Sennenhund Breeds

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog




Click on me for a more in depth history on the Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund.

“The breed is large and heavy-boned with incredible physical strength, but is still agile enough to perform the all-purpose farm duties it was originally used for.  Its breed standard calls for a black, white, and rust colored coat.

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is sociable, active, calm, and dignified, and loves being part of the family.  It is relatively healthy for its size and tends to have far fewer problems than more popular breeds in its size range.  Among the four Sennenhund, or Swiss mountain dogs, this breed is considered the oldest, and is also the largest.”

”The Bernese Mountain Dog, called in german the Berner Sennenhund, is a large breed of dog, one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps.  The name Sennenhund is derived from the German “Senne” (alpine pasture) and “Hund” (dog), as they accompanied the alpine herders and dairymen called Senn..Berner (or Bernese in English) refers to the area of the breed’s origin, in the Canton of Bern in Switzerland.  This mountain dog was originally kept as a general farm dog.  Large Sennenhunds in the past were also used as draft animals, pulling carts.  The breed was officially established in 1907.  In 1937, the American Kennel Club recognized it as a member of the Working Group.”  “On July 1, 2010 the Bernese Mountain Dog became eligible to compete in AKC Herding Events.”

Bernese Mountain Dog

Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund

Berner Sennenhund

”The Appenzeller Sennenhund is descended from the general Sennenhund type which may have existed in antiquity, or descended from “cattle dogs left there by the Romans”, but the first breed club for the breed was founded and the stud book for the breed started in 1906 by Albert Heim and others, who wrote the first breed standard in 1916.”  “The Appenzeller Sennenhund was only recognized internationally as a separate breed in 1989.”

“The Appenzeller Sennenhund was originally kept as a flock guardian, a draft dog, and general farm dog.  The breed also was used for herding and as a guard dog.  Today the breed is primarily kept as a companion, and excels in obedience competitions and Schutzhund.”  “As with all large, very active working dogs, the Appenzeller Sennenhund should be well socialized early in life with other dogs and people and provided with regular activity and training if they are to be safely kept as a pet.  If trained properly, they bond closely with their owners and like to seek for attention.”


Appenzeller Sennenhund

”The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest of the four Sennenhunds.”

“All of the Sennenhund breeds are believed to be descended from large molossers brought to Switzerland by the Romans in the first century B.C.  However, the Entlebucher was only described as a separate breed in 1889, although for many years little distinction was made between the Appenzeller Sennenhund  and the Entlebucher Sennenhund.  In 1913, four bobtail Entlebucher Sennenhund were shown to Albert Heim, an advocate for the increasingly rare Sennenhund breeds.  The breed was entered into the Swiss Kennel Club stud book.”  “The first breed club was not formed until 1926, sixteen dogs of the type were found in 1927, and the breed slowly was restored.  Although originally kept for guarding and herding, today the breed is usually kept as a lively companion.”

Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Entlebucher Sennenhund

“Sennenhund, called Swiss Mountain dogs or Swiss Cattle Dogs in English, are a type of dog originating in the Swiss Alps.  The Sennenhund are farm dogs of the general molosser type.  There are four breeds of Sennenhund, all sporting a unique tricolor coat.  While the two larger ones share a heavy build and a calm temperament, the two smaller ones are more agile.  The breeds range from medium in size to very large.”  “The four Sennenhund breeds are well known in Switzerland and the rest of Europe.  In the United States, the Bernese Mountain Dog has become somewhat popular, while the other breeds are promoted as rare to those seeking unique pets.”