Appenzeller Mountain Dog Breed: Facts, Traits, Character and Look

Appenzeller Mountain Dog Breed_ Facts, Traits, Character and Look

An Appenzeller Sennenhund is one of four breeds that make up the Swiss-born Sennenhund dog species. They go by various names, including Appenzeller Mountain Dog, Swiss Mountain Dog, Appenzell Cattle Dog, Entlebucher Sennenhund, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, or Appenzeller. They were originally bred as herding and protecting dogs for cattle in the Swiss mountains, and the American Kennel Club categorizes them as herding dogs. Appenzeller Sennenhund dogs also serve as rescue animals in the Swiss Alps. 

Appenzellers are also consciously bred under managed care for adoption in the United States of America and various parts of Europe. They are bright, affectionate canines with a strong instinct to protect their territory. An Appenzeller Mountain Dog has a high energy level that needs engagement in activities, lest it gets bored and destructive. So the breed displays typical characteristics of cattle dogs. They are highly intelligent working dogs that can bond closely with family but remain suspicious of strangers.

The Appenzeller dog breed achieves sexual maturity before it turns one year old. But it is common for professional breeders to wait until the second year to begin breeding. The female delivers four to eight pups after a 60 day pregnancy period. The Appenzeller’s lifespan is 9 to 12 years. The average weight of males and females is 60 pounds with only about two inches difference in their heights. The males’ average height is 22.5 inches, and the females stand 19.5 inches in the withers.

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What is the History of the Appenzeller Mountain Dog?

As far back as 1853, the Appenzell Cattle Dogs were used to guard the homestead and herd cattle in his native region of Appenzell, Switzerland. They were first described as high-pitch barking, short-haired, multi-colored cattle dogs of a Spitz type. The breed was recognized as a separate breed by the Swiss Cynological Society in 1898, after the promotion of the breed by Max Siber, a breed promoter.

Professor Dr. Albert Heim, an admirer and committed Swiss Cattle Dog fancier, established the Appenzeller Sennenhund Club in 1906 to preserve and promote the breed. Not until 1914 did Dr. Heim set up the first valid breed standard with the compulsory registration of puppies in the Appenzeller Dog Stud Book.

Today, the breed can be seen all over Switzerland and in other parts of Europe. Though considered rare, numbers of Appenzellers are slowly increasing in North America. The breeding stock is still very limited, and it is only through careful and responsible breeding that it will be possible to establish and consolidate its natural and outstanding hereditary qualities.

What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Appenzeller Mountain Dogs?

Appenzeller Mountain dogs make excellent pets. Their high energy and intelligence make training them easy. To keep up with the demands of their jobs, Appenzellers need frequent physical activity, no less than an hour a day. The Appenzeller Sennenhund is also an affectionate canine that craves human interaction, and solitude does not suit them. Swiss Mountain Dogs and children do well together, and they are effective watchdogs.

Physical traits of the medium-sized Appenzell include a muscular, medium-sized frame covered in short, glossy double coats that are usually black or Havana brown and white with rust-colored patches between the black/brown and white. Grooming of an Appenzeller Sennenhund is hassle-free, and it only needs to be brushed once a week as it does not shed too much hair.

They have broad, flat heads with tapered muzzles, hanging ears, and small, dark eyes. Their thick tails are usually curled over the back. The average weight of males and females is 60 pounds with only about two inches difference in their heights. The males’ average height is 22.5 inches, and the females stand 19.5 inches in the withers.

Appenzeller Mountain Dogs 

Characteristics

Temperament

Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are very intelligent and highly active, tending to be stubborn and challenging to train. Appenzeller dogs bond very closely with their human families and take their roles as protective guardians seriously. 

Due to their protective instincts, they regard strangers with suspicion and watch their owners closely when they interact with strangers. However, Appenzellers can overreact without adequate socialization when encountering unfamiliar people or strange dogs.

Adaptability Level

Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are okay with occasional changes in their routine. Changes in playtime and bedtime are also acceptable, so is relocation to a different home, as long as they are not removed from the love of their families and have ample space for playtime and running to spend excess energy. 

The Appenzeller Mountain Dog does not do good in hot climates. Appenzeller Mountain Dogs have thick double coats to keep them warm, but it will cause them to overheat in places where hot weather lasts more than a couple of days at a time. 

