Below are the breed specs and details for the Appenzell Mountain Dog
Males reach a height of 22 - 23 inches and females are slightly shorter, reaching 18 - 20 inches. As adults these dogs will weigh between 49 - 70 pounds. Their size and musculature makes them hardy and resilient, and they are also well-suited for guarding and herding purposes.
This breed is hard-working and very intelligent. It is good with children and families assuming that training has taken place and a pack hierarchy has been established. Appenzells get along well with other dogs and should be fine with smaller pets as long as socialization occurs at a young age.
This dog is considered a medium maintenance breed. Their coat will not need a tremendous amount of grooming; 2-3 times a week should be fine, though it may need more during shedding season. These dogs are active and require an active owner able to keep up with their demanding exercise requirements.
The Appenzell Mountain Dog may have originated in one of two ways. The first theory is that it descends all the way back to the Bronze Age. The second theory posits that it descended from the Molossus and was introduced to Switzerland by the Romans. In any case it is known to have developed in the Appenzell alpine region in Switzerland and it is the rarest of the four Swiss Sennenhunds, remarkable for its versatility as a working dog. It has been used as a herd dog, a guard dog, a cart-puller, and of course it has also been a charming companion.
Appenzellers have a robust frame covered with a short and thick double coat. Their topcoat is shiny and has a glossy texture and covers a thick black, brown, or gray undercoat. Their head is wide and flat with small, dark eyes. Their ears are floppy and soft and fall forwards onto the cheek. The tail is carried rolled up on its back.
The images below represent the coat colors and patterns associated with Appenzeller Sennenhunde.
Appenzells are loyal, affectionate, brave, intelligent and energetic. These dogs will usually form a strong bond with one owner but will be loyal and respectful to all family members as long as proper training has taken place and the dog understands that it is lower in the pack hierarchy than humans. The Appenzell is used to working around animals and gets along well with other dogs, livestock, and household animals if it has been socialized while still young. These dogs have been watchdogs for centuries and may be apprehensive towards strangers, though they should not be aggressive. Barking should be expected, and socialization should be done to minimize this behavior.
Dogs of this breed respond well to firm, calm training. They learn quickly, partly because they are quite smart, but also because they greatly desire to have a job or activity to perform. They enjoy the outdoors and thrive in a location that gives them a lot of open space to run around and play. It is imperative that this dog's owners be higher up on the pack hierarchy. Otherwise the dog may be hard to control and somewhat unruly. It is also very important to exercise this dog and stimulate it mentally and physically, especially if it is not employed as a work dog. Therefore it should be apparent that these dogs are not good for lazy or very busy owners, especially in an urban location.
This breed is not a good fit for apartment life. These dogs prefer to live outdoors in a ranch or farm style residence with lots of land to roam. Appenzells that do not have this kind of space and are limited to say, a small yard, will need extra time spent on their mental and physical exercise needs. These dogs are known to bark, so they may cause trouble if neighbors are in close proximity.
Very few health studies have been performed on this breed, but what evidence there is seems to suggest that this breed is in good health and should not be subject to any hereditary diseases. The life expectancy is approximately 11 to 13 years.