The Appenzeller Sennenhund Breed is All You Need to Know.

In his home country of Switzerland, his intelligence, skill, listening, and learning abilities enabled him to work with the police as a rescue dog.

The Appenzeller Sennenhund Breed is All You Need to Know.

Appenzeller Sennenhund (Alpine Shepherd) is a herding, guarding and stationary dog mainly used for herding livestock. Nowadays, it is also a good family dog for sporty owners. Nimble and muscular, it has a lively and confident character, is very wary of strangers, and is receptive and affectionate with its owners.

Appenzeller Sennenhund breed. General description

Straight from the Swiss Alps comes the Appenzeller sennenhund. This medium-sized breed may look like a smaller, compact Bernese mountain dog, which is also part of the Sachsenhund family, but this breed has its characteristics. Today, the Appenzeller sennenhund is a relatively rare breed in North America but is more commonly found in Switzerland and Europe.

To better understand the Appenzeller Sennenhund breed, one must first understand the breed’s name. The term ‘Senn‘ is a Swiss reference to shepherds, while Appenzell is a region of Switzerland. Thus, the Sennenhunds are a group of dog breeds widely used by Swiss shepherds.

Appearance and Attributes of the Appenzeller Sennenhund breed

The Appenzeller Sennenhund has a distinct black or brown appearance and symmetrical markings. They must have white and rust markings with rust between white and black or brown. They have a double coat with a tight, thick, shiny topcoat.

Their undercoat is also thick but can be black, brown or grey. The undercoat should never be visible through the overcoat. The coat should be straight without curls or waves; there may be a slight waviness on the back and at the withers, but this is not desirable.

The Appenzeller Sennenhund is considered a medium-sized dog but has a heavy build. Their ears are small and triangular and hang to the dog’s cheeks. They should have small, alert eyes and a curled tail.

Physical characteristics permitted by the standard:

  • Height: 50 to 58 cm
  • Weight: 25 to 33 kg
  • Longevity: 12 to 15 years
  • Colours: white and rust between white and black or brown.
  • Fur: average, dense
  • Coat: two-tone, double coat, shorter coat
Appearance and Attributes of the Appenzeller Sennenhund breed.
She comes from the Swiss district of Appenzell and has a big heart. It attaches itself unconditionally to man, from whom it never wants to detach itself. It is a very versatile dog for work, guarding and companionship.

Price and maintenance Appenzeller Sennenhund breed

The average purchase price of an Appenzeller Sennenhund puppy is £1500 to £2500. However, the price can vary depending on the breeder, the puppy’s lineage, and the demand for the breed. Some Appenzeller Sennenhund puppies can sell for as much as £ 5,000.

If you are interested in purchasing an Appenzeller Sennenhund, it is essential to do your research and find a reputable breeder. It would be best if you also were prepared to provide your new puppy with a loving home and plenty of exercise.

Although the Appenzeller Sennenhund has a shorter coat, it is a double coat and will shed several times a year. It will need weekly brushing when it is not shedding, but it must be brushed daily when shedding starts. Appenzeller Sennenhunds does not shed excessively and is hypoallergenic.

Dogs with floppy ears, such as the Appenzeller Sennenhund, will be more prone to ear infections and must often clean their ears. Clean and dry ears help prevent ear infections. In addition, nails should be trimmed every two to three weeks.

Baths will be needed once a month when they work on the farm and are with the livestock. The Appenzeller Sennenhund requires a lot of exercise and is not necessarily the best choice for suburban or city life. They prefer to be outdoors and work as herding dogs.

Pros and cons of the Appenzeller Sennenhund breed

Top 5 characteristics:

  • Very intelligent and a quick learner
  • Vigorous breed with few health problems
  • Easily adaptable to new activities for work or play
  • An excellent watchdog, An Appenzeller has a loud bark and is always alert for strangers on the property.
  • A long life

The five most problematic characteristics:

  • Very suspicious towards strangers
  • Does not tolerate heat particularly well
  • Need a Lot of exercises
  • A loud bark
  • Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough

Character of Appenzeller Sennenhund breed

He is agile and persistent and always likes to be on the move. Lying on all fours and lazily lying down? This is nothing for the Appenzeller Sennenhund.

Originally bred exclusively as a working dog for Swiss farmers and shepherds, this breed naturally has an impressive willingness to work. Its thirst for activity, endurance and desire to learn to predestine it for herding and driving tasks make it a versatile working dog. It is, therefore, suitable for training as an avalanche and medical dog and a guide dog for blind people.

Its incorruptible guarding instinct, loyalty, and courage make it a popular watchdog and protection dog. The attentive observer is a reliable guardian of the house and yard who likes to show his vigilance with loud barks.

