The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is an ancient dog breed native to the Swiss Alps. There are different opinions about the origin of these animals. For example, researchers Anne Rogers Clark and Andrew H. Brace believe that these large, kind dogs descended from Roman shepherd dogs. The Romans brought them back during the conquests of Julius Caesar’s successor – Octavian Augustus, and then these useful animals really liked the locals.
Due to their size, they were used not only for grazing livestock, but also for other purposes – guarding estates and even a draft dog capable of moving loads in small carts. There are now four native mountain dog breeds in the Swiss Alps, and the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is the rarest. The first serious references in literature can be found in the middle of the 19th century, but only in 1989 the breed was officially recognized by international organizations. Moreover, if the International Cynological Federation classified them as cattle dogs, then the American Kennel Club did not recognize them at all, like some other English-speaking clubs.
They are large dogs with a powerful, well-developed chest, muscular build and strong paws of medium length. They have a thick neck, ears are triangular, curved forward, falling on the cheeks. The tail is curled up and curled as usual. The color is tricolor – black-white-brown.
The Appenzeller Mountain Dog breed is distinguished not only by its strength, but also by its kindness. If you have a large family, this kind-hearted person is guaranteed to be the best friend of children. Although, in fairness, we note that the smallest should be allowed to the dog under the supervision of adults or older children, since, due to its large size and weight, it can accidentally overturn the child.
In addition, these animals have very deep instincts for a cattle dog, and sometimes they can manifest itself in the fact that your dog can lightly bite children on the heels. Perhaps, in the mind of a dog, responsibility for sheep or cows is akin to responsibility for a child. By the way, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog takes this very responsibility very seriously. So serious that to protect the herd entrusted to him, and, moreover, to protect children and his family, the dog is ready to give his life.
The protective qualities of these pets make them a good choice for keeping in a private house with their own fenced area, especially since they have an innate distrust of strangers. However, the dog needs early socialization – getting to know different people, their smells and emotions, otherwise it can become too distrustful and show increased aggression and anxiety, even for minor reasons. And this means that both your neighbors and your guests will feel uncomfortable, and your peace will not increase either.
The Appenleller Mountain Dog has a huge supply of internal energy and needs constant activity. They cannot be closed at home for the whole day, otherwise the dog will become destructive, its character will deteriorate, it will suffer from the inside and pour out its suffering outside. Training, long walks, playing with your family members and other dogs are what you need.
Dogs of this type certainly need both the development of obedience and the training of commands, which will provide the necessary food for the mind and body. Teaching teams, parenting and socialization should begin at an early age, around 5-6 months. Then training will be most effective, and success will be most pronounced.
The Appenzeller Mountain Dog are very intelligent and quick-witted dogs, they learn quickly and learn commands well. In this process, it is important for the owner to remain patient and start with a playful form, which is most acceptable at an early age. If you do everything with kindness and without nerves, there will be no problems in upbringing, since this breed has an obedient and inquisitive character by default.
Gradually, formative constraints can be added to the learning process. That is, do not give what you want until the pet does it right, but demonstrate a willingness to provide it. The simplest example is a treat after successful execution of commands, and its absence if not.
The Appenzeller Mountain Dog does not need too complicated grooming of the coat, since it does not have a great length. Brushing out once a week will be sufficient. Be sure to keep your dog’s nails clipped and ears and eyes clean. You need to bathe your pet at least once a week, and preferably two.
Dogs of the Appenzeller Mountain Dog breed are distinguished by excellent health and endurance. They have an excellent metabolism, high energy levels and good immunity, so you are unlikely to have to visit a veterinarian except for the necessary vaccinations.