Common Characteristics of the Sennenhund
Entlebucher, Bernese, Greater Swiss, Appenzeller
All four breeds have a strong, broad, heavy-boned rump; hanging ears placed rather high and close to the head, which are pulled up at the base and turn forward when the dog alerts; and a rather broad, strong skull.
All four are tri-colored. Shiny black is the main color, which extends from the head and ears over a large part of the neck, shoulders, rump, tail, and outside of the legs to above the feet. Next to the black, we find the yellow to rust-brown and white markings, usually symmetrical so that a more or less broad rust-brown lays between the black and white.
A white mark, the so-called "blaze", starts at the top of the skull and moves along a slight groove in the forehead towards the nose, broadening symmetrically over the muzzle but not touching the nose nor that part of the muzzle under the nose. There is also some white on the chest between the front legs, on the feet and, usually on the tip of the tail. Often the white runs to both shoulder points and forms a clear cross. In the past we often saw the arms of the cross reaching out so far that both ends would meet and a complete collar was formed. Nowadays we seldom see this, since breeding has turned away from it. We do, however, often see dogs with a white spot on the neck, a residue from the neck collar. Now it is considered incorrect and the standard makes no mention of the collar or the white spot.
The two spots over the eyes (vieraugelflecken, translated: "five-eye spots") are yellow or rust- brown. The spots are about the same size as the eyes and are surrounded by black.
The same yellow or rust-brown always appears symmetrically on the front legs, upper arm, both points of the shoulder, and always llanked by black and white. Often the underside of the tail also has a yellow coloring. The yellow or rust-brown color appears inside the thighs and on the front part of the rear legs from above the knee joint to the feet. Finally, there are some yellow or rust-brown markings on the cheeks.
With all Sennenhunden, the character is lively, attentive and very attached to their humans. They have a strong inner drive to herd and guard, but usually miss all the fighting instincts. All in all, the inner attentiveness matches his exterior: a friendly animal without any underhandedness; watchful, without over-zealousness, but unafraid when need be.