One of the Swiss Mountain dogs that won the hearts of millions is the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed. These furry buddies have a unique personality and demeanor that sets them apart from other breeds. 

In this 5-minute read, we will explore everything you need to know about this fascinating breed. From their traits to daily needs- we will prepare you with all the information!


Height20-22 inches
Weight49-71 lbs
Life span12-14 years
Exercise needs1 to 2 hours daily
TemperamentIntelligent, Reserved, Bark a lot
GroomingHigh maintenance
OriginAppenzell region, Switzerland

Origin of the Appenzeller Sennenhund

A mountain dog who is not only admired for its distinctive appearance but also its skills and persona— the Appenzeller Sennenhund. This dog breed originated from the Appenzell region, Switzerland. They are one of the four Swiss mountain dogs. These dogs share ancestry with the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

In their early lives, Appenzeller Sennenhunds were used on farms as working dogs. Not only did they protect the livestock, but they also helped to pull carts in common markets. It was obvious that people recognized their versatility and abilities! Sooner or later, these dogs were admired for their flexibility and adaptability.  

Appearance of the Appenzeller Sennenhund

This Swiss dog breed has physical characteristics that set it apart from other breeds. Here is all that you need to know about the appearance of the Appenzeller Sennenhund:

1. Size and body

This medium to large dog will be the perfect couch partner for you. This dog breed stands at 20-22 inches tall while weighing about 49-71 pounds. The females are slightly smaller than the males. These dogs sometimes look like teddy dogs and sometimes muscly, agile, and strong-built. 

2. Coat

One of the most distinguishing features of this breed is its tricolored coat. The Appenzeller Sennenhunds have double coat that protects them from harsh weather conditions. The inner coat is warm and soft, while the outer coat is dense and harsh. Moreover, the coat has three colors—black, tan, and white.  

3. Other features

These dogs also have special features like triangular ears and rust-colored markings. These markings are on their paws, tails, and chests. Rest assured, the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed has a well-balanced body structure. Also, their structure suits their living conditions and challenges.

Personality and Temperament

What if you wanted a gentle, sweet dog but instead got a strong, aggressive guard dog? It wouldn’t be a match, right? So, to avoid that, here are the personality traits of the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed:

1. Barckitects!

These barking companions are known for their intelligence and creativity. Their independent thinking skills really make them one-of-a-kind breeds. Due to their herding background, the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed is quick in finding solutions (or finding problems for you!)

2. Energy bombs

The Appenzeller Sennenhunds are super energetic and robust. It can be challenging to tire these dogs down as they are always up for running errands or doing exercises. Hence, you will need to strategize their training sessions. You can plan in a way so that you tire them enough that they take a nap and let you have one, too!

3. Reserved

Being watchdogs, the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed is not very friendly with strangers. Such dog behavior can also be stemmed from their herding history. So, if you have new faces around in the house, these dogs may not be so polite to them. Instead, you can expect a lot of sniffing and barking. 

4. Affectionate

These furry buddies are known for their loving nature. They are a perfect fit for homes with children around, as Appenzeller Sennenhunds loves to spend time outdoors and play games. Also, these dogs can make deep emotional bonds with their owners and human families. 

5. Super vocal

Last but not least, even after being quite reserved, these dogs can be pretty expressive! Especially in front of the people they know. You may find them roaming around, barking at the birds and flies, or even barking at random strangers.  

If you are looking for a comedian in your house, Appenzeller Sennenhunds will not disappoint you!
appenzeller sennenhund looking over the mountains

Grooming Needs of the Appenzeller Sennenhund

The Appenzeller Sennenhund dog is definitely a high-maintenance breed! Their thick fur requires a lot of regular grooming to keep their hygiene at its best. Here are the grooming essentials:

1. Brushing

As these furry pooches have thick and dense fur coats, they will shed like crazy, too! You cannot control the shedding! But you can protect your couch and clothes from being covered in their fur. How? By simply brushing Appenzeller Sennenhunds at least 3-4 times a week. This will help you remove all the loose fur and will prevent allergens from spreading. 

2. Bathing

Another grooming essential has to be bathing! You should bathe the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed at least once a month or two. This will help you to keep their thick coat clean and free of any dirt. We recommend only using dog supplies like dog-friendly shampoo, conditioner, and soaps. This will help to keep your dog’s natural oils and prevent skin infections. 

3. Cleaning and hygiene

Lastly, it is also essential to maintain the overall hygiene of dogs. This includes cleaning ear wax, debris, and eye boogers or getting regular dental checkups. Also, trimming off the long nails is super important to keep your dog’s paws clean. 

Exercise and Training Needs

To keep the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed fit and in their best selves- you will need to assign at 1-2 hours to training every day. Here are some things you should know about training them:

1. Consistency and patience

Being consistent and patient is the key! When you train the Appenzeller Sennenhunds, you cannot use harsh training methods. You can start with walking and leash training. However, you should never pull too hard on the leash. Be very gentle yet strict enough to get them off their couch. 

2. Early socialization

The Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed can be pretty reserved and have low confidence. This can happen especially if early socialization training is not given. Hence, familiarize them with the neighborhood and people around. 

3. Agility training

Being medium to large dogs, they have big muscles that need physical exercise. Now, because they can’t do pushups, what can they do? Running, agility classes, and such physical training will keep them fit and healthy.

Final Thoughts

The Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed might not be suitable for first-time dog owners. It is because it can be a high-maintenance breed. They need rigorous training and a lot of patience to start with.  However, if you are an experienced dog owner or a trainer, they can be great for you! If you are a training freak, you can definitely add this dog to your top 5 dogs who would love to hit the gym with you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Appenzeller Sennenhund easy to train?

Yes! If you use the proper training techniques and are an experienced dog trainer, the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed will be super easy to train. They have high energy levels, and they love to play outdoors. We recommend that you start their early training instead of delaying it.

What is the life expectancy of an Appenzeller Sennenhund?

The life expectancy of the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed is 12- 14 years. It depends on multiple factors like nutrition, grooming, training, or underlying common health issues. So if your dog is free of common health problems like obesity or hip dysplasia, and you fill their dirty, hygiene, and training needs, you can increase your dog’s life span.

Do Appenzeller Sennenhund bark a lot?

The Appenzeller Sennenhunds are known for their vocal behavior. They do bark a lot, especially when they see strangers passing by. This stems from their history of herding dogs and protecting their owners. If you want a dog breed that barks less, you can read about Azawakhs and Basenjis.

How much exercise does an Appenzeller Sennenhund need?

You should give Appenzeller Sennenhunds at least 1- 2 hours of exercise per day. This should include mental stimulation, physical exercises, and behavioral training. A routine and consistency will ensure your dog’s best health.

Are Appenzeller Sennenhund aggressive?

Not really! The Appenzeller Sennenhunds are admired for their affectionate nature. However, these canine buddies can get aggressive if they sense a threat, or excessive aggression can also be a sign of behavior problems. You can manage your dog’s anger issues with proper socialization training and positive reinforcement.

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