Sensitivity Level

Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are okay with occasional changes in their routine. Changes in playtime and bedtime are also acceptable, so is relocation to a different home, as long as they are not removed from the love of their families and have ample space for playtime and running to spend excess energy. 

The Appenzeller Mountain Dog does not do good in hot climates. Appenzeller Mountain Dogs have thick double coats to keep them warm, but it will cause them to overheat in places where hot weather lasts more than a couple of days at a time.

Affection Level

Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are highly affectionate dogs that like involvement in the family’s life. This breed isn’t considered as aloof as many other working dogs. Appenzellers should not be left alone for long periods. Because of their high intelligence and strong bond with their family, they can become easily bored and develop separation anxiety. It can lead to problem behaviors such as excessive barking, destructive chewing, and other anxiety-related issues.

Overall Friendliness

Appenzeller dogs can be adorable pets, especially when introduced early into a household. They are loyal dogs that bond easily with family. So they can quickly become safe and friendly companions for little children. Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are also naturally suspicious of strangers, making them excellent watchdogs to guard your property. They are happiest when they get loads of exercise. For this, they tend to run around in excitement, wagging their tails with abandon, as their small ears flop adorably down their cheeks.

Kid-Friendly 

Appenzeller Mountain Dogs adore kids and love to play, although they may fall into some herding habits if not adequately trained and socialized. The Appenzellers have innate herding instincts. Herding cattle involves a certain amount of nipping at heels, which kids would not welcome, even with no intention to cause hurt. Socialize and teach your dog early, and you’ll have a loving, furry family member.

Children should always be supervised with dogs, even when they are family, and they should be trained on how to interact with animals to avoid incidents. Socializing Appenzeller Mountain Dogs early and teaching them to interact with new people and animals will help, and the earlier training begins, the better.

Pet-Friendly

Bred as working farm dogs, Appenzeller Sennenhundes usually get along well with various other animals. They do well with other dogs and cats, although they should be socialized with them early for the most harmonious relationships. And should you happen to live on a farm, Appenzellers will fit right in with cows, goats, sheep, and other livestock. They will likely try to follow their instincts and herd the livestock, which the cows may not appreciate.

Exercise Needs

The Appenzeller Sennenhund is a highly energetic breed. They were initially bred to work and run on farms all day, and their exercise requirements reflect that heritage. If you live in an apartment or a crowded city, getting the Appenzeller as much exercise as they need may be challenging. The Appenzeller Sennenhund needs vigorous daily exercise unless you live somewhere with a lot of space for them to roam and run. Another thing to remember is that Appenzellers will not do well if they spend a lot of time kenneled or crated due to their energy level and desire to be included in family life.

Playfulness Level

The Appenzeller Sennenhund temperament is playful. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play. It can lead to problems because they are pretty raucous, especially when they’re young. Small children and older adults might be at risk of being knocked over by a boisterous Appenzeller. Early socialization and supervision until Sennenhund’s second birthday are necessary; that is when they calm down.

Energy Levels

Appenzeller Sennenhunde are never happy to be idle; instead, they must spend excessive energy. Inactive lifestyles can cause boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior. If your Appenzeller mountain dog no longer works on a farm, you must ensure your furry friend has enough space to run and play to spend energy. Vigorous walks, taking your Appenzeller as jogging, cycling, or skateboarding companion will provide enough exercise to ensure a calm canine for the rest of the day, instead of looking for something to destroy out of pure boredom.

Trainability Level

Although they are very intelligent, Appenzeller Sennenhunde can be challenging to train. Getting an early start with puppy training and socialization is very important for these dogs. Appenzellers need firmness and consistency in their training. They can be stubborn but do not tolerate harsh training methods, which are never recommended for any dog anyway. Appenzellers will respond best to respectful, firm leadership. Appenzellers are loyal and loving pets when trained and socialized correctly, even if they don’t slow down long enough to show it.

Intelligence Level

Appenzeller Mountain Dogs have high intelligence levels, and they understand and memorize new commands in 15-25 repetitions. Not only do they have excellent brainpower, but their senses also make them highly intelligent. Their sense of smell is well-developed, and they have a sharp sense of hearing. They can warn their owners about trespassers based on their hearing alone.

Barking Tendency

Sennenhunde communicate both through vocal and non-vocal means. True to their mountain dog nature, they bark loudly when they perceive a threat and warn everybody within reach.

What is the Average Lifespan of the Appenzeller Mountain Dog?

