Large Munsterlander

April 12, 2012

If you don’t want an exuberant dog that would knock you off your feet every time you enter the door… a dog that would not only trail muddy footprints on the wife’s pristine floor but would also make use of its mouth to bring abhorrent “presents” for the whole family… a dog whose whiplash-like tail would knock down pricy vases off the coffee table, then the Large Munsterlander is definitely not a best choice of dog for you.

Why then do a lot of people choose to have a Large Munsterlander? This outstanding all purpose dog is the choice of hunters because of its excellent hunting, pointing and retrieving abilities. This tireless dog hunts in any types of terrain undaunted by adverse weather conditions. A Large Munsterlander has this inherent desire to run in muddy banks and in thickly wooded areas. This dog loves to swim! Owners of this breed, wise to the dog’s act of always returning home very muddy would have rags ready to wipe the mud from the dog’s feet and body.

A Large Munsterlander is an intelligent hunter, one that has exceptional abilities in following scent as well as a remarkable talent of pointing accurately and retrieving with precision. This intelligent breed has a rather unique way of pointing to a prey. Once a prey is sighted the dog would freeze in its tracks, the head pointing to the direction of the prey and one front foot off the ground. This rapid freezing motion is done so as not to alert the prey. This stance is often depicted in old paintings and pictures.

This courageous dog makes an ideal watchdog as it is a ferocious enemy of predators. This dog with an elegant appearance has the qualities that make it an ideal home companion. The Grand Munsterlander is very affectionate and immensely loyal to the family. Apart from being endearing home companions, this breed that was originally developed to be a hawk hunter in the Middle Ages has now gained acclaim and recognition in obedience and agility competitions. Because of its elegant stature, the breed has done well in dog shows. Being a P.A.T. dog, the Large Munsterlander has provided therapeutic visits to the sick and elderly in hospitals and nursing homes.

Information

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Appearance

The Grosse Munsterlander is a large breed of dog that grows to a height of 25 inches and has an average weight of 50 pounds. Females are slightly smaller than the males. This breed has a taut skin covered with long dense hair that is neither curly nor stiff. The hair has to be sleek to give the dog ease of mobility while hunting in thickets covered with heavy vegetation. Both dogs and bitches have well feathered backs of front and hind legs. The tail that is usually carried horizontally is well feathered as well. Feathering on the middle part of the tail is strongest. A Grosse Munsterlander can have a blue roan coat though a white coat with black patches and spots are most common. This dog has a black head. A white snip or a star on the head makes the appearance more impressive. Males usually have bigger heads and sport longer hair on the chest.

This breed exudes an intelligent and noble appearance. The dog’s slightly rounded head, the strong muzzle, the black nose and the heavy lidded dark eyes add to the dog’s dignified demeanor. Set on high broad ears have well rounded tips. The well feathered ears hang close to the head. A Large Munsterlander has exceptional retrieving abilities because the dog has strong jaws and complete dentition that meet in a perfect scissor bite.

This gun dog’s muscular body has a clearly defined clean outline. A Large Munsterlander has long and muscular withers, a straight firm back, tautly muscled loin and a long broad croup that slopes slightly. The broad deep chest as well as the lightly tucked up belly give that dog a well balanced lean appearance. The strong well muscled limbs give the dog a springy walk and an elastic gallop. This is a surefooted gundog, an outstanding hunter that has the capability to hunt on any type of terrain.

Personality

The Large Munsterlander is most appreciated by hunter for its intelligence and sharp precision in pointing and retrieving. This breed trains easily. Basic “sit, come and heel” commands can be learned easily by a 6 month old puppy. However, it must be remembered that this is a large breed and as such the dog matures slowly. Overtraining can be detrimental to the dog’s health. A Large Munsterlander is a tireless worker. This breed is happiest when given a task to do. The breed is also known for its cheerful, lively, obedient, loyal and affectionate personality. An LM makes a wonderful home companion. These dogs make good friends and playmates of the children. These are people dogs. Unlike other breeds of hunting dogs that gets distracted by interesting scents and would not hesitate to abandon the master, this breed will not let the master out of its sight even for a minute. These dogs that would demand constant attention from the human family are extremely affectionate often enthusiastically greeting its beloved people with muddy footprints on perfectly clean clothes. Always eager to please, the dog would share its smelly and abhorrent “treasures” to the family. This breed is generally good with other dogs but would need to be well socialized to curb the dog’s tendency to chase smaller pets.

A Large Munsterlander is not suited for apartment living. This breed would not be not be a wise choice for an owner with long working hours either. This breed does not like to be left alone. Some owners would not even dare to leave the dog for a while in a car as the dog may decide that it is time to change the car upholstery. A Large Munsterlander has high exercise requirement. It loves the outdoors and suitable living arrangement is one with a moderately sized yard where the dog can run around and play. This is an active breed, constantly on the move, always playing and running.

Care

The Large Munsterlander does not really need extensive grooming. Regular brushing is sufficient to maintain the good condition of the sleek coat. A bitch has shorter hair and 3 to 4 brushing per week would be enough. A male LM’s longer coat though would need to be brushed more often. This breed is a seasonal shedder but shedding is heavier during the spring. This breed loves the water; LM puppies took to water like ducks. Because this breed has pendulous ears, they are prone to ear infection. Ears must be checked and cleaned regularly more especially if the dog has been hunting.

History

The Large Munsterlander is one of the prides of Germany. As the name suggests, this outstanding gundog was developed in Munster, Germany during the later part of the 19th century. Did you know that this breed was once considered to be “rejected” pups?

In the late 18th century, chicken dogs locally known as huehnerhunde abound in Germany. These dogs that came in all shapes and sizes are speculated to be the progenitors of the Large Munsterlander. This breed evolved from the German Long Haired Pointer (Deutsche Langhaar) which was very popular during that time. The breed has outstanding hunting abilities and appearance was not given much importance. However, when the standard for the German Long Haired Pointer was drawn, only liver and white dogs were accepted. However, litters still produce black and white puppies. These puppies of excellent bloodlines were given to farmers as they were not considered to be purebred. These dogs serve as general purpose gundogs. Hunters were not so particular about the appearance of these dogs as long as they can perform their jobs well. Eventually, a new breed was developed. The Large Munsterlander was born and in 1919 enthusiasts formed a breed club and registered these dogs as a separate breed.

The turmoil caused by the 2nd World War almost triggered the extinction of this breed. During the war years, breeding programs were discontinued and very few specimens survived. After the war reconstruction of the breed was initialized by Herr Egor Vornholt. To restore the breed to its former status, Vornholt single handedly planned the selective breeding of the LM. It was believed that Deutsche Langhaar was introduced to strengthen the Large Munsterlander’s gene pool. The breeding program was successful and the LM was saved from extinction.

The Large Munsterlander is an outstanding HPR (hunt, point, retrieve) gundog. Because of these exceptional hunting abilities, the dog has gained enormous popularity not only in its country of origin but in other countries as well. Breed enthusiasts had planned of introducing the Large Munsterlander in UK. Present days Large Munsterlanders in UK has descended from the six dogs that were imported in 1971. These dogs have excelled in field trials in England. The breed has also gained recognition in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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