HISTORY OF THE KLEINE MÜNSTERLÄNDER VORSTEHHUNDE IN GERMANY, THE MOTHERLAND OF THE BREED
For several centuries, dogs have played an important role in the success of a hunt in Europe and naturally in Germany. In past centuries hunters were the nobility, above all, as hunting enjoyed a high degree of societal recognition at this time. It required the ownership of large pieces of land upon which one could hunt, courage and skill in pursuing and shooting game.
All in all, hunting was a challenging, diverse free-time activity. Consequently, good hunting dogs had a very high value—similar to birds of prey, which are still kept today by well-to-do Arabs for falconry and which are hardly affordable for normal citizens. In Germany, tracking and searching dogs were in demand above all. These dogs were trained and cared for in large kennels by specially trained personnel.
The systematic breeding of hunting dogs began, however, only in the middle of the 19th Century. And so it was with the Kleine Münsterländer. Two breeders are documented, who regularly bred Kleine Münsterländer in their kennels: a school teacher named Heitmann from Burgsteinfurt in the Münsterland and the gamekeeper Wolberg from Dorsten in the Münsterland. In the blood of their KlM flowed the blood of north German tracking and pointing dogs hundreds of years older.
It is likely also that their blood lines where intermingled with Belgian and French Epagneuls and Spaniels. Both of these breeding lines, the more delicate Heitmann line and the sturdier Wolberg line, formed the foundation of the “Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde” breed. The sibling pair “Boncoeur” and “Herta von Lohburg” from the Heitmann line, as well as “Rino-Hervest” and “Mirza I-Hervest” from the Wolberg (Dorsten) line, are documented. The Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde were medium-sized, long-haired, intelligent, and worked tirelessly in the field, water and forest. As hunters, they were passionate tracking dogs and dependable retrievers.
But it still took another 50 years until the breed had established sufficiently itself with hunters, before a breed club named “Association for Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde (Heidewachtel)” was founded in the year 1912, and that a studbook could be created.
From this time until the middle of the 20th Century breed selection was handled pragmatically: breeding was done above all with very good dogs, which came from the region and were known because of their hunting performance. This method had great advantages, as breeders and stud dog owners knew each other and their dogs from hunting. And so both the specific strengths and weaknesses were known, and the pairings could be coordinated accordingly.
Edmund Löns, a brother of the famous writer Hermann Löns, was a dedicated breeder and enthusiast of the Kleine Münsterländer. He made the breed known through numerous articles in the German hunting and international press and in this way advanced the rapid spread of the breed. In 1927, he also brought brown roan to the breed, which until then recognized only brown-white dogs. A brown roan female had so impressed him with its intelligence, desire and independence that he purchased and used her as a breed dog. This color prevailed and was also officially recognized by the association as an approved color. The genetic strength of this color demonstrates itself in that nearly half of all Kleine Münsterländer are roan.
By 1921, Edmund Löns and Dr. Friedrich Jungklaus had formulated and published the breed characteristics of the Kleine Münsterländer, which were the basis for the further development of the breed. The breed characteristics and the performance requirements were not determined by the association until 1936, however, and then codified for a longer period of time.
Since the end of the 19th Century (1899) a special organization with German hunters concerned itself with the development of test regulations for versatile hunting dogs: the “JGHV” (Jagdgebrauchshundverband).
With this organization the performance requirements of the various hunting dog breeds were defined. By this means hunting dogs could be systematically and comparably evaluated for their suitability for hunting and breeding. As early as the middle of the 19th Century test regulations were developed and still practiced today in England and later in the romantic countries. In these countries, however, work in the field was and still is the focus (field trials). For the use of hunting dogs in the forest, water, in the field or for retrieving, specialists were preferred in this part of Europe. And not much has changed until today.
In contrast to this practice, hunters in Germany were more likely to handle versatile hunting dog breeds, like the Kleine Münsterländer, for these diverse capabilities were required on most hunting grounds. Once versatility had been genetically established in these breeds, most dogs could easily specialize and be trained to excel as competitive experts in their disciplines. Since then, versatility has been a central breed attribute of the Continental pointing dog breeds and thus also of the Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde. Since 1936, the JGHV test regulations have been applicable for the breeding of the Kleine Münsterländer. Until today, a successfully completed VJP (natural ability test) in the Spring and a successful HZP (advanced natural ability test) in the Fall are the indispensable prerequisites for breeding. For a select breeding, both parents of a pairing need a successfully completed VGP (association utility test) along with consideration of other details.
