All About Appenzeller Dogs

The Appenzeller dog is also known as the Appenzeller Sennenhund or Appenzeller Mountain Dog.

It’s one of the rarest of four Swiss Mountain Dogs.

What You Should Know

The first time this breed was mentioned is in a book from 1853. Then, the Appenzeller Sennenhund was listed as a breed in 1898. Eight dogs were then introduced at the Winterthur first International Dog Show. Dr. Albert Heim created the Appenzeller Sennenhund Club in 1906 because of his great concern of Swiss Cattledogs.

This breed is known for herding, pulling carts and guarding. They are active and need lots of exercise to be happy.

Male Appenzeller dogs stand about 20 inches at the shoulder, while the female is slightly smaller. This dog will weigh anywhere from 48 to 55 pounds. They have a heavy body build plus a tri-color coat. This coat is shiny and thick with either brown or black as the prominent color and some white or tan markings.

The undercoat is typically gray, black or brown. Their small eyes are always brown but range from light to dark. Most have white markings on the feet, the tip of the tail, chin, and face. Finally, the Appenzeller has small, triangular ears that hang down against the cheeks.

What Sound Do They Make?

Appenzeller dogs are known for their vigilance to guarding loved ones. When they perceive a threat or they want to announce a visitor, they let off a deep sound. This alarm works against its owners because the Appenzeller sees anything different as a threat, even the neighbor leaving for work.

Group Characteristics

Though an Appenzeller is polite when guests arrive, it is always alert for danger. It’s important to socialize the dog to provide a stable and confident temperament that understands when there’s a real threat. Otherwise, this breed becomes pushy and dominant.

The Appenzeller will live nine to 12 years, on average. The female will have one litter per year. Typically, each litter produces four to six puppies.

How Many are There?

This breed isn’t recognized by the AKC or other major American kennel clubs, but it is registered with international clubs and smaller groups in America. It is the rarest from the Sennenhund canine breeds.

If you need a little more cuteness in your day, you’ll get a kick out of this adorable eight-week-old Appenzeller puppy.

Pop Culture

The Appenzeller isn’t a popular dog breed and hasn’t made it to mainstream media. You won’t find this breed as a common choice for kids movies or TV shows.

Interesting Facts

Sennenhund means dairy farmer’s dog, which makes sense since they were purposed with protecting the cows. They are also known for sacrificing their lives to protect those they watch over. It’s believed that they could be descendants from the Romans cattle dogs, but there’s no proof to back that up.

Because this breed is active and energetic, it’s required that they receive plenty of exercise. They don’t make good city dogs but prefer wide-open spaces where they can run. If they don’t receive any physical activity, they become restless and destructive. The Appenzeller even excels at competitions and outdoor sports where herding skills are vital. Furthermore, this dog prefers colder climates and isn’t fond of higher temperatures.

Because of very careful breeding practices, the Appenzeller is remarkably healthy. This breed doesn’t suffer from any major diseases or defects.

All About the Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is also known as a Queensland Heeler or Blue Heeler.

It’s an alert, pleasant and curious breed related to the Dingo, an Australian wild dog. Many people don’t know the essential facts about one of the oldest dogs in the world.

What You Should Know

The Australian Cattle Dog was first bred in the 19th-century by Australian settlers who needed to herd cattle on the ranch. This hardy dog handles the harsh working conditions and climate of Australia. It was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1980.

It features a blue color with or without red speckled markings. It has a double coat and muscular statue, built for working hard.

What Sound Do They Make?

The Australian Cattle Dog sounds the alarm quickly. It barks at any unfamiliar sight or sound. That’s why it’s not a good dog to leave in the yard unattended. Some of the species also feature a sharp, high-pitched bark that’s hard to handle.

You can get a small taste of its bark with this homemade YouTube video.

Group Characteristics

The Australian Cattle Dog loves to live with families but works best when the children are raised with the puppy. That’s what allows the dog to become protective and caring toward the children. If not, it can become nippy and start to bite.

On average, the Australian Cattle Dog litter consists of five puppies. This often ranges from one to seven pups at a time.

