports competitions, these can be excellent dogs in almost any discipline. The hunt is their primary job since the beginning, but they can perform in searching and saving expeditions. Their strong sense for smell allows them to find hidden drugs, deep inside the oily tanks easily, or even smelling the people under the heavy snow and blizzard. While being the loving and caring companions, they can be trained for almost any task you could need, making them well-versatile!

Highly devoted to people

Yes, they do like people and their owners, especially who take good care of them! Since they were accustomed to people from their beginning, the GWPs like to be around children and take good care of them. Once they are raised in the family, they form a strong bond with them. Their devotion is seen in the play as well as cuddling with the owners whenever they have time for it. They simply like to spend time with people, especially if they get assigned something to do. That can be even a simple catch-and-bring activity, just to spend their unlimited amounts of energy!


Working Trials

Very few GWPs compete in Working Trials in the UK, however the ones that have competed have been very successful.  In fact the breed has 2 Working Trial Champions in the UK and many more GWPs how have earned Working Trial Certificates.

In Working Trials, it is the control and agility of the dogs that is being tested, the nosework exercises involve the scent of humans rather than the scent of game. In general a Working Trial dog dog must be trained to pick up any article that has human scent on it. This is done through a various exercises where we use the human scent on different things to make these dog learn to recognize the smell/trait.

Each dog has its own progression line where we can monitor its progress and see how far it came. The level of progression through Working Trials depends on the amount of success the dog has achieved. The primary aim is to obtain 70% of marks in each group of exercises  carried out followed by at least 80% of the marks available in the stake.  Certificates of Merit are awarded to dogs that achieve this mark at an Open Working Trial.  If the mark is achieved at a Championship Trial the dog may add the qualification to its registered name.

When speaking about the roles of a dog, you should know that there are some basic steps that is must pass. There are five levels and after the completion of each one, the dog progresses to the next one. There are a number of stakes that the dog is tested in and as each dog reaches the required standard in the stake it may move up to the next one. These stakes being:

Companion Dog

Utility Dog

Working Dog

Tracking Dog

Patrol Dog.

The ultimate level is the patrol dog and these dogs are used in the patrolling for various purposes!


The GWPC Rescue is funded solely by donations. Rescuing is a costly process and can involve dogs having to be boarded in kennels or fostered. Often rescue dogs need to have a health check with a vet and sometimes they may need to undergo veterinary treatment. Taking this all into the consideration, it is natural to conclude that every financial help is welcome!

All of this costs money and therefore all donations are greatly appreciated no matter how large or small.

If you would like to make a donation to rescue please contact our Rescue Coordinator or send your donation to our Treasurer Christine Evans.

Alternatively you may want to run a car boot sale for rescue as some of our members have done previously or maybe do a sponsored event to help Rescue GWPs. We accept any kind of sponsorship, as we want to grow larger into the serious and more reputable community and club!

In case you want to suggest a certain plan for a fundraising project, feel free to share it with us! We can work on your strategy to improve it further, or we can adapt it as it is and produce the positive results! All ideas are very gratefully accepted!

Fundraising 2019

The GWPC is currently running a German Wirehaired Pointer Photo Competition to raise money for rescue – you can view more information on this website.

Entries for the competition close in August! So do not be late for the fundraising and help us to grow bigger and give these dogs everything they need!


Epilepsy Statement

Epilepsy in the German Wirehaired Pointer

Like all animals and dogs, the GWPs can experience the severe cases of epilepsy and thus these require a special treatment program. Of course, they are still highly functional dogs that can perform various actions and tasks, their health condition must be taken into consideration. Sadly cases of epilepsy are being reported in German Wirehaired Pointers. We as a committee are working very hard in trying to establish exactly how this is impacting on our breed.

Please remember that epilepsy is a complex condition. Not all dogs that experience seizures necessarily have epilepsy – its causes are varied and can include environmental factors. However in some cases of epilepsy there does appear to be a familial link. This does not mean literally that the puppies will inherit the illness, but there is a high-level risk associated with it.

In order to help our hairy friends, we must perform a small research and data collection. To address this awful condition we are:

Collecting data on reported cases of seizures and dogs with a diagnosis of epilepsy – please see the link to our health survey on the club website www.gwpclub.co.uk

Working closely with the epilepsy research project at the Animal Health Trust to establish an inheritance mode – but as yet we are someway off being able to confirm any such pattern.

Before we can confirm the known origins of the familial epilepsy in the breed we need verification from a genetics and/or epilepsy expert – we hope to be doing that very soon.

Note that this a serious condition and a dog that suffers from it must be recorded just for the records and the evidence.