We fell 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 would smirk.

      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.


Astro (left) Zeus (right)

Astro (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 not.



Hektor Blässhunde USA, IntCH, NatCH, HnrCH, BIS Rare Breed

      Bred in Germany 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





We are planning to breed our Havana Brown male, Hektor, in 2017.
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