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It is a muscular but not massive dog. A well-built and hardy animal, it is a versatile working dog. It has a wide, flat head with a muzzle that narrows towards a black nose. The eyes are small and dark and the ears are pendant. Its tail is carried rolled up on its back. Its limbs are straight. Its short double coatáis considerably tight, thick and glossy.
The basic colors are black or brown with symmetrical white and rust markings.
Tough, sober, brave, intelligent, and lively, the Appenzell usually gets along well with other dogs and mixes well with livestock and household animals if it has become used to them while still young. They are rather unsure of strangers but greet family andáfriends effusively.
The Appenzeller Sennenhunde enjoyed a long history as being a herding, flock guarding, and draft dog. Some legends suggest the Romans brought similar draft dogs to Switzerland where they interbred with local herding breed, thus creating the line of Swiss Mountain Dogs. Farmers prized them because they could do the work of a horse, but ate a lot less.