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Appenzell Cattle Dog

Appenzell Cattle Dog is one of 4 Swiss mountain dog breeds, which one is originated from Appenzel canton. 

ORIGIN : Switzerland.

UTILIZATION : Driving-, watch-, guard-, house- and farm dog. Today also a versatile working and family dog.


FCI-CLASSIFICATION : Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer- Molossoid breeds- Swiss Mountain- and Cattle Dogs. Section 3 Swiss Mountain- and Cattle Dogs. Without working trial.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: In 1853 an Appenzell Cattle Dog was first described in the book “Tierleben der Alpenwelt” (Animal Life in the Alps) as a “high-pitch barking, short-haired, medium size, multicolour cattle dog of a quite even Spitz type, which can be found in certain regions and is used partly to guard the homestead, partly to herd cattle.” In 1895, the great promotor of the breed, head-forester Max Siber, asked the SKG (Schweizerische Kynologische Gesellschaft, Swiss Cynological Society) to do something for the breed. 1898 the executive authorities of the Canton St. Gallen put the sum of SFr. 400.- at disposal to support the breeding of the Appenzell Cattle Dog. The SKG then formed a special commission, the characteristic traits of the breed were fixed, and at the fair at Altstätten 9 dogs and 7 bitches appeared; they received prizes between SFr.5. to 10-. As a result, 8 Appenzell Cattle Dogs were shown at the first international dog show in Winterthur and entered in the newly introduced, separate class “Cattle Dogs”. At the instigation of Prof. Dr. Albert Heim, who commited himself very much to the Swiss Cattle Dogs and with them also to the Appenzell Cattle Dog, the “Appenzeller Sennenhund Club” was founded in 1906. Its purpose was to preserve and promote the breed in its natural state. With the compulsory registration of puppies in the “Appenzeller Dog Stud Book” the aim of selective pure-breeding was begun. In 1914 Prof.Heim set up the first valid breed standard. The original breeding territory was the Appenzell region. Today the breed is distributed all over Switzerland and beyond its borders and bred in many European countries. The notion “Appenzeller Sennenhund” is clearly defined nowadays and the breed, as such, quite distinct from the other Swiss Cattle Dogs. Although the Appenzell Cattle Dog has found many admirers, the breeding stock is still very small. It is only by responsible and careful breeding that it will be possible to establish and consolidate its natural and outstanding hereditary qualities.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Tricolour, medium-sized, almost squarely built dog, balanced in all parts. Muscular, very agile and deft, with a cheeky expression.


• Height at withers to length of body = 9 : 10. Rather compact than long.

• Length of muzzle to length of skull = 4 : 5.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Lively, high-spirited, selfassured, reliable and fearless. Slightly suspicious of strangers. A watchdog which cannot be bribed, and capable of learning.

HEAD: Balanced size in relation to body. Slightly wedge-shaped.


Skull : Skull fairly flat, broadest between the ears, tapering evenly towards the muzzle. Occiput barely pronounced. Frontal furrow moderately developed.

Stop : Slightly marked.


Nose : In black dogs black, in havana-brown dogs brown (as dark as possible).

Muzzle : Medium strength, tapering evenly, but not snipy, with strong lower jaw. Nasal bridge straight.

Lips : Clean and close fitting, with black pigmentation in black dogs or with brown pigmentation (as dark as possible) in havana-brown dog. Corner of the mouth not visible.

Jaws/Teeth : Strong, complete and regular scissor bite. Pincer bite tolerated. One missing PM1 or double PM1 (premolar 1) and missing M3 (molars) tolerated.

Cheeks : Barely pronounced.

Eyes : Rather small, almond-shaped, not protruding. Set slightly oblique towards the nose. Expression lively.

Colour : in black dogs dark brown, brown; in havana brown dogs lighter brown, but as dark as possible. Eye-lids close fitting. Eye-rims black respectively brown (as dark as possible) corresponding to the colour of the coat.

Ears : Set on fairly high and broad; in repose hanging down flat and close to cheeks. Triangular shape with tips slightly rounded off. In alertness raised at set-on and turned forward so that the head and ears, seen from above, form a marked triangle.

NECK : Rather short, strong and clean.

BODY : Compact, strong.

Back : Moderately long, firm and straight.

Loins : Short and well muscled.

Croup : Relatively short, running in flat continuation of the topline.

Chest : Broad, deep, reaching to the elbows, with definite forechest. Sternum reaching sufficiently far back. Ribcage round-oval in diameter.

