in love with the Swiss breeds when we moved to the Yukon
in the late 90's. We acquired our first, a beautiful Bernese
Mountain dog from a Swiss breeder in Haines Junction. Zeus
was a kind and gentle soul with a wonderful sense of humour
and a streak of stubbornness. He would do just about anything
for me . . . but only once! "You want me to go through that
tunnel? OK, I will this time, but don't ask me again," he
I was an avid trail runner back in
those days, and Zeus was good for about 20 minutes, when
he would lie down on the trail and wait for my return. My
husband and I decided we needed a second dog; one with a
bit more endurance that would be a bear deterrent; after
all we were living in the wilds of the Yukon! We researched
the other Swiss breeds and thought that the Appenzeller
might be a good choice. Exuberant was one of the words in
the breed description. That sounded about right.
And so, we got our first Appenzeller
when Zeus was four. Exuberant and then some was our little
Astro when he came to us from Saskatchewan. After our placid
Berner puppy, Astro was quite the opposite, and we wondered
if we had made the right choice for our lifestyle. We had
always had rescues prior to our Zeus, and all very easygoing.
Sadly, we lost our beloved boy to cancer
at a very young age. Our exuberant little Appenzeller
became the focus of my training.
Astro was anything but easygoing and
we had never had a dog with this kind of drive….ever! I
had my work cut out for me, and with the guidance of an
experienced trainer I soon learned that I had an exceptionally
clever and willing dog that wanted to work. A busy Appenzeller
is a happy Appenzeller. I'd
never done competitive obedience before and Astro turned
into an exceptional dog in the ring. winning High in Trial
in his first trial! We competed in trials in the Yukon,
Alaska and Alberta before leaving the north for Vancouver
Island, where we got involved in agility and flyball. A
quick learner, Astro thrived and excelled in these new sports.
We traveled near and far to compete in both, and at 13.5
Astro has now retired from the dog sporting life, having
garnered numerous titles and awards! He's had a wonderful
career and can take life easy now.
(left) Zeus (right)
(13 years) Hektor (10 weeks)
When I decided to get a second dog,
there was no question it would be another Appenzeller. Being
owned by one has taught me so much about dog behavior, dog
training, and a lot about myself as a handler. And so, in
February of this year Hektor arrived. He's very different
from Astro. Hektor is a Havana Brown Appenzeller,
brown tri-colour as opposed to the traditional black tri-colour,
with striking ochre coloured eyes. He is somewhat calmer
than the Tasmanian Devil Astro was at a young age; thoughtful
and observant. He's also much more social, which Astro was
Hektor Blässhunde USA, IntCH, NatCH,
HnrCH, BIS Rare Breed
Bred in Holland and born in California,
Hektor was one of the only two males in his litter of twelve.
I went to visit the puppies at five weeks and almost went
with a female, but Hektor had been my first choice from
the day he was whelped.
We are very pleased with our choice;
Hektor's journey has just begun and he's off to a great start with several successful appearances in the show ring, agility and in the obedience ring. I have Astro to thank for
giving me the patience, knowledge and understanding of this
most wonderful, loyal and versatile breed!
-- Paula Webber