GWP Vs GSP: Differences And Similarities

Which breed is the better hunting breed, GWP or GSP? Hunting breeds are a genuinely fun companion to bring along on hunts and camping trips to help you retrieve things and enjoy your overall trip. There are many breeds to choose from, but if you’re contemplating choosing the German Shorthaired Pointer or the German Wirehaired Pointer, we have collected the perfect information for you.

The breeds are both very similar but pretty different in some ways. Typically, German Shorthaired Pointers (GSPs) are often considered close relatives of German Wirehaired Pointers (GWPs) with only a coat difference. However, they are two specific breeds that have both developed hunting skills and a large tracking game but differ in various areas, such as personality and capabilities. 

In this article, we will dive into the similarities and differences between the two hunting breeds. Keep reading this article to find out more about which of the two will be the best-suited hunting companion for you, along with several frequently asked questions like:

  • Do GSPs and GWPs Require Physical Activity?
  • What are GSPs & GWPs’ Health Needs?
  • Which is better for hunting? GSP or GWP?

The GSP and GWP are both equally great at hunting and intense breeds, and they share similar skills regarding their prey drive and scent instincts. However, Wirehairs are more serious and possessive, while Shorthairs are sweeter.

What are the key characteristics of GWP & GSP?

We know that the two breeds look very different in terms of their coats and appearance in general. However, there are more detailed characteristics that we must look into to understand the differences between each of the two. From coat to temperament, we will lay down the collection of knowledge that we have found to help you differentiate between the two, starting with the GWP:

GWP: Key Characteristics

The German Wirehaired Pointer breed is a muscular dog with a sturdy build that gives its body a strong appearance. It has a hefty snout that helps it track down and hunt prey. Its webbed feet allow it to move quickly through water and harsh terrain when chasing after prey.

It looks like a rugged and rough breed with a deep chest, bushy eyebrows and beard, and a coarse, wiry coat. Even so, its wired coat helps in providing protective benefits when going through tough weather conditions.

GWPs are naturally brilliant and athletic creatures because of their high energy and easy trainability. With their little companionship, you will find yourself a courageous friend who works tirelessly and leaves no stone unturned. It will create a close bond with you.

Like other dogs, they do tend to be aloof with people. The GWPs, however, give more distance and do not approach them when strangers arrive because of their natural suspicion. Even so, they are considered one of the best breeds to create a safe space and accompany you when raising your children at home. 

GSP: Key Characteristics

The German Shorthaired Pointer breed has varied colored coats, ranging from an all-liver hue, black from head to toe to roan. Apart from its hunting skills, the breed is known best for its patches of brown or black that spread across its body. Its body can also be brightly ticked or white under the patches.

Its build is slimmer than GWPs’, and its coating is usually short in nature, a little rough and harsh, but at the end of the day, easy to maintain and groom. The GSP’s size is an average medium-sized dog with hunting abilities and ground speed that are also medium-range.

The breed is sturdy but frisky in its temperament, and its floppy ears enhance its hunting capabilities. It’s a lively character with a lot of energy to burn, and furthermore, they are not a hypoallergenic breed. 

The intelligence they develop over their years of growth allows them to become intelligent companions you can count on. These traits make for the perfect family dog, which you can take on hiking or hunting adventures. 

German Wirehairs vs. German Shorthairs

German Shorthaired Pointers & German Wirehaired Pointers are more different than you think, and their differences go beyond their names and coat length. Let’s see how the two significant breeds differ in various areas:


One of the significant factors that contribute to a canine’s longevity. A dog’s care needs to be, without a doubt, of high quality, and how it has been cared for defines how long it lives. However, other things are deciding factors when it comes to the lifespan of a specific breed of dog.

The genetics of the GWP and GSP are elements that contribute to their lifespans. Apart from this, the environmental and social experience also plays a part. Regarding their diet and training, many breeds differ due to the difference in size and energy. So, what is the difference in the lifespans of the two—GSP & GWP.

