The Appenzeller Mountain dog is the rarest of the four canine breeds of Switzerland. Characterized by a well-built, muscular stature, they have short, glossy coats, a flat head along with a tapered muzzle, hanging ears, small-sized, dark eyes, high set, floppy ears as well as a thick tail curled to the back. Their smart, energetic, confident and hardy disposition, make them good working dogs in the present times.
|Also known as||Appenzelle Cattle Dog; Appenzell Mountain Dog, Appenzeller Sennenhund|
|Coat||Thick double coat|
|Colors||Black, brown, white with patches of tan and white on the face, eyes, chest, cheek and legs|
|Type||Mastiff, Mountain Dogs, Working Dogs|
|Group (of Breed)||Purebred|
|Lifespan||12 to 14 years|
|Size and Height||Big; 18 to 23 inches|
|Weight||45 to 70 pounds|
|Litter Size||4 to 6 puppies ( on an average)|
|Personality Traits||Outgoing, Loving, Energetic, Affectionate, Hard-working|
|Good with Children||Yes ( More comfortable with the older ones)|
|Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information||ACR, ACA, APRI, AKC/FSS,CKC ( Continental Kennel Club) CKC ( Canadian Kennel Club), FCI, DRA, NKC, NAPR|
Of the two theories mentioned regarding the origination of the Appenzeller Mountain Dog, one of them states it to be a native breed existing as early as the bronze age, whereas, the other one mentions it to be a descendant of the Molossus that were crossed with the native canine breeds of Switzerland. In fact, over the years it was widely used for a variety of farm work including herding livestock, guarding their owner’s farm and property, and pulling carts.
It attained recognition as a native breed of Switzerland, requiring conservation in the year 1897. Dr. Albert Heim formed the first breed club in the year 1906, the first breed standards written in the year 1916.
They were introduced in the United States of America during the early 1950s and included in the Foundation Stock Service of the United States.
This breed has been recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale as Appenzeller Sennenhund translated as Appenzell Cattle Dog in English. The UKC has acknowledged it as Appenzeller in their Guardian Dog category while the name Appenzeller Sennenhund is also in the books of the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service. Though not acknowledged by the Kennel Club as well as other major Kennel Clubs of the English speaking countries, some of the small clubs along with internet-based registries have given it acceptance. In North America, they have been promoted as rare breeds.
This versatile breed excels brilliantly as a family and working dog, sharing a deep bond of affection with their near ones, going to the extent of risking their lives to protect them. Being keen to get their master’s attention always, they are also highly sensitive to emotions.
This hardy breed might display wariness and suspicion towards strangers that prompts them to bark at the sight of any unfamiliar face.
This trait of theirs makes them good guard dogs, but their excessive barking does not make them suitable for a highly populous locality. In fact, its large size, as well as high energy levels, does not make it an apt choice for an apartment dog too.
Though they are a good playmate for kids, their herding instinct might cause them to nip at the heels of the little ones. Moreover, adult supervision is required while small kids interact with these dogs as owing to their robust and massive stature, they might unwillingly knock down or injure them.
These active dogs dislike sitting lazily at home, rather being more keen on doing a certain job. When not assigned one, they are experts in finding a job of their own, which might not be too constructive enough.
Though it might not have too much of a hassle in getting along with other especially if brought up together, this breed might not be friendly enough with noncanine breeds. At present, it is popular as a companion dog, excelling in obedience, agility, and Flyball competitions.
This attention-seeking, intelligent breed is easy to train, requiring a firm and tactful person who can handle it in a proper way.
Provide this breed with a healthy diet of meat, bones and other nutritious food.