Domesticated Appenzeller Mountain Dog’s lifespan is 12 to 14 years. The expected lifespans of the breeds used to develop the Appenzeller are listed below.

  • Irish Wolfhound 6 to 8 years
  • Mastiffs 8 to12 years
  • Bulldogs 8 to 12 years
  • Bull Terriers 10 to 12 years
  • Boxers 10 to 14years
  • Great Dane 10 to 14
  • English Pointer 12 to 17 years

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Appenzeller Mountain Dogs?

Appenzeller Mountain Dogs is still a somewhat rare breed in the United States, making it both difficult and expensive to find a purebred puppy to buy. Buying a Sennenhund puppy from a registered breeder could cost between $1800 – $2200, depending on the breeder you select, the sex of the puppy, and, of course, the demand for the breed at the time. The bloodline of the puppy and its parents could also affect the price. You will be hard-pressed to find this breed in a shelter, but if you do, the price will typically be based on the cost of care provided while keeping the Appenzeller Sennenhund.

It is always best to consider annual expenses related to the maintenance of your Appenzeller and its wellbeing before making the purchase. The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, spaying or neutering, etc. You can expect to spend about $3,000 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $1,700 a year. 

The typical annual costs of having a medium-sized hound like an Appenzeller Mountain Dog, food and medical only, are listed below, excluding toys, food and water bowl, cages, doggy blankets and beds, etc.

  • US: Average $650 USD
  • Australia: Average $1,500 AUD
  • United Kingdom: Average ₤ 1,183

The most regular annual costs for dogs similar to the Appenzeller Mountain Dog consist of:

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Grooming costs will not form a significant part of the maintenance bills for your furry friend. Appenzeller Mountain Dogs need no more than regular weekly brushing to keep the coat healthy and the Appenzeller looking good. These dogs don’t need frequent trips to a professional groomer. 

The Appenzeller Mountain Dog does not tend to drool excessively; in fact, the breed hardly ever drools. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. The Appenzeller Mountain Dog has a moderate risk for obesity, especially if working dogs become house pets with insufficient exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with premium quality dry dog food and live an active life together.

What is the best diet for Appenzeller Mountain Dogs?

Your dog’s adult size determines its dietary needs through all life stages. Thus, base your  Appenzeller Mountain Dog’s diet on a large breed’s unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout its different life stages. Appenzeller Mountain Dogs fall in the large breed class, and most dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds. 

It is always a good idea to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as their Appenzellers grow. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Appenzeller from the table, all it does is add weight, instead, follow the advice below to ensure your Appenzeller friend’s optimal health.

Appenzeller Mountain Dog is an active, athletic breed type. It will thus need food that contains animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. A dog of this size, activity level, and demeanor will thrive best on premium dry food because this food type contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

Appenzeller Mountain Dog puppy’s portion depends on age, but 2 to 3 cups are appropriate. In contrast, an active, healthy adult Appenzeller Mountain Dog should have 3 to 4 cups, depending on the brand and formula of the food. Feeding Appenzeller Mountain Dogs several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

Feed your Appenzeller Mountain Dog a food formulated for medium dog breeds, recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors.

Orijen Dry Dog Food for active breeds, with recipes formulated for each life stage, is a good choice, made with WholePrey animal ingredients, including organs and bone, delivering 85% quality animal ingredients, freeze-dried coated for the wag-worthy raw flavor dogs love.

Below is a list of what to look for in the dry dog food formula when choosing the best nutrition for your Appenzeller Mountain Dog.

  • Lasting energy providers: Dog food made with premium meats like chicken, duck, turkey, beef, lamb, salmon, and novel proteins like venison, bison, buffalo, and wild boar. Fiber-rich carbs and highly digestible proteins keep your Appenzeller feeling energized and full throughout the day.
  • Ingredients for better health: Food that includes powerful superfoods like tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, along with their immune-boosting properties.
  • Optimizing Nutrient Absorption: Recipes with chelated minerals promote mineral attachment to proteins for maximized absorption during the digestive process.
  • Immune System Support: Formulas with prebiotics and species-specific probiotics with bacteria that are naturally found in a dog’s GI tract.
  • Perfectly Balanced Omegas: Contains just the correct dose of fatty acids, marine-sourced omega-3 and omega-6 from plant sources.

When Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why Orijen for active breeds is crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should an Appenzeller Mountain Dog Puppy Eat? 

The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a large-sized breed whose pups under 12 weeks should get four bowls of food per day. When Appenzeller Mountain Dogs become three months old, owners can feed them three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Appenzeller Mountain Dog puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for large-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Appenzeller Mountain Dogs should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times over two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • Appenzeller Mountain Dogs with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar are the exceptions because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the common health problems of Appenzeller Mountain Dogs?

Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a healthy breed, but regular veterinarian checkups remain essential. The following list of health conditions should be monitored:

    • Hip dysplasia is a deformation that occurs and develops as Appenzeller Mountain Dog puppies grow. It is caused by loose joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Appenzeller Mountain Dog grows and becomes heavier. Although it could start in puppyhood, it usually only becomes evident in adult dogs, making annual medical examinations crucial.
    • Elbow Dysplasia is the most common cause of lameness in the forelimbs of active breeds like the Appenzeller Mountain Dog.
    • Epilepsy is caused by an abnormality in the brain that causes sudden seizures that need no trigger cause.
    • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) or Gastric Torsion is also known as ‘bloat’, A life-threatening disorder that happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and becomes twisted. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention.
  • Progressive renal atrophy is a genetic disease that causes eventual blindness.
  • Hemolytic anemia is an autoimmune disease where the body destroys its red blood cells intentionally.
  • Demodicosis is a form of mange caused by mites.
  • Cataracts cause a clouding over the retina resulting in blurry vision and possible vision loss
  • Muscle Strains and injuries happen to any dog that works for a living, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog will have a higher chance of developing injuries over their lifetime than will companion animals or show dogs. Most commonly, they will be seen at a veterinary clinic for lacerations, claw injuries, soft tissue injuries, and fractures.

What are the nutritional needs of Appenzeller Mountain Dogs?

The nutritional needs of an Appenzeller Mountain Dog include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the Appenzeller Mountain Dog are listed below.

  • Protein: Appenzeller Mountain Dogs need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids they contain essential for Appenzeller Mountain Dog’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Appenzeller Mountain Dog’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Appenzeller Mountain Dog need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Appenzeller Mountain Dog sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, too much carbohydrate can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Appenzeller Mountain Dog puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging dogs by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of Appenzeller Mountain Dog.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Appenzeller Mountain Dogs chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for an Appenzeller Mountain Dog’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Appenzeller Mountain Dogs.

Where to Buy or Adopt an Appenzeller Mountain Dog?

Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are incredibly rare and, therefore, hard to find anywhere else than the Sennenhund’s country of origin. If you purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay up to $4,800, and for puppies with sought-after bloodlines, prices could be as high as $6,000.

If you manage to track down Appenzeller Mountain Dog breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Appenzeller Mountain Dog puppies are often peppy and playful—all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes.

The best way to ensure you get a healthy Appenzeller Mountain Dog hound puppy is to reach out to the registered organizations for the specific breed, if available. Those and other options are listed below.

  • The Swiss Confederation of the Swiss Confederation is established in the Federal Republic of Germany for the purposes of the FCI Standard. (www.appenzeller-sennenhunde-club.ch/)
  • Appenzeller Mountain Dog Club of America (AMDCA). The Official National Breed Club for Appenzellers in the United States and Canada  (https://www.appenzellers.org/)
  • The American Kennel Club’s Marketplace. The AKC has information about available Appenzeller Mountain Dog puppies. They know of expected litters for those who want to get their names on a waiting list.
  • The Kennel Club U.K.  The largest organization in the UK, devoted to dog health, welfare, and training. 
  • EuroBreeder.com is an online search engine for Appenzeller Mountain Dogs worldwide
  • EuroPuppy.com is an online source of breeders and rescue Appenzellers available across Europe.
  • Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) Recognized by FCI in the Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs group, in the Swiss Mountain- and Cattledogs section
  • Other clubs to reach out to include  the National Kennel Club (NKC), Dog Registry of America Inc (DRA), American Canine Association, Inc. (ACA), 

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

Although you can buy or adopt an Appenzeller Mountain Dog from abroad, not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries allow the importation of Appenzeller Mountain Dogs may find the logistics challenging. Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel.

Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What are the Rescue Clubs for Appenzeller Mountain Dogs?

