AKC Dog Breeds: Small Munsterlander Pointer

Post Pic

As dog owners and people who care deeply for animals and wildlife, we wanted our Dog Encyclopedia to be a website that could empower pet owners to create the most positive, loving environment for their dogs. Dog Encyclopedia realizes that owning a dog is like adding a new member to your family.

Foundation Stock Service® Breed
Height: 18-22  inches  Weight: 40-60 pounds  
 large patches of brown on a ticked or solid white background

The Small Munsterlander is a versatile hunting-pointing-retrieving dog breed that reached its current form in the area around Münster, Germany. The Large Munsterlander is from the same area, but was developed from different breeding stock and is not as closely related as the names would suggest. Small Munsterlanders bear a resemblance to both spaniels and setters but are rather more versatile. Originally a dog bred to work with noble families' falconers before guns were used in bird and small game hunting, ancestors of the Small Munsterlander had to work in upland areas to flush prey for the falcon, then allow the falcon to keep the prey until the falconer could retrieve it while the dog pointed at the catch. To this day the Small Munsterlander has excellent close searching and pointing drive. By the 1800s the breed had fallen into obscurity. Small Munsterlanders were little known, kept by a few families on farms around Munster. For a half century the few dogs that were bred were primarily companions, and used when hunting to feed the family rather than for sport. It developed a local reputation as the dog to have when a hunter's success or failure determined whether his family would have enough to eat. At the end of the 19th century, a concerted effort was made to re-establish the breed from the remaining lines in the Munster region. The fortunate outcome of the companion phase in the Small Munsterlander history was its excellent in-home personality. The Small Munsterlander Pointer has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 2006.

General Appearance

The body is lean yet powerful and not prone to becoming overweight due to an active nature and natural athleticism. Coloration is large patches of brown on a ticked or solid white background. The soft coat is medium length. The coat should be smooth and there should be feathering on the legs and the tail. The dog uses his tail as an instrument of expression and this signaling ability is highly useful in its work. The hair on the ears should be slightly wavy and the ears show during running beautiful movements. Too much or too curly hair is a disadvantage during the hunt and is considered a fault.

Small Munsterlanders are very intelligent, trainable, and attentive but require gentle and patient training, which provides excellent results. They are also strong-willed and an owner who is inconsistent or indecisive might find that his dog is hard to control. Both voice and hand signals are used, and an SM looks back at the hunter for silent signals at intervals when on hold or pointing. They have a very strong drive to follow their keen sense of smell, and thrive with hunting or comparably challenging exercise for an hour or more every day. They mature rather slowly over 2.5 to 3 years.  The Small Munsterlander is a happy, affectionate family pet when in the house, while remaining a keenly focused, even driven, hunter-pointer-retriever when in the field. They are not suited to life in a kennel because of their sociable nature and need to interact with people—they need to live in the home of their human family. SMs will pick an individual person to bond most closely with, typically the one who hunts with the dog, but will revel in the company of the rest of the family, too. When raised with other pets in the household, such as cats, they can coexist happily though they may enjoy a game of chase and point. Unfamiliar small animals outdoors will not be tolerated in the same way.


Small Munsterlanders have little or no doggy odor and shed relatively little. The soft coat is medium length, requiring grooming after hunting in heavy cover or weekly otherwise.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
There have been a few instances of hip dysplasia. This breed is very healthy. Small Munsterlanders have a life expectancy of 13-15 years.

Activity Level

Lack of regular and sufficient exercise and mental challenge will likely result in unwanted behavior, which is common in highly intelligent, driven breeds. Small Munsterlanders thrive with hunting or comparably challenging exercise for an hour or more every day. They love swimming, too. Small Munsterlanders are superb water dogs with great endurance and love salt and fresh water, as well as surf and rapids. Their beautiful tails are important swimming tools for these dogs. Small Munsterlanders are agile and athletic, and can sprint at up to 25mph. In cool weather and with ample water, a properly conditioned healthy Small Munsterlander won't tire out on an all day hunt through wooded grouse terrain, rocky chukar territory, brushy pheasant country, open partridge plains or mucky duck marshes.


Dog Breeds:

Dog Encyclopedia has added beautiful dog photographs on each of our Dog Breed pages to enhance your experience. Each section in Dog Encyclopedia helps to educate pet owners, enabling both the dog, and the owner to have a safe, high quality experience

search boxers at Dog Encyclopediachoows are great petsDogue Bordeauxtwo english setters are twice the funbull terriers at dog encyclopediaboston terriers in love

Small Munsterlander pointer dog featured in dog encyclopedia
Small Munsterlander pointer profile on dog encyclopedia