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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 January 28, 2017 by Sheila Schmutz.

The LMAC winter 2016 newsletter was emailed to members on December 21, 2016. If you did not receive your copy, please email sheila.schmutz@usask.ca Please send photos, stories, articles for the next newsleter to jsmunster@gmail.com by March 1, 2017.


Feature Dog

The Independent Search Is a Versatile Dog's Secret Weapon

Sheri Hallwyler (Muddy Waters Kennel) reported on an early morning waterfowl hunt in Oregon. The picture shows Muddy Waters' Daphne "Fi" at 9 months with a Snow Goose she had just retrieved. That same day a fellow hunter hit a Canada Goose that appeared to land out of sight in another field. When Fi was encouraged to search on her own, she found scent of the goose. Fi tracked it to a thicket of blackberry brambles where she went deep to retrieve the goose that was still alive. Without Fi, the goose would not have been recovered. The hunter who injured the goose was thrilled and will never forget this great piece of dog work.

It was Fi's independent search that saved the day. The hunters felt helpless. All they could do is follow Fi in the general direction of the crippled goose's disappearance. Sheri concludes: "Once the Large Munsterlander is exposed to use of nose and tracking, intelligent desire takes over and they recover the bird, and this at 9 months - what a natural instinct!"

Retrieving by a versatile dog takes many different forms. For a dog to get to a dead or crippled bird in the first place takes more than retrieving per se. 'Hunting dead' is a phrase that includes the independent search, alluding to the concentration and persistence required to make a retrieve possible. Taken together, retrieving is a complex of interconnected behaviors whose subtlety is not always recognized. Just consider the words people use, what do they mean for the dog and what does the dog bring to the task?

There is play retrieving by pups and adolescents. Wild and domestic canines play in their youth. Actually, play is widespread in nature. One of the outcomes of dog domestication was that the motivation to play persisted into adulthood, often called a neotenic behavior (1). For hunting it might be useful to distinguish play from retrieving. Chasing sticks and balls in the park satisfies a dog's inner motivation. Yet, it is different from a functional retrieve of something a dog or wolf would prefer to eat or cache for later. In retrieving, hunter and dog are serious about the common goal. They put aside all other distractions and concentrate on the scent at hand.

The chart shows six components of retrieving that overlap but are also different: The marked retrieve works best if a dog can remember not only direction but also the distance of the fall. For escape-artist species like pheasants, a good mark and quickly getting to the spot, can make or break the day.

The blind retrieve is the forté of retrievers and spectacular to watch. It requires a dog to 'take lines' and to strictly obey the voice and hand signals of the hunter. It works well if the hunter knows the hidden location of a bird no longer moving. A friend once entered his German Short-haired Pointer in a retriever competition out of pure interest. The GSP did a good job on blind retrieves but the owner felt that the difference between diligent adherence to lines and commands vs. independent work is so deeply rooted in a dog that it should not to be trivialized. It goes to "what a dog is" and not simply to "what a dog does". My friend felt his well-bred shorthair needed more training to be successful than should be required of most well-bred retrievers. It's an open question as to whether a dog exposed to both, contradictory methods is less effective in both.

The independent search, and its intended outcome, the retrieve, lie on opposite ends of the spectrum from marked or blind retrieves. In an independent search a dog may have cooperatively searched a field or sat obediently near a blind. Then, at an instant, it is asked to reverse its approach. The dog will take the cue and then make its own decisions, temporarily suspending the normal invisible bond between dog and hunter. The dog will work out of range and change direction as required. As Sheri put it, this is the forté of the fully versatile breed, and a versatile dog's secret weapon.

In retrieve by track a dog encounters an exceptionally long escape by a winged but otherwise vigorous rooster, or a rabbit, for example. Here the dog displays excellent use of nose and enough confidence and concentration to see the job through. In Fi's retrieve, she showed enough gumption to press deep into a thorny thicket to get the live goose. In the homeland of many of our versatile breeds, this complex retrieve is officially noted by judges when they see it in every day hunting. Such a dog is awarded the designation Verlorenbringer, abbreviated Vbr.

Retrieving commitment refers to a dog's willingness to pick up and carry a game animal that may lie outside its comfort zone. Not every dog will pick up a merganser (fish duck) or even a woodcock. When retrieving commitment is tested in Germany, a dog is expected to find and retrieve a dead fox. Such a dog shows commitment, it is trustworthy. It displays Bringtreue or Btr. I have personally been forced to leave a crane to its hapless fate after other hunters had winged it. When I encouraged my dogs to chase and retrieve it, we failed in retrieving commitment. Three of my dogs pursued it across the marsh but eventually backed away when the crane stood its ground. When a wounded animal resists, as in the case of the Sandhill Crane, or when cold water or thorns cause temporary discomfort, retrieving-gumption is called for. This gumption is described as Härte in German. The crane was not only unusual quarry outside the dogs' comfort zone, it also put up a fight.

Sheri and her hunting partners acknowledged many of the retrieving components in Fi's story told above. They recognized the enormous value of these components when Sheri writes: "intelligent desire takes over"

The above may not resonate equally with every hunter afield with a pointing dog because of different bird-dog cultures. At one extreme retrieving is thought to hinder pointing style and intensity. In the middle, many pointing dogs and versatile dogs are trained to retrieve (2). The full versatile dog is one where the breeding program pays attention not once but throughout generations to the full complement of the retrieving complex, including deliberate and persistent hunting dead. The trained retrieve or force fetch is an important training tool. However, many agree that it will help only with delivery style and obedience. Executing a complex and difficult retrieve touches upon 'what a dog is' beyond simply 'what a dog has been force-trained to do'. Fi has shown several of the features of a complex retrieve, and this at 9 months of age. Way to go Fi!

by Joe Schmutz, Feature-Dog Editor


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.


Litters Planned for 2017

At least two breeders are planning litters.

Other LMAC Breeders

Some of these kennels have not breed a litter recently, or have retired from breeding, but are shown here so that owners of pups in the past have their current contact information.


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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