Small Münsterländer: Is This Hunting Dog for You?

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Do you want to have a dog with a competitive spirit? A pointer breed, like the Small Munsterlander, may be the right one for you. Find out whathaving this breedis like, what its needs are, and what the important things to consider before adopting one are.

History

The Small Munsterlanders originated in Germany where they are called KleinerMünsterländer. They are nicknamed “Munsters” or SMs for short. They became popular in Northern America just recently but these dogs are actually considered as one of the oldest pointer breeds in their native country. They have been used for hunting in Germany and other European countries since the 13th century.

During the mid-1800s, these dogs almost reached the verge of extinction. However, the farmers in northern Germany ensured the purity of their line by culling some of the female dogs in the litter and keeping just one. It was during the 19th century that these dogs were developed to track birds and other animals. Their popularity soared as more and more people became interested in hunting dogs.

Recognition

The American Kennel Club only recognizes this breed under the Foundation Stock Service, meaning they are not eligible for registration but they got theapproval to continue to develop. They are also allowed to compete in the club’s sporting events just like AKC recognized breeds.

For owners of this breed or for those who are planning to get one, the Small Munsterlander Club of North America is one of the helpful organizations. They offer recommendations before adopting or buying one and they also provide a list of all reputable breeders.

Appearance

The Small Munsterlander is a medium-sized dog that could grow anywhere from 35 to 60 lbs. and 19 to 22 inches at the shoulder. As with other breeds, the males are slightly larger than the females. They have expressive and dark brown eyes, a brown nose, well-muscled cheeks, and strong jaws.

Based on the breed standards set by the World Canine Organization, this dog is known for its well-proportioned and strong body. They also have pronounced withers and a deep chest. This dog comes in two coat colors, either brown roan or a combination of black and white. Their coat is slightly wavy and their skin does not have folds.

A brown roan Munsterlander has a white body with brown patches. However, his face is entirely brown. You can also find Munsters with blaze and it is acceptable. In terms of coat, the very long and curly one is considered a fault because it can hinder their hunting abilities. The natural oils in their skin keep their coat glossy.

Personality

The Small Munsterlander will make a great family pet, even for households with young children. This breed can easily adapt to new surroundings and is known for being affectionate towards his trusted humans. Many dogs coming from this breed also exhibit friendliness towards other dogs. If you have other pets at home, it will not be a problem bringing home a Munsterlander.

While this breed is generally friendly around kids, it is still well-advised to supervise your kids around them. As we know, dogs are all different and their temperament as a breed will not always be the same. The best way to encourage your pet’s positive behavior is to train him to get along with everyone and give him lots of socialization even with fellow dogs.

Grooming

This breed has a medium shedding level so better be prepared to deal with pet hair all over the house. Their glossy coat is usually of medium length and requires weekly brushing. Since this is a hunting dog, it is prone to catching debris from outdoors so it is important to brush him afterward.

The ears of Small Munsterlanders are hanging and this makes them prone to ear infections. Hence, it matters to always keep their ears clean. An ear cleaning solution for dogs is the best way to clean them. This dog loves water, too but be careful to always keep their ears dry because yeast and bacteria thrive in a moist environment.

Bathing should be done once everysix weeks but if your Munsterlander often gets soiled, it will not be a bad idea to bathe him once every two weeks. Just make sure to use lukewarm water when bathing your dog. It will also help to brush the coatbefore bathing the dog to keep it free from tangles.

Feeding

As a highly energetic breed, this dog requires lots of feeding. Once weaned, which usually begins at 8 weeks, the pup can have as much as four bowls of food per day. Ask your breeder or vet about a puppy formula that will support the needs of your growing dog.

Starting at three months of age and until the Munster reaches 6 months, the number of feedings can be three times a day. Puppy training usually begins during this stage and you may offer rewards to encourage your Munster to learn a new skill. In case you are wondering what treats to give your pet, consider dog biscuits made of all-natural ingredients.

Once your Munster turns a year old, you should offer only two small meals per day. You may stick to high-quality dog food, especially if recommendedby a vet nutritionist. Otherwise, you may consider homemade dog food made of healthy ingredients like meat, vegetables, and fruits. Stay away from chocolates, grapes, raisins, garlic, sugary treats, and salty snacks.

Consult your veterinarian before offering any human food. Some dogs are sensitive to certain food items and may end up with diarrhea. There are dogs that develop rashes and skin redness after eating some human foods. The best way to introduce a new food in their diet is to offer it gradually and observe how your pet reacts to it.

Exercise Needs

Sporting dog breeds like the Munsterlanders normally require at least an hour of exercise per day. Consider dividing this hourinto two sessions. You might need a medium to large yard to accommodate this vigorous dog. Although it has a small built, apartment living may not be suitable forthis breed because it loves running, playing, and spending time outdoors.

This dog does not only require physical exercise. As a pointing breed, it also thrives on mental stimulation. Obedience training will be ideal for the Munster, given that it is such an intelligent dog. When leaving your dog alone, make sure he gets something to do because he easily gets bored. Consider a puzzle for dogs or chew toys that can be filled with treats to keep your buddy occupied for hours.

Health

This dog is considered a fairly healthy breed and can live up to 12 years on average. In fact, it is not predisposed to congenital disease. But just like any other dog, it can acquire certain conditions and this has something to do with the breed’s physical characteristics.

  • Ear infections –can cause discomfort to your dog and may affect his pointing and hunting abilities. The signs of ear infection in dogs are head shaking and unusual smell coming from the ears. Did you know that ear infections can cause deafness? Immediate treatment will be helpful to prevent it from developing into a serious inner ear infection. Natural treatments like a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar can be sprayed on the infected area.
  • Skin problems – these dogs are prone to mild skin infection they can acquire from a number of possible causes. One of the common causes of skin infection in dogs isfleas. They can get it when exposed to surrounds or pets infested with fleas. Another possible cause is an allergy to food. Do note that proteins like dairy, chicken, and egg are the most common reasons forfood allergy in dogs.
  • Hip dysplasia – the Munsterlander is susceptible to hip dysplasia just like any breed because it is a common skeletal disorder in canines. This happens when the hip joints did not develop accordingly. Hip dysplasia can be extremely painful in advanced stages and this may cause difficulty in moving around. Pain medications like steroids can help but in early stages, your vet will only recommend a special diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

Conclusion

The Small Munsterlandersare great companion dogs that will make good family pets. Their strength and intelligence make them suitable for dog competitions and for training. If you are planning to join dog competitions, the Muster can be a great pet to have. It is also suitable for pet parents with an active lifestyle. This dog has a huge wanderlust potential, making it the best buddy for hiking and exploring the neighborhood.

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