(Appenzeller Mountain Dog)

Appenzeller Sennendunde
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Breed Registries:

Note: The breed may also be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.

— The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.




Males: 52 - 56 cm - Females: 50 - 54 cm


48 to 55 lbs.

Breed Profile:

The Appenzeller Sennenhunde, also known as the Appenzeller Mountain Dog and Appenzell Cattle Dog, is one of four Swiss dog breeds — the other three being: the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Entlebucher. The Appenzeller was originally bred as a cattle herding dog as well as livestock guardian in Switzerland. It is believed that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the oldest of the Swiss breeds with the others descending from it. The Appenzeller is the rarest of the Swiss breeds. The first valid Breed Standard was prepared in 1914 with its original breeding territory being the Appenzell region. Today, the breed is found all over Switzerland and in many European countries. However, breeding stock is still limited and, though gaining in popularity, the breed is still rare in North America.

Today, the breed is still commonly used as a livestock guardian, herding dog, draft animal and an all-purpose farm dog. He is also seen participating in obedience and performing Shutzhund work. In addition, in his native Switzerland, the Appenzeller is seen working as a Avalanche Rescue Dog, Tracking Dog and Protection work.

The Appenzeller is a muscular but not massive, large medium-sized dog with a short, smooth coat. Unique to the Appenzeller, from the other three Swiss breeds, is the carrying of the tail curled over his back. In addition, he also has a more refined head and body. The most commonly seen Appenzeller coat colour is tri-coloured, with a black ground coat and rich rust and clear white markings. However a base colour of "Havannah brown" — similar to the brown of a Chocolate Labrador Retriever — is sometimes seen.

Known for his agility, endurance and high energy, the Appenzeller is outgoing but suspicious of strangers. The Appenzeller is a working dog and bred as such. He has very strong group and protective instincts and is very loyal and devoted to his family, home and property. This is a dog who thrives in the company of his family, is very intelligent, easily trained and aims to please. The Appenzeller has a natural mistrust toward strangers and strong guarding instincts stemming from his work as a cattle dog. As a herding dog, he is known to instinctively sense the behaviour of each animal in the herd and often reacts before a situation occurs.

Because the Appenzeller is a high energy breed, he needs plenty of exercise both physical and mental and is not the breed for everyone.

Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of a Appenzeller Mountain Dog puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Additional Health Resources:

Only Natural Pet Store

Breed Standards

Appenzeller Mountain Dog

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Starting the LGD Pup by Catherine de la Cruz
  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Training Tools & Equipment
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Additional Information

  • — A website and forum, providing information to (future) owners of Appenzeller Mountain Dogs.
  • Herding Dogs — A section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website which includes training and general information about Herding/Stock Dogs; listing of Stock Dog Clubs and Associations; listing of upcoming shows and events; and more.
  • Working Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD) — What is their Job?
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More