Small Munsterlander

Also sometimes called the Moorland Spaniel, and known in its homeland as the Kleiner Munsterlander Vorstehhund or the Heidewachtel, this is simply a smaller relative of the Large Munsterlander. In Germany it is often referred to as the Spion.


This is a more recent breed. The Small Munsterlander was created in the early part of the 20th century by crossing the Large Munsterlander with continental spaniels. Despite this introduction of ‘flushing’ blood, it remains a pointer in the field. In appearance, as might be expected bearing in mind its ancestry, it looks intermediate between a setter and a spaniel. Because of its smaller size, it has in recent years become even more popular as a household companion, and its deeply ingrained urge to retrieve can find an outlet in fetching newspapers and slippers.

This breed can be likened to its very close relative, the Large Munsterlander, except in terms of size and color. It is also a hunter, pointer and retriever. It originates from the Westphalian area of Germany and is rarely seen other than in northern Europe. Breeding began in earnest in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The Small Munsterlander is used extensively for hunting in areas of dense woodland and rough moorland where it has been found to be most efficient in the hunting of hare and deer. After many years of controlled breeding, these dogs have developed into the ideal companion for the rough shooter. Although slower than some of the other hunting, pointing and retrieving breeds when out in the field, it is most persistent in finding game that it will point and retrieve very efficiently. It also excels at swimming and retrieving from water.


The color of the breed is dapple brown and white with moderate feathering. Dogs stand 21-22 inches/50-56 cm at the withers; females 20-21 inches/48-54 cm. The height of the Small Munsterlander is about 3 in (7.5 cm) less than that of its larger cousin. Apart from its size, there is also a colour difference, this breed being brown-and-white instead of black-and-white. To the uninitiated the Small Munsterlander may have the appearance of a working-type Springer Spaniel, being very moderate in all respects and devoid of any exaggeration.


Generally this is a hardy breed, although cases of entropion and hip dysplasia have been recorded from time to time.

Care and Exercise

The Small Munsterlander is normally easy to train and makes an ideal family companion, being loyal and affectionate. This should include road work, free running and swimming if possible.

Gallery of Small Munsterlander