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Appenzell Mountain Dog
The least well known of the 4 Alpine breeds, the Appenzell Mountain Dog differs by being a bit more compact with a curling tail and an energy level built for long days of hard work.  The initial interest in this breed is often from people seeking a smaller option to the Greater Swiss or Bernese Mountain Dog.  The Appenzell, for better or worse, is not a good choice in that case since it does not share a similarly laid back personality of those cousins.  Instead, the Appenzell, more like the popular Border Collie, is mentally and energetically structured to think and work all day.  To take a dog with this make up and keep them in a confined environment whether that be an apartment, small yard or leash walks in a family of two careers is likely a recipe for disaster.  This is an ideal athlete, one of the ultimate of working dogs, with minimal health issues, the breed promises to distinguish itself in SAR, Agility and other intense dogsports/activities.
By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Herding Height: 18.5-23 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 45-65 pounds Longevity: teens
Colors: tri-color with mandatory tan eyebrows Coat type: short/medium long hard top coat with dense soft undercoat
Recognized Registries: FCI, UKC, NCA and others
Overall Appearance: The Appenzell Mountain Dog although similar as a symmetrically marked tri-color with her cousins the Greater Swiss and Bernese Mountain dogs, is more athletic, agile and fast than these breeds. Understandably as the Appenzell Mountain Dog is more of a herding dog than a draft or livestock guardian. With an energy and edge that more mirrors the Border Collie, it is an extraordinary working companion but not suited as the companion for the average home.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: high to very high
General Nature: Intense, active, agile and intelligent
  with Children: very good when raised with well behaved children, probably not ideal for very small children due to energy level
  with other pets: generally good but can be territorial esp with cats or others that initiate their prey drive
  with dogs: generally good especially with those it knows well
Socialization requirements: moderate to high because of its work ethic and efforts to find a
Ideal home characteristics: One that appreciates the working background and energy-stamina this breed possesses. Time should be put aside for good play sessions everyday.
Temperament Notes: Intelligent, intense, strong work ethic, athletic, creative, confident
Training requirement: fairly high: socializing is critical, basic manners and some other activity to serve as a
Trainer notes: The Appenzell Mountain Dog should not be approached as simply the latest designer dog.  For those that fancy the Bernese Mountain Dog or the Greater Swiss, the Appenzell may seem a wonderful, smaller compromise.  The similarities are limited though since the Appenzell doesn't possess as much of the easy going placid temperament as either of those cousins.  This dog should be recognized (as most who's working history is still very recent) as an individual of remarkable intelligence and drive to have an occupation.  The drawback in trying to make such a dog into simply a couch companion is that they will often find their own job (typically something undesirable like excessive barking, destructive behavior, chasing cars, excessive protectiveness, etc.)and/or become quite neurotic.  If you love this breed, do not acquire one unless you are experienced, have plenty of dog resources (like dog parks, training facilities and knowledgable trainers) and time available.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: unknown
Country of Origin: Switzerland
Original Function: cattle dog and guardian
History: Shrouded in the work of its history, one of four alpine breeds that were likely crossed in conjunction with their ability and the purpose they were needed for, until recently. The other three, the Entlebucher, Bernese and Greater Swiss MD as better known
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: poor dentition, poor pigment, oversized, tail doesn't curl
Health Notes: Bloat, Eye Problems, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Epilepsy and Thyroid Problems
Health Testing: CERF, OFA (hips and elbows), Thyroid Panel,
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Appenzell Mountain Dog?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How do you select your breeding stock?
  • What health issues have you observed in the breed?
  • What health clearances do you get for your breeding stock?
  • What do you consider correct Appenzell Mountain Dog temperament?
  • What would you consider an ideal home for an Appenzell Mountain Dog?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • Do you microchip your puppies?
  • At what age do you allow your puppies to go to their new homes?


Web Sites: Heart of Michigan Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue, many rescues of the more popular and well known Bernese Mountain Dog and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog will rescue and place this cousin

Other Resources
Breed standard: Standard of the AMD as per the FCI

Breeder Ethics: Appenzell Mountain Dog Club of America Code of Ethics

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