appenzell mountain dog breed information

Appenzell Mountain Dog

The Appenzell Mountain Dog, also called the Appenzeller Sennenhund, is the rarest of the four Swiss herding breeds, or “sennenhunds”. Thought to descend from Molossers brought to the region by the Romans in ancient times, there are some who theorize that they descend only from dogs that were already native to the Alps. “Sennenhund” means “dog of the Senn”, the herding people of that region, who originally kept him as a flock guardian, herder and general farm dog. The first Appenzeller breed club and register was established in 1906, but they remain rare outside their native land.

The Appenzell is a muscular, medium-sized dog with a strong build, weighing between 50 and 70 lbs. He bears a strong resemblance to his Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog and Entelbucher Mountain Dog cousins, though his tri-colored double coat is short and glossy and requires little care.

Intelligent and athletic, he makes a good companion dog for active families, as well as a tireless competitor in obedience, agility and Schutzhund (a competitive and highly demanding dog sport originally developed in Germany). He is strong-willed and may become destructive or bark excessively if he is not well-exercised, so daily jogs and a confident, experienced owner are musts for this herding dog. He enthusiastically greets family and friends, and gets along well with other pets if he is raised among them.

Although an energetic and hardy breed, the Appenzell Mountain Dog is still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health, and your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Appenzells are prone to include joint conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia; thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism; neurological diseases such as epilepsy; and eye conditions such as entropion.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Appenzell Mountain Dog inherits his father’s bad hips or his mother’s bad eyes, you’re protected.

Common health issues

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

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