Large Munsterlander

FCI standard Nº 118

Mrs Peggy Davis, additions by Christina Bailey.
Revised by VDH and Renée Sporre-Willes / Official language (DE)
Group 7 Pointing Dogs
Section 1.2 Continental Pointing Dogs, “Spaniel type”
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Monday 20 December 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Tuesday 29 October 2013
Last update
Wednesday 05 March 2014
En français, cette race se dit
Grand Epagneul de Münster
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Grosser Münsterländer Vorstehhund
En español, esta raza se dice
Gran Munsterlander
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Grote Munsterlander


In accordance with his hunting requirements as a versatile gundog the Large Munsterlander has to meet all the necessary challenges and has to be able to work in the field, in the forest and in the water before and after the shot.

Brief historical summary

The historical development of the Large Munsterlander goes back to the white/particolour bird and hawking dog of the Middle Ages via the Stöberhund and Wachtelhund to the Pointer of the 19th century. The Large Munsterlander as well as the Small Munsterlander and the Deutsch-Langhaar (German Longhair) belong to the family of the longhaired German Pointing Dogs, whose planned breeding began towards the end of the 19th Century. After the « German Longhair Club » finally excluded the black colour from breeding in 1909, the « Club for the pure breeding of the black and white Münsterland Pointers » (founded in 1919) took over the breeding of the black and white Longhair.
After incorporating the remainder of these native Longhairs, in particular from West-Münsterland and lower Saxony, onto a foundation list, the Club began the planned breeding of the Large Munsterlander in 1922.
The foundation list comprised 83 dogs. Descendants of the dogs on the original list were entered into the stud book for Large Munsterlander.
The Club keeping the stud records is the « Verband Grosse Münsterländer e.V. », to date organised in eight in dependent regional groups. The « Verband Grosse Münsterländer » is a member of the V.D.H. (Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen) and of the Federation of Working Gundogs (JGHV).

General appearance

Strong muscular body, yet racy general impression. Expression of intelligence and nobility. Clean outline.

Important proportions

Length of body and height at withers should, as near as possible, be equal. Length of body can exceed height at withers by 2 cm.

Behaviour / temperament

The most important qualities are: to be tractable and easily taught, dependable for use as a gundog, in particular after the shot. Lively temperament without being nervous.


Cranial region

Noble and elongated, with intelligent outlook. Definite well muscled chin.

Facial region

Pronounced black nose leather.
Strong, long and well developed for its use. Bridge of nose straight.
Not pendulous.
Jaws and teeth
Strong bite and complete dentition (42 teeth) with well formed canines and perfect scissor bite.
The darker the better; eyelids tightly fitting.
Broad, set on fairly high, rounded at tips, close fitting.


Strong and well muscled with noble curve.


Medium height, long, well muscled.
Short, firm, straight.
Pronounced, protected by taut muscles.
Long, broad, sloping only slightly, well muscled.
Broad when seen from front, deep seen from side with definite forechest.
Underline and belly
Lightly tucked up, taut, slim. Flanks short and set high.


Carried horizontally or slightly higher. Seen from side in continuation of the upper line, without break.



Correct angulations.
Shoulder blade close fitting to the ribs.
Upper arm
Should be strong and well muscled.
Legs straight, strong and well muscled.
Of moderate length and roundness, tight toes; no dewclaws.


Strong, taut muscles. Vertical stance.
Correct angulation.
Correct angulation.
Hind feet
Of moderate length and roundness, tight toes; no dewclaws.

Gait and movement

Springy walk and trot, covering ground, with long stride. Gallop: elastic, animated with necessary drive and long bound.




Long and dense, yet sleek and not curly or stand off as this hinders hunting ability. Typical long-hair.
The coat must be specially long and dense on backs of front and hind legs (well feathered) in both dogs and bitches. Also on the tail the hair must be particularly long. The strongest tail feathering should be in the medium part of its length.
Hair on ears should be long (good fringes) and reach clearly and evenly over the tip of the ears (leather ends of ears not desirable).
Hair on head is short and smooth.
The three colour varieties are: White with black patches and spots, blue roan or pure black. The head is always black, possibly with a white snip or blaze.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Aaverage: Males 60–65 cms, Females 58–63 cms. 2 cms over specified size tolerated.
Approx. 30 kgs.


• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

General faults

 Skull too broad, too much stop, too short muzzle.
 Roman nose, dish face; lacking pigment completely or only spots.
 Lips loose or pendulous.
 Slight faults of teeth and bite; Pincer bite; double PM1 absence of 1-2 premolars (PM1) or of the 3rd molars (M3) (Maximum 2 teeth).
 Eye too light.
 Visible red haw.
 Loose eyelids.
 Ears low set, standing away from head.
 Ears too short or folded backwards showing cartilage.
 Neck too short, too long, too thick, too thin; dewlap.
 Withers too low, too short.
 Back too long, hollow or roach back.
 Loins with slack muscles.
 Transition to rump not harmonious; overbuilt.
 Croup short, narrow, falling away sharply.
 Chest barrel-shaped, narrow, not deep enough, lack of forechest.
 Belly too tucked up, set too low.
 Tail carried sideways, rolled upwards, kinky or ring tail.
 Front legs: Angulations too steep, protruding or twisted elbows.
 Weak pastern.
 Too narrow or too wide in front.
 Hind legs: Angulations too steep; cow-hocked or bow-legged as well as too wide or too close behind.
 Feet round cat-feet, long harefeet, splayed feet.
 Pidgeon-toed or fiddle front.
 Walking and trotting short, stiff or mincing.
 Gallop: Short, stiff leap; too little drive.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
 Pale nose leather.
 Entropion, ectropion.
 Overshot or undershot mouth, wry mouth; missing incisors or canines, missing molars and premolars (except 2 PM1 or 1 M3).
 Colours which do not conform to the breed standard.
 Dogs over- or under-sized.
 Gun shy or gun-sensitive in any degree.
 Shyness of living game, fear biter, fears of strangers.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.



