Large Munsterlander

Known in its homeland as the Grosser Munsterlander; the Large Munsterlander is a typical continental gun dog that not only points but also tracks and retrieves. Among its friends it is usually referred to simply as the Munster. The Large Munsterlander is of German origin. The breed has been selectively bred to maintain natural working ability. It is absolutely fearless in the thickest of cover.


This is a close relative of the German Longhaired Pointer. When, in the late 19th century, there was an attempt to introduce pure breeding lines into the rather haphazardly interbreeding German gun dogs, the club that was formed to support the German Long-haired Pointer insisted on a rigid standard for that breed. This standard demanded either liver or liver-and-white colouring. Such a rule meant that many black-and-white pointers were excluded. In the region of Munster, breeders ignored this strict new code and continued to produce black-and-white dogs, basing their breeding decisions on performance rather than appearance. In 1919 they formed their own club for their defiantly black-and-white dogs and gave them a new breed name of their own — the Munsterlander.


The Large Munsterlander is a long-coated dog with a long, feathered tail. It is a typical HPR (hunt, point and retrieve) breed and performs well in field trials. It has recently become increasingly popular overseas, especially in Britain and Canada, where it has adapted well to life as a companion dog, largely because of its strong desire to please its owners at every opportunity. It is obedient, resourceful, alert, and good with children, dogs and other animals.

In temperament, the Large Munsterlander is a loyal, gentle and reliable dog, a superb companion that loves human company, with a preference for living in the home as one of the family. The breed is alert, active and brimming with energy.


As far as coloring goes, it has a black head, although a small white blaze is permissible. Its body may be any combination of black, white and blue roan. It should be a strong dog with a strength body.

The height at its withers should be 24 inches/61 cm for dogs and 23 inches/59 cm for bitches. The Munsterlander’s head is slightly elongated but the skull is noticeably broader than the Setter breeds for example, and slightly rounded. Its minimal stop and slightly rounded lips give it a very “moderate” look, free of any extremes.


There are no hereditary defects in the breed, although hip dysplasia does exist to a small degree. Most breeders will check existing stock before breeding.


Basic training such as walking to heel, entering water, retrieving and acknowledgement to the whistle may be started while it is still a puppy, but it should be understood that this is a slow maturing breed and so serious training in the field and to the gun should not be undertaken until the dog is more mature.


The mature dog will need ample exercise that should include road walking, free running and, if possible, swimming which is usually a firm favorite.


Its long, dense, silky coat must be regularly groomed.

Gallery of Large Munsterlander