BY LAURA REEVES GWPCA MEMBER AKC BREEDER OF MERIT AKC JUDGE GERMAN WIREHAIRED POINTER COAT
I t’s important to note that the German Wirehaired Pointer (GWP) is a breed whose coat IS its definition. Just as, for example, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier with a harsh or off-color coat would not be acceptable, neither should we, as breeders, exhibitors or judges of German WIREHAIRED Pointers, accept and/or promote coats that are far from ideal. In the meantime, let’s talk about what a GWP coat IS and what a GWP coat IS NOT. To start with, the ideal coat, the correct coat, the coat that we are all trying to produce consistently, is a harsh, dense, flat-lying coat with hair that is from one to two inches long on the body. The individual hairs are strong, straight and hard—“crisp.” The entire body coat is dense. In other words, there are a lot of strong, straight, hard hairs. This coat does not attract burrs, is practically impervious to briars and brambles, is largely waterproof, and keeps the dogs warm in the winter and cool in the sum- mer while always protecting them from damage when working in the field. The furnishings of this ideal coat are made from the same strong, straight, hard hair. The head coat is much shorter, with the appearance that the top of the head and ears are clean and nearly smooth. The beard and eyebrows, the leg hair, and the underline hair should ALL consist of this same quality of hair. The ONLY places that our standard calls for soft hair is the undercoat and between the toes. It is possible that some judges have never seen this type of coat, particu- larly if they don’t judge a significant number of these dogs or if they are new to the breed. When it shows up in their ring, they may fault it simply because it doesn’t look like the other dogs in competition The GWP standard is very explicit: “ A dog must have a correct coat to be of correct type. ” The difficulty seems to be in understanding what is correct coat.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Laura is an AKC Breeder of Merit
and a retired member of the Professional Handlers
Association. Laura is a second- generation breeder of German Wirehaired Pointers, under the Scotia Kennel banner. Scotia dogs have earned well over 100 titles; in the show ring, field, and performance events. Her dedication to breeding dual purpose dogs reflects a stated goal of preserving the all-weather, rugged, sound- minded gundog the breed’s founders envisioned. Laura has served the GWPCA as AKC Gazette columnist, Judges Education Committee Member and Chair, Vice President, President, National Events Coordinator, and Wire~News Editor. Her background as a newspaper reporter, marketing rep, and researcher/writer for audio driving tours has served her well in her side projects. Her current adventures as host of PureDogTalk and The Good Dog Pod podcasts lend her particular combination of skills to outstanding breeder education channels.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION | 275
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