This webpage was last updated on January 24, 2020 by Sheila Schmutz
Table of Contents
History of the Large Munsterlander Club of North America®
The Large Munsterlander Club of North America® (LMCNA) was founded in 1977 by Joe and Sheila Schmutz, with the encouragement of the Verband Grosse Munsterlander of Germany. A charter of incorporation was granted by the Minister of Agriculture of Canada in 1999. Randy Haines suggested that an application for a service mark in the United States be prepared and this was registered on December 5, 2000. For 34 years, LMCNA operated as a cooperative group of owners and breeders who believed in its performance-based registry as the sole registry for Large Munsterlanders throughout North America.
In 2012, two daughter organizations were formed.
"The Large Munsterlander Association of Canada (LMAC) will continue to maintain the LM in Canada and the United States. LMAC strives to participate on an international basis in maintaining the essential hunting form and function of the Large Munsterlander as originally conceived in 1919. LMAC invites Canadian and like-minded U.S. breeders to participate in the breed's future and can offer the proven coordination and protection of the Animal Pedigree Act of Canada." (Sheila Schmutz, March 2012)
"The Large Munsterlander Association of America (LMAA) will continue to maintain the LM in the United States, and is committed to building upon the performance-based breeding principles and standards that successfully guided the LMCNA for nearly 35 years. LMAA provides services to LM breeders and owners in the United States. We are committed to maintaining the essential hunting heritage of the LM as originally conceived in 1919. We offer membership to LM enthusiasts in the US, Canada, and internationally." (Craig Ferris, 25 June 2012)
The aims of the Large Munsterlander Club of North America ® (LMCNA®) were to introduce the Large Munsterlander to the North American hunter. LMCNA® fostered a breed-management program which maintained the dog's versatile hunting qualities as a hunter, pointer, retriever and tracker. For offspring to be called Large Munsterlanders dams and sires had to demonstrate adequate performance in hunting, health, temperament and conformation with prior breeding approval by LMCNA®. LMCNA® provided potential buyers of Large Munsterlanders with objective information about all litters born in North America, and invited owners to participate in the breed's management.
Beginning in 2012, the Large Munsterlander Club of North America® (LMCNA®) became a historic entity. All LMCNA® performance and registration records accumulated in its 34-year history from 1977-2011, in Canada, for posterity.
The Large Munsterlander celebrated its 100th birthday in 2019. A review of the major moments in this breed was prepared by Josef Schmutz in commemoration of this milestone.
History of the Large Munsterlander
100 Years of the Large Munsterlander
1919 - 2019
At the 2019 VHDF-Canada test near Alvena, Saskatchewan, participants commemorated the 100-year Anniversary of the Large Munsterlander as a separate breed. Prompted by a picture of LMs and their owners a Century ago, participants reflected on what life was like then, and on the events through time that gave us the dogs we love today. How did this happen?
At an 11 February 1919 meeting of owners of black & white long-haired versatile dogs in Haltern, in the Münsterland of northwestern Germany, the assembly agreed on a breed standard for one of the last breeds of versatile dogs to emerge in Germany, the Large Munsterlander. This newly written standard for what was actually a very old breed, was recorded in the corporate registry and is protected to today.
The Second World War was a difficult time for maintaining the working dog standards set by hunters decades earlier. The breeds’ population sizes declined reducing the breeders’ choices for mates and threatening the health of the populations overall. All German breeds suffered. During the Allied Forces occupation, hunters had to give up their guns. Especially at this critical time, hunters questioned why the German Longhair and the Large Munsterlander were ever separated. The division served neither group well.
1970 and beyond:
Many dedicated people applied themselves with forethought and diligence to guide the Large Munsterlander as a first rate hunting dog. The LM gained a reputation not only as a capable hunter but an intelligent dog that responds well to training and living with the family. Among the many people who helped achieve the successes of today was Egon Vornholt. Vornholt also facilitated the import of four dogs to Canada.
The successful creation of versatile dogs and a versatile dog culture by the brothers vorm Walde, A.E, Westmark and many, many others is a unique achievement. There is no group of animals on earth that have been so successfully shaped over generations for such a variety and often potentially opposing tasks, as fully versatile dogs do today. It is uncertain what the next hundred years will bring for versatile hunting dogs. For the LM, we can always remember the selfless dedication and achievements of a handful of visionaries and the black & white Longhairs at their sides.
by Joe Schmutz
Profile of a Large Munsterlander
The LM is a black and white dog with hair of medium length. They weigh 50-75 lbs with males about 60-67 cm and females 58-63 cm at the shoulder. In its German homeland and some other countries, this dog has been bred for over a century for hunting and not show. Hence coat color is highly variable, ranging from predominantly white to predominantly black. Markings occur as solid white patches, or ticked or roan regions.
This field dog characteristically is calm, gentle and intelligent, and therefore also valued as a family dog. The versatile and cooperative characteristics of the LM provide for a reliable companion for all facets of hunting. It is well suited for a variety of game, including the tracking of big game as practiced by some owners. On average, LMs search well outside of gun range in open country but are still responsive and not independent. LMs excel as bird finders before and after the shot due to excellent noses and a purposeful searching style with good coverage, rather than speed. Many LMs point with intensity from puppyhood on, and many honor naturally. Given their passion for retrieving, steadiness needs to be encouraged through training, especially in the exuberant youngster. LMs tend to be strong in the water. The LM's long and thick coat protects them against cold and allows them to search dense cover thoroughly. Even so, their coat is a compromise well suited for temperate climates. Short-haired breeds may be better suited for upland hunting in the hot South, while the oily and dense coat of retrieving specialists makes them better suited for prolonged water work in the late-season North.
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