Appenzeller Sennenhunde, or Appenzeller, is one of four related Swiss breeds. The other three are the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog, and the Entlebucher. The breed was and still is, a livestock guardian, draft dog, and versatile farm dog.
Appenzeller Sennenhunde is a medium to large dog, standing 19 to 23 inches tall and weighing between 50 and 60 pounds. He has a broad head, small dark eyes, and dropped ears. His body is powerful, with a deep chest and well-muscled shoulders. The tail is carried over the back. The short coat is always tricolored—black with rust and white markings.
Grooming the Appenzeller Sennenhunde breed is not difficult. A twice-weekly brushing will suffice. This is an active working breed that needs exercise every day. A long morning and evening walk is good, as is a long, slow jog alongside a bicycle. Appenzeller Sennenhunde Puppies can be very playful, but adults can sometimes be too serious for games. Without daily exercise, the Appenzeller is prone to finding something to do to amuse himself, and you may not like what he does. The breed can be wary of strangers, so early socialization is important.
Training is also essential. As a working breed, Appenzellers need guidance and rules; otherwise, they will make their own. Luckily, the breed is easily trained and thrives on training that is fun and not too repetitive. This breed is also a good choice for many canine sports; he is happy, athletic, and desires to do things with you. Obedience competition, herding trials, agility trials, and carting are all good activities for this breed.
Appenzeller Sennenhunde is not a city dog; he does best in a place where he can have a nice yard (or farm) to play and work. He is affectionate with family, protective of his home, and good with children who treat him well. He can also be good with other pets, although interactions should be supervised. There are few health concerns—hip dysplasia is one.
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Steady and good-natured, yet bold and athletic, the Appenzeller Sennenhunde (Appenzeller Mountain Dog ) enjoys romping and roughhousing.
Pulling a cart or sled, herding, agility, fetching balls, playing Frisbee, and weight pulling are productive outlets for his boundless energy.
This intelligent breed likes to keep busy and needs to have something to do. He is not an apartment dog.
Appenzeller Mountain Dogs bond closely with their family and seek lots of attention. Their determination to jump up into your face or shove their body against your leg can be disconcerting to those who are not accustomed to an enthusiastic, vigorous dog. He likes children, but is likely to bowl over little ones.
Appenzellers make vigilant watchdogs and will sound off in a loud, deep voice to announce visitors – or simply to let you know that your neighbor has stepped outdoors.
Though polite with guests, the Appenzeller is the wariest of the Swiss mountain dogs. Early and ongoing socialization is essential to develop his stable, self-assured temperament.
The Appenzeller Mountain Dog can be dominant and pushy — necessary traits for working with unruly cattle, but challenging for nonassertive owners to handle. During adolescence, his hormones will kick in and he may start to test his limits.
Obedience training should start early. Heeling is an especially important lesson, for these powerful dogs can literally pull you off your feet.