The earliest mention of this long-haired pointing breed, known today as “Deutsch-Langhaar” dates back to the middle ages. Hunters in central Europe are shown during this period in the company of long-haired hunting dogs. Drawings from 1582 and 1699 show a bird dog with long hair on ears, legs and tail. Hunters in Germany still refer to the Deutsch-Langhaar as the “German Forester Dog”. In 1818, the local hunting press printed an article which described the Deutsch-Langhaar as a versatile hunting dog that is useful “before” and “after” the shot. By mid 1900, the ancestors of the contemporary Deutsch-Langhaar were cross-bred with English pointing dogs. The result was a faster dog with a sharper pointing instinct and greater stamina.
Historical records and pedigrees suggest that the foundation of the Deutsch-Langhaar is made up of five different types of long-haired pointing dogs.
Breed standards for the Deutsch-Langhaar were first written in Hannover, Germany, in 1879. The standards reflect the conviction that type follows performance. In the same year, the “Club Langhaar Oberhausen” was founded which was the predecessor to the Deutsch-Langhaar Verband, the official parent club for the breed as it exists today in Germany. In 1893, nobleman Friedrich Freiherr von Schorlemer-Alst formed the “Club Langhaar”. He served as chairman and was instrumental in developing the breed as we know it today. In his honor, the Schorlemer fall breed test has been named after him. It became an accredited hunting test in Germany in 1960 and has since been conducted each year throughout Germany.
A deeper understanding of the breed’s capabilities by early breeders of the Deutsch-Langhaar coupled with changing conditions for the hunter in forest, field and water were reason in 1902 to slightly amend the original standards. In 1908, black-colored dogs were no longer accepted.
The Deutsch-Langhaar Verband, or parent club, is the official breed club and was founded in 1926. Since that date, the breeding mission has been and still is to breed for the hunter a loyal, reliable and rugged hunting dog suitable for field, water, and forest. The breed’s qualities have to correspond to its early definition as the “original German forester dog” as much today as they did more than 100 years ago. The breeding objectives formulated in the early years of the association are still valid today. The Deutsch-Langhaar has been and still is a highly valued hunting dog among game wardens and practicing hunters due to its stable temperament, toughness, retrieving affinity and ability to work with great concentration during difficult tracking of wounded game.