The Cane delle Alpi Apuane is a medium sized herding dog from Italian Apuan Alps, with rustic appearance and powerful and athletic body and with alert and curious expression in their oval shaped brown eyes.
The average height of the Pastore Apuano is between 50-65 cm, which is 19-25 inch and weight is usually between 17-35 kg, which is 37-77 lbs. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
The coat of this breed is straight and in medium length. It is a dense doublecoat, which is protecting the breed from harsh climate and weather and enables them to work outside for all day long without problems. The coat is longer around the neck, tail and back legs.
And what about the color? According to the breed standard, the Cane delle Alpi Apuane comes in black, black and tan, fawn, gray and merle. Merle dogs can also have one or both eyes in blue color.
The Cane delle Alpi Apuane shares similar temperament and personality with many other herding dogs. This means that it is very very lively and active, intelligent, alert, attentive and docile dog breed.
Indeed, this is very active breed that is always ready for any kind of an action. If they are not used for herding, than they need proper daily exercise, including long walks, jogs, but also mental stimulation like regular training or vigorous playtime. This breed is also excellent for various dog sports, like agility, rally, obedience or disc. Without proper exercise, they might develop some problematic behaviour, like destruction.
These dogs love to work and learning new things. They are able to learn almost any trick you want to. It is also a dog breed with docile and well balanced character, which just loves every member of its family. It can live with kids, other dogs or even other pets in the family, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood. On the other hand, they might be alert and little bit distrustful towards strangers, but they should never be agressive without a reason.
Overall this is a passionate worker, but also loving family companion, especially suitable for active families.
The Pastore Apuano has a long history in the Apuan Alps, mainly in Italian regions of Liguria and upper Tuscany, where it was developed to work with local herds of sheep, goat and cattle.
This is a herding dog with long, but not very well documented history and ancestry. It is believed, that they are descendants of various ancient shepherd dogs of the Alps. But we will never know the exact ancestry or date of origin of these dogs.
Today, the Cane delle Alpi Apuane is a very rare breed and you can mainly find them in the mountainous area of Eastern Liguria and Upper Tuscany, with a prevalent density in the areas of Lunigiana and Lucchesia, where shepherding is still quite popular. The main reason for the decline in popularity of these dogs is general reduction of herding and also import of foreign herding breeds, such as Border Collie, into Italia. But the Apuan Shepherd is not on the verge of extinction anymore, even though, it is remaining very rare.
The breed is officially recognized by the official Italian kennel club.
Health and grooming
There is not much documentation about the health of this breed, but it should be rather healthy dog breed with average lifespan around 14 years. They should not suffer much from any serious hereditary health issues, but they can suffer from the typical doggy issues, such as joint problems like hip dysplasia, eye problems like lens luxation, different allergies and infections, but none of this should be very common in this breed.
And what about the grooming? The double coat does shed some deal of fur, which can be minimized by regular brushing. Regular brushing is the only thing needed to keep the coat in best possible condition, no other grooming is required. Of course, you should also regularly check the ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.