Appenzeller Sennenhund

Breed Summary

The Appenzeller Sennenhund is a medium-sized dog. Like the other Sennenhunds, the Appenzeller Sennenhund has a heavy, molosser-like build and a distinctive tricolor coat. The breed’s 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 walleye, kinked tail, a single coat, and a coat that is not tricolor.

Country of Origin: Switzerland

AKC Breed Popularity:

AKC Classification: Foundation Stock Service

UKC Classification: Guardian Dog

Exercise Requirements: 40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 18-20 inches; Male: 20-22 inches

Weight: Female: 48-70 lbs.; Male: 48-70 lbs.

Physical traits: Medium-sized, Strong, Heavy

Coat: Length: Medium

Characteristics: Dense

Colors: Red tricolor, Black tricolor

Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Personality traits/Temperament: Agile, Versatile, Lively

Energy Level: Very energetic

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: Low

Tendency to Dig: Moderate

Social/Attention Needs: High

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years


As a result of careful and regulated breeding, Appenzellers are an extremely healthy breed with little to no undesirable health issues.


The Appenzeller Sennenhund should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Add a high quality multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.


The Appenzeller is a high-spirited dog that is accomplished and reliable. Early socialization and puppy obedience are crucial. They are highly intelligent and need a fair but firm “leader”. The Appenzeller does not react well to harsh handling, but the owner/trainer must be firm, respectful, and most of all, consistent in their training. This breed is watchful and protective of his territory, home, and people. It is very important to socialize the Appenzeller with people, dogs, and other animals early on, and expose him to a variety of surroundings and situations. While not a breed for everyone, particularly the first-time or inexperienced dog owner, a well-trained Appenzeller is a loyal and loving companion.


The Appenzeller is a herding/working breed with boundless energy. They are highly intelligent and need a job to do. Early socialization is necessary, and training at an early age is crucial. They are a strong, powerful breed with incredible speed and need plenty of room to run. Use paw balm to protect their paws. This is not a breed that thrives in a busy urban environment or in the suburbs unless he has lots of activity, nor is it a breed for kenneling. He prefers to be outside, where his strong herding and guarding instincts and his bond with his territory and his “people” keep him from running off.

Fun Fact

Blass is the nickname of Appenzellers because of the white blaze they have on their foreheads.


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