Hailing from the Munster region of Germany, the Large Munsterlander is a bird dog that is athletic, intelligent, noble and bears an elegant appearance. It is a newer dog breed than its smaller counterpart, the Small Munsterlander. Besides the obvious difference in size, the larger version is also distinguishable by its color. During the 19th century, hunting dogs in Germany were mostly liver and white, but this kind of bird dog was black and white. Another difference between the two is that the smaller version descended from Falconers’ hunting dogs while this one has the German Longhaired Pointer as its ancestor. This bird dog is a well-rounded hunter capable of pointing, retrieving and performing general utilitarian duties while in the field. They are confident, tireless, trainable and loyal. These hunting dogs were recognized by The Kennel Club in England in 1919 with standards established in 1921.
This kind of bird dog is bred for training and can withstand the pressures involved. That said, they can adapt to any kind of terrain for hunting – be it forests, prairies, valleys and water. They are also resistant to fatigue and bad weather. They have a sureness about them when tasked with pointing and they have precision when they retrieve. They appreciate water and can retrieve anything in it.
The Large Munsterlander is very trainable. During their first six months, they can easily be trained to come and sit on command. Also essential in training these hunting dogs is human to canine communication. Since this bird dog isn’t difficult to handle, even a beginner can train them. However, remaining calm, confident and consistent is a requirement throughout the life of these hunting dogs.
As mentioned earlier, the Large Munsterlander has an elegant look about them. Their body is muscular – but not bulky – and just about the same length as its height at the withers. Males should be around 60 to 65 cm (around 24 to 26 in) at the withers while females measure around 58 to 63 cm (about 23 to 25 in). They should weigh approximately 30 kg (about 66 lbs). Their coat is black and white and they have medium length hair. The amount of black present in their coat will vary. In most cases, the head will be mostly black while the tip of the tail will be white. They have a dense, but firm and sleek coat.
This bird dog breed is courageous, cheerful, intelligent and obedient. Other than being a really good hunting dog, it’s also a wonderful house companion. They are loyal, friendly and responsive to their humans. Plus, they make really good friends. Given that they are trained to be hunting dogs, they can get destructive and bark when they are left alone in the house. They are bred to carry and retrieve. This being said, they are not suited for apartment life and will thrive more with a large yard. That said, they do well in obedience and with other animals, as well as children.
This bird dog is generally healthy. That being said, they are prone to cataracts, hip dysplasia and osteochondrosis. However, reputable bird dog breeders are honest about any health concerns. For example, the Large Munsterlander Club of North America certifies breeders and puppies, as well as approves all breedings. In order for puppies to receive full registration, both their parents should be free from hip dysplasia and should have qualified in a field test of natural hunting ability, meet breed standard and have a normal temperament. Since they are hunting dogs, they need to be active. However, they do not need to be as active as a pointer. Daily walks are needed and brisk walks and jogs will do as well. The recommended time for exercise each day is two hours. A Large Munsterlanders average life span is between 12 and 13 years.