There are many dog breeds in the world, and each one has its own unique set of characteristics. If you’re looking for a loyal and versatile pet, you might want to consider a Sennenhund.
These dogs hail from Switzerland and are known for being great companions. In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about Sennenhunds!
We’ll cover their history, temperament, care requirements, and more!
The Sennenhund, also known as Swiss Mountain dogs or Swiss Cattle Dogs in English, are a breed of dog native to Switzerland’s high alpine regions. The Sennenhund is a molosser-type farm dog.
There are four different types of Sennenhund, each having a distinct tri-color coat. While the two larger dogs have a sturdy build and a calm demeanor, the two smaller ones are more agile. The breeds range in size from medium to very large.
The Sennenhund breeds are well-known in Switzerland and other European countries. The Bernese Mountain Dog has grown somewhat popular in the United States, whereas the others are considered rare by people seeking unusual companions.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog or Swissy is a beautiful and somewhat imposing member of the giant dog breeds. Swissy males stand from 25 to 29 inches tall and females from 23 to 27 inches tall at shoulder height.
Swissies weight can range from 85 to 110 pounds for females and 105 to 140 pounds for males. Swissies have a short, straight and smooth outer coat with a thick undercoat.
Their coats are ebony black with tan or rust markings and white on their face, chest, paws and the tip of their tail. The breed’s ears and tail are natural.
Swiss Mountain Dogs are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Working Dog Group.
Swiss Mountain Dogs are supposed to be direct descendants of Roman Mastiffs. Swissies were used by Swiss farmers to protect their cattle, guard their homes and haul packs and heavy carts to market.
- Size: Males: 25-29 inches; Females: 23-27 inches
- Weight: 85-110 pounds (females); 105-140 pounds (males)
- Lifespan: 10-12 years
FACT: Mastiff-type dogs rank as some of the largest dogs in the world. They are known for their strength and occasionally fierce character. They are sometimes placed on dangerous dog lists.
Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a beautiful and lovable, large mountain dog from Switzerland. It has an adorable soft and gentle face with a long-haired, tri-colored silky coat. This is a versatile working dog that is obedient, eager to please, and calm; but with a high energy level.
Bernese mountain dogs are strong and reliable and were bred as farm dogs to work Swiss farmlands; herding cattle and as draft dogs pulling heavy milk carts.
The Bernese Mountain Dog with obedience training and socialization will be easy-going and friendly around children.
Bernese mountain dog puppies are simply adorable and make great family dogs.
- Size: Large dog breed
- Height: Up to 25-27” (64-70cm) for Male and 23-26” (58-66cm) for Female
- Weight: Around 80-115lb (35-50kg) for Male and 70-95lb (30-45kg) for Female
- Lifespan: 7-8 years expectancy
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a breed of herding dog that originates from Switzerland. This breed is the smallest out of all the Swiss Cattle breeds, also known as Sennenhunds. These dogs love to work and really will want to be given a job to do, yet they can also make wonderful companions to those who understand them and their needs.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is related to the three other Swiss Cattle breeds — the Appenzeller, the Bernese Mountain Dog, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, of which they are the smallest. This breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Canadian Kennel Club, the Federation Cynologique Internationale and the United Kennel Club (UKC).
It can be difficult to know the breed origin of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. No one knows exactly when the Sennenhunds were created, but they are very old dogs. Some researchers even believe that these mountain dog breeds predate the Roman Empire.
These pups were then very common in the Middle Ages in Switzerland and were treasured by farmers, and, despite their great herding instinct, were large dogs and expensive to keep.
Therefore, different dogs were bred which could serve a variety of purposes, creating different Sennenhund breeds.
- Size: Medium dog breed
- Height: 17-20” (43-51cm) for Male and 16-19” (41-48cm) for Female
- Weight: 30-60lb (14-27kg) for Male and 25-50lb (11-23kg) for Female
- Lifespan: 11-13 years expectancy
Appenzeller Mountain Dog
The Appenzeller Mountain Dog is a herding dog breed that hails from the Appenzell region of Switzerland.
Like all Sennenhunds, or Swiss Mountain Dogs, the Appenzeller is descended from the mastiff-type dogs that were brought to Switzerland by the Romans. These versatile dogs served as farm dogs, guard dogs, and draft animals, and were prized for their strength, loyalty, and courage.
The Appenzeller is the only member of the Sennenhund group that is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, but it is a popular breed in Europe.
Appenzellers are medium to large dogs with a strong, muscular build. They have a dense, weather-resistant coat that is black with white markings, and a thick plumed tail that is carried over the back.
Appenzellers are intelligent, active dogs that need plenty of exercise and stimulation. They are loyal and protective of their families, but can be reserved around strangers. With early socialization and training, Appenzellers can be well-mannered, obedient dogs.
- Size: Medium to large dog breed
- Height: 19-22” (48-56cm) for Male and 18-21” (46-53cm) for Female
- Weight: 44-70lb (20-32kg) for Male and 33-55lb (15-25kg) for Female
- Lifespan: 8-12 years expectancy