Small Munsterlander Pointer
The Small Munsterlander Pointer, one of the four original versatile hunting breeds, is great in the field and easy going at home. The Munsterlander can carry out the duties of a pointer and retriever of both fur and feathered game from land or water. The Small Munsterlander has great enthusiasm for retrieving, water work, tenacity and voice (bark when chasing furred game) on the track. They excel at finding the bird before and after the shot due to their excellent nose. They are eager to please, but also can be persistent. The Munsterlander is easy to train, however, they were bred to be active hunters so adequate exercise is very important for them. Preferably every day.
With an increase in the number of hunters and hunting enthusiasts, and the systematic cultivation of game stock resulting from a change in the German hunting laws during the middle of the 19th century, the breeding of new German pointing dogs began. There are reports saying that around 1870 long-coated Wachtelhunds (German Spaniels) were well known in the Munsterland region. These dogs were firm in pointing; had enormous scenting abilities; and were also able to retrieve. In 1906, the well-known poet, Hermann Löns, made a public appeal in the magazine Unser Wachtelhund to give him a report on the still existing specimens of the red Hanovarian Heath Hound. As a result, he and his brothers discovered a pointing Wachtelhund they called Heidewachtel. The Löns brothers and other well-known dog breeders, like the Baron of Bevervörde-Lohburg, put efforts into getting Heidewachtel breeding stock into other regions in Germany as well. Mr. Heitmann, a teacher from Burgsteinfurt, achieved first success with his line breeding. Several other lines, known as the so-called 'Dorsten type', appeared during the following years in Westphalia. On March 17, 1912, the Verband für Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde (Club for Small Munsterlander Pointing Dogs) was finally founded. At that time, the Club expressed its aims as follows: "The Club pursues the purpose to promote the purity and the true breeding of the long-coated small pointing dog that has been bred in the Munsterland for many decades." A lack of fixed breed characteristics at that time inhibited breeding activities as well as Club activities. Starting in 1921, breeders finally began to follow the breed standard drawn up by Mr. Friedrich Jungklaus. Nevertheless, the true origin of the Small Munsterlander Pointing Dogs has not been proved.
Colors and Markings
The FCI Standard for the Small Munsterlander breed requires Munsters be a combination of brown and white in color with a white-tipped tail. Solid colored dogs have an eliminating fault and therefore cannot be bred. Some are a milk chocolate brown and some are a dark chocolate brown. Some are so dark brown they almost appear to be black. Reddish-brown is improper, but occasionally seen. There is also a now very rare, allowed, coloring exception dating back to one of the Breed's founders called "Jungklaus Markings." These are tan markings, typically on the muzzle/cheeks, eyebrows and around the anus.
Munsters come in two defined colors: Roan and Brown/White. They are equally common colors, but recently the roan color seems to have increased in popularity, despite being more difficult to see in the cover while upland hunting. Roan Munsters have brown patches with a lot of brown ticking. An example of a roan dog is Remi. Roan Munsters can be light-roan, where there is about equal amounts of brown and white in the ticking. Remi is a light-roan. With dark-roan, there is more brown than white in the ticking. Luna is dark-roan. Brown/white Munsters have brown patches with white that typically contains some brown speckles, especially on the legs. Brown/white Munsters generally have the most feathering, especially on their tails. Brown/white Munsters are popular with Ruffed Grouse hunters because of their easier visibility in wooded cover. An example of brown/white dog is Scout, one of our stud dogs in our breeding pool.
A Munster's head can be solid brown or have a blaze. A blaze is most often seen on the forehead, but sometimes extends down and around the muzzle. The blaze can be slight or prominent. A prominent blaze comes from the Spaniel influence in the breed. Spaniels were used to give the Munster its beautiful feathering and some of its head/facial features. This is why people often mistake Munsters for Springer Spaniels. In roan dogs, the blaze often develops so much ticking that it becomes hard to distinguish from solid brown. A little bit of whitish coloring on the tip of the nose is common in roan Munster puppies and is lovingly called "fairy dust." As the puppy's coat matures, the fairy dust most often all but disappears. Many Munsters have a white patch under their chin.
Rare Colors: The rarest coloring is a Munster with Jungklaus Markings. This may have been fairly common when the Breed was first being developed, but today you will likely never see a Munster with those Markings in real life. Originally, nearly all Munsters were brown/white with prominent blazes. Today, that coloring is one of the rarest at about 10% of Munsters. Munsters with any amount of blazing on their foreheads/muzzles are also not very common at 20-25%. Today, the most common head color is solid brown. A dog with a large brown patch covering much of the dog's torso is called "caped." This is a fairly common marking, but a somewhat rare coloring/marking combination is a fully-caped, dark-roan Munster. These dogs appear to be almost solid brown. Only about 15-20% of Munsters get as dark as Luna. All Small Munsterlander puppies are born brown/white. The roan coloring develops over time, but it is possible to tell if a puppy will be brown/white or roan shortly after birth.
Below are picture of the different colored puppies. Hover over the picture to see explanation.