In the decades until 1961 the fate of the Kleine Münsterländer breed developed eventfully. And so, in the period from the Twenties until after the Second World War, Edmund Löns went his own way, because he had different ideas about a rigorous performance breeding of the Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde. He established his own club, which he named the “Deutschen Heidewachtelklub” (German Heidewachtel Club). In the end, however, this Heidewachtel Club was unable to prevail. In 1961 he integrated his club back into the original founding club, which had maintained and further developed the breed since 1912.
In the thirty years since the beginning of the club, the friends of the Heidewachtel were unsuccessful in developing the necessary broad breeding base and to keep the club together. The political division of Germany led to the creation in the GDR in 1952 of the “Special Breed Association KlM” under the leadership of Otto Capsius. In 1990, this group, which had professionally maintained the breed of the Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde in Eastern Germany for two decades, was also joined and integrated with the original founding association.
For more than 20 years an important role in the whole breed supervision has been played by electronic data management. Our database “dogbase”, which contains about 45,000 Kleine Münsterländer, has become meanwhile an indispensable instrument for breed planning among the breeders. In consequent of this, many breeders no longer plan their pairings regionally, but are willing to travel throughout Germany in order to get to the optimal stud dog.
The supply of interesting and dependable data for planning of pairings by the breeders, as well as the breed supervision of the association has improved significantly. With now more than 5,000 members, the entire administration and breed accounting of our association is no longer conceivable today without information technology (IT).
In 2004 the F.C.I. concluded breed standard Nr. 102, which is still valid today. At the same time, the official name of the breed was changed to “Kleine Münsterländer“.
Through the omission of the term “pointing dog”, the versatile profile of the breed was meant to be underscored in the international standard.
In Germany, Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde have required a lot of time to become accepted by all hunters as a complete, high-performance hunting dog, which can work at the same level as the other versatile utility dog breeds.
Kleine Münsterländer demonstrate their extraordinary hunting capabilities daily, as well as the ability to socially adapt to the most widely differing work and living conditions.
We wish to preserve and further develop these qualities in the motherland of the breed and in all international breed clubs. Edmund Löns once expressed this goal in a charming rhyme:
In the watery reeds today and tomorrow in the field,
Recovered and revealed in the forest,
Predators subdued, the lost retrieved,
That is what makes a versatile hunting dog!
(F.C.I. STANDARD N° 102 / 06. 12. 2004/ GB)
TRANSLATION : Elke Peper.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN : Germany.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 09.11.2004.
UTILIZATION : Versatile working gundog.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 7 Pointing Dogs.
Section 1.2 Continental Pointing Dogs. Spaniel Type. With Working Trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
The development of the Small Munsterlander is hidden somewhere in the middle of the 19th century. After the change of the German hunting law, with the increasing number of hunters and hunting enthusiasts and the systematic cultivation of the game stock the breeding of new German Pointing Dogs began.
There are reports saying that around 1870 longcoated „Wachtelhunds“ (German Spaniels) were well known in the Munsterland region. These dogs
were firm in pointing, they had enormous scenting abilities and were also able to retrieve. In the year 1906 the well known heath poet Hermann Löns took care of the matter: He put a public appeal into the magazin „Unser Wachtelhund“ to give him a report on the still existing specimens of the red Hanovarian Heath Hound. However, instead of that he and his brothers discovered a pointing Wachtelhund on the farms, that they called „Heidewachtel“.
Apart from the Löns brothers, well known dog men like for example the Baron of Bevervörde-Lohburg put efforts into getting a reasonable breeding stock in other regions as well. Mr. Heitmann, a teacher from Burgsteinfurt, achieved first success with his line breeding. Several other breeding families, known as the so-called „Dorsten type“, appeared during the following years in Westphalia.
On March 17, 1912, the „Verband für Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde“ (Club for Small Munsterlander Pointing Dogs) was finally founded. At that time this Club expressed its aims as follows: „ The Club pursues the purpose to promote the purity and the true breeding of the longcoated small pointing dog that has been bred in the Munsterland for many decades.“ The lack of the fixed breed characteristics at that time inhibited the breeding activities as well as the Club activities.
