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Appenzeller Sennenhunde

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Mountain dogs of medium size, Appenzellers are active, courageous and protective. They can be excellent pets but require a huge amount of exercise and can bark excessively.

Which breed group is the Appenzeller Sennenhunde in?

Breed group: none – not recognised by the Kennel Club

Appenzeller Sennenhunde breed history

The rarest of four Sennehunde type dogs in the Swiss alps, the Appenzeller is thought to be a descendant of cattle dogs which were taken to the region by the Romans. The name Sennenhunde refers to the Senn people who were herders. The dogs were used to herd and guard livestock in the mountains and as general farm dogs. The first breed club was established in 1906 by Albert Heim and others, who also wrote the first breed standard in 1916. These dogs were only recognised as a separate breed internationally in 1989 and are still not recognised by the Kennel Club.

These days, Appenzellers are primarily kept as companions and they excel in agility and obedience competitions.

Appenzeller Sennenhunde breed characteristics

The Appenzeller Sennenhunde is a medium-sized dog with a heavy, molosser-type build and a distinctive tricolour coat. Ears are small, triangular and set high. They hang down against the dog's cheeks.

Appenzellers are loyal dogs which are eager to please. They are extremely active and highly intelligent. They are fun loving but can be wary of strangers and may nip at children’s heels as if herding livestock.

  • Lifespan: 12-17 years
  • Height: up to 56cm
  • Weight: up to 32kg
  • Molosser-type
  • Tricolour coat
  • Small triangular ears
  • Intelligent
  • Active
  • Wary of strangers
  • Good guard dogs
  • Tendency to bark

Health issues with the Appenzeller Sennenhunde

Appenzellers are not known to suffer from any hereditary conditions.

What is the Appenzeller Sennenhunde bred for?

This breed was originally used to herd livestock, but the dogs are now popular as pets.

What sort of owners does the Appenzeller Sennenhunde suit?

Appenzellers are extremely active dogs which relish life in the great outdoors. They are loyal and high spirited but can be suspicious of people they don’t know. They are best suited to rural life and active owners who have the time to give them the exercise that they need. They are a poor choice for urban life or for those who live in apartments. Appenzellers are very good with children but can easily knock over toddlers. They are courageous dogs which are very protective of their owners and they can bark excessively.


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