Small Munsterlander (Kleiner Münsterländer)

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brown white, brown roan with brown patches
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Pros Cons

  • staunch and good-natured

  • bold guardian and attentive watcher

  • needs standard amount of care

  • can be kept with other animals

  • excellent hunter

  • bossy

  • for a dominant owner

  • demands a great deal of strenuous exercises


The Small Musterlander is an all-purpose and very old hunting dog from Germany. Its happy and amiable disposition also won it an acknowledgement as a family companion. This smart and complaisant breed has a semi-long coat that needs unsubstantial amount of maintenance.


It’s believed that the development of the Small Musterlander as a unique breed dates back to the XIII or XIV century. At that point its images began to appear on pictures and tapestries, which were dedicated to hunting with falcons. During the following centuries German hunters exerted every effort in order to polish hunting prowess of this breed. They aimed to create the dog that would be uniformly proficient at operating on any type of terrain and would fulfill tracking, pointing and retrieving tasks. In the XVII and XVIII centuries Germany went through serious changes in a socio-political situation so popularity and number of Small Musterlanders dwindled very sharply.

The breed received its official name in honour of Münster where it was rebuilt by two locals. Two brothers, Rudolf and Edmond Lons, discovered two distinctive strains of the Small Musterlander. Interestingly enough they were almost neighbours but were totally unaware about each other. The Heitmann and the Dorsten lines contained only high-quality pure-blooded breed specimens so under the guidance of Lons carefully planned crossbreeding was performed in order to enlarge its gene pool. In 1912 the fanciers of this outstanding hunter formed the «Verband für Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde», the German Breed Association for the Small Munsterlander that functions even presently.

The Small Munsterlander is still praised by German hunters for its unbelievable versatility. It’s capable of tracking down both wounded and dead game of any size as well as makes a very successful retriever and pointer. Moreover in its native country it has lots of fanciers in the role of a pet. The breed is also well-established in Canada, England and some parts in Europe. In 2006 its specimens were admitted to registration in the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service. It also has recognition of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).


Courageous, devoted, inquisitive and even-tempered are the most suitable words to describe the character of the Small Munsterlander. Despite its love for outdoor exercises it won’t make a good yard dog since it passionately craves for human companionship. It’s also prone to develop especially deep affection to only one family member. The dog usually enjoys playing with well-known kids but it still should be properly socialized in its puppyhood in order to tolerate their rough-housing.

The Small Munsterlander quickly makes friends with every new person in its live although it behaves itself warily in the company of strangers. It has strong instinct to protect its owners and their possessions and commonly becomes a fabulous watcher. The dog will also fearlessly assault an uninvited guest if needed so it can be trusted with guarding duties.

The Small Munsterlander distrusts strange canines as it thinks that they can pose threat for its masters or territory. However it is a pack-oriented breed and will be pleased to co-exist with one or several counterparts. This dog is notable for insignificant aggressiveness towards non-canine animals. Killing of the prey rarely falls within the responsibility of this excellent hunter so it gets on well with individual home cats and other small pets.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· hip dysplasia.


The grooming of the Small Munsterlander needs very trivial amount of efforts. As a rule weekly brushing is quite sufficient to keep its silky coat free of loose hair and tangles. But after a hunting trip the master should thoroughly comb its pet and check its fur and ears for the signs of external parasites.

The breed is an average shedder so systematic grooming will minimize the amount of its hair in the house. Regular nail trimming and teeth brushing are also essential for good overall health of your dog.


The training of the Small Munsterlander usually becomes complicated by its dominant personality. However it usually wants to make its master happy and performs his commands with due zeal. At the same time it’s smart enough to see and use weaknesses in your character and needs firm yet respectful treatment.

The dog can be successfully trained basic tricks only if its interest is reinforced by encouraging words and delicious treats. Avoid punishing your Small Munsterlander for inattention during lessons because such handling will only make it even more resistant to your learning.


The Small Munsterlander brims over with energy and needs great amount of physical activity. An hour or two of outdoor playtime is obligatory for this dog if you want it to stay relaxed and docile at home. The breed is a very capable swimmer and absolutely loves frisking in the water. It’s also very tough and will eagerly run near your bike for several hours on end.

Be mindful though that lack of physical stimulation causes such stern issues with the dog’s behaviour as outburst of aggression and destructiveness indoors.