Bärli von Deroche is the first North American Appenzeller Sennenhunde to be titled in IGP (formerly known as Schutzhund). Why does this matter? Because IGP is a sport generally pursued with German Shepherd Dogs and Belgian Malinois, which are currently bred for traits that allow them to excel specifically in this sport. It is less common to see an “off-breed” performing well in this sport.
IGP tests a dog’s abilities to perform tracking, protection, and obedience through progressively more challenging titles: the IGP1, IGP2, and IGP3. However, before one can compete for these titles, the dog must pass the Begleithund, or BH, meaning Traffic Companion Dog. The BH tests a dog’s overall temperament, obedience, and capacity to operate in a high-traffic setting. The dog is judged on its ability to maintain focus, perform sharp obedience, and reliably execute the required commands.
The dog must also hold an approximately seven-minute long-distance honor dog down-stay, with the handler’s back turned, while another dog performs the routine. Further, there is a traffic portion in which the dog must operate calmly within a group of dogs, bike-riders, cars driving past, and people stopping to talk to the handler. As many Appenzeller owners know, this setting can be a unique challenge for our very boisterous and vocal dogs.
Bärli’s BH was a particularly proud moment for us because Bärli has a tendency towards over-excitability in the presence of other dogs, and we worked extremely hard to prepare him for this trial. Bärli and his handler/co-owner, Ben, excelled at the trial under exceptional circumstances. Not only were there the standard distractions as intended for the trial, but also heavy winds with 30 mph Montana wind gusts, causing a borderline dust storm. (We rubbed a lot of dirt out of our eyes that day.)
There were horses at one end of the trial field that were irritable and bickering with one another. There were also multiple trains passing nearby at full speed, blowing their horns. (Did I mention the sheets of metal blowing and knocking into metal fences, scaring all the horses and causing some chaos in the background?) At one point, when Bärli was on deck, the spectator tents nearly sailed away in the wind, and we had to put a hold on the trial to tame them.
Through all of this, Bärli worked at his best and made a name for Appenzellers that day! He gave an exceptional performance in all elements of the trial and brought his best “fuß” (German for “focused heel”), his skill that we are most proud of and looks the happiest doing. He made North American Appenzeller history by becoming the first titled in BH, a worthy accomplishment.
Bärli von Deroche is one of the most phenomenal dogs we have ever owned. He loves to work, and we love his high-spirited, silly, and affectionate personality. He is a very well-rounded dog, and beyond the BH he has also earned titles in IABCA Conformation, a UKC Total Dog, and a UKC Top Ten in Breed for 2022. Bärli’s pursuits for 2023 are currently focused on Drafting, with plans to trial in the fall.
Bärli is one of the most phenomenal dogs we have ever owned. He loves to work, and we love his high-spirited, silly, and affectionate personality.
Appenzeller Sennenhund Breed Magazine
Read and learn more about the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed with articles and information in our Appenzeller Sennenhund Breed Magazine.
Appenzeller Sennenhund Breed Magazine - Showsight