So, the Appenzeller Sennenhund is undoubtedly not a soft contemporary. The typically light-coloured organ is distinctive for its breed, whether for guarding, play or simply for love and enthusiasm. However, its explicit joy in barking can be suppressed with consistent education to the desired degree. After all, the Appenzeller is considered very willing to learn and obedient.

He is loyal to his master and always reliably completes his assigned tasks. It is intelligent and has an extraordinary power of observation. The empathic dog can quickly assess its caregiver’s gestures and facial expressions and react accordingly. Despite his temperament, he is charming and has a close relationship with his owner.

But he is also very friendly and cheerful when dealing with other family members. The lively dog loves to play and run around with children – however, it can happen that young dogs, in particular, ‘pinch’ the legs of their playmates out of glee and sheer joy, which is meant in a friendly way but is still undesirable. Nevertheless, cohabitation with an Appenzeller usually proceeds smoothly and harmoniously with the right mixture of love and consistency.

The Swiss breed dog also gets along well with other pets. The guard dog initially treats strangers with a certain timidity but does not act aggressively or bite, although it would not hesitate to defend its ‘protégés’ in real danger. The Appenzeller Sennenhund is the ideal companion dog for sporting families who appreciate its incorruptible guard instinct, loyalty and robustness.

Appenzeller Sennenhund breed appearance

This dog breed’s confident nature and lively temperament can be seen immediately. His agile movements and intelligent facial expression quickly reveal who you are dealing with here. At the latest, when his bright and powerful howl sounds, he can be sure of the respect of his counterpart.

But the Appenzeller Sennenhund, initially bred less for beauty than for practicality, does not even need to hide from the outside world. On the contrary, the medium-sized dog, with an almost square build, is well-proportioned.

Its muscular and agile body reaches a height of 52-58 cm withers in males. Females are slightly smaller, with a size of 50 to 54 cm. The unspecified weight ranges from 25 to 32 kg.

The head, harmoniously proportioned to the body, is slightly wedge-shaped, with a flat forehead and a less pronounced stop. The triangular ears are set high and lie flat when at rest. When alert, they are raised at the base and form a triangle with the head.

The small almond-shaped eyes are darker to lighter brown and are slightly oblique. Beneath the robust and short neck is the broad and relatively deep thorax with a pale front part of the chest. Characteristic is the densely hairy tail, carried curled on the line of the back and for this reason called ‘antler’.

The colouring of its coat is as symmetrical as its physique. The short-haired coat is black with uniform white and reddish-brown patches. A clear white blaze runs from the top of the head to the muzzle and from the chin to the chest. The paws and the tip of the tail are also white.

In addition to the typical black, Havana brown is also permitted as a base colour. The rugged, short coat is glossy and offers the Swiss Alpine Shepherd Dog reliable protection from rain, wind and cold with its thick undercoat.

History of the Appenzeller Sennenhund breed

History of the Appenzeller Sennenhund breed
Lively and affectionate, with a very determined, self-confident, and fearless character, the Appenzell Sennenhund is an incorruptible guardian.

The nature and appearance of the mountain dog are ideally suited to the conditions of its region of origin. As its name suggests, it comes from the Swiss Alps and, together with the farming economy, has become a perfect handler and keeper of livestock.

Although the breed’s exact origin is unknown, its ancestors are believed to be in the Roman war dogs that accompanied the Romans on their crusades through the Alps. The first breeders of the breed were farmers from the Appenzell region, who kept and bred the dogs primarily for their utility. Even today, Appenzell cattle dogs are successfully used as herding and guard dogs on farms.

Its versatility is very pronounced; some subjects are used as avalanche and disaster dogs in several European countries.

Their extraordinary versatility as working dogs was first described in 1853 in ‘Animal Life of the Alps‘. The first promoter of the breed was the Swiss master forester Max Sieber, who presented the first breed identifications for the Appenzeller Sennenhund to the Swiss Society of Cynology (SKG) at the end of the 19th century.

In 1898, eight Appenzeller dogs were presented for the first time in the new ‘Mountain Dog’ class at an international dog show. The first breed club was founded in 1906 at the suggestion of the Zurich geologist and cynologist Prof. Albert Heim, who was very committed to the Swiss Bovars, particularly the Appenzell Mountain Dog.

The ‘Club Appenzeller Sennenhunde‘ aimed to promote targeted pure breeding of the breed, maintaining and promoting the naturalness of farm dogs. In 1914, Heim established the first valid breed standard.

