Updated 23-06-2023

Appenzeller Sennenhund Characteristics, Facts & Traits

The Appenzeller Sennenhunde, a farm dog breed from Switzerland, was originally used to herd animals, protect the property, and pull carts. Today's Appenzellers still have the energy, intelligence, and self-confidence that make them valuable working dogs, but they're hardly low-maintenance.

This kind of dog is tri-colored, medium-sized, and nearly squarely built. Its athletic build makes him a valuable addition to any household as a watchdog or guard dog. Agility, obedience, herding, and search and rescue are just a few of the specialties they excel in because of their adaptability and willingness.

Appenzell Cattle Dog and Appenzeller Mountain Dog are other names for the Appenzeller Sennenhund. He is vivacious, confident, trustworthy, and courageous. He's a terrific watchdog, but he's wary of strangers and won't be bought. Because of the breed's intelligence, they are capable of learning quickly. He can't live in an apartment because of his personality and the amount of activity he requires.

Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed characteristics and information can be found below.


  • When it comes to romping and roughhousing in the snow, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog or Appenzeller Sennenhund is a favourite.

  • A mountain range in the Pacific Northwest Dogs form strong attachments to the people in their lives and crave constant affection. Those who are unfamiliar with a dog's exuberant nature may find it a little alarming when they jump up in your face or shove their body against your leg. He enjoys kids, although he's prone to stomping on them.

  • This hardy and inquisitive breed enjoys keeping themselves occupied and is always looking for things to do. He is not a dog that would fit in an apartment. When he has excess energy, he can burn it off by pulling a waggon or sled, herding, performing agility drills, fetching balls, or playing Frisbee.

  • Among the Swiss mountain dog varieties, the Appenzeller is the most cautious and reserved. A child's ability to acquire a steady, self-assured temperament relies heavily on early and ongoing socialisation.

  • It's not uncommon for Appenzeller Sennenhunds to be dominating and forceful. In order to control a herd of rambunctious cattle, one must have a dog with a strong sense of self-discipline. Appenzell's hormones will kick in during puberty, and he will begin to push himself to the maximum.

  • Appenzellers are excellent watchdogs, and they'll let you know if there's a guest or if your neighbour has stepped outside by barking loudly.

  • As a result, obedience training should begin as soon as possible. To avoid being dragged off your feet by one of these powerful dogs, you must learn to heel first and foremost.


Social Appearance 


It's a popular misperception that small dogs are better adapted to small spaces. Many little dogs are too bouncy and yappy to live in an apartment. A good apartment dog has modest energy, calm indoors, and respect for other neighbours. Buy one of these wonderful dog cages to boost your dog's personal space in your apartment.

Sensitivity Level

While a stern rebuke may not deter some canines, a filthy gaze may. These dogs can cope better with a chaotic home, an angry or boisterous owner, and an unpredictable or irregular schedule. Have a busy schedule, play in a garage band, or have small children? Select a dog with limited sensitivity.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanour.

Potential for Playfulness

Some dogs are always looking for a game, while others are more stoic and quiet. You may want to consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, as well as whether you have children or other dogs who can play with the dog.

Personality Appearance


In the same way that dogs who were raised to run all day need to work out their bodies, so too do dogs who were bred for professions that involve decision making and intelligence, like herding sheep. Without cerebral stimulation, they'll make their own work often with activities you despise, such as digging and chewing—which you'll have to put up with. Dog sports and occupations, such as agility and search and rescue, are excellent methods to give a dog a mental workout. Obedience instruction and interactive dog toys are also excellent choices.

Energy Level

High-energy dogs are constantly ready to go. Their labour heritage, such as recovering game for hunters or shepherding livestock, has given them the endurance to work all day. They'll spend more time jumping, playing, and discovering new sights and smells if they're getting enough physical and mental stimulation.

Dogs with low energy levels prefer to sleep all day. Consider whether a feisty, energetic dog would excite or irritate you.

Easy To Train

Easy-to-train dogs can quickly connect a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward (like receiving a treat). Difficult to train dogs take more patience and practise.

If your dog approaches training with a "What's in it for me?" mentality, you'll need to use treats and games to motivate him.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Some breeds are distant and independent, even when raised by the same person since puppyhood; others are inseparable from a single person; and still others love the entire family. The level of attachment a dog has for its human partners depends on how they were raised.


Having a blasé attitude about screaming, running youngsters, and being gentle with children are all characteristics of a dog that is good with children. Some of the names on the list may come as a shock to you: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). A Chihuahua's delicate build and tendency for snapping make him an unsuitable family dog.

