Male Height (typical): 51-58.5 cm. (20-23 inches)
Female Height (typical):
51-58.5 cm. (20-23 inches)
Size: Small – Medium
Male Weight (typical): 22-32 kg. (49-70 pounds)
Female Weight (typical):
22-32 kg. (49-70 pounds)
Country of Origin:
Exercise Required: Daily long walks.
Expected Life Span: 12 – 13 Years
Best suited as:
Working Dog, Family Pet
Other names: Appenzell Cattle Dog, Appenzeller

Description – The Appenzeller is a medium-sized dog that has boundless energy and was originally bred to be a working dog in the mountains of Switzerland. Adapting to the high altitude and thin air helped make this dog an amazing athlete and allows it to work long days in the meadows and still have the energy to play with the family at days end. This is the rarest breed of the four main Swiss mountain dogs and has a distinctive streak of colour that runs from the tip of its nose to its forehead. It is unusually surefooted on the treacherous peaks of the local mountains when herding and can also carry large loads for long distances when needed while strapped to a cart.

Origin & History – As with any of the older breeds that trace their lineage very far back into history, the specific origin of the Appenzeller is part fact and part folklore. It is generally assumed that this fine breed of dog was brought to the region by the Romans but other theories date back even further to the Bronze Age. Its recorded history can clearly be traced back to the 15th century where the dog was responsible for helping keep the herds of cattle organized and moving. They have an uncanny ability to read a herd and can keep animals many times their size in line. They were originally bred for work and little thought was given to their aesthetics, even though owners all over the region love them dearly. As the breed matured they expanded their duties to include guarding and even manual labour like pulling carts.

Appenzell Mountain (Appenzeller) Dog


Temperament – The Appenzeller is a tireless working dog that will complete any task before it with gusto. It loves the attention of its masters and any positive feedback it receives seems to drive it further. It is a very loyal dog as well and bonds very tightly to those around it. This loyalty extends to the family as well and particularly children whom it considers to be part of its pack. It may take some time for older dogs to accept children so be sure to socialize the dog slowly with any new additions to the family, including other pets.

Appenzell Mountain (Appenzeller) Dog training with wood peace

Exercise & Grooming – This breed is used to long hours and extensive work so exercise is crucial to its health and happiness. If you own an Appenzeller and intend to work them they will receive all the exercise they need from a day in the outdoors. If the dog is primarily intended as a pet then it must be walked daily to relieve the stress and energy that indoor living will create. In addition to long walks, some free backyard play is also a good idea to allow the dog to receive the positive feedback it craves from its family.

Appenzell Mountain Dog (Appenzeller) Dog exercise in water

Health Concerns – The Appenzeller is a very healthy breed and has a long lineage of strong stock in its bloodline. It is a dog that will find a way to be content in almost any situation and loves to run with the family. The only danger for this dog is the same for any working dog and care must be taken to help them avoid accidents. Most injuries occur when these smaller, spirited dogs are around larger and heavier animals.

Appenzell Mountain (Appenzeller) Dog healthful

Appenzell Mountain Dog (Appenzeller) Organisations in Australia
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