By Jags Goldie Last updated: 22nd October 2022

Small Munsterlander


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 22nd October 2022

The versatile Small Munsterlander is a long haired dog that excels in hunting, pointing, and retrieving. It has a strong, harmonious, and medium-sized body, showing a balanced, upright posture with well feathered front legs, and a horizontally carried flagged tail.

Small Munsterlander Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesVorstehhund, Kleiner Münsterländer, Heidewachtel, Spion, Munsterlander (Small)
CoatDense, slightly wavy, water-repellent, close lying
ColorBrown-white, brown mantle or ticking, brown roan with patches; muzzle with tan markings
Breed TypePurebred
CategoryGun Dog, Sporting, Spaniels
Lifespan12-13 years
Weight40-60 lbs
HeightFemale: 19-22 inches
Male: 20-23 inches
TemperamentIntelligent, loyal, trainable, courageous
Good with ChildrenYes
Country Originated inGermany
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationNAPR, SMCNA, NAVHDA, DRA, ACA, AKC/FSS

Small Munsterlander Pointer Video


19th century: For hundreds of years, gun dogs including the Munsterlander had been the companion of hunters, especially in the northwestern region of Germany. The Small Munsterlanders emerged in the mid-19th century when people of noble birth owned small hunting dogs, which were nicknamed Spiönken (meaning the Little Spy), Magisterhündlein (meaning Little Master’s Dog), or Heidewachtel (meaning heathland quail dog). During the 1870s, the amendment in the German hunting law impelled the development of Pointing Dogs including German Spaniels.

20th century: In 1906, the famous poet Hermann Löns along with his brothers Rudolf and Edmund, found a pointing dog in Lower Saxony. Edmund Löns worked untiringly with Dr. Jungklaus to improve the breed, which later came to be known as the Small Munsterlander. He met Clemens Heitmann in 1907 and together they started a breeding program, which aimed to improve the conformation and capabilities of this breed.

Breed Recognition

Small Munsterlanders, with numbers ranging around 2000, are considered a rare breed in the US. However, they have a larger population in Denmark, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. In 2006, The Kennel Club (UK) acknowledged it as an imported breed.

Temperament and Behavior

Being cooperative, a Small Munsterlander is a reliable hunter well-suited for different types of game. It remains responsive to its owner whether it is searching outside the gun range in the countryside or dense cover.

Because of its keen sense of smell, it does an excellent job in finding game before and after the gunshot. When encountering a game, it remains staunch on point until its handler arrives. Then, the SM flushes out the game, fetches, and retrieves the kill.

When in the house, the SM is a cheerful, affectionate pet that tries to please its owner. It loves interacting with people and can be bored when left alone. The Small Munsterlander can coexist with other pets if raised with them.



As an energetic breed, it thrives with challenging activities such as hunting, retrieving, agility, and flyball. Interactive play in the yard helps relieve its boredom and improves your bond with the pet.


When your Munsterlander is not in the field, weekly brushing is recommended to remove loose hair. Rub it with a chamois to keep its coat shiny. However, it will need regular brushing and an occasional bathing if it has been regularly used for hunting. Basic care involves trimming its nails, cleaning ears, and brushing its teeth frequently.

Health Problems

The Small Munsterlander is a robust breed, although a few instances of hypothyroidism, seizures, and hip dysplasia have been recorded.


The SM, being obedient and intelligent by nature, is a trainable breed. Given its passion for hunting and retrieving, steadiness should be encouraged through consistent training drills.

Controlling their prey drive:  Since the SM puppies have an inherent chasing instinct, you need to work with this behavior. Come to the yard and put your pet’s leash on. Practice activities with toys or food before it sees a bird or squirrel. Make sure your SM responds to sit, stay, and come commands before trying this training procedure. Do not call your dog once it chases the bird or squirrel, but bring out a leftover steak, hot dog, or chicken. Once the scent attracts your dog away from the prey, put its leash on and offer the treat. Ask your pet to sit, and then bring it into the house.

Socialization: Give it lots of happy experiences by taking it to dog parks, obedience classes, or your friends’ place where it can interact with other friendly canines. Expose your pet to the noises of lawn mowers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, skateboards, bicycles, cars, etc.


A nutritious diet containing animal-based protein (turkey and dried chicken), fiber blend (beet pulp), carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals is useful for strong muscles, healthy digestion, and optimal growth.

Interesting Facts

  • Many Small Munsterlanders have different tones of voice when tracking game, which gives a clear indication to the hunter about the type of prey that is being chased.

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