Dog Training

Appenzeller Mountain Dog


Lively, Fearless, Energetic
Size: Medium
Height: 50-56 cm
Weight: 22-32 kg
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Coat: Shorthair
Colors: Black, Havana brown (symmetrical brown-red, white markings)
FCI Group: Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs

Hardly any dog breed keeps its owner on the go like the Appenzeller Mountain Dog. He is considered a true nature boy and powerhouse. At the same time, he always has an attentive eye for his environment. Due to its history and character, it served primarily as a herding dog for farmers and shepherds for a long time. In a family environment, the loud four-legged friend also integrates seamlessly. Condition remains for it sufficient attention and much run.

Appenzeller Mountain Dog
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As a persevering sportsman, the Appenzeller Sennenhund requires intensive movement. In the open field, one of his strengths is keeping a large herd of farm animals together. His high speed and agility qualify him for this job. The animal is definitely unsuitable for cozy people. A partner who shares his interests in the open air is considered optimal. His unwavering thirst for action goes hand in hand with a high level of comprehension.

As an extremely eager to learn four-legged friend, he shows himself open to a wide range of tasks. His reputation as a guide dog and animal assistant in the medical service is excellent. Towards strangers he offers a suspicious attitude. He announces everything unknown with unmistakable barking. Vigilance, loyalty and above all protection of his pack are top priority.

Because of his character traits, he needs strong leadership. Especially the loud way of communication is likely to be noticed quickly in a quiet neighborhood. For this reason, a very consistent parenting style is needed. Only then will he abide by the rules of the game you want him to. Despite his rampant temperament, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog has a very social streak. Family activities and playful games with children are close to his heart. He is open-minded towards other dogs of the same species.

Even at a great distance, this breed radiates a strong self-awareness off. He maneuvers fast as an arrow on difficult terrain. His height is on a medium level. The sturdy statue emphatically underlines his great endurance and willingness to run.

Between 52 and 56 cm in height at the withers, males reach adult age. Female representatives hardly fall behind with about 50 to 54 cm. The wedge-shaped head forms a harmonious unit with triangular floppy ears. The small eye parts give his facial expression a majestic touch.

However, the chest forechest proudly presented by him particularly catches the eye. The stock coat is mostly black-brown. Face, paws as well as chest and belly show clearly separated zones. In these, white and strong brown-red dominate the coloration.

Typical for the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is also the strongly curved tail. The nickname "Posthörnchen" refers directly to this part of the body. Thanks to the warming coat, very low temperatures are no problem. According to the FCI, the Appenzeller belongs to the Pinscher and Schnauzer group.

Coat care:




Energy level:




Children suitable:

With supervision

The right food

Puppies and even adult animals like to romp and are almost insatiable. Nevertheless, you should not overestimate their energy needs. Only the right dose of food guarantees a healthy development. Then your Appenzeller Mountain Dog will remain squeaky-clean, powerful and quick on his feet.

Excess weight is a danger to him, especially in old age. The faithful animals do not have special priorities in the diet. For this reason, they have a generally well-developed appetite. Out of curiosity, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is only too happy to eat leftovers. Unfortunately, this is partly beyond your control and they gain weight quickly.

Always pay attention to the correct amount of food. Given its stature, this turns out rather small. An excess of food initially accelerates growth. Later, this approach takes revenge with a greater risk of disease in joints and organs. This also applies to an excessive supply of vitamins and minerals.

Patience and care are urgently needed when feeding. The first signs of too much body fat make your animal friend sluggish. As a result, his joy of movement and desire to learn decreases drastically. Difficulty in palpating the ribs or hip bones also signal weight problems. High-quality meals in small quantities are preferable instead of a filled bowl.

The amount of feed is immensely important. Undersupplied, the Appenzeller cannot blossom. At an older age, it cannot compensate for deficiencies afterwards. Pay special attention to the energy and protein balance. Also pay attention to the supply of Vitamin D3, calcium and phosphorus. You can find more details in the dog food guide.

Appenzeller Mountain Dog Care

The grooming of the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is short compared to other breeds. The stick coat only requires your personal devotion from time to time. Short brushing through is perfectly sufficient. Nevertheless, regular control is not a triviality. Coarse soiling such as dry mud makes it necessary to reach for the shampoo.

