Want to rescue or rehome a GWP?

This information is presented to assist prospective adopters to decide whether they can offer a suitable home to a rescue dog.  Rescue dogs often come from loving homes where circumstances have sadly changed.  Equally, they may be in rescue as a consequence of abuse, cruelty or abandonment.   The GWP Club Rescue Co-ordinator is responsible for assessing the individual needs of every dog coming into rescue and in making the most appropriate re-homing decision for the welfare needs of each dog.  This requires exercising the maximum discretion within these general guidelines and the decision of the Rescue Co-ordinator is final in all cases.

The GWP Club will always assign priority in the adoption process to homes that have experience of owning a GWP or similar Hunt-Point- Retrieve (HPR) dog.

All prospective adopters will be subject to a home visit to assess their suitability for the adopted dog. This is performed to ensure that you can provide the needed care and required environment needed for the normal life of a dog. Not that we are going to check your checking account, but rather the conditions you are planning to ensure to your dog. Your working time may be a crucial factor for adopting.

As a general rule, we do not allow dogs to be adopted into homes where the prospective adopters work full-time, or where the adopted dog will be left alone for periods above 4 hours.  Often, it is these precise conditions that have led to the need for re-homing.

As a general rule, we do not encourage adoption into households where there are children under 5 years of age.  The GWP is a strong and powerful dog and whilst they are generally good with children of all ages, they may be boisterous and difficult to control before they settle into the new home, presenting a risk of injury to small child.

As a minimum the garden and any accessible land should be securely fenced and gated.

We will not place a dog where it is the intention of the prospective adopter to breed from the animal.  Wherever possible, bitches/dogs will be spayed/neutered before adoption, however, where this is not done adopters are asked to ensure that this is done at their own expense after a period of about 4 months, after allowing the dog to settle in the new home. Veterinary confirmation of this procedure should be sent to the Rescue Coordinator for inclusion in the adoption record.

Prospective new owners should be able to demonstrate their ability to accommodate the lifestyle and exercise needs of the dog.

Additional criteria for re-homing will depend on the assessed needs of the individual dog, for example, where a dog may be unable to mix with other dogs, is unsuitable for homing with children of any age, fretful if left even for short periods etc.   Such additional needs will be clearly communicated to prospective adopters in the Rescue advertisement.

Except in the case of an abandoned dog where the previous owner cannot be traced, the GWP Club will always attempt to obtain the medical history of dogs coming into rescue, and this information will be passed on to the adopter.  However, the GWP Club will not accept any liability for further medical treatment required by the dog, or for any pre-existing condition that has not been notified by the previous owner.

The GWP Club will, wherever possible, notify breeders of dogs which have been bred by them coming into rescue. We encourage all breeders to maintain a long-term interest in dogs that they have bred and to assist GWP rescue with re-homing such dogs when required.  In such circumstances we will inform adopters of the breeder’s details and inform the breeder of the details of the new home.

On the signature of adoption papers, the adopter assumes responsibility for all costs of dog ownership.  We strongly recommend that adopters take out Pet Insurance. Guidance and information on Pet Insurance is available on the GWP Club Rescue Website.

Where a dog has not been micro chipped/tattooed at the time of the adoption, the adopter will be requested to have this done as soon as possible (within six months) and provide a copy of the documentation to the Rescue Coordinator for inclusion in the adoption record.

GWP Rescue is an expensive operation and is funded solely by donations and fund raising.  Consistent with other rescue organisations, where a dog is re-homed, an adoption fee is charged; typically this would be £100 for an older dog (8+), and £150 for younger dogs.

Giving a German Wirehaired Pointer up for Adoption

The GWP Club, through GWP Rescue & Re-homing, is here to offer help and assistance to anyone who may need to consider finding a new home for their GWP.  We appreciate how difficult and sensitive this decision will be, and that personal circumstances change.   Our aim is to support you through this difficult time and to act always in the best interests of your dog.

Your first step in this process should always be to contact the dog’s breeder.  Reputable breeders will always want to assist owners with the re-homing of their dogs and many have made provision for this eventuality in their sales agreement with owners.  The GWP Club places a strong obligation on Breeders through its Code of Ethics and Further Guidelines to help with re-homing situations, as we believe that this is almost always in the best interests of all concerned, especially the dog.  Where breeders are GWP Club Members, please be advised that it is GWP Club policy always to advise them if their dogs have a re-homing need, so that we can decide with the breeder what is in the best interests of your dog.

We guarantee:

  • To treat your enquiry in the strictest confidence until the decision to find a new home is made and the dog advertised for adoption.
  • To do everything possible to find the right home for your dog based on his/her individual needs.
  • To home check all prospective adopters to ensure that they are suitable new carers for your dog.
  • To keep you informed at all stages of the process if you wish.

We ask you:

  • To provide us with as much information as possible about the dog and the circumstances leading to the need for re-homing, especially if these are related to behaviour or temperament.
  • To provide us if possible with Kennel Club Registration details, breeder details, vaccination records, veterinary history, micro-chipping records etc.
  • To inform us of your dogs likes, dislikes, food preferences, favourite toys etc
  • To inform us of any training and activities that your dog has had or been involved with (working, showing, trailing, agility etc.).


