The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a herding dog from Switzerland. It is one of the four Swiss shepherd dogs, the other three being the Greater Swiss Mountain dog, the Appenzeller, and the Bernese Mountain dog. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest among these although appearance-wise, it is often mistaken for the Bernese.
Find out all about Entlebucher Mountain dog’s characteristics, temperament, some fun facts, and other important details you need to know as a prospective pet parent of the Entlebucher.
Cool facts about the Entlebucher Mountain Dog
- The pronunciation of the word Entlebucher is En-tel-boo-cur.
- In Switzerland, they are referred to as Entlebucher Sennenhund. Sennenhund refers to the Senn herders in the area. The breed originated in the Entlebuch valley and the Molossus and Macedonian mastiffs brought by the Romans might have been its ancestors.
- While the Entlebucher Mountain Dog and the Appenzeller are used for herding, the Bernese and the Greater Swiss mountain dogs are mainly bred for the purpose of guarding and cart pulling.
- As herders, the Entlebucher Mountain dogs were responsible for bringing the cattle down from the pastures. They also performed the role of ‘milkmen’, often transporting milk and cheese from the stables to the shops.
- In the breed’s early days, no distinction was made between the Appenzeller and the Entlebucher Mountain dogs. However, by 1913, fanciers of the breed insisted on its registration with the Swiss Kennel Club. As a result, the breed came to be known as the Entlebuch Cattle Dog. The AKC added the breed in miscellaneous class in 2009 and by 2011, the breed started enjoying the 168th position in AKC’s Herding Group.
- They are known fondly as ‘Entle’.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a medium-sized, compact, and muscular dog. They have a short hard outer coat with a softer undercoat. Like the Bernese Mountain dogs, they are tricolored and usually come in black and white. The third color is tan, brown, or mahogany and is seen on the paws, the eyebrows, and in between the black and white areas. They weigh about 50 lbs. The males measure between 17-21 inches at withers whereas females measure between 16 and 20 inches.
The height to length ratio is 8:10; this makes them longer than they are tall. Ears are triangular and set high; eyes are dark brown and almond-shaped. Their noses are black. They have deep chests and a natural bobtail.
Entle is a friendly, easy-to-train, and intelligent dog. However, he also possesses highly contradictory personality traits. For example, he is usually devoted and loyal to his owner but, at the same time, he can be headstrong. He is smart and serious while working but tends to be playful with children. He is strict with the cows and sheep but very gentle with children and might even defend them! On the whole, this is a lovely dog with a great personality. He makes a great household pet and a companion dog.
The Entlebucher loves people but may come across as aloof and wary with strangers. Entle does well in a household with kids. However, you must always supervise interactions between your Entlebucher and younger children. Most importantly, you must teach your children to respect dogs and give them their space. Early training and socialization of your Entle are also very important to prevent aggression and to help you mold your pet into a loving and devoted companion.
Entles tend to have a loud bark that is mistaken for aggression. A survey of Entle owners in Germany has also shown that they tend to be reactive, aloof, and sometimes display tendencies of dog aggression and territorial aggression.
Difference between Entlebuchers and Bernese Mountain dogs
Physically, the Entlebucher mountain dog is much smaller than a Bernese mountain dog. Both breeds possess characteristic tricolor markings. Temperament wise, both dogs are similar though most would consider the Bernese to be much more stable than the Entlebucher. The two dogs were bred for different tasks: where the Bernese were mainly used as drovers for pulling carts and as guard dogs; the Entlebucher were mainly herders that brought the cattle down from the mountains.
Training your Entlebucher
Begin training your Entle as soon as you bring him home. He is an intelligent dog and will respond well to consistent and positive training. However, his herding instincts might lead him to herd small animals and kids.
Start with crate training and house training. That will help your dog will have fewer ‘accidents’ indoors. Younger puppies need to be taken outside several times a day. You must walk your puppy at least 3-4 times every day, especially before and after meals and just prior to settling him down in his crate for the night.
As your pup grows, you can teach him basic commands and, if required, even enroll him in obedience classes. This will get him to socialize with other puppies and also help him learn basic commands. Always keep training sessions short and positive. Never shout or hit your pet as that would not give you the desired results.
This is a moderately active dog but you must give him a job to do. He certainly does not like being left home alone or locked up in a kennel. Without work, this outdoorsy dog can get bored and could indulge in destructive behaviors. Walk your pet twice a day for 30 minutes each. You can also play a game of fetch with him. Active play-time in a secure, fenced-in area is great for the Entle. Entlebuchers do well with an active owner and a family that spends time outdoors.
These dogs are great jumpers. So keep your fence secure. Their jumping skills combined with their superior stamina makes them ideal for agility games, flyball, and freestyle.
Entlebucher shed their coats twice a year. To prevent his hair all over your carpet, you must brush and groom him every 2-3 days and once a day during the shedding season. Bathe your pet once a month to prevent odors. Avoid over-bathing as that can strip off his natural oils making his coat appear dull. Use the grooming sessions to clean your pet’s eyes and ears. Also, trim his nails every few months.
Entlebucher Urinary Syndrome is a common health issue seen in the breed and it consists of anatomical abnormalities in the urinary tract. Ureteral obstruction and ectopic ureters are common. Dogs with the syndrome may remain asymptomatic for years while some may show frequent bladder infections and urinary incontinence. Surgical correction is sometimes available. Other health issues in the Entlebucher are hip and elbow dysplasia and PRA or progressive retinal atrophy. The lifespan of the Entle is 11-15 years.
Where to find an Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Start your search for a healthy puppy by finding a good breeder first. You can visit the official website of the NEMDA or the National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association. You can also interact with other Entlebucher owners. The average cost of an Entlebucher is about $1000 depending on the breeder.