The Apenzell Cattle Dogs originated from the canton of Appenzell (northeastern part of Switzerland). In the beginning they were ordinary rural dogs and their goal was to protect and collect the cows in the mountains, which requires qualities as alertness, stamina, confidence, integrity and agility.
In one of the first written sources the breed is described as "loud, tan, short haired pastors with average growth." It is assumed that the breed appeared from crosses of Molos and northern breeds. As a separate breed the Appenzell Catle Dog was registered in 1898. Max Sievert, who was a big fan of these dogs has written the first standard. The Appenzell Cattle Dog Club was created in 1906. Outside Switzerland, the breed is rather rare.
Dimensions starting from 45 to 58 cm and bodyweight of 22 to 32 kg. These dogs have strong and athletic body with straight legs. They have broad, flat heads with pointed muzzle. Their noses are black, and their little eyes are dark in color. Another feature is their hanging ears and fluffy tail, which the cattle dog carries over the back. The breed has a thick and smooth double coat in different colors. The most frequently encountered puppies have a black or brown hair with white and rust spots.
Character and behavior
The Appenzellers are intelligent, lively and brave dogs who accept with delight each job and task, so they are perfect for endurance training, rescue work, Flyball, Agility, Mobility and sports.
They are known for being a working and family dog, smart and fearless. It is a good watchdog, but needs lots of training and education so he doesn't become aggressive and dangerous.
Retrieving is in his blood, he was born scientific. They call this dog “the incorruptible”.
Training and education
The Appenzeller Cattle Dog is benevolent, strong, fearless and easy to train. It is used as a shepherd dog and as a guard in the barnyard. In the Alps it is also used to rescue people buried by avalanches and in other accidents. In recent times the dog become a reliable bodyguard and a good companion.
The life expectancy of an Appenzeller Cattle Dog is about 12 years. Dogs of this breed have a very good health and there is no data for typical diseases.
Grooming and care
This dog is not suitable for people who have no experience in raising puppies, who do not like sports and movement and who live in an apartment.
Their fur is easy to maintain and bathing should be done only when necessary. It is recommended to check the ears regularly.
Children and other pets
The Appenzeller Cattle Dog is a little bit suspicious when it come to strangers, but in general this breed communicate well with other dogs and animals. This dog is extremely protective, friendly and loyal to his family. Sometimes puppies of this breed are gathering a particularly close relationship with one of the family members.
With proper education the puppy can become a good companion for children and other animals in the household but has the habit to bark a lot.
In 1895 the chief forester Max Zeber, one of the great admirers of the breed, sent to the Swiss Kennel Club request to take measures for the conservation of the breed. To encourage the breeding, in 1898 the State Council of the canton of Saint Gall granted a sum of 400 francs. At the request of the Swiss Kennel Club was established a special committee. It defines the characteristics of the breed and, in a Fair in Altshteten managed to motivate the owners of 9 male and 7 female to present their dogs. Owners are compensated with small sums between 5 and 10 francs.
In 1914, Professor Heim presents the first valid breed standard for the Appenzeller Cattle Dog.
His name clearly defines the breed and differs it from the other Swiss Cattle Dogs.
Although the Appenzeller Cattle Dog has found many admirers, puppies for sale are hard to find, especially outside Switzerland. Only the responsible and careful breeding will allow the stabilization and consolidation of the natural and distinctive hereditary characteristics of the breed.