How Many are There?

The Australian Cattle Dog only became accepted by the AKC in 1980. Since then, it recently hit the 55th spot on the Top Breeds list in 2018. It has remained in or around that spot for the last five years.

Watch a Video

If you want the complete rundown on the Australian Cattle Dog, make sure you check out this documentary from Animal Planet.

You can also learn some of the main differences between two popular herding dogs: the Australian Cattle Dog and Border Collie with this video.

Pop Culture

The Australian Cattle Dog has been in numerous movies. Chico was in The Secret Window as Mort Rainey’s dog. One of these dogs was also featured in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior as Max’s companion.

You will also see an Australian Cattle Dog in Babe, a family film. It was one of the bad dogs that killed sheep. The award-winning Brokeback Mountain showcased a couple of Australian Cattle Dogs which travel with the cowboys during the beginning of the film. If you look in the extended footage, you will find more content containing them.

In Man of Steel, there is also a cattle dog highlighted, but it’s not a large role. You can see it during the midpoint and later in the film.

Interesting Facts

The Australian Cattle Dog is a true survivor. In 2009, a dog named Sophie was on a boat with her family near Queensland, Australia. The dog was thrown off when a wave hit the ship. This pup swam five miles to shore and found itself on St. Bees Island. This island was inhabited by wild horses. Sophie stayed alive by hunting the feral goats on the island. Over time, a ranger found her and reunited her with the family, proving how tough this breed is.

Because these dogs enjoy chewing, owners must be prepared to offer more than the average dog. They will want tough toys and larger bones to keep themselves entertained and satisfied.

A typical Australian Cattle Dog will weigh up to 45 pounds. The average lifespan is between 12 and 13 years old.

All About the Australian Kelpie Dog

The Australian Kelpie Dog is appropriately named since it originated in Australia.

It’s known as a loyal, intelligent and alert family pet that loves to work.

What You Should Know

When sheep numbers increased in Australia, people sought after a solution for herding. In Victoria and New South Wales, properties quickly became larger than two million acres and often hold a quarter of a million sheep. Herding wasn’t practical in such conditions so wire fences were installed so the sheep could run free. A dog was needed to handle the sheep, but it was challenging to find something that could handle the rough terrain, vast distances, dust storms, and excessive heat.

Initially, this breed was imported from Scotland. It features tan and black colors with long hair. These Collie-type styles were the most popular, but there was also a smooth-hair option available.

What Sound Do They Make?

The Australian Kelpie makes a variety of noises to communicate. It’s known to howl for long-range communication. This is helpful for hunting and outdoor work. It also growls to express aggression. If the growl is for play, its tail wags and it moves around rapidly. Sometimes, the Kelpie barks excessively and crosses the line. This is common when it perceives danger or is nervous.

Listen to this Australian Kelpie dog bark on command.

Group Characteristics

The average Australian Kelpie litter size is five puppies. Once the puppies are born, they require a lot of socialization to ensure they get along well with people and children. They prefer to be loyal to one person but can be trained to be a family dog.

How Many are There?

There are no accurate estimates to the Australian Kelpie population. It’s not even recognized as a breed by the AKC. Still, both the Canadian Kennel Club and United Kennel Club have it registered. As far as the US goes, the North American Australian Kelpie Registry helps to promote the interests of this breed.

Watch a Video

In this first video, you can learn about all the traits and characteristics of an Australian Kelpie dog.

This second video helps to explain the differences between the Australian Kelpie and German Shepherd.

Pop Culture

The Australian Kelpie dog is found in numerous films. One of the most popular was Red Dog from 2011. In this film, the dog reunites people of Dampier, Western Australia. Koko was the dog actor’s real name. He died in 2012 from heart failure in Perth, Western Australia at the age of seven. The prequel, Red Dog: True Blue was subsequently dedicated to his memory.

Another famous movie is The Sundowners from 1960. The Australian Kelpie, Ollie, was Sean’s dog. The movie is about an Australian family.

