Appenzeller Livestock Breeds

The Appenzeller Mountain Dog, nowadays an endangered breed, is descended from the farm dogs that were used in ancient times as guard and cattle dogs. It was not until the start of the 20th century that people began to develop a pure breed medium-sized dog with a tricolour coat. According to its critics, the so-called «Bläss» is even fiercer than the sharp-tongued natives of Innerrhoden.

Its character has been shaped by centuries of working in alpine regions. It is high-spirited and possesses plenty of stamina. The «Bläss» is a keen observer and an uncomplicated, weather-resistant, faithful and generally healthy companion. However, it does tend to be mistrustful of strangers. It is a born guardian and protector of its home and family. Increasingly popular as a companion dog, it is also very suitable as a guide dog for the blind and a mountain rescue dog.

The Appenzeller Goat is a particularly endearing – and stubborn – local breed that is also threatened by extinction. It is primarily a source of milk and meat but many farmers today keep Appenzeller goats as a labour of love. The goat is bred hornless, has long white hair and is an extremely agile mountain climber. Typical for the breed is the beard on the chin. It can produce up to 700 kg of low-fat, easily digestible milk each year.

The products made from milk are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, e.g. fresh cheese, milk, cosmetic products and ointments. Roast kid and «Gitzichüechli» (deep-fried kid) are traditional family favourites at Eastertime in Innerrhoden.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben Hens and Cockerels are particularly exotic local breeds. The plumage with its black speckles on a silver-white or gold-blonde background is very attractive and is topped off with a chic pointed hood that bobs up and down. Another rare local breed is the Appenzeller Bearded Hen, which carries its black and green headgear and the shimmering rose comb on its head, chin and cheeks.