Service Dogs

Since these dogs are very smart, it is natural to expect that they can be used for the certain actions and purposes, not only for hunting or falconry. GWPs are generally very biddable dogs and usually make excellent pets. However the natural instincts for hunting, superb nose and devotion to their handler enables GWPs to be trained to a variety of uses in the service of society. These services may vary, depending on the current needs of the society.

GWPs have been used in several main roles in this way; as Pet’s As Therapy (PAT) Dogs, hearing dogs for the deaf and as Police and Army Drug/Explosive Search Dogs. They have showed the outstanding results in Police and Army purposes, as their super-sensitive noses can detect even the small amounts of drugs, explosive or weapons. During the “recruitment” it is easy to spot what kind of action the dog is the best for. Therefore, we always stress out the importance on giving the dog freedom in searching and working.


A lot of people wanted to know if we are open to joining and accepting new members to our club. Yes, we do accept new people to our pack, and since we had so many requests regarding this, we decided to offer a quick and simple procedure for entering our club.

The GWPC welcomes any GWP enthusiasts, owners and breeders to join the Club along with anyone interested in Hunt, Point, Retrieve breeds and Gundogs in general. Those wishing to learn more about the breed are also welcome.

To join the GWPC simply download the membership form from this website, fill it in with as much detail as possible (if you want to include a covering letter please feel free to do so) and send it back to the Membership Secretary. Once received, your application form will be put to the Committee at its next meeting where it will be formally approved. A new member’s pack will then be sent out with further information about the Club and a Standing Order form to fill in for the future. Applications should ideally be proposed and seconded by current members. If not the please just include a covering letter with your application to give Committee more details.

All GWPC members receive a newsletter 3 times a year, a free yearbook each time it is produced, reduced entry fees to shows, working tests and field trials plus the opportunity to stand on Committee and first refusal on Club seminars, training days and other events. The GWPC openly welcomes constructive criticism from its members, help with events and ideas to further develop the Club and the breed. As a GWPC member you also have the opportunity to have your say in shaping the future of the breed when the Club is asked for input by the Kennel Club.

We also encourage people and joiners to present their ideas, drafts, suggestions and concepts as our goal is to expand our club. We have the annual meetings where we discuss the most interesting ideas. So, make a draft and send it to us, so we could invite you for the very next meeting!


As the rescue process requires time, devotion and financial resources, it is part of the procedure to learn a few basic things about this process. Some things to consider before taking on a rescue GWP:

German Wirehaired Pointers can and do make excellent companions and working/agility/obedience/tracking dogs. However, right from getting a GWP the obedience and social skills must be enforced. Should this not be trained then the GWP can become a hunting dog with no ‘stop control’ or a large dog that lacks manners. It should therefore be considered that a percentage of rescue GWPs do come into rescue because they have not had these skills trained and the cute puppy has grown up to be a dog that is just too much for the owner to cope with.

On taking on a GWP rescue you have to expect that you will need to go back to the basics with the dog and retrain it with manners. They are strong willed animals with a hunting instinct so you must expect to have to take training slowly to gain the final positive results of a well trained companion.

Some dogs that come in to rescue are not used to young children and may never have lived with children. Others will not be used to dogs and so socialization will be required. Many GWPs will not be used to cats. Each dog is a unique case and therefore we need to determine the best conditions for its staying and living!

Some GWPs come into rescue because they are unreliable with livestock. All dogs should be kept on the lead with livestock unless they are 101% trustworthy.

GWPs are hunting dogs. They need a good walk or run each day and they must not be left for long periods of time. They are not suitable to live in flats and all gardens should be well fenced and totally enclosed. For this reason, we do not encourage people to take these dogs in case they are living in flats and apartments. The dog’s nature insists on everyday running and the freedom they have when they are in the woods!

If you have very young children then do think carefully about taking on the breed as the rescue dogs will require commitment to time and training each day.

Some dogs come in purely because the family circumstances have changed and the dogs needs a new home. These dogs make excellent pets although again they may not be used to cats etc.

The above are some things to think about before enquiring about a rescue dog. They are not meant to put anybody off but just to give a better idea of the circumstances around rescue GWPs. If you still wish to enquire about a GWP rescue then please fill in the enquiry form to help us with you enquiry

The Application Process

Please speak to the rescue coordinator for your area or our national coordinator Ian Roberts.

After discussing your circumstances and requirements with one of our rescue coordinators a home checked will usually be carried out as soon as possible. This is so we can check the suitability of the home for the dog in rescue and also to advise of any fencing etc requirements that need to be made. It is not meant to be a judgmental process but simply a requirement to make sure the rehoming is successful.

Assuming the home check is passed you will go on our rescue list until a suitable GWP is found. Have in mind that this process may take some time, as we want to find the ideal dog for you!

Once a rescue dog becomes available you can meet the dog and final arrangements are made for the rehoming. A rescue contract is signed and appropriate details are passed over. Please note no rescue dogs are released with ‘registration papers’. A donation to rescue is appreciated on rehoming.

