We breed for a dense harsh coat that will repel water and keep the dog warm in extreme conditions. We personally prefer a good amount of’ facial furnishings and most of our pups will exhibit that trait. Also, knowing that most people like to keep their dog in the house with them, we breed for a medium size dog, with a male weighing about 68lb and a female about 55lb. They are built to hunt all day if you desire. Our dogs exhibit a lot of "get up and go" and will cover the area you hunt thoroughly. They are not plotters and their range will vary depending on the cover you hunt and the way they are trained. My dogs, while hunting, continually check in with me. They are strong pointers, excellent in their search and use of the nose. I hunt every chance I get and will kill about 60 pheasants 50+ ducks and some woodcock and grouse during the course of the year. I own this breed because they are versatile and can handle all types of cover and love to hunt.
Each puppy, before leaving our kennel, is wormed, have their first immunization, is tattooed in its’ right ear, and will have spent some time in a socialization program. All, of course, are vet checked thoroughly. Both parents are certified as Hip Dysplasia (dHd free), HD, OCD, and ED free and fall within the normal range (86%) for the von Willehrands factor.
I guarantee the puppy will exhibit the desire to hunt. However, it is up to the owner to get the puppy at a young age into the field and onto game. A puppy kept in the house or kennel will become just another dog. When you view the work of a good hunting dog, you are actually viewing the work of a good owner who has spent time with his dog in the field and in yard training.
The German hunter first envisioned the versatile hunting dog concept during the early 1800's. Persistence and determination to achieve this goal has resulted in the predominance of versatile hunting dogs in Germany. The Deutsch Drahthaar (literally translated to English means German wirehair) breed was established in Germany almost one hundred years ago with the formation of the Verein Deutsch Drahthaar (VDD) breed organization.
The Drahthaar, as we know it today, includes ancestors from the following breeds: Deutsch Stichelhaar, Griffon, Poodle Pointer, and Deutsch Kurzhaar (Shorthair). The Drahthaar was developed for the foot hunter who wanted a pointer, a retriever that worked equally well on land and in water, a tracker, a flusher, and a dog aggressive to bring down wounded game. In essence, the Germans created the Ultimate hunting dog that was not only mentally and physically tough, but also calm mannered and protective of the family and property. Of all the versatile hunting breeds present in Germany today, there are as many Drahthaars registered each year as all other versatile hunting breeds combined.
A description of a standard Drahthaar would be a dog with a hard dense coat with the color ranging from dark to medium brown ticked, solid brown, or black and white ticked. The coat should he hard, flat lying, and dense with dense undercoat. The outer coat should be between 3/4 to 1/2 inches long. The Drahthaar may or may not have a heard. Males usually range from 60 to 80 pounds and 25 to 27 inches tall. Females range from 22 to 24 inches tall and weigh between 45 to 60 pounds.
In the early 1970’s, a subgroup of the VDD known as Croup North America (GNA) was established in the United States. We conform to the strict VDD breed standards and testing program that was developed by the parent organization in Germany. Unlike the American Kennel Club, the VDD breed organization established certain formal standards which the Drahthaars are required to meet before they can be certified for breeding purposes. These standards include coat conformation, field performance, and an evaluation of gun sensitivity: in the field and in the water. Deficiencies that would disqualify a Drahthaar from being used as brood stock include mental instability, gun shyness, fear biting, unsatisfactory conformation and/or coat, teeth problems, under bite, overbite, missing incisors or (fangs, missing molars), entropic or ectropic eyes, missing or anomalies in the male sex organs, natural bobbed or crooked tail, light nose, or glass eyes.
Breeding Drahthaars must pass either a spring Natural Ability test (VJP), fall breed test (HZP), or Utility Test (VGP). A group of three impartial judges determines whether a dog meets these standards. The performance tests simulate actual hunting situations and include upland game tests, waterfowl tests, and forest tests. This testing program assures the hunter that a puppy produced under this system will most likely perform in the field under actual hunting conditions.
The VJP test is conducted during the spring of each year. At this time the young dog (up until the age of 17 months old) is tested and evaluated, his/her inherited natural abilities should he developed. The dog is tested in the following phases:
The HZP is held in the fall of each year for dogs less than 26 months old. In addition to again assessing the natural abilities of these Drahthaars, the dog is also evaluated on how well it has accepted training on furred and feathered game. The test phases include:
6. Water work
a. Scent tracks a live duck across open water.
b. Blind retrieve
7. Retrieving feathered (pheasant) game on a drag
8. Retrieving furred (rabbit) game on a drag
9. Manner of retrieve
The test to evaluate the overall finished—trained Drahthaar is called the VGP. The Germans consider this the “master” exam for the finished gun dog. The dogs are evaluated on how well they have accepted training on furred (rabbit and fox) and feathered (pheasant and waterfowl) game in the field, water, and forest. The Drahthaar must successfully complete a blood track that has aged at least 2 hours.
I have some final thoughts to share with you. Anyone who takes on the responsibility of a puppy needs to have long term goals in mind. I do not believe people in general realize just how important the first 12 months of a dog’s life really are. I can provide you with the genetic package that has the potential to become a quality hunting companion but without your commitment to early socialization and training, this dog will never realize its full potential. The work you do once a puppy is welcomed into your home and family is just as important as the many years I have spent developing my breeding program. If hunting is your primary interest, I do not believe you could find a better hunting companion then those produced under the VDD breeding program. I would appreciate the opportunity to provide you with a Drahthaar puppy. If you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.