This webpage was first mounted on April 7, 2016 and last updated on February 6, 2019 by Sheila Schmutz.
We have enjoyed the companionship of Large Munsterlanders in our lives, hunted nearly all of the North American game birds with them and have raised litters for over four decades. We are convinced that the quality of the dogs we so value is a direct outcome of both the breed's cooperative German "Hühnerhund" origin1 and the diligent breeding practices devised by German breeders over a century. Today's breeding strategy of the Verband Grosse Münsterländer (VGM) is the culmination of practical experience gathered by breeders that were also hunters, coupled with dedicated research on LMs and other versatile breeds. These guidelines for breed management are the building/maintenance plan for the breed.
We have obtained a legally registered trademark for clarity sake. While our Sunnynook Large MunsterlanderTM dogs closely resemble German-bred LMs, they are not identical. The Sunnynook Large MunsterlanderTM trademark confirms our commitment to follow this proven plan at Sunnynook Kennel. By upholding the LM standard we will avoid product confusion and loss of quality through time. There are no valid shortcuts or substitutes for selection as has been shown in practice2 and theory3. Fadel et al. describe a loss of performance in show lines3, but a similar shift in performance occurs when breeding criteria are relaxed or altered for generations.
Our Sunnynook Large MunsterlanderTM breeding strategy employs five requirements and treats an additional two by the VGM as optional instead of required, see table below. This modest deviation allows us to accommodate North American hunting traditions and laws. The five requirements ensure capability by sire and dam in field, water and forest. Our North American hunting and VHDF-Canada testing requirements exceed the field- (e.g. backing) and match the water expectations in Germany. In the "forest" category, on the other hand, the VGM requirements are higher than Sunnynook's.
Forest work includes blood tracking, trailing- and moving of big game, being loud on trail and assisting in predator management. Some of our Sunnynook dogs have been trained for blood tracking. While we do not require these so-called forest characteristics of our dams and sires for breeding, we record these characteristics when they are exhibited in hunting practice. The German breeder needs to prove a dog's gumption (Härte) for hunting boar and for controlling medium-sized predators. We describe our dog's response toward mammals as Response to Predators when we observe it (see RtP in Abbreviations) but we do not require it for breeding. The table below shows the series of requirements that describe a Sunnynook Large MunsterlanderTM in relation to the VGM requirements.
A dog registry provides the guide a breeder must follow. There are 51 registries in the world.4 Many merely provide a record of parentage for a fee. Others, as advocated by the German LM breed club the VGM, require performance testing prior to registration. Such a registry is legally incorporated and able to enforce accuracy and compliance.
Breed standards are recorded internationally by the Fédéracion Cynologique Internationale. The LM's performance-based breed standard, FCI #118, is "owned" by the German Verband Grosse Münsterländer e.V. (VGM). The VGM was formally incorporated in 1919. The first German versatile-breed club was established in 1879 for the German Long-haired Pointer and it included the Large Munsterlander as a colour variant (see Genotypes below).
Every Sunnynook puppy is tattooed and comes with a performance-annotated pedigree endorsed by Sunnynook Kennel and the Large Munsterlander Association of Canada. LMAC is incorporated under the Animal Pedigree Act of Canada protecting breeders and owners under Canadian law.
As a result of our adherence to the original breed standard for the Sunnynook Large MunsterlanderTM, our pedigrees tend to have many designations in a small printing space. We have used abbreviations to cope with space limitations as described in an associated pdf document.
~ Abbreviations ~
appearing on LMAC pedigrees are explained in this downloadable pdf document.
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