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IIRC we have some german members here. Maybe some of them can help me understand the Alpine Shepherd. I have not encountered this breed before and there doesn't seem to be much info in English. Google translate can only get me so far.



My base question is, which of these 3 is it?

#1 is this an ancient breed/landrace of small herding dogs...because there are many country specific and regional specific landraces especially of herding and flock guardian type that are now being recognized as official breeds. It is being done at the last minute for some, many regional landraces have faded into extinction or have blended too much with other dogs.

#2 is this a reconstruction/rescue of an ancient breed/landrace by taking the last few survivors (or no survivors) and mixing in various other breeds to rebuild it. This has happened with many dog breeds after WW 2

#3 is it a brand new breed someone created and cooked up a romantic backstory.

What I think I known

A. it is a small herding dog supposedly 6-18kg (13- 40lbs)...with most looking smaller than than 14kg (30lbs). While smaller than many, the Mini Aussie and the Pyrean Shepherd show us that herders of this size can get the job done. And this small size is what would make this stand out as a specific regional breed if most herders around it are bigger.

B. Except for size it general structure, coat length, tail carriage, ears all look classic herding dog.

C. Coat coloration. These dogs seem to come in an ash merle, black with tan points, solid black, and solid fawn. These are all colors I have seen in a lot of the regional herding breeds be it Mudi, Croatian Sheepdog, Carea Leones (sheepdog of Leon region of Spain) etc. There is one coat color I haven't seen before, a solid black with patches of reddish rusty fur.



I have found one reference that appears to be a school paper written by a student that talks of a Lebanese origin for this breed. I think that is a reference to the Phoenician Traders who came from that area of the world and were ancient traders on the Mediterranean sea spreading goods and culture. There are some theories that they transported sheep and sheepdogs around the mediterranean including Italy, and the Romans spread the dogs to various other European areas. I don't think it is trying to say it is of recent Lebanese descent.

This same article does seem to mention crossing in a Sheltie. This is what makes me think it might be a newly created breed just given a fancy backstory.

But then again oftentimes small regional populations have a lot of mixes and if you are trying to get it solidified, often you take the purest animals you can find knowing full well some are mixes.

What are they saying in this video?

https://youtu.be/OuVRjNPSQnQ

Some websites I cannot read

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@mathilda is one of the few German members on here I know of. Maybe she can help.
 

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I'm sorry! late answer is late!
Semantically there are three "job description" for dogs around sheeps.
You've got the Hütehund, the herding dog, that is specically bred for "hüten"/herding, then you've got the Herdenschutzhund, the lifestock protection dog (Herde is the german word for herd or flock) and you'Ve got the allrounder the Schäferhund (shepherd dog).
Don't take it too literally though...the Altdeutsche Hütehunds have also great allrounder qualities...i think they wanted them to be clearer distinguished from the Altdeutscher Schäferhund which is sometimes (not by the SV) used as a name for the long haired variant of the Dt. Schäferhund.

biggest obvious differents between the two...In case of the Alpinschäfer it is "bred" by a single person in Austria and the Alpenhütehund is "bred" by a breeder's community based in Germany.
Both are not recognized breeds by the FCI, the VDH (German kennel club) or the ÖKV (Austrian kennel club), which means there essentially not more than verya expesivce mixes.

for the Alpenhütehund the club is based in NRW, which is weird for a "breed" that to come from Southern Germany. Most breeders of the ACD (Alpenhütehund Club Deutschland) are located in the postal region 4, 5, and 6...which is in the Northwest and Middlewest are of Germany (NRW and RP), not the alpine region in southern Germany.
All chairmen come from the same little town. This sounds very fishy.

(I start writing AHH for Alpenhütehund and AS for Alpinschäfer, because I'm getting lazy.)

from the looks and the descripition the AHH is around the size of a Border Collie or Sheltie and they also look a lot like them. I suppose it is a mix of diverse herding breeds.
it is smaller than the AS, according to photos of the AS (there's no information for the breed standard).
the AS is bred for colour...mainly blue.
the Photos I've seen looked like a stockhaired, lighter build Schäfi. probably mixed with some non-paper Weimaraner, since Weimis are always the first choice when it comes to getting blue in the genes.

