A little known breed, the Large Munsterlander is big on natural talent and good looks
The Grosser Munsterlander was developed near Munster, Germany, where it served as an all around gun dog bred for upland and water work. The dog breed stemmed from the German longhaired pointer after the black coat color was banned from the German longhair club and a group of hunters decided to continue breeding the black and white coated pointing dog.
Large Munsterlanders are not a bigger version of the Small Munsterlander breed; each breed has its own history and standards. LMs are black and white, with their coats referred to as either “plated” — patches of solid black hair with the areas between them primarily white; or “ticked” — plates of solid black hair with black specks or black roan between them. Their heads are generally solid black with smoother hair and more feathering on the ears. Most Large Munsterlander tails are full length, but the breed standard allows for a quarter of the tail to be docked as was traditional in the past.
According to the Large Munsterlander Association of America, under supervision of the parent clubs over 80 LMs have been imported from Europe and over 2,000 puppies have been registered in North America.
Hunting style and temperament
Large Munsterlanders are adept at pointing, tracking and retrieving, and are adaptable to a variety of game, weather and terrain. In general, they are known to hunt at a medium range and medium pace, adjusting as the cover requires. LMs take to water and retrieving naturally, and some hunters have also noted a natural tendency to back. In Germany they are often used for big game tracking.
In the field, Large Munsterlanders are intelligent and responsive to the hunter. With regular exercise, they are calm and easygoing at home. Compared to the Small Munsterlander, LMs are less excitable and independent, more laid back and handler-oriented.
Traits important to hunters
Height range for the Large Munsterlander is 23-25 inches at the shoulder; weight ranges from 50-75 pounds.
Beautiful in its length and markings, the Large Munsterlander coat should be medium long, flat and dense. It serves best in mid-range climates, not too thick for warm weather running and not too thin for cool water temperatures. It is not ideal for extremes of hot or cold. Like all longer haired coats, the Large Munsterlander’s coat traps burrs, briars, and field matter.
Large Munsterlanders are uncomplicated when it comes to their training and can take a standard amount of pressure. They do best with a positive approach.
Common to large breed dogs, hip dysplasia can occur in the LMs but getting a dog from parents that have been screened can minimize that risk. Cataracts have been identified as a potential health problem in the breed.
Finding a good breeder
There are far fewer Large Munsterlanders than Small Munsterlanders in the U.S. The Large Munsterlander Association of America and the Large Munsterlander Association of Canada are the best resources for locating a breeder. You can also check out the North American Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA). The American Kennel Club does not recognize the breed.
Nancy Anisfield is an outdoor writer and hunting dog photographer, creative director for the Ugly Dog Hunting Company, member of the Pheasants Forever / Quail Forever Board of Directors, and co-owner of the Track2Wing Project which grants Action trackchairs to individuals with mobility challenges who want to train and hunt with bird dogs. She and her husband live in Hinesburg, Vermont, where their lives are governed by her two German shorthaired pointers and his two German wirehaired pointers.