Appenzeller Sennenhund

A lively and faithful mountain dog

Known for its endurance and liveliness, the Appenzeller Sennenhund has a rich history and is primarily used for work in the mountainous regions of its native Switzerland. This strong and versatile breed has a lot to offer both for active families and those looking for a working or herding dog. In this article, we delve deeper into the Appenzeller Sennenhund's origins, characteristics and what it means to be the owner of this distinctive breed.


Appenzeller Sennenhund, also known as Appenzeller, Appenzell Cattle Dog or the simpler term "Appenzell", is one of the four Swiss mountain dog breeds. These breeds, which also include the Bernese Mountain Dog, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and Entlebucher Mountain Dog, all originated in Switzerland. Appenzeller Sennenhund is considered the oldest and most rustic of these four breeds.

The breed originated in the Appenzell region of Switzerland, where it was used as an all-round farm dog, to guard livestock, pull heavy loads and also as a herding dog. The exact origin of the breed is unknown, but it is believed to have existed for several hundred years.


The Appenzeller Sennenhund is a medium-sized dog. The males have a withers height of around 52-56 cm, while the bitches are slightly smaller with a withers height of around 50-54 cm. Their weight varies between 22 and 32 kg.

Appearance and Coat

Appenzeller Sennenhund has a strong, compact body and an intelligent expression. The breed's coat is dense and glossy, with a black and white ground color and rust-colored markings over the eyes, cheeks, chest and legs.

How much fur does an Appenzeller Sennenhund shed?

As a dog with a double coat, the Appenzeller Sennenhund sheds regularly, and more intensively during the shedding periods which usually fall in spring and autumn. Regular brushing can help keep shedding under control and keep the coat clean and shiny.

How much exercise does an Appenzeller Mountain Dog require?

As an energetic and hard-working breed, the Appenzeller Sennenhund requires a lot of exercise. Daily long walks, play and mental stimulation are important to keep these dogs happy and healthy.

Is the Appenzeller Mountain Dog family friendly?

Yes, despite its original function as a working dog, the Appenzeller Sennenhund is also known to be an excellent family dog. They are loyal, protective and usually get along well with children. However, early socialization is important, especially if there are other pets in the home.

Acquiring an Appenzeller Sennenhund

If you are considering getting an Appenzeller Mountain Dog, you should be prepared to accommodate their high activity levels and need for mental stimulation. These dogs thrive best with an active lifestyle and like to have work to do. They also need a lot of social interaction and should not be left alone for long periods of time. It is also important to remember that the Appenzeller Sennenhund is a natural guard dog and can be reserved towards strangers, so early and consistent training and socialization is very important.