Interesting Facts

It’s possible that dingoes were once interbred with the Australian Kelpie at some point in their history. If that’s true, it’s now a part of the bloodline.

Australian Kelpies have varying coat colors. Some include red, black, smoky blue, chocolate or fawn. Some varieties feature tan markings.

The dog features a double coat with an outer weather-resistant layer. It doesn’t require much grooming, but it sheds heavily in the spring.

The Kelpie works hard and can travel over 30 miles per day. It will nip the heels of herd animals to make them move. A typical Kelpie weighs between 25 and 45 pounds. They will live to be ten to 14 years old.

Because they contain special oils in their fur, they only need a bath if they get dirty. Otherwise, they should be left alone, so their coat doesn’t dry out.

All About the Asiatic Black Bear

There are eight main species of bear in the world.

Of these, there are several subspecies, including the Asiatic black bear. This bear is in danger and requires attention.

What You Should Know

The Asiatic black bear lives in forested areas and prefers mountains or hills. During the summer, it lives at altitudes over 10,000 feet and then descends into the lower elevation during cold months. In Russia, their home range measures four to eight square miles. The majority of these bears are nocturnal and little is known about their social organization.

Asiatic black bears feed on many foods, including bee’s nests, invertebrates, fruits, small vertebrates, and insects. Occasionally, they will kill domestic livestock, but it’s not common.

What Sound Do They Make?

There isn’t enough research to understand all of the communication between Asiatic black bears. It’s clear to see that there are often dominant and subordinate bears, in relation to one another. When a bear is subordinate, it will move away from the other, lie down or sit. A dominant bear walks or runs toward its rival.

Bears tend to communicate through smell. They urinate, defecate and rub themselves on trees so other bears smell their scent.

You can listen to some of the standard black bear sounds with this YouTube video.

Group Characteristics

Just like with all bear species, the Asiatic black bear is a solitary animal. It only joins with another if it’s mating or trying to compete for territory. It has smaller claws but is capable of climbing quickly. It spends the majority of its time up in the trees while hunting small animals.

Asiatic black bears breed starting when they are four to five years old. They mate during the warmer months and have a gestation period of six to eight months. They produce one to four cubs at a time in early spring. The cubs are born hairless and must rely on the warmth from the mother. Once they are six months old, the cub is weaned. They will remain with their mother until about three years old. The typical Asiatic black bear lives up to 30 years old in captivity and about 25 years old in the wild.

How Many are There?

The Asiatic black bear is listed as vulnerable from the IUCN. It faces numerous dangers including the harvesting of crops, livestock farming, production of roads, hunting and water management. Natural predators include tigers. The majority of Asiatic black bears won’t need to worry much about predators because of its size, but the cubs are at risk.

Watch a Video

In the first video, you can learn some new facts about the Asiatic black bear.

The second video teaches the difference between the Asiatic and American black bear.

Pop Culture

The Asiatic black bear played Peter “Claws” Ward in Asian Animals, Inc. as well as Heimlich in An Asian Animal’s Life. This widespread species is often on display at various zoos across the country.

Interesting Facts

The Asiatic black bear reaches up to 75 inches long and weighs up to 440 pounds. It features a shaggy, black coat and has a white crescent-shaped mark on its chest. That’s why it gets the nickname “Moon Bear.” The muzzle contains light-brown fur while the neck area showcases a mane.

The Asiatic black bear has a rounded, large head as well as bigger ears and a snout. It can walk on either two or four legs with ease. On two legs, it will travel up to a ΒΌ-mile without a problem. Sometimes, it uses this posture to intimidate a predator or competitor.

All About the Asian Palm Civet

The Asian palm civet is a small viverrid that tends to weigh less than ten pounds.

It’s also known as the Common Palm Civet, Motit, Toddy Cat, Marapatti, Maranai, and Uguduwa.

What You Should Know

Asian palm civets live in Asia, extending from the Philippines to Kashmir. Most of them live in southern China, southern India, northern Himalayas, and neighboring islands.

