Appenzeller Sennenhund: Dog Breed Characteristics

Country of origin: Switzerland
Shoulder height: 48 – 58 cm
Weight: 28 – 35 kg
Age: 12 – 13 years
Colour: black or Havana brown with reddish brown and white markings
Use: working dog, companion dog, the family dog

The Appenzeller Sennenhund is a lively, willing-to-work, and persistent dog that needs clear leadership, lots of activity, and a meaningful task. He is the ideal companion for sporty, nature-loving people who fully integrate their dog into family life and have enough time for joint activities.

Origin and history

The Appenzeller Sennenhund goes back to farm dogs that were used in the Swiss Alps as herding, herding, and guard dogs. At the beginning of the 20th century, some lovers of these dogs took on breeding until 1914, when the first breed standard was established. From the beginning, not only the external appearance but above all the practical value of this breed was an essential aspect of breeding. Today, the Appenzeller Sennenhund is only rarely used as a cattle dog. This is also the reason why the breed is not very widespread.


The Appenzeller Sennenhund is a medium-sized, well-proportioned, tri-colored dog. It has a stock-haired, black coat with symmetrical brown and white markings that are easy to groom. The basic color can also be brown. It resembles the Entlebucher Sennenhund in appearance – but is slightly larger and more square-built overall. Another obvious difference to the Entlebucher is the curled rod – also the post-horn rod.


The Appenzeller Sennenhund is an intelligent, spirited, and self-confident dog that is used to acting independently and asserting itself as a herding and herding dog. Therefore, it is not necessarily easy to lead. With consistent leadership and a lot of activity, however, he is very capable of learning and suitable for many tasks. As a guard dog, the Appenzeller is incorruptible, just as willing to bark and suspicious of strangers.

As a rescue dog – for avalanche or disaster rescue – its intelligence, its robust and independent nature, and its willingness to bark are very useful. The Appenzeller has also recently been increasingly used as a therapy or guide dog.

The sporty and hard-working Appenzeller is not a dog for easy-going people and couch potatoes. He needs a lot of activity and exercise in the great outdoors and a meaningful task. So if you are looking for a loyal and robust companion for hikes or a reliable partner for dog sports – such as agility or popular sports – you are well served with this breed. It is not necessarily suitable for beginners.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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