Appenzeller Mountain Dog
(aka: Appenzeller Sennenhunde, Appenzeller, Appenzell Cattle Dog)
The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a muscular but not massive dog. A well-built and hardy animal, it is a versatile working dog. It has a wide, flat head with a muzzle that narrows towards a black nose. The eyes are small and dark and the ears are pendant. Its tail is carried rolled up on its back. Its limbs are straight. Its short double coat is considerably tight, thick and glossy. The basic colors are black or brown with symmetrical white and rust markings. A white blaze and rust marking over the eyes must be present on the head. Rust is always between the black and the white.
Appenzeller Sennenhunde Temperament
There can be a lot of variation in the temperament
of individual Appenzellers but it seems the following
are always true: consummate athlete, likes to run and jump; really smart, will learn faster than other dogs; doesn't tire easily, always ready for what's next; vocal barker; attached to family members, very sensitive to emotions.
If they get some good exercise or stimulation each day, they can be content to spend the rest of the time lying down at your feet wherever you go. Some will bring toys, any toy, they do like attention. They are herding (actually droving) and could nip at heels of running animals (could be small children, horses) if permitted. They usually get along with other animals like cats, especially if they are raised with them.
These dogs are very protective of their family, and are generally suspicious of stranger. If bored, lonely or ignored, they can become destructive.
The Appenzeller's straight-haired double coat is easy to care for and requires little attention. Just remove the dead hairs with a rubber brush from time to time.
The four Sennenhunds were developed by the crossing of the Roman Mastiffs with the local Swiss working dogs during the time of the Roman invasion and conquest of Europe. These four breeds include the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher and the Appenzeller. It is generally accepted that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was the first of the breeds to develop, and the other three descended from it.
Some Hungarian influence is also suspected in the heritage of the Appenzeller (Appenzell Mountain Dog), reflected by the carrying of the tail curled over the back, in its high energy level and watchfulness, and a more refined head and body than those of the other three Sennenhunds.
The breed was and still is used as a herd guardian, as a draft animal and as an all-around farm dog. Currently the Appenzeller is also campaigned in obedience and Schutzhund work.
Early socialization and obedience training is absolutely crucial. The Appenzell Mountain Dog breed is highly intelligent but requires a dominant handler. They do not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training must be done with firmness, respect, fairness, and consistency.
There are no known health problems that are seen regularly in the Appenzeller, so they are generally healthy dogs.