In February 2015, we added a new addition to our 'Cuddle Pugs' kennel. We chose the Appenzeller breed because they were not too large and more importantly this breed has very few health concerns. We had been looking for an Appenzeller Sennenhund (medium sized Swiss Mountain dog) as a "Pug" guardian to bring with us when we moved to our property in Deroche. We wanted to have a larger dog around to help ward off predatorial animals in the area such as eagles, coyotes, etc. and that would also help round-up the Pugs for us when needed. After a few months of searching, we finally found a beautiful female puppy. Her dam was bred in Germany and arrived to California in October 2014. She was born in California on Dec. 13th, 2014.
This puppy's name is Hilja (hilia – Art says ‘hell yah’). Hilja's dam (Usha) and sire (Dirk) are both registered under FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale which is the World Canine Organisation. Appenzellers are not a recognized 'breed' in Canada and are considered a rare breed in North America. Appenzellers can be registered with AMDCA (Appenzell Mountain Dog Club of America) and with AKC FSS (American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Services). If registered with AKC FSS, Appenzellers are permitted to enter agility and obedience events and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Until recently Appenzellers were not permitted to enter AKC conformation shows but can now participate in AKC FSS conformation events. Appenzellers are also able to enter UKC (United Kennel Club) conformation events held across North America.
Appenzellers were almost extinct a few years ago and are considered a rare breed so their breeders encourage Appenzell puppy owners to keep them intact and to consider breeding them after completing and passing their health testing. It was not our intention to breed Hilja when we decided to adopt her. But after getting to know the breed better and knowing that there are very few Appenzell breeders in North America, it just seemed right to keep our options open.
Hilja was raised with our Pugs and fits in even better than we expected. The only issue we have with her is that her extreme energy and playfulness is sometimes too much for our Pugs. Hilja really needed an equal that she could play with and that would help burn off some of her endless energy supply. In January, 2017, we were given the opportunity to adopt a second Appenzeller, a 3-year old intact female named Desta. We thought this would be a great opportunity to get a playmate for Hilja so we added Desta to our family.
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