A Peek Across the Atlantic
In January of 2006, I took our Small Munsterlander female, DeJong's Opal (a.k.a. ZhaZha) to Germany for breeding. I went to Münsterland, the heartland for this breed, to seek out what we--my wife, Cathi, and I--felt was an optimal mate, based on both careful study and a previous visit to Münsterland in 2003. This article is about my experience in Münsterland, about the difference in traditions and outlooks on hunting dogs and their breeding, and, finally, about why we went to such lengths to breed our dog in this personal, hands-on manner.
Let me start with a brief summary of why we went to such lengths to breed our dog in Germany. We have a dream! We envision these dogs taking their place in the pantheon of great American hunting breeds, respected by both the American and European hunting communities with the world-wide gene pool for this breed expanding to allow for ever better Small Munsterlanders.
It's a dream we hope will be embraced by many in the American hunting community with a love for companion hunting dogs and for our precious wildlife heritage. We would like to not only share it with you, but perhaps persuade you to join in the quest.
After filling in many of the details, I'll return at the end of this article to expand on how we are working to achieve this dream.