German Shorthaired Pointers have a higher life expectancy than German Wirehaired Pointers. GSPs live up to about 12 years usually, but they can also reach the age of 15. The GWP breed can also live up to 12 years but can extend only to 14 years. Continue to read ahead to understand how the two breeds compare, and you will hopefully conclude with a decision.


Dog adaptability refers to how much a dog adapts to its surroundings. When talking about this, first and foremost, we usually consider apartment types of living and how dogs adapt to those. Dogs are great companions, but not every breed of dog is suitable to live in a confined space such as an apartment.

There are many reasons why not all dogs can adapt to living within an apartment complex. The reasons can range from their size, which cannot withstand a small space, to the noise and energy they emit, which might not be well-favored by neighbors. Another reason can be the smell of their fur and the shedding, which might not be suitable for your couches and beds.

Sadly, both breeds do not have excellent reputations for apartment living. Neither the German Shorthaired Pointer nor the German Wirehaired Pointer can be considered good apartment pets due to their high energy and size. They cannot be left alone for a long time due to their stress and attachment to their owners. Houses with a lawn to play in are more appropriate for these breeds.

Hot Weather Tolerance

When choosing a dog, you should consider how well the breed tolerates hot or cold weather. The decision partly depends on where you reside and what type of climate it has.

When it comes to German Wirehaired Pointers and German Shorthaired Pointers, they are known to adapt well to hot climatic conditions. However, no matter how versatile they can be in weather conditions, you still need to be cautious. 

When the weather is warm, you should be able to provide them with the right amount of water to drink and shade to protect them from the heat. You can take them out during the mornings or evenings when the weather is more relaxed and less hot.

The pavement gets super hot during summers, and sometimes it may be very hot for even people to touch with their hands. So to protect your pets from the hot ground, you mustn’t take them walking on pavements or, if you have the budget, provide them with doggy boots to keep their paws clean and protected.

Cold Weather Tolerance

Most dogs can quickly adapt to cold climates. Cold temperatures do not threaten any breed unless it falls below 45° F. This causes the dogs that are disinclined to the cold to start feeling a sense of uncomfortability.

Smaller-sized dogs with thin coats must be kept warm when the temperature hits a low of 32° F. These dogs, as well as sickly or elderly dogs, should be cared for more cautiously, given warm doggy clothes to wear, and kept inside.

If the temperature drops even further, under 20° F for example, the owners of the dogs must be aware that their dogs may be prone to diseases caused by the cold. The dogs are likely to develop hypothermia, frostbite, or any other cold-related health condition.

GWPs are said to tolerate cold climates way better than GSPs. This owes to the difference in fur and coat, and GSP coats are not created for colder climate conditions. On the other hand, wirehairs have thicker fur and can easily adapt to the cold.

Temperament & Family life 

It’s never right to generally claim how a whole breed’s temperament can be the same. Every dog is unique and has distinct temperaments that can have slight differences. The causes of this difference can be various factors such as the environment they grew up in and their training.

Many other factors affect each dog’s behavior, so if you’re searching for a dog to be your companion, you will not go wrong with the GSP or GWP breeds. They have kind and outgoing temperaments, and their friendliness gives them an easy opportunity to get along with their families.  

They can become quite affectionate with their owners once they join the family. German Shorthaired Pointers have a comparatively better personality when combined with children as they are less aggressive. 

German Shorthairs are well known for being caring companions and a reputable breed that matches well with families. The German Wirehaired Pointer, however, can be adequately trained and prepared with proper socializing experience to suit families with kids. 


Regarding trainability, every breed has a varied scale of obedience. Some breeds are easier to train than others, but some just won’t budge because of their stubbornness.

Being obedient and energetic dogs, the GSP and GWP are breeds that are both easy to train. They are usually not stubborn and are quick learners. It would help if you still were patient with them as they can sometimes be overly excitable.