Detailed history

When German peddlers are spoken, we think first of Braques, German, of Weimar, with a hard coat (Drahthaar). It should not be forgotten that there are beautiful and good Spaniels in Germany.

Between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, it is true, most of the hunters from across the Rhine turned to the Braques and somewhat abandoned their ancestral Spaniels.

The Great or Small Spaniels of Mûnster undeniably evoke the French Spaniel or the Breton Spaniel, but it should not be inferred that they came from it. Indeed, German hunters have never hunt. Also, for centuries, they have devoted themselves exclusively to hunting shooting, nets or panels; their Spaniels, first known as "Oysel dogs" and "wearing dogs", are therefore undeniably very old. As in France, there was a great variety, small and tall, whose dresses were of various colors. Several crosses, especially with English Setters or German Pointers, had made these dogs quite heterogeneous.

In Westphalia, a very game-rich and very dog-friendly region, two local types were selected.

By 1870, however, Germanic cynophiles were concerned with specifying the characteristics of the various German pointers, and so in 1878 it was recommended to avoid dresses variegated with black for the reproduction of Langhaar; they were even banned in 1908. This exclusion is at the origin of the birth of the Grand Mûnsterländer.

Indeed, some breeders of Münster and its surroundings decided to breed this type of Spaniel as a separate breed. In 1919, to promote and select it, they created an association called "Verein für die Reinzucht des langhaarigen grossen Schwarzweissen Münsterländer", and in 1922 the Grand Mûnsterländer began to be officially registered in Germany.

As for the Petit Mûnsterlânder, it was a typical dog from the region of Münster, but at the beginning of this century, it was found that it was about to disappear: a few examples at most could be enumerated. Several breeders endeavored to revive it, among which we must mention mainly Edmond Lons. Between 1925 and 1935, this stubborn cynophile managed to stabilize the characteristics of the Petit Münsterlânder, not without some contributions from other races. It is often said that this dog was created from Breton Spaniels settled in the region as early as 1910. However, this assertion suffers from a serious defect, because, at that time, the Breton Spaniel had just begun to leave his native Brittany and therefore could not have already crossed the Rhine.

Small and Great Mûnsterländer undeniably have Langhaar blood in their veins, and this is quite explicable: both are from local selections of the German Spaniel, which, it, enjoyed a national diffusion, and it is understandable that breeders have used it to regenerate and perfect their favorite dogs. In any case, it should not be believed that the Greater Münsterländer is an avatar of the selection of the Small, appeared during mating between Breton Spaniel and Langhaar, and could, because of its large size, be registered as Small Münsterländer. Its existence is attested before the period 1925 - 1935.

The two breeds were finally recognized by the International Cynological Federation in 1936. Since then, they have spread to many parts of Germany, but also to Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Alsace. The Petit, especially, begins to be known throughout France, where amateurs discover its qualities.

The French hunters have excellent races of Spaniels: would the choice of a Miillerlandcr be only snobbery, or at least a manifestation of originality?

Admittedly, these two races benefit from the quality reputation of everything that is made in Germany, and it must be said that, as far as they are concerned, this reputation is perfectly justified. German hunters, who are relatively few in number, are highly motivated, passionate and demanding. Their dogs can not be mediocre.

First, they must know how to do everything: the stop on the feather or the hair, obviously, but also the report in plain, the tracking of the hare. They are highly regarded bushmen, but their users are still particularly interested in their services in the aquatic environment, particularly research and reporting, including in deep water. Swimming is for these dogs a second nature.

The Little can lead the hare, the Big is used for the quest of big game. Admittedly, these last two specialties are of little interest to French hunters; they allow, however, to affirm that the Mûnsterländer are really perfectly versatile hunting dogs. With a subtle sense of smell, conducting a very active and methodical search without getting too far from the hunter or imposing a train of hell, specialists in the search for wounded game, these dogs are potentially excellent retrievers.

In short, they are "serious" dogs, shaped by a very varied environment (Westphalia offers very diverse landscapes where crops alternate, meadows, woods, marshes) and a rigorous selection, which can only be appreciated in France. The Petit Mûnsterländer, in particular, who hunts under the gun, has become in a few years, in the south of France, a specialist in the hunting of rabbits, where he shows the qualities of a Spaniel, stopping moreover.

Miinsterlanders have temperament; that is, they need a master without weakness. Not that they are hard; the "hardness" of the German races is a legend, and in any case a Spaniel can not be a difficult dog; but their sharp intelligence makes them quickly discover the slightest fault in the education which is dispensed to them.

Extremely resistant to the weather and to fatigue, they have no less class and elegance: we will admire, for example, their elongated bevel head, without heaviness, finely chiseled.

Le Grand is reputed to be a very devoted, kind, brave, even cheerful dog. The Petit is also endowed with a good naturalness, but its temperament is often more incisive. Some make very safe guardians. Both are excellent house dogs, affectionate and attached to their family. If, wrongly, it has been claimed that they lacked passion, it is because they are above all two wise and naturally submissive dogs.

In France, currently, the Petit Mûnsterlânder, who is present in the exhibitions and who participates in some competitions of work, is already favorably welcomed by the amateurs. The Grand, meanwhile, although still discreet, should also find its place. This growing success is not due to a passing fad, but to strong practical qualities. even if the style of these dogs is very different from that of the French breeds.

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