Having owned Wirehairs since 1977 I have over 40 years experience of owning and living with the breed and had met all three of the original Dutch imports, Rakker Van De Myzyde, Heloise and Matilde Van’t Staringsland to Wittekind that arrived in the UK where many of the current UK lines go back to.
Sharon is more than happy to share her experience and knowledge to anyone who may be interested in knowing more about the German Wirehaired Pointers so do please contact Sharon for any help or advice about the breed. If you are unsure as to whether the breed would be suitable for your family Sharon can answer all of your queries and then arrange to come over and meet Sharon and the Bareve Wirehairs so you get the chance to meet the breed “up close and personal” before you decide for certain. This would also be a chance to meet any prospective parents and grandparents of any planned litters so you can see how they are with visitors and it will also give you the chance to see what their progeny is likely to be.
We only ever plan a litter when Sharon wants to keep a puppy. Therefore each litter is planned along those lines so only the very best of sires and dams are considered and it would not be the first time that Sharon has decided that a particular dog or bitch, despite its show wins, temperament etc, still does not enough positive points to have a litter and add a number of pups to the gene pool.
Sharon was the first UK breeder to have excellent temperaments as the most important aspect when planning a litter. We have a busy lifestyle at home with our own dogs, boarding kennel dogs, children and grandchildren visiting so it is imperative that the temperaments on our dogs are both dog and people friendly, reliable, trust worthy and confident yet respectful. Too many litters have been bred from dog aggressive stock so sooner or later the progeny becomes more and more dog reactive/aggressive. Dogs who have been shown, worked on commercial shoots (mixing with other dogs), compete in other canine sports such as obedience, rally, cani-cross etc all have to be able to get along with other dogs and people so their temperament can be seen by anyone attending. Nothing gives Sharon greater pleasure at shows when her dogs can be held and shown by other people and stand ringside in groups without any temperament issues – this proves that she really does mean temperament IS important when planning litters.
In addition Sharon also considers that the prospective parents of the “litter” has also got proven working ability. In an ideal world they would have at least a FT award or a Show Gundog Working Certificate but there are some excellent and suitable wirehairs that work on shoots, in falconry who can be considered providing they aren’t gun shy and can pick up game without damaging it. Occasionally Sharon has used a DD stud dog based in Europe but every time before the bitch was in season Sharon would spend time with the dog both in the field and at home to see exactly what character he has. We all want that natural instinct and desire to learn about working as a gundog but the overall character of the dog must be respectful as the strong willed, self hunting dog is no good to anyone.
We use whatever health tests are recommended and available for the breed. It is now compulsory for all breeding stock to be vWD (von Willebrands Disease) clear by either a DNA test or hereditary clear else the Kennel Club will not register the resulting puppies. This is the only compulsory test that needs to be done. In addition we hip and elbow score our breeding stock which is a recommended test and we also do an echo cardiogram on the heart. This is scan for “breeding purposes” that heart specialist vets can do for breeders as it checks the heart and measures the thickness of the walls which hopefully falls within the “normal” range. The only downside of this test is that it is only a picture of the heart at the time the scan has taken place but it is still the only test that we can use.
The only other health issue that still occurs occasionally in German Wirehaired Pointers is epilepsy. This is a condition in both humans as well as dogs but one that is deemed very complex and as such there is no known test available. Without the option of a test it can be hard to predict if this allegedly recessive genetic condition is present in your lines or not. Most breeders have their own thoughts as to which lines may be carrying the gene through previous affected dogs but there hasn’t been enough dogs to be tested in any scheme that provides any reliable proof of the lines with issues. The wirehair tends to be a breed where epilepsy manifests itself at a fairly early age with the most common age bracket to be 18months to 2.5 yrs old – very few are affected at an older age unless they have another condition (such a tumour) that creates fitting in the dog. I do have my own ideas as to which lines to be careful with and not do any close breeding and doubling up but they are my own views with no veterinary proof. So in an attempt to minimise whatever risk there may be with epilepsy I will NOT breed from any German Wirehairs under the age of 3 years old and even better if they are over 4 yrs old. I would have to reason that any dog who is over 3-4 to suddenly start fitting would be incredibly unlucky and very unusual.
Bareve still choses to do more health testing than is required for breeders to join the Kennel Club Assured Breeders Scheme. It may well be in the future Sharon will join this scheme but there are still some areas that require the Kennel Club to change and until that time Sharon will not choose to pay to be included on their scheme.
I am the person who makes the decision regarding producing a litter so as such I am responsible for any puppies bred here at Bareve. I have always offered a lifetime breeder support and are always on hand to offer help and advice to our GWP owners and those thinking of getting a GWP. The GWP is a fabulous breed however it may not be for everyone and we therefore draw on our 40+ years of experience of living with these dogs to help assist you in making sure the GWP is the right breed for you and then help and assist you so that they become a fun but sensible respectful member of your family.
Please get in touch if you would like to talk further about this wonderful breed or come and meet our dogs at home in a home environment. As we breed very occasionally we therefore may not always have a puppy for you ourselves. However we still care that, having made that decision to get a Wirehair puppy, that you get a puppy from a reputable breeder and as such are happy to help you find one. If you have decided that it is a Bareve German Wirehair Pointer Puppy you would like then do please complete my puppy questionnaire (LINK) and I will contact you.
We do still occasionally breed ‘show type’ Cocker Spaniels and Jack Russell Terriers – please go to the relevant breed page for more information as to what plans are being made and if we have any puppies that may be available. Also please check our For Sale/Available page as any dog or puppy that is available will be listed there including any that are looking to be rehomed.