I’ve been hunting behind retrievers and flushers I have raised, bred and sold for 50 years but last year I hung it up. Two years ago I started a search for my new dog, a pointer and I made my selection at Pheasant Fest last year after talking with Dean Rasmussen of Clark, South Dakota. His dogs showed the traits, characteristics, size and disposition I wanted. The dogs he breeds are hunters. The puppies are suppose to born April fool’s Day and my dog can come home with me June 10. I did research for two years. It’s my own continuing education program. I hit the computer hard to find out everything I could learn about Small Munsterlander (SM).
The dogs we know today are not the dogs of yesteryear. The SM is the smallest of todays German pointers having a style of their own and dedicated drive. Going back into German history of 1000 years ago and longer dogs were used to put meat on the table. These dogs were used to track, flush and retrieve small game and some pointed. Dogs were bred for a purpose by common folk. When word got out about dogs who hunt better in nearby rural areas, farmers would breed that dog to theirs to improve the breed and improve their lives.
History shows us that later a few people were able to have leisure time, kings, dukes, barons and others with money who took over the dog breeding. In Germany dogs were bred to be bigger. Leaving the Spion, todays Small Munsterlander thought to become extinct. That was until German Hermann Lons set out on a mission to find any trace of the Spion. He was successful, finding two farmers who had held closely to the breed. The new trend of larger
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German Pointers as well as other big breeds from England such as setters and pointers as well as dogs from France changed everything. When the Spions were found, a relative, Edmond Lons wrote a book about the breed in 1912.
The Lons were able to bring the breed back, improving it a bit when they bred it with the French Brittany. Although the Spion had existed for over 2000 years, todays breed has remained the same for 500 years as is currently the SM is the third most popular pointing breed in Europe. There is only 2000 Small Munsterlander in the U.S.
I chose them because they are the only true water dog among all pointers. They are also the best retrievers. They tend to range a little closer but can expand their range in wide open spaces. Their slightly longer coats and tail held at about 10:00 o’clock give them a very stylish appearance. Tracking comes naturally and they’re wonderful family pets. They enjoy hunting and need attention to become all that they can be. In Germany today the purebred dog of today is known as the Kleiner Munsterlander.
Jim Bennett is an outdoorsman who lives and worked in the St. Croix River Valley and can be reached at email@example.com