Is a German Wirehaired Pointer a good first dog?

If you’ve never heard of the German Wirehaired Pointer, you are not alone. This unique breed is not as popular as Labradors or Golden Retrievers. But, if I were a betting man, I would wager that their star is about to rise.

Known as the “all-terrain” dog, the German Wirehaired Pointer (or as is known among the fans GWP for short) is a versatile hunting dog that can handle a variety of tasks, hence the moniker.

But, does this canine make for a good first dog?

Before we dive deep into this topic, it’s important to understand what exactly defines a ‘good first dog’. For some, it means a dog that is easy to train, calm and well tempered. For others, it might mean a dog that is energetic, entertaining and making life an adventure.

Now that we’ve defined a good first dog, let’s journey into the world of German Wirehaired Pointers together.

Let’s start with the appearance. German Wirehaired Pointers are medium to large-sized dogs. They have a robust physique with a noble bearing, however, their most noticeable feature is the wiry, water-resistant coat, which gives them their name. This double-coat is designed to protect them from harsh conditions – a fact any outdoor enthusiast would value.

Now, when it comes to personality – the GWP is a jolt of energy. They love to leap, run and play. Hence, they require ample exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. Yes, that means they are NOT the best choice for a couch potato life, but are a great companion for those who love outdoor activities like hiking, hunting, even fishing!

However, beyond their energetic nature, German Wirehaired Pointers are also intelligent, enthusiastic and highly trainable. This means you can teach this dog to do a number of cool things, including performing complex tasks and tricks.

But hold your horses (or dogs in this case). They have an independent nature, meaning they could go off-doing what interests them most, ignoring your commands. They require an owner who’s resilient and patient with their training. So, if you’re a first-time owner with the time and energy to invest, then training a GWP could be an exciting challenge.

But what about children? Most of us want our first dogs to be family friendly, especially where kids are concerned. With GWPs, they are known to be playful, energetic, and loving with respectful children. This breed is both fun-loving and protective at the same time, making them fantastic playmates and dedicated guardians.

However, as is the case with any breed, it’s vital to supervise interactions between dogs and young children to ensure everyone (two-legged and four-legged) knows how to behave – plays gentle, respects boundaries and so forth.

Apart from this, German Wirehaired Pointers also get along well with other dogs and pets if they’re raised together. They have a strong prey drive, so smaller pets may not necessarily be safe around an unsupervised GWP.

When it comes to their health, the German Wirehaired Pointer is a generally healthy breed with a lifespan of 14-16 years. Though, like with any breed, they are prone to certain genetic diseases such as hip dysplasia, heart disorders, eye conditions etc. Regular vet checkups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in ensuring your GWP leads a healthy life.

Their dense, wiry coat might look tough, but grooming them is fairly simple. Brushing once a week is enough to keep the coat in good condition…and to keep the dog hair check on your couch and rug.

So, all said, would a German Wirehaired Pointer make a good first dog? The answer to that question is not a simple yes or no. It really depends upon your lifestyle, energy level, patience and dedication to training.

They are not necessarily the easiest breed for first-time dog owners due to their high energy levels and independent nature. But with the right attitude effort, and circumstances, a German Wirehaired Pointer could not only be your first dog, but could also easily become one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

After all, in the words of Roger Caras, “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”