From 1921, the breeders finally followed the breed standard that had been drawn up by Mr. Friedrich Jungklaus. Nevertheless, the true origin of the dogs of that time is not exactly proved.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
Strong and harmonious build of medium size, showing balanced proportions with a lot of
quality and elegance. Distinguished head. In upright posture the dog displays flowing outlines
with horizontally carried tail. Its front legs are well feathered, the hind legs with breeches, the
tail has a distinct flag. Its glossy coat should be straight or slightly wavy, dense and not too
long. Its movement is harmonious and far reaching.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
The length of the body from point of shoulders to the buttocks should exceed the height at
the withers by not more than 5 cm. The length of the skull from the occiput to the stop is
equal to the length of the muzzle from the stop to the nose.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT :
The Small Munsterlander is intelligent and capable of learning, full of temperament but even,
with steady character; its attitude towards people is alert and friendly (suitable for family life),
with good social behaviour and keeps close contact with his master (team spirit); with
passionate, persevering predatory instinct, versatile hunting aptitudes and strong nerves and
keenness for game.
HEAD : The expression of the head is part of the type.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Distinguished, lean, flat to slightly arched.
Stop : Only slightly pronounced but distinctly recognizable.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Wholecoloured brown.
Muzzle : Powerful, long, straight.
Lips : Short, tight closing, well pigmented – wholecoloured brown.
Jaws / teeth : Large white teeth. Powerful jaws with regular and complete scissor bite with
the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. 42 teeth
according to the dentition formula.
Cheeks : Strong, well muscled.
Eyes : Of medium size, neither protruding nor deep set. As dark brown as possible. Eyelids
tight fitting to the eyeballs, covering the haws.
Ears : Broad, set on high, lying close to the head, tapering towards the tips, ear leather
should not reach beyond the corner of the mouth.
NECK : Its length in balance with the general appearance; gradually widening towards the
body. Napeline slightly arched, very muscular. Tight fitting throat skin.
Topline : Slightly sloping in a straight line.
Withers : Pronounced.
Back : Firm, well muscled. The spinal processes should be covered by the musculature.
Loins : Short, broad, muscular.
Croup : Long and broad, not short slanting, only slightly sloping towards the tail; well
muscled. Broad pelvis.
Chest : Rather deep than broad, breastbone reaching as far backwards as possible. Ribs
Underline and belly : Slight tuck-up towards the rear in an elegant curve; lean.
TAIL : Set on high, with long flag, strong at the base, then tapering. Of medium length.
Carried downwards in repose, horizontally and not too high above the level of the topline with
a slight sweep when in action. In the lower third it may be curved slightly upwards.
FOREQUARTERS : Viewed from the front straight and rather parallel, viewed from the side
legs set well under the body. The distance from the ground to the elbows should be
approximately equal to the distance from the elbows to the withers.
Shoulders : Shoulder blades lying close to the body, strongly muscled. Shoulder and
upperarm forming a good angle of approximately 90 °.
Upper arm : As long as possible, well muscled.
Elbows : Close to the body, neither turning in nor out. The upper arm forming a good angle
with the forearm.
Forearm : Strong bones, perpendicular to the ground.
Carpal joint : Strong.
Pasterns : Very slightly sloping.
Front feet : Round and arched with well knit toes and sufficiently thick, tough, robust pads.
Not too heavy coat. Parallel in stance or in movement, neither turning in nor out.
HINDQUARTERS : Viewed from the rear straight and parallel. Correct angulation in stifles
and hocks. Strong bones.
Upper thigh : Long, broad, muscular; forming a good angle with the pelvis.
Stifle : Strong, upper and lower thigh forming a good angle.
Lower thigh : Long, muscular and sinewy.
Hock joint : Strong.
Metatarsus : Short, perpendicular to the ground.
Hind feet : Round and arched with well knit toes and sufficiently thick, tough, robust pads; not
too heavy coat. Parallel in stance or in movement, neither turning in nor out.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : Ground covering, with good drive and appropriate reach, straight
forward and parallel coming and going, with well upstanding posture. Pacing gait is
SKIN : Tight fitting, without folds.
