Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Large Munsterlander
Average Cost to keep/care for a Large Munsterlander
The Large Munsterlander is not only a handsome and athletic looking dog that hails from Germany, but they are loyal and affectionate characters that form strong bonds with their families and owners. Originally bred to work with hunters as gundogs, they are also highly prized as companions and family pets in their native Germany. Although, Munsters are lesser known here in the UK, they are gaining popularity with people who lead active, outdoor lives and who would like a loyal canine companion at their side and one that boasts a tremendous amount of stamina.
Large Munsterlanders originate from Germany where they have always been highly prized gundogs. When they first appeared on the scene they were classed as a type of German longhaired pointer, but during the early part of the 20th century, these handsome dogs earned recognition from The Kennel Club as a breed in its own right.
Very similar looking dogs have been found in artwork that dates back to the Middle Ages and it's thought these dogs could well be the forefathers of the Munsterlander we see today. However, during the 1800's there were many types of hunting dogs in Germany and it was not until the end of the 19th century that breeds began to be separated. A standard was drawn up for the German Long-Haired Pointer with the only acceptable colour being liver and white. As such any puppies with different colours were given away mainly to hunters and local German farmers.
These puppies were subsequently bred to other breeds which are thought to have been setter and spaniel type dogs. The result of the crosses was the Munsterlander and in 1919, the Large Munsterlander was recognised as a breed in its own right, separating the dogs from other breeds including the Small Munsterlander.
Large Munsterlanders were finally recognised by The Kennel Club in 1971 and although these handsome, tall dogs that boast black heads on white and black bodies, can be seen out hunting here in the UK, they are still rarely seen being kept as family pets even though they are known to be kind, affectionate and loyal being particularly good around children. As such anyone wishing to share a home with a Large Munsterlander would need to register their interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because so few pedigree puppies are bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year.
Height at the withers: Males 60 - 65 cm, Females 58 - 63 cm
Average weight: Males 23 - 32 kg, Females 23 - 32 kg
Large Munsterlanders are handsome, well-proportioned and they have a lot of presence with their striking coats and proud looks. They are always alert and ready to be involved in what is going on around them whether in the field or in a home environment. Their heads are nicely in proportion to the rest of their body with dogs having slightly domed skulls without a pronounced occiput or stop. They have strong jaws and well-developed black noses with wide nostrils and well fitting, slightly rounded lips.
The Large Munster has medium sized, dark brown eyes with dogs always having an intelligent, affectionate look about them. Their ears are set high being broad with rounded tips and they lie close to a dog's head. They have a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Necks are muscular and strong being slightly arched and merging smoothly into a dog's shoulders. Chests are wide with dogs having a nice depth to their brisket. Their shoulders are well laid back and front legs are straight, well-muscled and strong.
The Large Munsterlander has a strong and powerful body with a firm level back that is slightly higher at the withers before it slopes smoothly to the croup and tail. Loins are muscular, wide with dogs having well sprung deep ribs that reach up to the loin. Bellies are slightly tucked up which adds to the Large Munster's athletic appearance. Hips are broad with dogs having well-muscled back legs and their feet are tight, well-padded being slightly round in shaped being well knuckled with a lot of thick hair between the toes. Tails are well feathered and set high being in line with a dog's back and thicker at the root before it tapers to the tip. Dogs carry their tails horizontally or slightly curved.
When it comes to their coat, the Large Munsterlander boasts having a long, dense coat and lots of feathering on their front and back legs as well as on their tails. Males have more feathering than their female counerparts. The hair on a dog's head lies flat, being shorter and smoother. The accepted breed colour is as follows:
The Large Munsterlander is a reliable, very loyal and affectionate dog that for many years has been highly prized by hunters thanks to their intelligence and their desire to get a job done. They are very social dogs by nature which makes them extremely adaptable and which is just one of the reasons why they make such great family pets. With this said, they can be vocal at times and are quick to let their owners know when they are any strangers about making them good watchdogs.
They form very strong bonds with their owners and like nothing more than to greet them on their return to the home by offering presents, a very endearing trait they are known to have. However, they do not like to be left on their own for long periods of time which means they are best suited to people who work from home and in households where at least one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out of the house so they always have company.
They are a good choice for first time owners because the Large Munster is easy to train and picks new things up very quickly. However, anyone wishing to share a home with one of these handsome dogs would need to have the time to dedicate to their canine companion when it comes to the amount of exercise they need to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs.
It's important for puppies to be well socialised from a young age and this has to include introducing them to lots of new situation, noises, people, other animals and dogs once they have been fully vaccinated so they grow up to be well-rounded and obedient dogs no matter where they are taken. They love being in and around water which means care has to be taken when walking a Large Munster off their leads anywhere near more dangerous water courses just in case a dog decides to leap in.
It's important for Large Munsterlanders to be taught their place in the pack and who is alpha dog in a household or they might start to show the more dominant side of their nature which can lead to dogs being wilful and unruly therefore harder to handle and live with.
The Large Munsterlander is a highly intelligent dog and one that likes nothing better than to please. They pick things up very quickly, but the downside to this is that they are just as fast to pick up some bad habits and behaviours too. As such their training has to start early and it has to be consistent and always fair so that dogs understand what is expected of them.
The key to successfully training one of these smart dogs is to make their training sessions as interesting as possible and to indulge a dog's strong desire to retrieve things rather than to try to prevent them from doing what they have always been bred to do. Shorter training sessions will help keep a dog more focussed on what is being asked of them too. They are quite sensitive by nature and as such they do not respond well to any sort of harsh correction or heavier handed training methods. They do however, answer very well to positive reinforcement which always brings the best out of these intelligent, high energy dogs.
The Large Munsterlander thrives in a home environment and enjoys being involved in everything that goes on in a household which includes playing games with the kids. They seem to have a natural affinity with children and are always extra gentle when they are around them. However, any interaction between toddlers and a dog should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with a child being knocked over albeit by accident.
They are known to get on well with other dogs and pets, more especially if they have been well socialised from a young enough age. If they have grown up with a family cat in a household, they usually get on well together, but they might chase off any other cats they meet. It’s always best to be careful when a dog is around any other small animals and pets, just in case.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Large Munsterlander is between 11 and 13 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Large Munster is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these active and handsome dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
As with any other breed, Large Munsters need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
The Large Munsterlander boasts having a short to medium length coat and as such they are low maintenance in the grooming department. They need to be brushed once or twice a week to keep things tidy and to remove any dead from their coats and to prevent any tangles or knots forming in the feathers on their legs and tails. Any excessively long hair that grows between a dog's toes needs to be trimmed as does the feathering on their legs if it gets too long.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
The Large Munterlander is a high energy, intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. They need to be given at least 2 hour's exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Large Munster would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving the stress they are feeling.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these active dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get a Large Munsterlander puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be fed a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Large Munsterlander, you would need to register your interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because very few puppies are bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year. You would need to pay anything upwards of £500 for a well-bred pedigree puppy.
The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Large Munsterlander in northern England would be £27.20 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £62.52 a month (quote as of July 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £40 - £50 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Large Munsterlander and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £1100 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Large Munsterlander would be between £80 to £120 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.
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