Dog Friendly

Dog and human friendship are two distinct concepts. Even though they're fine with people, some dogs may attack or dominate other dogs, while others will retreat rather than fight. It's not just genetics. Playing with their littermates and mother from six to eight weeks old increases their social skills.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means having to deal with dog hair on your clothes and all over your home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. There are some dogs that shed all year round, some that "blow" seasonally and some that don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a de-shedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

Whenever a dog with a tendency to drool comes over to say hi, be prepared for slobbery armbands and dripping wet clothes. There are dogs out there who aren't known for their drool production, but that doesn't mean that you should avoid getting one of them if you're picky about cleanliness.

Easy To Groom

Some dogs may be brushed and go, while others need to be bathed, clipped, and otherwise groomed on a regular basis in order to maintain their health and cleanliness. Grooming a dog that requires a lot of time and patience may not be in your best interest if you do not have the time or the money to do so.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds can tolerate evening walks around the neighbourhood. Those bred for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting require frequent, vigorous exercise.

If not exercised sufficiently, these dogs might gain weight and unleash their pent-up energy in undesirable ways like barking, chewing, and digging. Exercise-demanding breeds are perfect for anyone who enjoys the outdoors or wishes to train their dog for a high-intensity canine sport like agility.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


48 to 55 pounds


9 to 12 years


19 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder


The Appenzeller Mountain Dog's past is disputed. The two most frequently accepted hypotheses are: The Appenzeller Mountain Dog may have been tamed in the Bronze Age. According to the second idea, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a descendent of Molossus. A herding dog in Switzerland, they have been used for ages to transport goods from the valleys to the towns.

The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is one of only four recognised Swiss Sennenhunds. The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is not a slow dog. "Tierleben der Alpenwelt" was published in 1853 and featured the Appenzeller Mountain Dog. Max Siber asked the Swiss Cynological Society (SKG) to assist him in breeding the Appenzeller Mountain Dog in 1895.

In 1898, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog was shown in the first international dog exhibition. In the same year, Appenzeller Mountain Dogs were bred purebred. These canines are loyal to their owners but distrustful of strangers. Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are slow to meet new people. Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are not usually aggressive, although they can turn aggressive if their livestock or property is threatened.

Personality and Temperament

A strong work ethic and ability to perform physically hard tasks have not diminished in this breed. They have a high level of cognitive ability and flourish when given new challenges. Intruders are quickly scared away by their barking, which serves as both a warning and an alert to the dog's owner. Territorial to the extreme, guests should exercise considerable caution around the Appenzeller Sennenhund because of the dog's propensity to bite undesirable visitors. The early introduction of new people to this breed is essential in order to avoid unwanted aggression.

This breed, also referred to as a "one-person dog," is known for its tendency to build strong ties with a single owner. Their steadfastness is admired, and it is said that they would willingly put their own safety at risk to preserve the safety of their loved ones. Children can get along with them if they've been properly socialised, but due to their inherent strength, it's best to keep an eye on them. Make sure to keep an eye out for smaller animals as their herding instincts can lead to undesired chasing and nipping behaviours.


This breed prefers an active lifestyle that includes a lot of exercise every day. It also necessitates routine maintenance in the form of brushing and combing. At an early age, begin training and socialising your dog.


The Appenzeller Sennenhunds has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, despite the fact that the appropriate health investigations have not yet been carried out.

Appenzeller Sennenhund research on other, similarly related Swiss dog breeds could provide some insight into its own health issues. For the following reasons, it is advised that breeding parents be screened for the following:

Hip Dysplasia

X-rays can be used to examine the hips of breeding parents. This condition is known as dysplastic hips, and it occurs when the hips fail to form properly, resulting in persistent pain and mobility concerns as the dog ages. Breeding should never be done with dogs whose hip scores are low.


Appenzeller Sennenhunds are prone to gaining weight since they are so fond of their food. Obesity in dogs can cause a variety of health problems. Keep a close eye on your Appenzeller's weight and make necessary adjustments to their food and treat intake in order to keep them from becoming obese.


In dogs with arthritis, pain is responsible for the majority of their symptoms. As a result, arthritis treatment for dogs focuses on both pain reduction and muscle mass and joint mobility maintenance. Rather than relying on a single medicine or treatment option, this is best accomplished through the use of a variety of approaches. A low-impact kind of exercise is best for arthritic dogs to prevent further harm to already injured joints.

PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)

An eye's retina begins to deteriorate, culminating in blindness. It is possible to determine if one of the parents is a carrier of the disease-causing genes with a DNA test. A small amount of the dog's blood can be used for the DNA test, which is quick and painless.

