Munsterlanders are multi-purpose gundogs, also being used in field trials and in the show-ring. They have fantastic staying power and work well on both land and in water.
As puppies ensure the breeder's diet sheet is followed and do not be tempted to spoil them as they will become finicky eaters. Little and often is the key for successful feeding of Munsterlanders.
The Large Munsterlander has a life expectancy of 12 to 13 years, while the Small Munsterland can live to 13 or 14 years of age.
8 puppies is the average size of litter but they have been known to have 14 to 17!
The Large Munsterlanders are well-proportioned dogs who carry themselves with pride. They are well-balanced and have a free and easy, long striding movement with drive. Their coats are flowing and dense with a good deal of feathering on the legs and tail. Their smaller relations are more setter-like, but in all other aspects, apart from colouration, are similar in appearance.
The Small Munsterlander bitch stands 52 to 56 cms at the withers, the dog 50 to 56cms, whilst the Large Munsterlander bitch stands 58 to 63cms,the dog 60 to 65cms. There are no set guidelines given for their weight.
There There are very little health problems in this breed and the breed club's insistence on screening for hereditary cataracts suggest the ailment is well controlled. Although there are incidents of hip dysplasia, the x-ray scores are quite low and therefore very promising. The breed is not prone to any other disorders.
In the 1800's bird dogs in Germany came in all shapes, sizes and coat colours. In the latter part of the 19th century, because of the growing interest in the individual breeds, the different types were all separated. When the German Long-Haired Pointer Club drew up its standards, for some reason, the only colour allowed was liver and white. Litters with all colourations were produced and the black and white puppies, many with excellent blood lines, were given away to farmers and hunters from the Munster area in Germany. Colour did not matter to them and, so these puppies were bred, possibly bringing in other breeds, e.g. spaniel or setter types, until in 1919 the Large Munsterlander was given recognition in his own right to differentiate him from the smaller version.
Both large and small are bright and keen and therefore relatively easy to train, wanting to please their owners at all costs. They can, however, be dominant and therefore need consistency in handling or they can become almost unmangeable.
The Small Munsterlander is now declassified in the Kennel Club of Great Britain's breed standards. All pigmentation should be black. The head should be sufficiently broad and rounded with no pronounced occiput or stop. The teeth should be well-developed with a regular scissor bite. The eyes are intelligent, medium-sized and dark brown. The ears should be broad and set on high, lying flat and close to the head. The neck should be strong and muscular, slightly arched and join onto well laid back shoulders. The back should be short-coupled, firm and strong, slightly higher at the shoulders, sloping smoothly to the croup and tail, with well-spring ribs. The front legs should be straight with strong pasterns and the hind legs well muscled with well let down hocks. Dew claws should be removed. The feet should be tight, moderately round and well knuckled with dense hair between the toes. The tail should be well set on in line with the back and well feathered. It should be carried horizontally or curved slightly upwards. Docking of the tip of the tail is optional.
Munsterlanders are primarily field sports dogs but will adapt quite readily to family life as long as they are given plenty of exercise. They love water therefore care must be taken to ensure their safety when they are running loose. They make super companions for active people, being content either to work or play.
These are lovable and affectionate dogs who bond well with the family. There will be no problems whatsoever mixing them with other dogs and pets. The majority of them love and have great patience with children. Munsters will, however, act as watch dogs when necessary. They can be quite vocal, especially after having been left and love to bring you 'presents' on your return home, or alternatively greet you with your slippers or newspaper! They are brave, eager to work and have a very gentle nature, wanting to please at all times. They do however need owners who will spend a lot of time and give plenty affection to them. They give the impression that they totally enjoy life and want their owners to do the same!
Munsterlanders require little in the way of grooming, a weekly comb and brush over will suffice. Their feathering on the ears, front and hind legs and tail will need the occasional tidying up. Excess hair between the pads on the feet should be trimmed when necessary. They are dogs who enjoy all types of weather so be warned, mud and dirt can be a problem!