The only successful way to teach your dog tricks or train them to be the companion you need when hunting, you must approach them with consistent training and persistence. 

GWP vs. GSP – Hunting Profile

To begin their hunting skills comparison, we will consider what the Germans designed these breeds to do. Both breeds were created to hunt for feathers, fur, or vermin. 

As hunting grew into a sport that most people enjoyed, people started to need a companion who could do it all instead of a specialized breed for the rich. So we will dive into their hunting skills and see how the GSP and the GWP differ.

GWP: Hunting Capability

The German Wirehaired Pointer is classified as a “gun dog” as they were bred from the beginning to help hunters hunt. They assisted in the pursuit of a different game, ranging from stags, vermin, and wild boars to rabbits and even ducks or other types of birds.

Though it may seem as though the dog aims to catch the prey, it is actually to locate and find the game for the hunter without any alerts. The breed’s hair also allows them to tolerate harsh climates better than the owners, so they are easy dogs to hunt with.

They are a dog breed that can hunt with versatility and under any type of condition. However, we need to keep in mind that GWPs love drinking water, and they are in constant need of it so they can stay cool during the hot weather. 

GSP: Hunting Capability

German Shorthairs are popularly known as all-purpose dogs for a reason. They are an intelligent, active, and versatile hunting breed, often earning them the title “Jack of all trades”. 

GSPs come from the Sporting Group and are considered aristocratic members with a great talent for retrieving, pointing, and hunting. 

But, this doesn’t come as a surprise as German Shorthairs have a long history of hunting due to their original development as hunter dogs. 

Since their development in the 1800s, GSPs have become well-loved household dogs. However, they still have their instinctive hunting abilities and are excellent at performing various hunting-related tasks. 

German Shorthairs serve as one of the top hunting dogs as their skill is mainly based on instinct and not training. But, of course, exercise can also enhance their skills. 

GSPs excel in outdoor areas with dense cover and even in water. Hence, they are still considered a great outdoor companion and are often known to accompany their owners on hikes and other outdoor activities. 

Overall, German Shorthaired Pointers are excellent hunting dogs that can point, hunt, retrieve, and multitask. They are also used to hunting different animals such as rabbits, deer, raccoons, ducks, and more.

Do GSPs and GWPs Require Physical Activity?

Yes, you need to give your dog enough physical activity to help it maintain a calm, happy and healthy temperament. If your GSP or GWP is active, it will not only be healthier and more content, but you can also eradicate any harmful behavior.

To buzz down your GSP or GWP, you must be able to provide them with an exercise regime and feed them a generally low-energy food diet. The German Shorthaired Pointer and the German Wirehaired Pointer both require a lot of physical activity. This leads to the breeds needing aerobics training of 30-60 minutes.

GWP vs. GSP: What are their Health Needs?

You should be able to complete research on breeders before you pick a puppy. An excellent way to enhance your dog’s health is knowing what its health issues are. Most breeds have particular conditions that lie within their genetics and knowing the health certificates of their parents is a good start.

Some dog breeds are likely to become overweight as they grow, while some have shorter lifespans than others. Their obesity can lead to other health issues, so a lot of attention needs to be put on feeding your dog a good diet.

Many dogs suffer from hip dysplasia, which is commonly hereditary, especially when the dog is of larger size. Some elements can increase the chances of health problems, such as excessive growth rate, improper nutrition, poor weight, and so on.

Bottom Line

Within every breed, there will always be differences – be it in personality or appearance. This is the case for German shorthairs and Wirehairs. Though they share certain similarities, each offers different skills and capabilities.

In the end, both breeds are quite suitable for families as well as for any outdoor adventures. Although, wirehairs are a little more intense while Shorthairs remain more exuberant.

So, the choice between GSP and GWP mainly depends on the minor differences the two breeds share.


An Owner and a huge fan of GSP's! I have owned my GSP for 7 years now and learned so many things along the way to share with you all about German Shorthaired Pointers!

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