Please remember rescue is a voluntary service – all monies are received through donations and fund raising. All people involved in rescue do so on a voluntary basis.


About the GWPC Puppy List

The GWPC Puppy List is open for all to advertise their litter of German Wirehaired Pointer puppies.

In 2010 the GWPC Committee changed the format by which GWP litters are advertised and introduced a set of ‘advertising levels’.

In August 2011 the GWPC Committee again reviewed these advertising levels in order to ensure that litters are consistent with the level of commitment that the GWPC is making to health.

Advertising Levels

The puppy list is now being opened up to advertising for both members and non-members. However, only litters where both the sire and dam have been health tested will be eligible to advertise. This is a “security check” which would ensure us working with the tested and healthy dogs. In case your dog is not 100% healthy, we offer the treatment programs as we want to keep this breed in the positive shape and increased growth.

Requirements – Sire and Dam have been bred in accordance with Club guidelines and both to have had the following health tests:

  • DNA tested clear of von Willebrands Disease or DNA clear by parentage
  • Hip Scored under the KC/BVA scheme or a recognised foreign scheme.
  • Advertising on this list is free of charge for members or £25 for non members.

If there is something that you do not understand clearly, of would like to learn more about the procedures and advertising, feel free to contact us at any time you want. We will appoint someone to take you through the whole procedure so you could understand everything. Below is the official statement of our club that all members must follow!

“The GWP Club actively promotes ethical practice and clear guidelines to its members and prospective GWP owners.  Please read the full Code of Ethics and Guidelines.  The health testing of breeding stock for known conditions is encouraged.  These should include as a minimum DNA tests for von Willebrands disease (vWD) and Hip x-rays and scoring under the BVA/Kennel Club scheme.   Breeders advertising on this Puppy List are asked to state the results of these tests on the Sire and Dam of the litter so that prospective owners can make an informed homing decision in consultation with the breeders concerned”

Working Tests

What are they? Why do we need them? And how do we prepare for them?

Working Tests were designed to be able judge how you and your dogs training is getting on, and to compete in a friendly atmosphere, before moving on to competing in field trials. Each training session is designed specifically to test a certain ability of your dog so there are many tests that we perform.

To further test his ability on hunting, scent and steadiness to pointing and flushing game you need to enter Spring or Grouse Pointing Tests, then to get the full picture of how his working ability is really shaping enter a shoot training day, this will cover everything needed for field trials, walk-up days, or rough shooting.

At working Tests there are three classes Puppy 6-18 months old on the day of the test Novice Open and an unclassified class Graduate, this is a nice halfway step between coming out of Novice and into open.

The tests involve Hunting usually over barren ground, Retrieving which involves a seen retrieve a blind retrieve sometimes a double retrieve which we call a split retrieve involving a blind and a seen or both seen and a water retrieve, all these skills will be required whether you field trial or work your dog out shooting.

What ever breed of HPR you choose, there are two requirements of utmost importance, that the puppy is biddable and that you have a very good bonding. We say this because to work with these dogs you need to form a strong partnership built on trust, and because of the distance these dogs will be working away from you the need of strict obedience is vital.

There are plenty of good books to read and videos on training your HPR or you could join a training class most breed clubs run them. Do not hesitate to ask us if you need any advice on the book, training nad guidance, as we work with many owners online. Also, if you have a good book to recommend, feel free to share the material with us!

For getting ready to train your dog for Working Tests you will need a whistle, two or more dummies starting with a puppy weight and a couple of 1lb ones a long line can be useful when starting to train when he starts doing each exercise promptly that’s when to take the lead off, assuming that from day one of having your puppy you have used the whistle to call him for feeding then the long blast while just holding the food above but slightly in front off his head to make him sit which comes naturally if the angle is right, and have played with him fetching toys back to you while you are sat in front of his bed, this is the natural place he will run to you have started his training without him knowing, and are setting the foundation for real training.

You will now need to teach him to walk to heel [by your side] on and off the lead, sit and stay, fetch a seen retrieve and a blind retrieve [unseen] ,split retrieve that is two retrieves out in different places to be retrieved in the order the Judge asks it could be a seen and unseen, or two seen, and to learn to swim so that he can retrieve from the water or swim across the water to retrieve from the bank the other side of the water. These are some simple and basic commands that your dog should demonstrate!

You will need to teach him to hunt, I prefer to let the puppy run free and learn about the wind and explore exciting cover where game has been, then encourage him to cover the ground while always working in the direction of the wind, as experience comes you will see him change the pattern of working when the wind direction changes do not worry when he does this, but if you are worried that he is missing ground then call him to you and get him into that area that has been missed and work that according to wind direction.

These are the basics you will need whether you are competing in Field Trials Work Tests or on a walked up Shoot Day even as a Picker Up your dog still needs this form of training. As we said, need you any help with these, do not hesitate to contact us so we could help you! We will be glad to help you!

So get started and enjoy yourselves, it is one of the most enjoyable sports!