Featured Breed : Appenzeller Sennenhund
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Life Span:~12 to 14 years
Litter Size: 4 to 8 puppies
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Size: Males stand 20 to 22 inches at the shoulder while the females stand 19.5 to 21 inches. The weight ranges from about 48 to 55 pounds.
Coat: Appenzeller Sennenhunds 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.
Character: Today, the Appenzellers are known for being a versatile working and family dog. They are smart, cheerful, self-assured, reliable, and fearless. Their slight wariness around strangers and the tendency to bark makes them a good watchdog, but they need lots of early socialization so they don’t \become overly suspicious.
Appearance: The Appenzeller Sennenhund is a large mountain dog, Like the other Sennenhunds, the Appenzeller Sennenhund has a heavy, molosser-like build and a distinctive tricolor coat. The breed's ears are small and triangular, and they are set high and hanging down against the dog's cheeks, which is similar to a button ear.
History: The Appenzeller was originally bred as a cattle herding dog as well as livestock guardian in Switzerland. It is believed that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the oldest of the Swiss breeds with the others descending from it. The Appenzeller is the rarest of the Swiss breeds. The first valid Breed Standard was prepared in 1914 with its original breeding territory being the Appenzell region. Today, the breed is found all over Switzerland and in many European countries. However, breeding stock is still limited and, though gaining in popularity, the breed is still rare in North America.
Today, the breed is still commonly used as a livestock guardian, herding dog, draft animal and an all-purpose farm dog. He is also seen participating in obedience and performing Shutzhund work. In addition, in his native Switzerland, the Appenzeller is seen working as a Avalanche Rescue Dog, Tracking Dog and Protection work.
Health Issues: Due to the breed’s rarity, there are currently no known breed-specific diseases. As with other dogs, the Appenzeller Sennenhunds are a comparatively healthy breed. They typically live for 12 to 13 years.
Temperament: As with all large, very active working dogs, this breed should be well socialized early in life with other dogs and people and provided with regular activity and training if they are to be safely kept as a pet. According to the breed standard, the dogs are lively, high spirited, and suspicious of strangers.
Care: They have an easy-care coat that needs only regular brushing to stay in good shape, but Appenzellers do shed. They need regular grooming of their coat with a bristle brush. Positive training is the best for this breed, as they will respond the best to it. They should be socialized early on as well.
Training: Early socialization and obedience training is absolutely crucial. The Appenzeller breed is highly intelligent but requires a dominant handler. They do not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training must be done with firmness, respect, fairness, and consistency.
Activity: Regular exercise is essential and plenty of wide open spaces to enjoy a free run. They do not like to be chained up. They do better in rural or suburban settings. Because the Appenzeller is a high energy breed, they need plenty of exercise both physical and mental. This breed may not the breed for everyone.