Even though the breed is slightly uncommon, you might be able to find an Appenzeller Mountain Dog or Appenzeller Mountain Dog mix at a local rescue or shelter. These dogs come with proper vetting, spay or neuter, and a history of health issues. You might not find Appenzeller Mountain Dog puppies as quickly, but you can find an adult one in desperate need of love.

If you adopt a rescued hound, you can expect to pay $150 to $300, covering vaccinations, spay or neuter, and other basic care. To avoid falling into the traps of scammers, it might be best to reach out to registered Rescue Centers and Kennel Clubs for advice on where to find your special Appenzeller Sennenhund. Below are details of organizations in the U.S. and Canada, the U.K., and Europe.

  • The Swiss Confederation of the Swiss Confederation is established in the Federal Republic of Germany for the purposes of the FCI Standard. (www.appenzeller-sennenhunde-club.ch/)
  • Appenzeller Mountain Dog Club of America (AMDCA). The Official National Breed Club for Appenzellers in the United States and Canada  (https://www.appenzellers.org/)
  • The American Kennel Club’s Marketplace. The AKC has information about available Appenzeller Mountain Dog puppies. They know of expected litters for those who want to get their names on a waiting list.
  • The Kennel Club U.K.  The largest organization in the UK, devoted to dog health, welfare, and training.

 It is essential to become familiar with your country’s importation laws if you fall in love with an Appenzeller Mountain Dog seeking a loving home in another country. 

How to Name an Appenzeller Mountain Dog?

Naming an Appenzeller Mountain Dog might require different criteria than new Appenzeller Mountain Dog parents might expect. It is never the actual name the pup responds to; instead, it is the sound and how it is said. There might be a specific inspiration like history, a movie, nature, or the night sky, and in the case of the Appenzeller Mountain Dogs, why not use their Swiss roots as inspiration. 

The building blocks for naming an Appenzeller Sennenhund include the significance of the sound. The Appenzeller’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but as far as your canine companion goes, only the sound matters. Appenzeller Mountain Dogs respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

Choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction than when calling your Appenzeller Mountain Dog. It might be a good idea to call out a name you like and check your Appenzeller pup’s reaction. Be creative use different tones for each syllable. Don’t rush; try several, and if your favorite name is too long or too short, add or remove bits until you have composed the perfect unique sound that your precious pup will recognize from a distance.

Below are a few suggestions for boy and girl Sennenhund names to honor its roots? 

Male 

Appenzeller Mountain Dog Names

Information About The Name

Gerard 

Swiss referring to “strong and muscular”

Rolex

Famous watch made in Switzerland

Hinges

Swiss referring to “Loyal and alert companion”

Adolfus

Swiss referring to a  Noble Wolf

Female

Appenzeller Mountain Dog Names

Information About The Name

Minka

Swiss referring to  “strong and resolute”

Elena  

Swiss referring to “The light of my life”

Monte Rosa

The highest mountain in Switzerland

Ingrid

Swiss, meaning “beautiful”

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Appenzeller Mountain Dog?

Appenzeller Mountain Dog resulted from purposeful breeding to enhance the different traits and characteristics necessary for good hunting dogs. It is one of four Sennenhund (translates to mountain dog) breeds, similar to the Appenzeller Mountain Dog, yet different. Two Sennenhunde, most similar to the Appenzeller Mountain dog, are listed below.

Entlebucher Mountain Dog: The Appenzeller Sennenhund is slightly larger in weight and height than the Entlebucher Sennenhund. However, they share several traits, first of which is their Switzerland, their country of origin. Their lifespans are similar, and their coats are both tri-colored and double to keep them warm as they herd cattle in the Swiss mountains. Although they are working dogs, they have evolved into wonderful house pets and companion dogs, good with families, children, and pets, but wary of strange people and other dogs. The Entlebucher and the Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are affectionate, playful, loyal, protective, independent, and intelligent.

Berner Sennenhund or Bernese Mountain Dog: Another one of the four Swiss Sennenhunde. The Berner is taller and heavier than the Appenzeller Mountain Dog, but the Bernese Mountain Dog’s lifespan is about half as long as the smaller Appenzeller Sunnenhund. Both are working dogs, and have thick double coats, similarly colored in black, brown, and tan, with moderate shedding and average maintenance. These two breeds are easy to train and good family pets. With adequate socialization, they can be your best companion dogs ever, kid and pet friendly, but wary of strange dogs and strange humans.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.