Parasites have easy access, especially in the less densely hairy regions. You have to search especially thoroughly in these places. The anus and the paws should be cleaned of stubborn dirt residues. Otherwise, the lively animal is at risk of inflammation in these vulnerable areas.

In the winter time, a comb will help you to remove the loose undercoat. The change takes place twice a year. You should also carefully trim the hair between the paws.

An Appenzeller dog is literally a busy animal. He likes to take on tasks and fulfill them with a great sense of duty. An enormous amount of movement remains a basic requirement for his posture. Simple short trips across the field are unfortunately not enough for this breed. Rather, it needs a sporty person as a partner. In return, the spirited dog keeps you fit thanks to constant exercise. You can hardly wish for a better partner for activities in the fresh air.

A great challenge for you remains the irrepressible curiosity of the animal. Its obedience enables you to achieve rapid success in education. The condition for it remains the physical and mental load of the fastidious animal. A meaningful program for the promotion and entertainment belongs to the care of the herding dog.

Suitable accessories

Thirst for knowledge and suspicion of the Appenzeller Sennenhund makes high demands on the education. The right toys and their sensible use take great importance. Only then can the animal be specifically promoted by you.

Of course, these dogs also love classic hunting games with balls. In the long run, however, these underchallenge his nature and develop the hunting instinct too strongly. Tasks that stimulate thought are more suitable. This includes, for example, guessing and searching games or learning terms for retrieving.

As a versatile workhorse, it requires additional equipment depending on the occupational field. In any case, this should have a good, robust quality. While performing his duties, he must still be able to move freely. With treats, you pay attention to low-calorie variants as far as possible. In this way, you prevent premature overweight through small rewards.

For the easy-care coat you need only an ordinary Dog brush. A Comb with coarse tines takes care of the undercoat at change time.

Thanks to the high weather resistance of the fur, there is no need to buy winter blankets. The cold season makes little difference to the robust dog breed.

Despite protective instincts, the Appenzeller is not considered to be a biting dog if properly trained. However, muzzle requirements vary depending on where you live, the law and the breed. You should follow these in any case.

Appenzeller Mountain Dog History

Origin & History

People often associate the origin of the Appenzeller Sennenhund with Switzerland. The real origin is not considered to be fully clarified. Conjectures of historians, on the other hand, point to the Roman Empire. Troop units carried a fighting dog with them on campaigns through Switzerland. Its characteristics coincide in many areas with the Appenzeller Sennenhund. Since then, this ancestor gained a foothold in his new home, the Appenzellerland.

Despite this presumption, his reputation as a Swiss bedrock is by no means unfounded. A report in "Tierleben der Alpenwelt" in the 19th century documented his traits. Without a doubt, he enjoyed great popularity among the farmers of Appenzell at that time. The Swiss Max Sieber took care of the hardworking and loyal animals. Soon after, he recorded the typical breed characteristics in the Swiss Cynological Society.

In 1898, the presentation of eight animals followed at an international fair. All of them corresponded to the new genus from the Appenzellerland. Since then, they firmly bore the epithet Sennenhund for the first time.

The clever and eager dogs also aroused great interest in Prof. Albert Heim from Zurich. He too soon devoted himself enthusiastically to the promotion and preservation of the breed. As a result, the "Appenzeller Sennenhunde Club" was founded in 1906. Only eight years later, Heim fundamentally defined the breed standard for the first time.

This is still valid today and is recognized by the FCI. The Appenzeller Mountain Dog forms a community in the category of Swiss Mountain Dogs. These include the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Entlebuch Mountain Dog and the Great Swiss Mountain Dog. However, because of the difficult breeding, its distribution turns out to be very small.

Today, the Appenzeller Sennenhund is considered an endangered breed. The reason for this is, among other things, a narrow basis for breeding. The danger of inbreeding increases the risk of hereditary diseases. Because of the dramatic situation, the Swiss foundation ProSpeciaRara takes care of the dog breed. Its employees are committed to their continued existence and welfare.

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