HAIR : Dense, of medium length, not or only slightly wavy, close lying, water-repellent. The
outlines of the body may not be hidden by too long coat. By its density it should provide as
good a protection against weather, unfavourable terrain conditions and injuries as possible.
Short smooth coat on the ears is faulty. Forelegs feathered, hindlegs with breeching down to
the hocks, tail with a long flag and white tip, abundant coat on the forechest is undesirable.
COLOUR : Brown-white or brown roan with brown patches, brown mantle or brown ticking;
blaze permitted. Tan coloured markings at the muzzle, the eyes and around the anus are
permissible („Jungklaus markings“).
SIZE : Height at withers: Dogs: 54 cm.
Bitches: 52 cm.
A deviation of +/- 2 cm is within the standard.
FAULTS : Any departure of the foregoing points must be considered a fault and the
seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its
SEVERE FAULTS :
• Deviation of the size limits between +/- 2 cm and +/- 4 cm.
• Clumsy, big-boned conformation.
• Serious deviations from the correct proportions of body, neck and
height and withers.
• More than 50 % of the nose flesh-coloured or spotted.
• Pointed muzzle. Dished nose bridge.
• Eyes too light. Light yellow hawk eyes.
• Serious lack of depth of chest or too flat sided brisket. Barrel
• Elbows heavily turning out or in.
• Steep pasterns.
• Strongly cow hocked or barrel legged, in stance as well as in
• Splayed toes; flat feet.
• Clumsy movement.
• Coat too curled.
• Smooth hairless ears or too long and curled fringes on the ears.
• Fearfulness, aggressiveness, game or gun shyness.
• Size deviations off more than +/- 4 cm.
• Untypical sexual characteristics, sexual malformations.
• Completely depigmented nose.
• All deviations from the correct scissor bite except the lack or
excess of two P1.
• Split jaw or split lip.
• Ektropion, entropion, distichiasis, bird’s eye.
• Pronounced dewlap.
• Distinct roach back, swayback; croked spine.
• Malformation of the ribcage, such as sternum cut off.
• Kinky tail, ring tail, other tail abnormalities like too short or too
• Wholecoloured dogs.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals must have two apparrently normally developped testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.
FCI-St NN° 102
PERFORMANCE PROFILE AND TESTS
For more than 100 years the strengths of the Kleine Münsterländer (KlM) have been in pointing furred and feathered game, which the dog has found through a search. The dog searches intelligently and systematically, using the prevailing winds and in visible contact of its handler. The Kleine Münsterländer has an excellent nose, good tracking ability on live and fallen game, barks on sight of game and often just on the scent of game. The breed can thus be utilized equally well before and after the shot. And this is true, whether in the field, in water or in the forest. The Kleine Münsterländer has command of the search for fallen game and retrieving, as well as blood tracking, the search for game, also in dense cover, with a gun.
Because of the broad range of hunting capabilities the Kleine Münsterländer is numbered among the versatile utility hunting dogs. As a result of its intelligence and ability to learn, the KlM can adapt quickly to a wide variety of hunting conditions. The Kleine Münsterländer can specialize in upland hunting, as well as hunting for water fowl, blood tracking or the forest search (Stöberjagd) and hunting wild boar. As hunting success depends upon natural abilities and experience, and experience comes from training, so too will a KlM specialized in a particular type of hunting naturally lose its capabilities for universal and versatile hunting purposes. This is true for an individual dog. But if several generations are bred for a specific type of hunting, then the genetic natural ability as a versatile hunting dog, with all the characteristics associated with these abilities, will slowly but surely change, and the KlM will lose its classic profile.
In testing, there are differences between natural ability and performance tests. All tests results are centrally recorded in the breed book and then, in Germany, processed in the centralized breed database “Dogbase”. The natural ability tests are a prerequisite for use in future breeding, along with the breed show. Young dogs should take their natural ability tests preferably in the first year after birth. During this time the dog has had no great hunting experiences, which allows a better evaluation of the inherited, natural abilities.
The test subjects in the Spring (VJP) demonstrate the KlM’s field search, pointing, handling of a hare track, the quality of the nose, pointing ability, desire, intelligence and strength of nerves at gunfire. If possible, sightloud (Sichtlaut) or scentloud (Spurlaut) shall also be determined for the possible future use in breeding.
