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The Large Munsterlander Association of Canada (LMAC)

LMAC commits to maintaining the Large Munsterlander (LM) as a dog for hunters, their families and ethical hunting. The Large Munsterlander is a long-haired versatile hunting dog, developed in Germany, which has been bred to performance standards in North America for over 30 years.

Table of Contents

Bear Hill's Atim (VHDF HAE Good), photo by Craig Koshyk

This web page was first mounted in October 2011 and last updated on September 14, 2016 by Sheila Schmutz.

The LMAC spring newsletter was emailed in March 2016. Please email photos, articles, stories, etc. to John Staley at jsmunster@comcast.net for the late September issue.

Feature Dog


Not all versatile dog breeds work the same. This difference is rooted in their very breed design. The type of test or trial in common use for selection helps shape the dogs. Craik Koshyk was very astute in alluding to this in his book Pointing Dogs, Volume 1 The Continentals. He made a distinction between dogs roughly west and east of the river Rhine. He attributes the distinction to differences in the way hunting rights are allocated, via a Revier system in Germany and Austria, compared to a license system more like we have it, in France and Spain. While German dogs are expected to work all game in a leased township or Revier, many breeders in France concentrate more on upland work.

While most European dog enthusiasts test or trial within their own country, the international kennel club FCI holds championships throughout Europe. In trials designed for field work, dogs often work in a brace for 20 minutes, birds are shot and retrieved. Only two shells are allowed per bird and two birds are judged. Even the handler's ability and marksmanship enter into judgement. Points are given but only to allocate first, second and third prize in the end. Winners are highlighted and as is typical of field trials, many other good performances are mostly forgotten. Dogs that fail in certain aspects are eliminated from further participation. German hunters are prone to writing this off as mere sport.

Results of a 2007 championship in Belgium showed 55 English and 48 Continental pointing dogs participating with owners from 20 nations. Winning dogs were 4 English Setters, 1 English Pointer, 1 German Longhair, 2 German Shorthairs and 1 German Wirehair. In addition to dog-handler teams, the championship is extended to competitions by country and one by gender of handler.

Our LMs come from a hunting and testing culture east of the Rhine, where field work is only one of many aspects tested. There, a 24- or 48-hr blood track will turn more heads than snappy and speedy coverage of a field. Even so, our LMs have done remarkably well under expanded field expectations. Consider backing, for example, which is typically furthest from the German hunter's mind. Our test result here are commendable. Although dogs too will search a field and hunt for a single hunter in Germany, more often, the hunts there are party hunts with a mix of drivers and hunters. In that situation the dog's main job is to retrieve hares and upland birds and, especially, to recover cripples.

Testing backing in NAVHDA is a relatively recent addition, and is only part of the Invitational Test. Backing and a 1-hr brace is a regular aspect in VHDF's Performance Evaluation. Since we founded VHDF in 2007, 10 LMs were evaluated in the Performance Evaluation. These came from 6 different kennels including 2 German imports (see chart at the left).

VHDF evaluates backing and honouring as linked ends of a continuum. A dog B backs when it assumes a pointing stance or at least respectful attention merely from seeing dog A on point, without dog B being in the scent cone. If dog B does not back, but after a command stands and watches the other dog complete its pointing and retrieving it still shows respect for the other dog's work and can earn partial score. The scores in the graph show that two dogs performed this task flawlessly, and 6 more needed only a bit of help.

I have personally either trained or participated in training six of these LMs. I have been most impressed, by how quickly the dogs backed. We've never had to bother with the remote popup pointing dog cut-outs one can purchase. The training for backing consisted of at most a few reminders as in Stop or Whoa. Naturally most of the time was spent ensuring the dog will honour another dog's retrieve.

Backing is sometimes treated as a trained subject. Training may be required if a dog's intelligent pointing instinct does not prompt it to back. I've been impressed with the manner in which these dogs backed, similar to actual pointing. This coupled with observing a natural, sudden and intense back of a 12-week-old LM puppy convinces me that we have significant natural backing in our LMs.

The dogs in the photo are backing the dog who pointed initially (it is standing front-right and facing to the right). The dogs are not pointing scent because, their orientation is to the other dog that they are apparently taking their cue from, and not always the dog that pointed originally. Others are too far back to have scent, and scent would have been weak as the Huns had left the spot beforehand. Backing is a very useful trait in North America, where unlike Germany, dogs mostly search independently under the gun, often in the company of other hunters and their dogs. It's also a sophisticated and gentlemanly way to hunt and quite a sight to behold in the field.

Profile of a Large Munsterlander

The Large Munsterlander is one of several continental breeds of versatile hunting dogs. It gained breed recognition in the Münsterland of northwestern Germany in 1919. Although this makes the LM the last of the German breeds to gain official representation by a separate breed club, the LM was recognized as a black color variant of the brown German Longhaired Pointer going back to its breed club formation in 1878. Even before that time, the forerunner of the modern LM can be recognized in artists' representations of hunting scenes as far back as the Middle Ages.

The LM is a black and white dog with hair of medium length. They weigh 50-75 lbs with males about 60-67 cm and females 58-63 cm at the shoulder. In its German homeland and some other countries, this dog has been bred for over a century for hunting and not show. Hence coat color is highly variable, ranging from predominantly white to predominantly black. Markings occur as solid white patches, or ticked or roan regions.

