The German Wirehaired Pointer

Breed Health

General Health of the GWP

The German Wirehaired Pointer as would be expected for a working gundog breed, it is generally a fit and healthy breed with an expected lifespan of 12-14 years.

In the UK, in 2017, there were 49 litters of GWP’s producing 398 dogs. This means the total population of GWP’s in the UK is only 4-5,000 dogs (about 1/6th of a percent of the total pedigree dog population).

Known Conditions

Here is a list of rare, but known conditions in the GWP;

Investigation of rare disorders such as Epilepsy and Dilated Cardiomyopathy are difficult for researchers due to such small numbers of affected dogs.

Despite this, the GWP Club donated £1,000 to the Animal Health Trust’s ‘Give a dog a Genome’ project which in our breed is focussing on Epilepsy. Sadly this project failed to achieve its goals.

With the help of GWP Club members we continue to assist researchers whenever we can (such as providing DNA samples from affected and clear dogs).

GWPC Health Initiative

All GWP owners can help us monitor the health of our breed.

This is a unique scheme. launched by the GWP Club, to allow owners (and breeders) of dogs affected by serious conditions to tell the GWP Club about those conditions and the effects on their dog, in their own words.

It is hoped that by relying on owners to come forward and notify the GWP Club about these conditions, we can all work together for the good of the breed to help research and eradicate even these rare conditions.

GWP Health Feedback

If you want to pass on any information or discuss any issues with our Breed Health team, contact our Health Co-ordinator by email:

Maxine McCullough – Breed Health Co-ordinator

KC GWP Health Test Schemes

There are currently 2 Health Tests that are mandatory for Kennel Club Assured Breeders and advised for all other breeders of GWP’s:

Hip Dysplasia (HD)

Hip Dysplasia (HD) is a very rare in GWP’s. Testing is done under the BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme and ideally dogs used for breeding should have hip scores below the breed mean average.

Von Willebrands Disease (VWD)

Type II Von Willebrands disease is a blood disorder where the normal blood clotting is impaired and can cause excessive bleeding after injury or surgery. There is a simple DNA test to screen for carriers of this disorder..

Check a GWP’s Health Tests

You can check and verify the health test results here:

This is available for any KC Registered Dog using the Kennel Club’s Mate Select Tool (you need the exact name or registration number from the pedigree).