The Swiss "Appenzeller" Dog collar

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Appenzell, the town in the heart of the mountains

The Appenzeller region is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, near the city of Bern.

(Stefan) The town of Appenzell has a population of around 5,000 people, and it is at an elevation of 3,000 to 4,000 feet, surrounded by mountains that go up to about 7,000 feet. There isn't a lot of skiing there, but hiking is popular.

How did these famous dog collars emerge from Appenzell?

(Mary Dawn) The people in Appenzell have been cowherds for centuries. They pasture their livestock in lower meadows in the winter, and in high mountain pastures in the summer, and they celebrate the cattle drives from one place to another with two colorful festivals. The Alpauffahrt -- which translates as "procession up the mountain" -- occurs in spring, when the cows are herded to upper pastures.

(Stefan) There isn't an exact date for the festival, because it is weather dependent. Basically, the Alpauffahrt takes place when the snow melts in the upper pastures, in mid-April to mid-May.

(Mary Dawn) The second festival is the Alpabfahrt, which means to "come down from the mountains." That takes place, typically, in mid-September, when the cows return from the mountains



 Kinder Jodeln in Appenzell 

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