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The Small Münsterlander is an energetic, easily trained, and typically friendly dog. Versatile hunting companions and adaptable family members, Small Münsterlanders enjoy both working hard and curling up on the couch with their people.
The Small Münsterlander originated from the Münster region of Germany in the middle of the 19th century. At that time, a change in hunting laws and an increase in game stock led to the development of several German pointing breeds. This process produced a long-coated Spaniel with strong pointing, scenting, and retrieving skills. The breed became known as the Small Münsterlander in 1912.
Despite the name, these dogs aren't just little versions of the Large Münsterlander. In fact, experts think they were developed from different breeding stock entirely. The breed came to North America in 1971. And the AKC recognized it as a Foundation Stock Service breed since 2006.
The Small Münsterlander is a medium-size breed with a sturdy build and balanced proportions. A distinguished head and upright posture give the dog a look of quality and elegance.
The Small Münsterlander's coat is medium-length, glossy, and straight or slightly wavy. It's also water-repellant and dense enough to protect the dog against weather and rough terrain.
This breed's coat typically comes in white and brown (chestnut), brown roan, or brown ticked. All color combinations may be with or without tan points or white spotting.
The Small Münsterlander has a long, feathered tail that both looks beautiful and gives the breed its superb swimming abilities.
Small Münsterlanders have a strong pack instinct that makes them well-suited for family life—they love to be involved in all outings and activities. And if offered a spot on the bed at night, most Small Münsterlanders happily accept.
Bred to perform many tasks in extreme weather conditions and on challenging terrain, Small Münsterlanders are versatile hunting dogs. However, the instincts that make them excellent hunters also compel them to chase small pets and bark.
Some Small Münsterlanders may be full of nervous energy. Plenty of exercise and early socialization will help them grow into well-adjusted, well-mannered adult dogs.
Small Münsterlanders require a high-quality, age-appropriate dog food, whether commercially manufactured or homemade (with a veterinarian's supervision and approval).
It's important to monitor how much your Small Münsterlander eats. To prevent them from becoming overweight, reduce the portions as needed, and take treats into account when tracking their daily calorie intake. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog's calories.
Small Münsterlanders need only occasional brushing to keep their coats looking clean and healthy. However, when they shed their coats in the spring and fall, they require more frequent grooming.
Your Small Münsterlander's nails will wear down some through daily activity. But you should still inspect them regularly for splits or cracks and trim as needed.
In addition to professional dental cleanings, Small Münsterlanders need a regular at-home dental care routine that includes teeth brushing and dental chews or treats. Maintaining good dental hygiene is essential for the overall long-term health of all breeds.
Small Münsterlanders need lots of daily exercise and mental stimulation. Accomplish both with canine sports, such as field trials, tracking, agility, and obedience. Or take advantage of your dog's sporting breed background and throw tennis balls or frisbees for them to retrieve. Whatever you do, just be sure you give them plenty of room to run. Small Münsterlanders can sprint up to 25 mph!
Long walks, hikes, and backyard play sessions are other great ways for your dog to release energy. But to truly make a Small Münsterlander happy, take them for a swim. These pups love splashing around—it's great exercise and lets them show off their impressive swimming abilities.
Small Münsterlanders are intelligent and easily trained. But they do need consistent training and ideally short sessions to reach their full potential.