Today, the Appenzeller Sennenhund is an independent dog breed recognised by the FCI. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale lists the species at number 46 in Group 2, ‘Pinscher and Schnauzer dogs, Molossoids and Swiss Bovars’ and Section 3 ‘, Swiss Shepherd Dogs’. The Swiss Bovarians group comprises the Appenzell Mountain Dog, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, and Entlebuch Mountain Dog.

Unlike the Bernese, the Appenzeller Sennenhund is still a rare dog breed with a relatively small breeding base. According to the VDH, only 60 to 70 puppies are born yearly in Germany. Nevertheless, the Swiss foundation ProSpecieRara, which has set itself the task of protecting the biodiversity of rare plants and animals and preserving their naturalness, has adopted the Appenzeller Sennenhund.

Breeding and health of the Appenzell Sennenhund breed

The relatively small breeding base of the Appenzell Sennenhund and the manageable number of suitable breeding animals require very responsible and careful breeding to prevent the hereditary diseases typical of the breed. As a result, only about 10% of those registered between 1963 and 2012 were reported as breeding dogs in the ‘Club Appenzeller Sennenhunde’.

Responsible and reputable breeders are not concerned with obtaining as many puppies as possible and selling them to the highest bidder. Instead, the focus is on health and the preservation of the excellent hereditary characteristics of this purebred dog. Comprehensive examinations of parents and puppies and strict breeding guidelines aim to reduce the risk of diseases.

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The most common breed-specific diseases include joint problems (hip dysplasia (HD), elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis), eye diseases (cataracts), heart defects and, with increasing age, skin problems such as skin tumours.

The numerous tests for these diseases cost the breeder a lot of money. Together with the costs for association membership, licensing, bitch mating, travel expenses, food, vet, micro-chipping and much more, the costs are often only covered by the sale price.

However, this price should be worth it for a healthy dog with a life expectancy of 15 years, giving you and your family joy and loyalty for a long time.

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Feeding the Appenzeller Sennenhund

Of course, the health of the Appenzeller Sennenhund is not only in the hands of the breeder. Although it starts here, its subsequent owners are responsible for its preservation. Healthy puppies with good genetic material are generally robust dogs that need an annual check-up at the vet, where the necessary vaccinations are carried out and refreshed.

Whether your dog remains lean and active and likes to move like its ancestors, the shepherd dogs of the Appenzell farmers largely determine your four-legged friend’s diet. Concerning its size, an Appenzell Mountain Dog needs a relatively small amount of food. However, too rich or high-energy food not only leads to obesity but can also have serious consequences, especially in dogs that are still growing.

Inadequate protein, minerals and vitamin intake can lead to accelerated growth, leading to joint or muscle problems and diseases of the internal organs. Signs of an overweight dog are, in addition to a lack of enthusiasm for movement, when pairs of ribs and hip bumps can no longer be easily perceived. Smaller meals with a high-quality feed slow down the growth rate and thus have a positive effect on bones, muscles and organs.

This does not mean you should starve your four-legged friend because even active Appenzellers should not be underfed. However, the food must cover the daily energy requirements and provide the dog with the necessary nutrients, minerals and vitamins. In addition to the required energy and protein content, the food’s calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin D 3 content must also be considered. It is best to ask your breeder or vet for a complete diet plan and get advice on the most appropriate feed for your Appenzeller.

Breeding, care and education of the Appenzeller Sennenhund breed

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Breeding, care and education of the Appenzeller Sennenhund breed
Exercise does a lot to keep the Appenzeller happy and healthy. These athletic animals are suitable for dog sports and excellent partners for hiking and backpacking.

Lots of exercise with your Appenzeller Sennenhund is essential to avoid being overweight. Initially a working dog, energetic and quick to herd large numbers of sheep or cows over large areas, it requires enormous exercise and training.

The Appenzeller Sennenhund is not a loafing dog! On the contrary, its lively and persistent temperament requires a very sporty owner who does more than the obligatory daily walks with his four-legged friend. As a substitute for herding, dog sports are ideal for agility. But the mountain dog also enjoys cycling or so-called dog trekking (long walks with a dog).

Compared to the exercise required, grooming your pet takes up very little space. An occasional brushing of short hairs is sufficient.

Training this willing dog breed is also very easy if your dog is physically and mentally committed. Thanks to its empathy, quick understanding, and willingness to learn, the Appenzeller Sennenhund is very quickly successful in training. Like all dogs, however, he also needs a certain rigour and constancy in training.

To practise specific rules of conduct and, for example, to moderate the innate tendency to bark at an early stage, your goals and, thus, your commands must be clear, and you must repeat them frequently. Also, visiting a dog school is helpful in many cases. However, the most important thing for a harmonious coexistence between dog and man is patience, mutual trust and mutual joy.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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