Sometimes mistaken for a larger spaniel, Munsterlanders do resemble large black and white springers, as they are the most spaniel-like of the German breeds of gundog in the UK. The large Munsterlander has an affinity with the small Munsterlander and the German longhaired pointer and is most often used as an HPR gundog in the UK.
Why Large Munsterlanders?
Why the large Munsterlander is not common among UK gundogs is something of a mystery, being that they are attractive, hardy dogs with great ability. One reason may be that not enough people are working with them, even though they are enthusiastic and hard working. Nevertheless, the large Munsterlander seems to be a breed on the rise, along with other German gundog breeds. The breed is courageous, cheerful, intelligent and obedient, making them a wonderful house companion dog along with being trainable. Munsterlanders are loyal, friendly and are very responsive to their owners, making for a great teammate when out on the field.
The large Munsterlander is one of several continental breeds of hunt, point and retrieve gundogs. They are one of the last breeds to gain separate official representation, though they have been recognised as a colour variant of German Longhaired Pointers before that time. The breed was officially recognised in the Munsterland region of north-western Germany in the early 1900s, though the forerunner of large Munsterlanders can be recognised in paintings of hunting scenes as far back as the Middle Ages. The breed evolved from the small Munsterlander, which can be distinguished from the large by its slightly smaller size, and by its brown and white colouring. The larger breed is always black and white.
Training large Munsterlanders takes practice. The breed is relatively slow to mature, and it takes a lot of patience for the average gundog owner and trainer. Like other gundogs, the large Munsterlander is extremely intelligent, but although their training takes longer, and it’s best to not ‘over-train’ them too young. Some trainers prefer to start the basic obedience and house training at 10 to 12 weeks, ‘fun’ retrieves at six months and the serious gundog training when they are a year old. The breed also tends to go through a rebellious teenage phase between nine and 16 months. It is best to not take large Munsterlanders out in the field until they are at least two years old, and even then with caution. However, the older they get, the better they work. Why not take a look at our gundog accessories and training aids we have available in our shop?
Large Munsterlanders can be of a height between 58 and 65 cm, and weigh up to 32 kg. They are well balanced, with a broad and slightly rounded head, which gives them an impression of stability. The bodies are white with black patches or flecks; an all-black coat is not desirable to breeders. The broad ears hang close to the head, and eyes are dark and heavy-lidded. Munsterlander’s coats are long and dense, though not coarse or curly, and feathers on the ears, legs and tails. Males have longer hair on their chest and more feathering with slightly larger heads than the females. They are a breed that sheds a lot too; so regular grooming is required to keep the shedding down.
If large Munsterlanders are lacking in mental or physical stimulation, they can become destructive, over excited and bark when left alone in the house. They like to retrieve and naturally like to carry things in their mouth. They also do well with other animals and children but are happiest when working. The dog is adaptable to various terrains and able to withstand pressures of shooting, so when training, be sure to take them to various landscapes, including water. Like all gundogs, large Munsterlanders have a lot of energy and require sufficient exercise. Take them on daily walks or jogs, which can also be used to help train them to see humans as the leader. They are a breed that loves to be outside and run free, making them suitable for people who are active and love being outdoors too.
You can find out more about large Munsterlanders at their club website, largemunsterlanderclub.co.uk and be sure to take a look at our other gundog guides on our blog here.