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Appenzeller Sennenhunde
History
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The Appenzeller was recognized as a native Swiss breed requiring preservation in 1897. The dogs were then scattered on Swiss farms and they were used for droving, guarding and general farm work. A breed club was established in 1906. The Appenzeller Dog Register was created at this time. The official breed standard was announced in 1914 by Dr. Heim, who was instrumental in preserving many of the Swiss breeds.

The Appenzeller is the rarest of the Swiss Sennenhunde, which also include the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and the Entlebucher. Their coat is short and double like the Entlebucher's. The Appenzeller is the most active, and probably most suspicious of strangers, among the 4 breeds.

The Swiss Herding dogs are thought to descend from Roman Molossers, which in turn originated from Asiatic hounds brought into the Roman empire by the Greeks. When the Romans came to Helvetia, their dogs probably crossed with some of the native dogs of the lower Alps, resulting in the Swiss Sennenhunde. Some theories hold that the Swiss herding dogs descend only from dogs that were already native to the Alps.

In 1853 Friedrich von Tschudi describes in his book: "Animal lifeforms in the alpine region", in the chapter "Dogs in the mountains", a clear-barking, medium sized Sennenhund, short-haired and in many colors. You find him, fast as lighting driving the herds, and then again guarding the house. The dogs in this description could very well be the ancestors of today's Appenzeller Sennenhund.

There is a record of at least one Appenzeller Sennenhund export to the United States in 1950. Some of the small Swiss farming communities that became established in the U.S. also brought their dogs. They are unsuitable for inactive lifestyles and have not become popular in the U.S.





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