Appenzeller Mountain Dog


With its almost square and muscular build and a height between 50 and 56 cm, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog belongs to the medium-sized dogs. Even from a distance, you can tell that this impressive dog is self-confident and athletic.

Important to know

The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a very bright, hard-working and extremely athletic fellow, who absolutely needs a lot of exercise in the fresh air and also a task. He is very loyal to his family , cuddly and lovable, wants to be included and protect them at all costs.

Sporty & Social


Body & Appearance


Coat care
Suitable for children
This is the Appenzeller Mountain Dog


His muscular and agile body allows him speed and endurance, giving him an impression of strength and grace, which he emphasizes with his bright and powerful bark.

The Mountain Dog carries his chest proudly stretched forward and his tail curled over his back like a post horn. Triangular floppy ears sit on its wedge-shaped head, lying flat when at rest and raised when alert. The alert, almond-shaped eyes of the dogs are rather small and light brown with some dark brown.

The coat of the lively mountain dog consists of stick hair, is short and shiny and has a dense undercoat, which protects very well against cold and weather. The basic colors permitted are black and havana brown , on which reddish-brown and white markings are evenly distributed, symmetrical and clearly separated. The paws are mostly white.

The dogs reach a weight between 22 and 32 kg and live between 12 and 14 years.


The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a distinctly lively, self-confident, fearless and hard-working dog that was used primarily as a shepherd dog because of its speed and endurance. In addition to his athleticism, the dogs are also extremely social and would protect their family at all costs. They get along well with children and like to romp around with them. They are also very open-minded towards conspecifics. With his family, the empathic and loyal dog forms close bonds and is very loyal and cuddly towards them. Only with strangers the Sennenhund is rather suspicious, but by no means aggressive. He still likes to bark loudly to warn of danger, which also makes him a good watch dog. Here he also benefits from his alertness and quick perception.

The dogs have a very great urge to move and need a lot of exercise and activity in the great outdoors. This breed is not one to get comfortable on a comfy dog blanket. In addition, the Mountain Dog is also extremely smart and eager to learn.


The most important thing in keeping the lively and temperamental Appenzeller Mountain Dog is to pay attention to its great urge to move. The dog is not for leisurely people, as only occasional walks are by no means enough for him. The best thing for him would be an athletic caregiver or family who enjoys exercise in nature with him. Due to his willingness to learn and his intelligence, you can also do dog sports like agility, cycling, running and hiking with him. In addition, the mountain dog is also suitable even as a rescue, avalanche search or guide dog. So you should be able to offer your buddy a task to keep him mentally as well as physically busy.

When raising the Mountain Dog, you will benefit from his quick perception and empathy, but you should not underestimate them. Optimal is a sensitive but also consistent approach to your dog. However, you will not achieve much with strictness, because he can then switch to stubbornness. Especially as far as barking is concerned, you should pay close attention during training, otherwise it can easily become very exhausting and loud.

So the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is happiest with sporty, active people and ideally in a house with a garden, where he can also move freely in between.

Nutrition and care

As for the type of food, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is not very picky, being almost insatiable. Although he usually moves a lot and consumes a lot of energy, you should still not overestimate how much food your dog needs, because the breed tends to be overweight, especially in old age. Even as a young dog, however, too much food can have vicious consequences, as it can lead to accelerated growth and, as a result, later disease risk to joints and organs. Therefore, you should keep a close eye on whether your dog is gaining weight or fat, or if he is becoming sluggish and not enjoying exercise and learning as much. However, your four-legged friend should not starve, of course.

The grooming of the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is very uncomplicated, as occasional brushing of its stock hair is quite sufficient. However, if you find coarse dirt like dried mud in your dog’s coat, it’s best to bathe him with mild dog shampoo. Pay particular attention to the paws, as inflammation can easily form there.

Also, watch out for parasites that can lodge, especially in less hairy areas.

The change of coat takes place twice a year in the Appenzeller Sennenhund. At this time you can remove the loose undercoat with a comb.

In addition to grooming, you should also check your dog’s claws, ears, and teeth regularly, and feel free to give him dental care snacks every now and then.

In addition to being overweight, Appenzeller Mountain Dogs are unfortunately prone to joint problems, especially hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and osteochondrosis, eye diseases such as cataracts, heart defects and, as they age, skin problems or even skin tumors. Because of these diseases typical of the breed, you should be especially careful when choosing a breeder.

But apart from that, the dogs are very robust. With good nutrition, the right amount of food and enough exercise, you can additionally do your part for your dog’s health.


The Appenzeller Sennenhund is associated with Switzerland, more specifically with the Appenzellerland, because of its name. Although its original origin is not completely clear and it is believed that the dogs were brought to Switzerland as Roman war dogs during campaigns, it was there that the breed really developed and settled. Among farmers, the mountain dog was extremely popular as a shepherd dog and guard dog. The Swiss Max Sieber therefore established clear breed standards for the first time at the end of the 19th century, and in 1898 the breed was presented for the first time as a mountain dog at an international dog show. A little later, Prof. Albert Heim founded the first breed club for the Appenzeller Sennenhund and initiated a targeted breeding of the dogs.

Today, as in the past, the Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a very rare breed, of which very few puppies are born each year, which can lead to increased levels of inbreeding. The Swiss ProSpecieRara Foundation is therefore committed to the preservation and health of the breed.


The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a very bright, hard-working and extremely athletic fellow, who absolutely needs a lot of exercise in the fresh air and also a task. He is very loyal to his family , cuddly and lovable, wants to be included and protect them at all costs. If you are an active person and like to do exercise with your dog, he is the perfect companion who will always be by your side.