The test subjects of the natural ability test in the Fall (HZP) partially repeat the subjects of the Spring (field search, pointing, quality of nose). In this test, the progress of the dog since Spring can be recognized. Furthermore, the water subjects with the flight-disabled, living duck (if legally permitted) and the retrieving subjects on a game drag are also added.
The test subjects of the Association Utility Test (VGP) are very comprehensive and are spread out over two days. This test is a challenging performance test and is called the “Master Test” for versatile hunting dogs. This test simulates nearly every kind of work that occurs in normal versatile hunting situations and places special emphasis on the obedience of the dog. Dogs, which have passed this test, can be used for select breeding, subject to other details.
In addition to these three tests, there are still several special performance certificates and tests, which can also be entered on the pedigree und thereby increase the value of the dog. In most cases, however, these are not relevant for breeding. Examples are reliability in retrieving a fox, obedience and proficiency in the hare track, outstanding search and retrieving, success in difficult blood tracks on different kinds of deer or wild boar, the successful search of wild boar capable of defending itself, etc.
Unfortunately, international comparison of national testing regulations in the member clubs of KlM-I is very difficult. It is also a major problem that in many countries not all of the versatile hunting subjects described above, and which make up the performance abilities of a KlM, are tested. The KlM are only tested in special performance abilities, above all on feathered game. In such cases, the value of the dog is only determined by this specialization. The long-term risk of this approach has already been described. Even worse are places where the KlM may be bred without any kind of performance ability test.
In these countries no real performance breeding of the Kleine Münsterländer can be conducted. KlM-I is making an effort to find solutions in the future with the individual national member clubs and the F.C.I., so that the versatile performance profile of the classic KlM is not lost.
At KlM breed shows or also at exhibitions of the national F.C.I. country organizations, the physique and coat of the KlM is assessed by F.C.I. judges. These phenotypical characteristics of the dog are specified in the F.C.I. Standard KlM Nr. 102—December 6, 2004/D. The mother country of the breed is always responsible for drawing up and making changes to the breed standard. The F.C.I. then guarantees global compliance to the criteria for outward appearance and movement for dog breeding in the F.C.I. member countries.
At breed shows, conformity judges assess the overall appearance, important proportions, the parts and limbs of the body, the coat and gait while in motion. This is especially important, as the evaluation of a standing dog can differ from the assessment of a dog in motion. Dogs can, for example, make up for some physiological faults through muscular compensation when in motion. In some cases, other physical imperfections only become noticeable in the movement of the dog. In the end, decisive is how well the dog is suited for the physical challenges of hunting.
Behavior, character and nature are also regulated in the breed standard. At breed shows, however, these criteria can be only partially evaluated, or not be evaluated at all. The same is true for performance abilities. Thus, at breed shows, only parts of the entire breed characteristics can be assessed.
Conformity judges must evaluate to what extent a dog complies with all of the breed characteristics. For this, the following conformation scores are given:
• „Vorzüglich”(V) – Excellent, if the dog meets the breed and sex characteristics in nearly ideal, complete fashion,
• „Sehr gut”(SG) – Very good, if the dog has balanced proportions, is in good mental condition and possesses the typical breed characteristics – in short, an outstanding dog,
• „Gut”(G) – Good, if the dog has the main breed characteristics, but shows various faults,
• „Genügend”(Ggd) – Satisfactory, if the dog is close to the breed standard, however, without possessing its generally known characteristics or if its physical condition is unconvincing,
• „Disqualifiziert”(Disq) – Disqualified, if the dog does not conform to the breed standard, has significant problems with its teeth or other anomalies, shows aggressive behavior or has faults which might impair its health.
After the breed show, the handlers receive a certificate with a description of the outward appearance and movement of the dog (habitus description), which also includes the measurement of size, bite check as well as noteworthy behavioral details. It is fundamentally advisable to prepare the dog for presentation at a breed show. For example, checking of bite and measuring for size should be practiced several times in order to avoid difficulties at the breed show, if the dog will not allow its mouth to be opened or seeks to avoid the measuring stick.
Bron : KLM International