They choose a variety of habitats to make their home. Typically, they are found in the tropical and temperate forests but are also found in fruit orchards, plantations, suburban gardens, and parks.

The Asian palm civet opts to live where food is easy to find. This puts them in dense foliage, rock crevices, and tree hollows. They prefer the tallest trees with dense canopies and vines for protection. They will live in elevations up to 2,000 feet.

This solitary animal comes out at night to hunt its food. They mark their territory by dragging their anal glands across the ground. The Asian palm civet is carnivorous. It eats a meat-based diet, with the occasional fruit or plant. The majority of its food includes frogs, snakes, lizards, and rodents. Some of the vegetation it prefers include mango and palm.

What Sound Do They Make?

You can hear the squeaky, chirpy sound that an Asian palm civet makes with this file.

Group Characteristics

A female Asian palm civet will give birth to between one and four young after a couple of months gestation period. The civets breed any time of the year; there’s no predetermined season. These babies are weaned once they can fend for themselves in the wild. Many Asian palm civets can live for 20 years, but predators and habitat loss cause them to die sooner.

It’s interesting to know that the only time a civet shares a tree with another is during mating or raising its young. Otherwise, it wants to be completely alone.

How Many are There?

The Asian palm civet is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN list. It’s become tolerant of a broad range of habitats, making it easily adaptable to any condition. This animal faces danger from numerous predators, including large cats and reptiles.

Watch a Video

The first video offers some facts you might not know about the Asian palm civet.

Here’s another informative video that will entertain.

Pop Culture

Leo, the Wildlife Ranger, had an episode dedicated to the Asian palm civet. The civet steals food and the Junior Rangers must take the civet back to its home. This causes them to travel through the rainforest, a plantation and run into a wild boar.

The most known issue with the Asian palm civet in the public eye is the coffee scandal. The world’s most expensive coffee comes from civet poop. They are fed coffee cherries which get partially digested and pooped out. This causes them to live in cages and eat food they aren’t accustomed to. This behavior led to an outcry from activists about the inhumane treatment of the animal.

Interesting Facts

The Asian palm civet measures 19 to 23 inches long and has a tail that measures 17 to 21 inches long. It typically weighs less than ten pounds. It has a shaggy, coarse coat that is grey. It also features black markings on the nose, ears, and feet.

The Asian palm civet has been known to climb trees and house gutters. That’s because they have sharp claws on their feet that allow them to climb almost anything.

Even though the Asian palm civet is closely related to mongooses and weasels, it is not a feline animal.

All About the Giant Asian Hornet

The Asian Giant Hornet isn’t just huge, but it’s also deadly.

These bees have become the nightmare of many travelers. While there aren’t hundreds of people dying every year, this is still an animal that needs to be taken seriously.

What You Should Know

The Asian Giant Hornet is most often found in rural Japan, but it has been seen in North America and Southeast Asia. They prefer to make their homes in low forests and mountains. You rarely find them in high-altitudes or plains.

These grape-sized hornets strike honeybees with excessive force but have also been known to kill humans. It does not fear humans at all and will attack unprovoked.

This hornet’s stinger doesn’t have barbs like a bee. This allows it to keep striking victims and remain attached. This appendage is also much stronger and capable of going through a rain jacket. When it strikes a human, the venomous poison that comes from the stinger starts to break down flesh and overload the kidneys.

Most people who die from a sting experience cardiac arrest, anaphylaxis, and organ failure.

What Sound Do They Make?

The Asian Giant Hornet uses chemical and visual cues to navigate. With scent marking, the hornet shows others in the family where to go. It also makes some acoustic sounds as well. The larvae scrape their mandibles on the cell walls when hungry. Adult hornets also click their mandibles to warn other creatures coming into their territory.

Group Characteristics

Once the Asian Giant Hornets build their nest during the spring, the queen lays a single egg into each cell. These hatch within a week. The larvae go through five stages of change before they become adults. This takes 14 days and leaves the colony with around 700 workers when it is complete. Then, the queen creates fertilized female and non-fertilized male eggs. The males leave the hive as soon as they become adults. Once they mate, they die. The females become workers. The older workers and queen will die in fall and a young queen will take her spot.

