Dog Health & More
The Appenzeller originated as an all-around farm dog breed, who stayed busy herding the livestock, guarding the farm, and pulling carts in his native Switzerland. Today's Appenzellers have still got the energy, smarts, and self-confidence that makes for valuable working dogs — but they're anything but low-maintenance. Dogs of this breed need lots of exercise, training, and a job to do.
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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.