The Deutsch-Langhaar is bred primarily to serve the hunter in a variety of hunting tasks. As a versatile hunting dog, it possesses the ability to assist its “master” in field, water and forest. The Deutsch Langhaar performs as well before the shot as it does after the shot.
The Deutsch-Langhaar is a tall, strong, muscular dog with flowing lines. Male dogs measure 25 to 26 inches at the withers; females 23.5 to 25 inches. The eyes are brown, ears must be long with feathering, and the tail has a nice flag. The coat is of medium length and tight-fitting. The DL is a good-natured, easily trainable dog. DLs are bred to serve as high-performing versatile hunting dogs. The breed’s calm, loyal and good-natured disposition also make it a great family dog.
The appearance of the Deutsch-Langhaar has changed little since its standards were first defined in 1879. You can find the Deutsch-Langhaar today in colors ranging from brown, brown roan , and brown and white.
Strict standards apply to the breeding of the Deutsch-Langhaar. The foremost goal of the breeding program is a versatile hunting dog with all around great performance. Only healthy and strong dogs with the determination to complete the most difficult hunting tasks may be used for breeding. Of course, they also may not have any visible or hidden physical defects. Every breeder must comply with the breeding regulations established by the Deutsch Langhaar Verband.
Before a dog may be bred, it must pass a series of hunting tests under the uniform testing system of the JGHV. These tests evaluate natural ability and trainability. A Deutsch-Langhaar is required to demonstrate good pointing ability, show passion in the water, hunt loud when it encounters furred game, be tough on predators, demonstrate willingness to track and consequently track wounded game reliably. Deutsch-Langhaars must be certified clear of hip dysplasia, have a scissor bite with a complete set of teeth, and must be rated in a breed show with at least “good” in type, conformation and coat in order to become certified for breeding.
As is mandated by the parent club’s breeding regulations, all data on health, coat and conformation ratings, and results of JGHV hunting tests for Deutsch-Langhaars are collected each year by the club’s official registrar who publishes the data in a breed book yearly for use by members. The collection includes data on Deutsch-Langhaars whelped in the US as well. The president of DL-GNA in the US reports the information to the same registrar in Germany.
ONLY Tested and Proven Dogs Will Be Approved For Breeding. One of the requirements for a dog to be certified for breeding is to pass once at least two of these JGHV tests specifically for versatile dogs: The natural ability (VJP) in the spring and the advanced test in the fall (HZP).
For a dog to be considered a “finished” versatile hunting dog, it must also successfully pass the Utility Test (VGP). This ultimate performance test has 38 individual test subjects takes two days to complete. A dog that has passed this test can be expected to fulfil any versatile hunting task reliably if it is handled properly and hunted regularly.
The Deutsch-Langhaar can be seen hunting beyond Germany in growing numbers. In countries where the national kennel clubs are affiliated with FCI in Belgium, breed clubs for the Deutsch-Langhaar have formed and sponsor the breed in accordance with the official breed standards. Over the years breed clubs outside Germany noticed that their dogs had undergone a change in temperament and deterioration in performance. This disconcerting development in the breed was attributed to the overemphasis of breeding for “show qualities” and a testing level reduced to the minimal demands of hunting as a sport or no performance standards at all. Breed clubs, such as Deutsch Langhaar-Gruppe Nordamerika, of the Deutsch-Langhaar outside Germany are now making a concerted effort to re-establish the original qualities of this breed both in temperament and performance through targeted breeding and exclusive rights to select imports from Germany. A sure method to accomplish this is for clubs outside of Germany to adopt and implement the German breeding regulations in their countries, and test their dogs under the uniform JGHV system.
This was accomplished successfully in 2008 when a Deutsch-Langhaar–Gruppe Nordamerika (DL-GNA) was formed by some dedicated supporters of the breed in the USA. DL-GNA and its members have vowed to continue the proven German tradition of breeding and testing the Deutsch-Langhaar in full compliance with the rules and regulations of the German parent club (Deutsch Langhaar Verband). DL-GNA is proud to report success with the regulated breeding program and is determined to continue its work under the auspices of the parent club. Consequently, these performance tested hunting dogs have increasingly raised the interest of the American hunter who is looking for a dependable and versatile hunting companion.
Deutsch-Langhaar owners/breeders throughout Europe recognized a deterioration of hunting ability and temperament in dogs whelped outside of Deutsch Langhaar Verband regulations. Therefore, individuals within Finland, The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic founded The International Deutsch-Langhaar Association in 2010. The International clubs’ purpose is to support its member clubs worldwide and safeguard the breeding objectives on a global scale by representing the breed’s interests towards national kennel clubs and FCI.
The Deutsch-Langhaar Verband is faced with yet another challenge which is to maintain its high standard internationally. In some countries, supporters of this breed have united in clubs where they change the name of the breed or modify the official breed standards. The German parent club does not endorse such clubs and does not consider their dogs to be true Deutsch-Langhaars. FCI has been asked to help in this matter and is in the process of taking measures to stop such activities.
The Deutsch Langhaar Verband takes it mission seriously to promote and preserve the breed through performance breeding and testing. Any compromise in pursuing the traditional goal for the breed which was then and still is today “Bred by the hunter for the hunter” will affect the quality of the dogs. Member countries of the International Deutsch-Langhaar association are committed to the original breeding regulations from Germany which will ensure that the dogs of this fine breed are of the same high performance quality worldwide.
Currently, the versatile Deutsch Langhaar hunts game in more than 30 states and provinces across North America.