The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a brave and sweet breed that remains rather rare in most parts of the world. But how do you know whether you’re ready to own this breed? This information is absolutely necessary in deciding whether this is the right pet for you and your family.
Also known as Appenzeller Sennenhunds, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is native to the Appenzell region of Eastern Switzerland, where it was originally bred to serve as a superior herding and guardian dog. While it is thought to be a descendant of both the Tibetan Molosser Dogs and various Nordic breeds, solid proof of its history is yet to be reported.
The breed was officially established in 1898, and the advent of The Swiss Appenzell Mountain Dog Club followed shortly after in 1906.*
Appenzellers remain rare outside of their native Switzerland, but enthusiasts have been working for years to bring the breed worldwide popularity.
The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is known first and foremost as a courageous and energetic working dog. While its lively and muscular body and willing attitude makes this an amazing working breed, the Appenzeller is also an affectionate and sweet family pet and companion.
Appenzellers can be very independent and stubborn at times, so patience is key with this breed.
Due to the combinations of their high energy and willingness to work and stubbornness and independence, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog can be tricky to initially train. Providing motivation and support are very important aspects of training the Appenzeller. This breed is very eager to learn, but senses weakness. Establishing immediate dominance is required to break through to Appenzellers.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning an Appenzeller Mountain Dog. Appenzellers are lively, dedicated, and loyal dogs. They make excellent guard dogs, workers, and pets alike. This breed has an easy to care for coat and often has impressive and gorgeous markings.
Unfortunately, there are disadvantages to owning this breed. The Appenzeller is a highly energetic dog that requires daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase an Appenzeller that lacks adequate time and space for the breed is strongly advised against it. If an Appenzeller does not receive enough exercise, it can become quite the nuisance – destroying property and ignoring commands and basic training.
Being so energetic and making dependable guard dogs gives the Appenzeller a pretty loud voice. Yes, these characteristics make this breed bark quite a bit, often at new sights and sounds and sometimes at nothing at all. It can be somewhat difficult to break an Appenzeller of this habit.
As previously mentioned, Appenzellers remain rather rare outside of their native Switzerland. With that rarity comes high prices, waiting lists, and a lack of breeders. It is not uncommon to wait for more than two years and pay $1000 or more to acquire an Appenzeller Mountain Dog.
Common Health Concerns
While Appenzellers are generally a very healthy breed, they are effected by hip dysplasia and common joint problems. Bloat, minor G.I. issues, and eye problems such as cherry eye also occur in Appenzellers.**
So now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own an Appenzeller Mountain Dog? Remember, purchasing a dog is an important decision and should be discussed with your family thoroughly and seriously.