I couldn't find much about the temperament of the AS and the website of the "breeder" which is cited for information by the two newpaper articles is dead.
Probably he stopped marketing. Perhaps he got too old or he couldn't afford it anymore.

what i didn't like about the description of the AHH is that a breeder's club that want's to preserve an "old breed", should preserve the temperament and working abilities of said breed.
this ACD (the name is not the best ame choice in my opinion, because it is usually the abbreviation for Australian Cattle Dog) doesn't do that.
"Die Fähigkeit zu Hüten wird im ACD e.V. NICHT gefördert ! Wir sehen die Zukunft der Rasse als Familien- und Sporthund." (Wesen)
this means " the ability to herd is not encouraged in the ACD. We see it's future as a dog for family and sport."
sounds sounds to me like the dogs are not that great at herding to begin with, which is very unfitting for an "old breed" of herders...A Sheperd in the "good old time" wouldn't have kept a herding dog around that's not good at it's job.
 

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the youtube link is not the crème de la crème if journalism in my opinion.
Basically they say it's like a less driven version of the BC in smaller.
they also say the AHH would be a dog that you can leave alone with small children, which is something I NEVER would do with any kind of dog. Children are unpredictable, what when they hurt the dog and the dog think it has to defend themself against the children?
telling people that herders generally don't have prey drive is also careless in my opinion. even if they weren't specifically bred for preydrive and only on one sequence of the hunting process doesn't mean they aren't predators anymore.

they say some good things but they're not very breed specific:
- intelligent, so it likes to learn tricks
- needs at 2 hours of walk every day, can run 80 km a day without problems (so a pretty athletic dog)
- needs mental stimulation
- barks a lot in comparison to other breeds
- very handler/owner orientated and should not be left alone too long
-very small breeding stock (80-100 animals in Germany and a big part of them are probably not used for breeding purposes)

regarding the history they basically just paraphrase what's written on the website and say the Alpenhütehunde are decendants of phoenician shepherd dogs and that the "Cave Canem" mosaic in pompeii is a Alpenhütehund...I think it is BS.
herding dogs in the size of a AHH or Sheltie are a bit small to be classically used as guard dogs, which is very likely the purpose of the dog that is depicted in the mosaic.
the way i see it, it is more like that it is some kind of bigger, deep-chested dog with short fur. perhaps some allrounder farm dog with a mix of herder and Molosser breeds. the Romans didn't care as much for keeping the breeds perfectly separated.
 

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I was a little interested in this breed too, too bad, if it is a hoax... I did not research the founders or breeders in this mentioned club but that essay about those ancient dogs sounded quite weird. If those dogs were really history of the AHH then they would likely be behind every or most Middle European herding breed like GSD, mudi, Chodsky pes etc! Why aren't they bragging about it... I don't know where herders originally came from, I have understood that there is little knowledge about that because they were those unnamed working dogs of poor farmers and were not recorded in paintings and scripts as often as the companions, guards, and hunting partners of the noble class if at all.

A breed that looks a lot like this AHH is Chodsky pes, the Bohemian shepherd from Czech. It is not accepted by FCI either but Nordic kennel clubs have recognized it as a breed. Unfortunately I am not reassured that this breed's health or gene pool are on solid base but I don't actively monitor the breed so I am not aware if things have gotten to the better.

And about restoring the breed's working capabilities... Does the original use for this breed still exist or are there only few hobby farmers that might be interested in a hütehund (if we assume it is a real breed)? It is pretty useless to breed sheepdogs if no one wants a real sheepdog. Yet many herding breeds have traits someone looking for an active pet or sports dog might enjoy. But I understand if someone wants to carry the torch for the original purpose and I won't resist it.

I am speaking from the point of having currently a dog whose original use was to herd. Show and pet breeding has destroyed the herding skills (and a bit more too) in this breed. People test these on sheep and some dogs still show interest and instinct but any farmer seeking for a working dog for sheep or cattle will turn to a working sheepdog club or a neighbour who has a working herder with puppy plans. Those people do not have rough collies, they have border collies and kelpies because it is easier to find a suitable puppy from these breeds.
I don't dream of returning rough collies to the pastures. It would require radical breeding decisions which no one would make and many brave farmers to screen numerous puppies to find those rare individuals who have the instinct and stamina for the work and who do not collapse under the fluffy coat when mud burrs and twigs attack it.
No. I want to keep some likable traits of a herding breed like velcro, biddability, no interest in game, interest in chasing and tugging toys, moderate structure and coat. I would love to return some courage drive and stamina into rough collies though and reduce the fluff into a practical feathered double layered coat, so that the dogs would do better in tracking, SAR, obedience etc. and still make balanced companions at home.
 
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