UNDERSTANDING THE GERMAN WIREHAIRED POINTER COAT
With this in mind, let’s look at what is NOT correct. First, a long, soft, open or wooly coat is incorrect. Unfortunately, by the time a judge sees these dogs in the ring, most of them have been body stripped, trimmed, thinned, sculpted, and sprayed into what appears to be an acceptable package. Any GWP breeder or handler worth his or her salt can take a dog and make it “look right.” The first two places to check for a correct coat are the beard and the legs. This hair is very diffi- cult to manufacture. If the beard and legs are long and soft, it’s a good bet that the coat has been over- groomed, according to the standard: “ Extreme and excessive grooming to present a dog artificial in appear- ance should be severely penalized. ” In other words, if the coat doesn’t—naturally—look like what the judge sees, the dog is being presented with an artificial appearance. Another indicator of a coat that is excessively groomed is when you see the crinkly “Terrier Jack- et” type of back coat. The GWP does NOT have a coat like an Airedale, Lakeland, Welsh, Wire Fox, Scottie, Westie or any other Terrier. It should NOT be groomed in a manner that imitates the Terrier breeds. The GWP standard calls for eyebrows to be of strong, straight hair, and the beard and whiskers to be of medium length. An incorrect coat will look and feel like a German Shorthaired Pointer. There will be no eyebrows and, at best, a few hairs at the corner of the mouth. The truly incorrect “slick” coat will almost never be shown in the conformation ring. With all of this said, it’s time to consider judging priorities. Correct coat is a requirement for correct type. An incorrect coat is a FUNCTION FAULT: Soft, rolling toplines; splayed feet; restricted move- ment; shallow, concave chests; mismatched angles— all of these, and many more, are “function faults.” They apply to the breed’s primary function, which is to serve as a utilitarian, multi-purpose hunting dog. Light eye color, head shape (other than the length and depth of muzzle [required] for retrieving game) and other “aesthetic” faults in no way affect the dog’s hunting ability. A judge may have a ring full of dogs, yet none with the ideal coat. (Or the best coats may be on the worst physical specimens.) Please prioritize by func- tion. Good running gear is functional. Correct coat is functional AND necessary for correct type. Wirehairs are tough, rugged dogs created by a no-nonsense people to perform difficult work. This is what they were 150 years ago, and it is what they are and should be today. Trying to remake our breed into “pretty” dogs only caters to the “generic show dog” mentality that has been so roundly and sound- ly repudiated by far greater minds in the dog fancy than mine. There is distinct beauty in a sound Wire- hair with a correct coat that is groomed naturally. There is strength, agility, and nobility of purpose in the dog that defines the breed.
Correct coat is a requirement for correct type.
276 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION
Powered by FlippingBook