This field dog characteristically is calm, gentle and intelligent, and therefore also valued as a family dog. The versatile and cooperative characteristics of the LM provide for a reliable companion for all facets of hunting. It is well suited for a variety of game, including the tracking of big game as practiced by some owners. On average, LMs search well outside of gun range in open country but are still responsive and not independent. LMs excel as bird finders before and after the shot due to excellent noses and a purposeful searching style with good coverage, rather than speed. Many LMs point with intensity from puppyhood on, and many honor naturally. Given their passion for retrieving, steadiness needs to be encouraged through training, especially in the exuberant youngster. LMs tend to be strong in the water. The LM's long and thick coat protects them against cold and allows them to search dense cover thoroughly. Even so, their coat is a compromise well suited for temperate climates. Short-haired breeds may be better suited for upland hunting in the hot South, while the oily and dense coat of retrieving specialists makes them better suited for prolonged water work in the late-season North.

The Large Munsterlander was introduced to North America by Kurt von Kleist of Pennsylvania in 1966. By May, 2007, at least 78 dogs had been imported to North America from Europe. The first LMs were brought to Canada in 1973. There have been 368 pups born in Canada, from 55 litters.

SaskElkana's Bones

Available Pups

Sunnynook's Uli and Friends

The best method of obtaining a pup of your choice is by reserving from a breeder who plans a litter. Most pups are born in spring or early summer. Occasionally pups are available immediately. <

LM breeders, see below, will place pups only in hunting homes for several reasons. Breeders rely on progeny performance data when planning future breeding - a dog that is not hunted/tested is in that sense lost. Although LMs make good companions, their insatiable hunting instinct can lead to frustration for non-hunters when their dog insists on chasing nearly everything - even the squirrels during a picnic in the park.

We encourage potential owners to do their homework, including meeting an LM owner and dog where possible. Even "retired" breeders may be willing to show their dogs and answer questions about the breed. Most breeders encourage continued contact with puppy buyers/owners.

All sires and dams have earned at least a Prize III in the NAVHDA Natural Ability test or a Fair in the VHDF HAE test or a Pass in the VJP test. Their total test scores and accompanying ratings are shown below. Some dogs have also run in intermediate level hunt tests, such as NAVHDA UPT or VHDF AHAE, or JGHV HZP. Some have also run in the highest level tests, such NAVHDA UT or the VHDF PE test or the JGHV VGP test. All dogs were judged to be of normal temperament in their test. They have all been certified HD free. Their rating is shown. Some dogs have received Progeny Performance Awards when at least four of their pups from a single litter have passed first level tests.

The early litters born in North America were registered with the Verband Grosse Munsterlander in Germany. For the past 30 years all LMs born in North American have been registered by the Large Munsterlander Club of North America (LMCNA®). Such registration implies that both parents have met breeding eligibility criteria, which include passing a test of hunting performance and certification free of hip dysplasia. ALL litters listed below are bred under the guidance of the Animal Pedigree Act of Canada. The Large Munsterlander Association of Canada has been formed to foster the continued breeding of LMs in Canada and by like-minded U.S. breeders. LMAC registered dogs will have a "C" at the beginning of their individual tattoo in their ear.

Available Pups

Litters Planned for 2017

Litters planned for 2017 will likely be posted in October. The fall testing season is used to help breeders evaluate previous pups and new potential dams and sires. At least two breeders are planning litters.

Litters Born in 2016

Additional Breeders in Canada

Associated U.S. Breeders

To be associated U.S. Breeders, the kennel owner must be a LMAC associate member.

Retired Breeders in Canada

Registration Criteria

Performance Requirements for Breeding LMs

All LMs in North America that were eligible for breeding in LMCNA® as of Dec. 31, 2011 will continue to be eligible to breed (see list of eligible sires) in LMAC. LMs approved after January 1, 2012 must meet the requirements listed below at a minimum:

Sire owners are welcome to contact the LMAC Registrar, Adele Eslinger to inquire about females eligible to breed and have pups registered by LMAC. If you have a male or female that you want to have recorded as eligible to breed, please email the TDP Keeper for a form and instructions.

  • 1) Hunting Tests(more information on the linked webpage)

    Breeding females and males must pass an introductory level versatile hunting test. The North American testing organizations recognized are the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation (VHDF), the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) and the breed club tests recognized are the Large Munsterlander Tests, the Bodo Winterhelt Pudelpointer Organization tests, and the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club of America (WPGCA) tests. Imported dogs with tests from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia are also considered to meet the performance requirements.

  • 2) Conformation Evaluation

    Both dogs will meet basic criteria of the FCI published standard for the Large Munsterlander, assessed at conformation portions of hunt tests, specific conformation evaluation, and by photograph included with the Total Dog Profile submitted to the Registrar.

  • 3) Health and Genetic Tests

    Hip Dyplasia Testing. Rradiographic evaluation by Farrow's VMI, or pre-2012 by WCVM, at a minimum age of 18 months; or the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) at a minimum age of 24 months. The appended list of inherited disorders will be used as indicated in the table (Appendix A, LMAC Bylaws).

  • 4) Temperament Assessment

    Both dogs must have normal temperament assessments in a field test or conformation evaluation. Neither males nor females may be gunshy as evaluated in hunting dog tests.

Performance Requirements for LMs Potentially Exportable to countries where the breed was originally developed, the "Original" Stream

All of the above requirements must be met, but for registration identified as "Original Stream", in addition:

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