by Judy Cheshire WhAT CAN A GerMAN WirehAired POiNTer DO FOR YOU?
T he German Wirehaired Pointer was originally bred to be a “ver- satile” gun dog. Th ey had to be adaptable to a myriad of situa- tions. Not only were they used on many types of game—upland birds, waterfowl, fox, hare, roe deer—but in many types of cover, from the forest to the open fi elds. Th eir purpose not only included hunting to put food on the table or for sport, but to be a family companion and often to be the guardian of a small farm or business in town. Th e standard states “the Ger- man Wirehaired Pointer is an intelligent, energetic and determined hunter.” It also says that the GWP is a “loyal and a ff ec- tionate companion who is eager to please and enthusiastic to learn”. What do these things mean in terms of “What can a Wirehair do for you?”
Most people interested in this breed enjoy hunting or competing in events that utilize the dogs’ abilities in that area. However, fi nding land and opportunities to actually hunt are ever decreasing. Con- sidering the numbers of GWPs registered with AKC, the percentage of “Dual” dogs (Dual Champions or Bench Champions with an Amateur Field Championship or Master Hunter title) is quite high. Th ose involved in this breed have worked hard to keep it that way, breeding for correct con- formation and natural ability in the fi eld. Th e breed was created to hunt both feather and fur, in varied terrain, to retrieve both on land and in water and to have the capa- bility to track wounded game. Th ese capa- bilities go a long way in preparing the dog to compete in multiple venues. Th e AKC provides the GWP with many sports to
test its natural instincts in the fi eld. Ger- man Wirehaired Pointers are currently one of only four Pointing breeds that are required to earn retrieving points and one of just two breeds that must pass a water test to become an AKC Field Champion. Field trials, both horseback and walking, are readily available in all areas of the country for those who enjoy the competi- tion and want to see their dogs win! For those who get pleasure out of working with their dogs but are content to see them succeed rather than compete against oth- ers, AKC o ff ers Hunting Tests, from the Junior level, which evaluates natural abil- ity, to the Master level, for a more polished gun dog. NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) and some other organizations also o ff er tests for Pointing dogs. All these events allow
226 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2014
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