Appenzeller Sennenhund Dog: Characteristics, Temperament, Lifespan

The Appenzeller Sennenhund dog is a medium sized breed of dog. The name Sennenhund refers to people called Senn, herders in the Appenzell region of Switzerland. The breed is also known as Appenzeller Cattle Dog, Appenzeller Mountain Dog and simply as Appenzeller.

The Appenzeller Sennenhund dog breed was originated from Switzerland. It is one of the four regional breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps.

One writer believes that the Sennenhund type dogs existed in antiquity or descended from “cattle dogs left there by the Romans”. The first breed club for this breed was founded and the stud book for the breed started in 1906 by Albert Heim and others, who wrote the first breed standard in 1916.

An early reference to the breed’s predecessors was made in an 1853 book, Tierleben der Alpenwelt (Animal Life in the Alps), referring to dogs in the Appenzell region. The Appenzeller Sennenhund was only recognised internationally as a separate breed in 1989.

The Appenzeller Sennenhund dog was originally kept primarily as a cattle-herding dog and a flock guardian. It was also used as a draft dog and general farm dog. The breed also was known for its affinity to both herd and guard with such devotion that they would give their lives to protect their charges.

Today, the breed is primarily kept as companions, and excels in agility/flyball competitions, obedience competitions, and Schutzhund. They are also still used in many places as working cattle dogs even now. They are highly intelligent and learn quickly.[1]

Appenzeller Sennenhund Dog Characteristics

The Appenzeller Sennenhund is a medium sized dog. Like the other Sennenhunds, the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog has a heavy, molosser-like build and a distinctive tricolor coat.

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Their ears are small and triangular, set high and hanging down against the dog’s cheeks, similar to a button ear. Faults in the breed’s appearance include wall eye, kinked tail, a single coat, and a coat that is not tricolor.

Average height of the mature males is between 20 and 22 inches at the withers, and between 20 and 21 inches for the females. Average live body weight of the mature dogs is between 22 and 32 kg.

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Temperament

The Appenzeller Sennenhund dogs are very active working dogs, like all other medium to large size dogs. They should be well socialized early in life with other dogs and people and provided with regular activity and training if it is to be safely kept as a pet.

If trained properly, the Appenzeller Sennenhund dogs bond closely with their owners and like to seek for attention.

As a result of careful regulated breeding, the Appenzeller breed as a whole is an extremely healthy breed, though individual genetic lines vary.

According to the breed standard, the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog is lively, high spirited, athletic and suspicious of strangers. But these dogs are not recommended as an apartment dog, mainly due to their size and high energy levels.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog is between 13 and 17 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

An Appenzeller Sennenhund dog should be given a diet formulated for a medium size dog with moderate or high energy levels. You can consult with your vet for better recommendations.

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Caring

Taking good care of your animals is very important for raising Appenzeller Sennenhund dogs. Today, these dogs are known for being a versatile working and family dog who is smart, cheerful, self-assured, reliable and fearless.

Their slight wariness around strangers and tendency to bark makes them a good watchdog. But they need lots of early socialization so they don’t become overly suspicious. And because of their barkiness, they are not the best dog if you have nearby neighbors.

He’s a great friend of children, but may nip at their heels as if they were livestock to be herded; younger Appenzellers are big and exuberant enough to accidentally knock over small kids.

They have an easy-care coat that needs only regular brushing to stay in good shape, but Appenzellers do shed.

Health

The Appenzeller Sennenhund dogs are generally healthy. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions. Always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed Name Appenzeller Sennenhund
Other Names Appenzeller Cattle Dog, Appenzeller Mountain Dog and simply as Appenzeller
Breed Size Medium
Height 20 to 22 inches at the withers for males and 20 to 21 inches for females
Weight Between 22 and 32 kg
Good as pets Yes
Climate Tolerance All climates
Color Tricolor
Lifespan Between 13 and 17 years
Good for children Yes
Rarity Common
Country of Origin Switzerland