I’m going to tell you about one of our cousins, the Appenzeller Sennenhund. Before you knew Alfie most of you didn’t know what an Entlebucher Sennenhund was, or Entlebucher Mountain Dog as they are called here in England. Well, we’re one of four Swiss Mountain Dogs who are all closely related. We are the smallest and cutest, obviously. However, above is in line is the Appenzeller, then the Bernese (which many of you know) and then the Great Swiss (or Greater Swiss depending on which side of the argument you fall into) Mountain Dog. We all look fairly similar, although the Bernese has long hair. We have occasionally had an Entlebucher with long hair, in fact I’ve had close relatives that have been like that.
Anyway, to get back to the point, Appenzell is another region of Switzerland. It is in the East of Switzerland and is really quite rural and mountainous. Interestingly, it is not far from St Gallen where a lot of the early breeding of our breed took place, even though that is some way away from where we actually originate from. There were some enthusiasts in that area who worked to preserve and develop our breeds.
How are they different?
Well, there are a few differences but they are not big ones. The Appenzeller is a little taller and but has the same lovely smile. They are clever like us, and love to learn. The biggest differences are that their tails corkscrew all the way around, whereas ours don’t. Also they can be brown as their main colour, which we can’t. You have to know the breeds quite well to immediately recognise the difference when you meet one on the street. They are just as affectionate.
Appenzellers are more guarding dogs than we are supposed to be. I think the difference is a subtle one and with all these things some of our breed are good at guarding, some of their breed wouldn’t scare a mouse. In my experience of the ones I have bumped into, they tend to bark or growl at me, which is never the greeting I’m hoping for. Though, I can give as good as I get, so again not a huge difference. We are all wary of strangers. However, with our own humans we become very close indeed and will protect our packs with everything we’ve got if we need to.
How Many in the UK?
There really aren’t very many of them in the UK, although the numbers are growing. One problem is that they don’t yet have Kennel Club recognition, which is crazy as they are of course recognised by the FCI which is the international federation that most national kennel clubs are part of. They don’t have a club here yet either.
Anyway, back to the reason I’m telling you all this. A cute little fellow has just moved to the UK but his new human turned out to be allergic to him. He really needs a new family pretty quickly so if you are interested to find out more then let me know. He will need you to be around during the day. We aren’t good with our own company, but if you are there we are as happy as can be.
So that’s my cousin, and I thought I should introduce them just in case you are interested.
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