Vital Stats:Dog Breed Group: Herding Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 7 inches to 1 foot, 10 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 48 to 55 pounds
Life Span: 9 to 12 years
Also known as the Appenzeller Mountain Dog, this is the rarest of the four ancient Swiss mountain dog breeds. He got his start as an all-around farm dog — herding livestock, pulling carts, and guarding the farm — in the Appenzell region of Switzerland.
Today the Appenzeller's known for being a versatile working and family dog who's smart, cheerful, self-assured, reliable, and fearless. His slight wariness around strangers and tendency to bark makes him a good watchdog, but he needs lots of early socialization so he doesn't become overly suspicious. And because of his barkiness, he's not the best dog if you have nearby neighbors.
He's a great friend of children, but may nip at their heels as if they were livestock to be herded; younger Appenzellers are big and exuberant enough to accidentally knock over small kids.
Because he's got a strong work ethic and lots of energy, this breed isn't suited to an inactive lifestyle. Provide him with training and a job or dog sport he can do, or he'll be an unhappy camper. Like other breeds that need lots of exercise and stimulation, he can grow bored and destructive if he doesn't get it. He excels at agility, herding, and obedience trials. At home, teach your Appenzeller to pull a cart with your gardening supplies.
Males stand 20 to 22 inches at the shoulder; females,19.5 to 21 inches. Weight ranges from about 48 to 55 pounds.
Coat Color And Grooming
Appenzellers have a thick, shiny topcoat in black or brown with tan and white markings, covering a thick black, brown, or gray undercoat. The tan markings are symmetrical and appear over the eyes and on the cheeks, chest, and legs. The white markings include a blaze on the face, white from the chin to the chest, white on all four feet, and a white tail tip.
They have an easy-care coat that needs only regular brushing to stay in good shape, but Appenzellers do shed.