Appenzell Cattle Dog
Other names: Appenzeller, Appenzell Cattle Dog, Appenzeller Mountain Dog, Appenzeller Sennenhund
The Appenzeller Sennenhund is a rare breed of dog native to the Swiss Alps. The name refers to the ‘Senn’ herders and farmers of a region of Switzerland called Appenzell. The breed is said to be so loyal to its herd that it would give its life in defence of an attack by a predator.
Key facts about the Appenzell Cattle Dog
Life expectancy :
Temperament :Playful Intelligent
Origins and history
First records of the Sennenhund date back only to around 1850 but breed experts have opined that the dog may be related to ancient breeds of central European mountain dogs that existed thousands of years ago. Since the Victorian era Sennenhunds have been used by the Swiss to herd and guard livestock, but in the last fifty years their popularity as a worldwide companion pet has risen.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
Section 3 : Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
Physical characteristics of the Appenzell Cattle Dog
Female : Between 20 and 21 in
Male : Between 20 and 22 in
Female : Between 44 and 55 lb
Male : Between 44 and 55 lb
Basic colours most often seen of this dog are black, ‘Havana’ brown, reddish-brown and white in a tricolour pattern.
Type of coat
Topcoat thick and shiny; undercoat thick and soft. It is the undercoat that affords the dog’s visible colours. The coat is short.
Various shades of brown.
A well-built and muscular dog with tricolour markings all across its abundant shiny coat. Well-balanced and agile, the dog’s best virtues have been selectively bred: to work, to guard and to herd. Its expression has been called ‘cheeky’.
Good to know
The Appenzeller Sennenhund is a very intelligent dog that is quick to learn both good and bad habits. The dog must be socialised from an early age to prevent its developing antisocial habits in later life.
The Sennenhund is a self-assured, affectionate and even-tempered dog.
This dog, if trained and socialised well, is happy and playful. It enjoys playtime and will seek attention.
This is a calm and confident dog. It does not get overly excited or agitated.
The Sennenhund is extremely intelligent. It is best occupied by new tasks and lessons centred on obedience.
Sennenhunds are immensely territorial and fearless, but they are not generally bred to hunt and kill.
Fearful / wary of strangers
The Sennenhund is fearless but, ironically, painfully shy around strangers. It takes these dogs quite a while to trust people who aren’t already in their ‘circle’.
This is a wilful dog that will test the boundaries of the household’s hierarchy whenever it can.
Behaviour of the Appenzell Cattle Dog
The Sennenhund tolerates a degree of solitude.
Easy to train / obedience
This is a dog that is very quick to learn. However, training of this dog must be done with a degree of confidence to counter the Sennenhund’s efforts to dominate proceedings.
The Sennenhund readily barks an alert but it will be quiet when told to be.
Tendency to run away
A well-trained Sennenhund will respond to your recall command without hesitation.