Underline and Belly : Only slight tuck up.

TAIL : Set on high, strong, of medium length, densely coated. Hair slightly longer on underside. In movement carried tightly curled over the croup, carried sideways or in centre. In repose pendent tail in various shapes tolerated.

LIMBS : Strong and dry bone.


General appearance : Well muscled; seen from front forelegs straight and parallel; standing not too close.

Shoulder : Shoulder blade long and sloping.

Upper arm : Same length or only slightly shorter than shoulder blade. Angle with shoulder blade not too blunt.

Elbows : Close fitting.

Forearm : Straight, lean.

Pastern : Seen from front in straight continuation of the forearm. Seen from the side, set at a very light angle.


General appearance : Well muscled. Seen from rear, hindlegs straight and parallel, standing not too close. The typical angulations result in relatively “steep” hindquarters.

Upper thigh : Fairly long, forming a relatively small angle to the hipbone (coxo-femoral joint).

Lower thigh : Equally long or only slightly shorter than the upper thigh. Lean and well muscled.

Hock joint : Set relatively high.

Hock : Set vertical and parallel, slightly longer than the front pastern, turning neither in nor out. Dewclaws must be removed, except in those countries where their removal is prohibited by law.

FEET : Short, arched, tight toes; solid pads.

GAIT / MOVEMENT : Good rear drive, well reaching stride in front. Seen from either front or rear, limbs move in a straight line when trotting.


HAIR : Double coat (Stockhaar) : Firm and fitting. Topcoat thick and shiny. Undercoat thick, black, brown or grey. It is undesirable for the undercoat to be visible through the topcoat. Slightly wavy coat only on withers and back just tolerated, but not desirable.

COLOUR AND MARKINGS : Basic colour black or havana brown with reddish-brown and white markings as symmetrical as possible. Small reddish-brown spots over eyes. Reddish-brown markings on cheeks, chest (left and right in the region of the shoulder-joint) and on legs. The reddish-brown on the latter must invariably be located between the black, resp.havana brown and the white.

White markings :

• Distinct white blaze which runs from the skull without break over the bridge of the nose and can reach totally or partially round the muzzle.

• White from chin, covering throat without break at chest.

• White on all four feet.

• White on tip of tail.

• White spot on nape of neck or half collar tolerated.

• Thin white ring all around neck tolerated but not desirable.


Desired height at withers :

Dogs : 52 – 56 cm,

Bitches : 50 – 54 cm.

Tolerance of plus or minus 2 cm.

FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

• Lack of typical sex-specific appearance.

• To long or unbalanced in body.

• Bone fine or too coarse.

• Insufficient musculature.

• Very heavy or very light in head.

• Skull round.

• Stop too defined.

• Muzzle too long, too short, narrow or pointed; nasal bridge not straight.

• Lips too developed.

• Absence of teeth other than 2 PM1 (premolars 1).

• Cheeks too prominent.

• Eyes round, protruding or light.

• Ears too small, too large, standing off; set on too high or too low.

• Swayback, roach back.

• Croup overbuilt or falling away.

• Belly tucked up.

• Chest flat or barrel-shaped; lack of forechest; sternum too short.

• Loosely rolled tail, its tip reaching at least the base of the tail.

• Insufficient angulation of fore-and hindquarters.

• Out at elbows.

• Down on pastern.

• Cow hocks.

• Feet longish-oval (harefeet), splay feet.

• Incorrect movement, e.g. short, stilted gait, close movement coming and going, crossing etc.

• Undercoat visible through topcoat.

• Faults in marking :

• Black ticks on white.

• Broken blaze.

• Broad white collar around the hole neck.

• Divided white on chest.

• White reaching distinctly above pastern (“boots”).

• Absence of white on feet and tip of tail.

• Over- or undersize regarding tolerance.

• Insecure behaviour, absence of liveliness, slight sharpness.


• Aggressive or overly shy.

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

• Overshot or undershot mouth.

• Entropion, ectropion.

• Wall eye.

• Sickle tail (its tip not reaching the base of the tail), definitely pendent tail; kink tail.

• Other than double coat (Stockhaar).

• Other than tricoloured coat.

• Other than black or havana-brown main colour.


• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

tis fizinius ar elgesio sutrikimus, turi būti diskvalifikuotas.

Pastaba : Patinai turi turėti dvi akivaizdžiai normalias sėklides, visiškai nusileidusias į kapšelį. 

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