How Many are There?

The Asian Giant Hornet is listed as Threatened. Its biggest danger is habitat destruction. It doesn’t have any natural predators other than humans. Some locals even eat the giant hornet as part of a regular diet.

Watch a Video

Animal Planet shared information about how the Asian Giant Hornet made its way to Europe.

Here’s an informative video showing how honeybees have begun to defend themselves against this predator. They have learned to fight back against the slaughter they once experienced and have turned the tables on the Asian Giant Hornet.

Pop Culture

You aren’t going to find the Asian Giant Hornet glorified in any way on the big screen unless it’s through a documentary. With that said, it’s become a popular animal to hear about in the news, especially after an attack. This also isn’t a popular animal to find on display at zoos.

Interesting Facts

The Asian Giant Hornet travels up to 60 miles at a time. It can reach 25 mph when hunting prey.

Asian Giant Hornets are currently the largest species of wasp and hornet in the world. The queen will grow to be more than 5 centimeters long.

Other names for the Asian Giant Hornet include yak-killer hornet as well as giant sparrow bees.

The Asian Giant Hornet will nest and live underground. It’s often found underneath large tree roots. To make things easier, it chooses a tree that has been abandoned by a previous animal. If it can’t find this readily available, it will begin to dig to get an appropriate home.

All About the Asian Elephant

The Asian Elephant is a social animal that’s also intelligent.

Unlike the African Elephant, this species doesn’t always grow tusks. When it does, they are often much smaller.

What You Should Know

The Asian elephant is found in southeastern and southern Asia. It’s found from India to Thailand, all the way to southern China. The Asian elephant has three subspecies: Indian, Sumatran, and Sri Lankan.

The Asian elephant is sociable. You will find the majority of females in a group of six or seven other females that are related. This herd is led by the matriarch of the group. Sometimes, this tight unit will join with others to create a larger gathering.

The majority of the elephant’s day is spent eating grass. Aside from that, the Asian elephant also eats tree bark, leaves, roots, and small stems. When they find bananas, sugarcane, and rice, it’s just an added treat. The elephant tries to stay close to a water source so it can drink at least once each day.

What Sound Do They Make?

Asian elephants use low-pitched sounds to communicate over long distances. Most humans can’t hear the sound easily. These infrasonic sounds are understood by other elephants over two miles away.

Listen to some of the rumbling noises an elephant makes.

Group Characteristics

The female Asian elephant gives birth to a single calf (rarely twins) every 2.5 to four years. Each one of these calves weighs approximately 150 to 350 pounds. It only takes a few months for the calf to start eating foliage and grass. It remains with the mother for a few years and then begins making moves to become independent around four years old.

How Many are There?

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were over 100,000 Asian elephants. Numbers have dropped by more than 50% since then and remain on the decline.

The Asian elephant was once allowed to roam around Asia, but now only has 15% of its original range. The biggest threat to them is the loss of habitat. As Asia continues converting the area into farmland, the elephant loses its home. This leaves the elephant to raid the farmer’s crops and damage the fields, which puts humans at odds with it.

The Asian elephant still endures poaching and capture as well. It’s not as prominent as with the African elephant, but it’s a problem, especially near Thailand.

Watch a Video

Watch this video to learn more about Asian elephants.

If you want to learn more about the differences between an Asian elephant vs. an African elephant, this video helps.

Pop Culture

Elephants are a popular fixture in movies and animation. You can see Bill Murray star with an elephant in Larger than Life from 1996. He’s a motivational speaker that inherits an elephant when his clown father dies. In The Jungle Book, we also see a herd of elephants that go by the name Jungle Patrol.

Interesting Facts

The Asian elephant is smaller than African elephants. It has smaller ears, which continuously move to keep it cool.

Asian elephants survive 60 to 70 years in the wild, but almost half of them will die before they reach 15 years old.

Young males don’t join the herd. They prefer to travel by themselves or join up with a few other males during travel.