History of Kleine / Small Munsterlander in Germany & USA
The beginnings of the Kleine / Small Munsterlander dated back to the 13th or 14th century and they are depicted in tapestries and paintings of hunting in conjunction with falcons. The breed further developed over the next several centuries for the market hunters. They demanded a dog that could do everything, from hunting the bogs, thickets, open fields, lakes, and streams to the forest and be capable of tackling any game as large as deer and boar. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the changing social and economic conditions almost caused the breed’s extinction.
The dog is named for the area that the breed was rediscovered in, Munster, by Edmond Lons around 1905. He and his brother, Rudolf, found two separate lines that were unknown each other but lived only a short distance apart. In an almost unheard of act of devotion both the Heitmann and the Dorsten lines of the Kleine / Small Munsterlander were kept intact by “line breeding” with no mixing of similar breeds. Families who were devoted to this little dog and wanted to continue the breed did this back breeding. Mr. Lons realized that these two lines were the same breed and tracked down owners and breeding records and the intermixing of the lines was done on a limited basis. In 1912, a group of 68 owners began the “Verband für Kleine Münsterländer Vorstehhunde”, the German Breed Association for the Kleine / Small Munsterlander that is still active today.
In 1993, the Small Munsterlander Club of North America was formed. The club's mission is to promote responsible ownership of Kleine / Small Münsterländer Gun Dog. As the breed became more popular and numbers increased it soon became obvious SMCNA needed access to a larger gene pool of exceptional unrelated KlMs. Thus enhancing genetic diversity and health. Discussions with the parent KlM breed club in Germany (KlM-D) was initiated in 2007. In 2011 KlM-D offered SMCNA to be consider for becoming a landsgruppe (regional club) of KlM-D. The SNCMA board accepted the offer and both agreed to begin working out the details for SMCNA’s transition into becoming a landesgruppe and thus gain access to KlM-D’s gene pool. Negotiations continued over the next several years. However, in 2013 negotiations between SMCNA and KlM-D began to break down and by summer had come to a halt. No compromise could be found and the future of an expanded genetic pool in the USA was in jeopardy. A small group of dedicated breeders and supporters who believed in the KlM-D philosophy of performance breeding were contacted by KlM-D and asked to consider creating a landesgruppe . Both KlM-D and this USA group believed that to achieve the genetic diversity necessary for the health and stability of the breed, performance breeding coupled with access to KlM-D and KlM-I genetics would be imperative. As a result in December of 2013 KlM-GNA was incorporated and entered into candidate status to become a landesgruppe. They were successful and were awarded landesgruppe status in March of 2015. To that end KlM-GNA is the sole source of KlM-D and KlM-I genetics entering the USA. Performance testing and conformation standards are those set forth by the Federation Cynologique International (FCI) and the German Verband for Kleine Munsterlander Vorstedhhunde e.v. (KlM-D). KlM-GNA will serve as clearinghouse of information for members and other interested parties who wish to learn more about the dogs, availability, breeders, calendar of events and officers. They will also serve as the sole source contact in the USA for importation of puppies, semen and started dogs from Germany or KlM-I member countries.