Recommended Health Test

  1. Fecal Examination 
  2. Physical Examination 
  3. Allergy Tests


They don't normally need specialist diets for Appenzeller Sennenhunds. Even if you prefer to create your dog's meals from scratch, they should be able to thrive on high-quality dog food. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if your dog's homemade food includes all the necessary nutrients and is correctly balanced if you ask.

Because of its tendency to gain weight, the Appenzeller Sennenhund breed has a tendency to do so. In order to keep your dog in a healthy weight range, you'll need to keep an eye on their weight and food intake. Providing your dog with food that is appropriate for their stage of growth is one approach to do this. Dogs of all ages, from puppies to seniors, require different kinds of nutrients, so making sure you're giving them the proper stuff is important.


As a double-coated breed, Appenzeller Sennenhunds have both a thick topcoat and a dense undercoat that they lose on a consistent basis. For those who like dogs who shed less than other breeds, Appenzellers are not the right choice. Brushing your dog's coat on a regular basis will help keep it healthy and reduce shedding.

Appenzellers don't need much more than a weekly brushing to look their best. Nails and teeth should be brushed on a regular basis, as with other dogs. Keep an eye out for ticks and burrs on your Appenzeller if they spend a lot of time outside, and make sure their ears are clean.


Appenzeller Sennenhunds are known for their high level of activity. Dogs that were initially developed for farm work are naturally more active than those that were not. The Appenzeller may not receive enough exercise if you live in a congested city or an apartment. 

Unless you live in an area where they have plenty of room to run and play, you'll need to make an effort to give your Appenzeller Sennenhund daily strenuous exercise. Remember that Appenzellers will not fare well in kennels or crates because of their high energy level and want to be part of the family's daily activities.


Appenzeller Sennenhunds can be difficult to teach, despite their high intelligence. Puppy socialisation and training should begin as early as possible for these canines. Appenzellers are naturally protective and wary of outsiders, as we've already established. When children are exposed to a wide variety of people and animals from an early age, they are better able to learn to control their natural tendencies and act correctly in new situations.

Appenzellers must be taught with severity and constancy. Even if they can be obstinate, they will not put up with harsh training methods, which should never be used on a dog in the first place. Appenzellers are best served by leaders who are both respectful and forceful. Even though they don't slow down long enough to show it, they may be dependable and affectionate companions when properly taught and socialised.

Apprehensive and athletic, Appenzellers are capable of engaging in dog sports like agility and obedience competitions. They can be taught to pull carts and are great herders.

Children and other pets

When a puppy is socialised from the beginning, it will be a joy to be with children. This is a big dog, so keep that in mind. A rambunctious Appenzeller may run towards a tiny child and knock him or her to the ground, injuring the latter. The dog didn't mean to run into the toddler, but its size and energy often combine to produce mishaps.

Appenzeller Sennenhunds, which were bred for farm work, generally get along with a wide range of animals. For the most amicable connections, they should be socialised with other dogs and cats early in life. The Appenzellers will fit perfectly in with cows, goats, lambs, and other livestock if you happen to live on a farm. If they follow their instincts and herd the livestock, it may not be well received by the cows.


Obesity in Appenzeller Sennenhunds puppies can be avoided by feeding them the correct amount of food. Obesity can lead to health problems in giant dog breeds.

In the United States, Appenzeller Sennenhunds are a rare breed. As a result, finding a puppy for sale can be difficult as well as expensive. For pups from a good breeder, the price ranges from $600-$1,500. However, if you're looking for an Appenzeller in the US, you may have to look further afield for a breeder. Health certifications and shipping costs will be added to your puppy's price if you buy it from a breeder in another nation. Depending on the breed, these puppies might cost up to $3,000.

Few Appenzellers remain, making adoption your only option if you don't want to pay for one outright. Nevertheless, if you're patient and determined to save a dog, you should give it a shot. According to the shelter or group you are working with, the cost of rescuing an Appenzeller Sennenhund might run anywhere from $250 to $350.

Dog breeds related to Appenzeller Sennenhund

In addition to the Appenzeller, breeds including the Bernese mountain dog, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog are close relatives of the Appenzeller.

Bernese mountain dog  

A Sennenhund (pronounced sennen-whoond) is a Swiss mountain dog that shares the Appenzeller's brown, black, and white coat coloration. The Bernese Mountain dog, on the other hand, is much larger and a working dog.

Entlebucher Mountain dog  

This dog was bred for herding livestock in the Swiss Alps. This dog, on the other hand, is more suited for households with older children rather than those with small ones.

Greater Swiss Mountain dog 

Appenzellers are smaller and lighter than Greater Swiss Mountain dogs. A herding breed from Switzerland, these two dogs have a lot to offer in terms of enthusiasm.