The Large Munsterlander was brought to North America from Munster, Germany, by Kurt Von Kleist in 1966. LMs have been bred for over a century, dating back to the Middle Ages as a descendant of bird and hawk dogs. It’s an excellent family dog, but its most admired attributes stem from its hunting abilities.
22 – 26 inches (male), 22 – 24 inches (female)
50 – 75 pounds
12 – 13 years
Black and white, medium-length coat, the head is predominantly black, the coat is predominantly white and peppered with black flecks and larger spots
Active families, best with hunters
Gentle, cooperative, highly trainable, intelligent, friendly
These dogs are excellent hunters of small and large game, both on land and in water. They adapt to a variety of hunting environments, stay loyal to the commands of the hunter, and cover a wide hunting range with their impeccable sense of smell. A thick coat allows protection from cold environments, like fetching fowl from water.
The LM is a serious hunter and will thrive with an outdoorsy family. Think this is you? Keep reading to find out more.
Large Munsterlander Characteristics
Large Munsterlander Puppies
Before looking for a breeder, know that most breeders will not place a Large Munsterlander in a non-hunting home. These dogs are specifically bred to track, point, and retrieve, and will flourish in a home that allows the use of these skills. But hunting dogs are not cheap. The LMAA has a strict breeding program that requires approval from a Breeding Officer for all mating, ensuring the litter lives up to its physical attributes, health, and temperament standards.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Large Munsterlander
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Large Munsterlanders have a lively, yet gentle temperament that makes them excellent family dogs. LMs burn a lot of energy outside but quickly adapt their behavior when indoors.
LMs are highly trainable, ensuring you have a well-behaved pet for the family to enjoy. Their high energy makes them perfect companions for children (they can tire each other out!). Plus, many owners have reported good behavior with kennels.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Large Munsterlanders love just about everyone and everything, including other pets and dogs.
Remember that LMs are hunting dogs. They react to instinct when around certain species, like chickens or rabbits. Adopting an LM will not work for your house if you keep prey species as pets.
Some LM owners have reported keeping LMs away from cats, while others have never had issues. You must decide this for yourself. Consider the temperament of your cat. The LM is highly trainable. You could have success with a cat and an LM coexisting.
Things to Know When Owning a Large Munsterlander
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Knowing what to feed your pet can be tricky as there are variables to consider like:
As a puppy, your LM will need to be on a high-quality puppy dry food until about a year old, then transition to an adult dry food when fully grown. A LM will need to eat approximately 2-3 cups per day, spaced out between 2-3 meals. (This could change based on the activity level of your dog.)
The best way to know how much to feed your dog is to schedule an appointment with your vet. Your vet will examine the body condition of your LM and based on its weight, will help you flesh out a solid meal plan.
Regular walks and throwing a ball are not enough for this breed.
The LM’s endurance is off the charts. It can run outside all day and never grow weary, so a backyard is a must-have. Apartment life is not suited for this breed.
Lack of proper exercise will lead to behavior problems. Your pup will find other ways to occupy his time without an outlet to burn energy. Get your furry companion outside to warrant a stress-free home life.
What kind of exercise is best, you may ask?
Any! Like running, hiking, and swimming. Just be sure the exercise is rigorous and 1-2 hours long. But the best kind of exercise?
You guessed it! Hunting and training.
Standard training methods include socialization with other humans and dogs and mastering basic commands like sit. Training is split between private and group sessions. Pricing will vary based on your location, instructor, and whether you’re doing a private class or group class.
Like most puppies, they will need practice and patience but are eager to learn and please. Begin training as early as possible—as early as eight weeks if you can. However, we always say better late than never!
Bonus tip: ALWAYS use positive reinforcement! It’s proven to be more effective with dogs.
As if that’s not enough, you will also need to pursue advanced training.
Advanced training methods include point and retrieve and exposure to gunfire. Training for hunting involves using dummies as prey, like the wing-on-a-stick method and learning basic hunting commands.
LMs will need to pass a hunting evaluation with the NAVHDA before they can begin hunting. Various tests simulate real-life hunting situations, and judges evaluate the skills in each scenario. You will need to become a member first before entering your LM for the evaluation.
Regular grooming for LMs is required. A LM’s coat is long and thick, yet silky and wavy with feathering on the legs and tail. The fur on the tail is especially long.
Burs and other debris commonly attach to the Large Munsterlanders’ fur which makes grooming difficult. But regular brushing can help. The amount of brushing will depend on if your LM is longhaired or shorthaired.
For longhaired, we recommend brushing 2-3 times per week, or at least after each hunting session. Trim nails and bathe on an as-needed basis.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Male vs Female
Male LMs are called sires, and female LMs are called dams. Otherwise, males tend to be slightly larger than females; however, there is no major difference in temperament between the sexes.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Large Munsterlander
1. The LM Originally Belonged to the German Longhaired Pointer Breed
The LM was a black and white version of a German Longhaired Pointer but transitioned to an independent breed in 1919 when the German Longhaired Pointer Club no longer recognized the LM as a variation. Regardless, these fabulous creatures remain close cousins to the German Longhaired Pointer.
2. The LM Breed Almost Vanished During the Great Depression and WWII
After its recognition as an independent breed in 1919, the LM almost went extinct when the Great Depression and WWII struck. Thankfully, the breed was saved but is a rare breed in the US.
3. LMs Are Excellent Pointers and Retrievers
The ability to point and retrieve is a must-have instinct of any hunting dog. Pointing is when the dog halts for a prolonged time, pointing its nose toward the game. Once the game has been shot, the dog will retrieve the game, bringing it back to the hunter.
The Large Munsterlander outperforms other hunting dogs in this category. This is largely due to selective breeding. In fact, hunters choose this breed specifically for their dependability after the gunshot.
The Large Munsterlander is a rare breed in the United States. Most dogs are afraid of loud noises like fireworks and gunfire. But not this breed.
Not often do you find a breed of dog that is both laid back and has a great work ethic. They’re sweet, smart, and happy pups! Don’t you want one already?
Well, this breed isn’t for everyone. But we can all enjoy LMs by learning more about their journey and incredible athletic ability. Who knows? Maybe you know someone that owns a Large Munsterlander. If you do, be sure to play with him. He has a lot of energy to burn.
Featured Image Credit: PokoFoto, Shutterstock