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.
History Of The Entlebucher Mountain Dog
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.
By the end of the 1800’s, the Sennenhunds were becoming increasingly rare. Fortunately, Professor Albert Heim decided to save these dogs — three breeds that were recognized as the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and the Appenzeller Mountain Dog.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog was first recognized as a Sennenhund breed in 1913. For a while, this breed was limited to Switzerland and Germany, until they were imported into Canada in the late 1980s. From there they were recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club, before being recognized in the United States.
Characteristics Of The Entlebucher
While the number of Entlebucher Mountain Dog’s in the world continues to grow, these dogs are still very rare breeds and can be difficult to find. You may have to be put on a waiting list if you are buying from a breeder. Always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder.
The Entlebucher Sennenhund is the smallest of the Sennenhund dogs. These pups usually stand between 16 to 20 inches tall and can weigh between 45 and 65 lbs. Males are usually taller and heavier than females.
These medium sized dogs are the least Mastiff-like when it comes to their appearance and, if anything, resemble a Pinscher than a typical Molosser. They are very powerful and sturdy, but they should not appear stocky at all. They have a muzzle that is shorter than the rest of the skull and ears that hang closely to the sides of the head. Their eyes must always be brown and almond shaped.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog has a double coat. The undercoat is short and very dense. The topcoat is short and shiny. These dogs do shed and brushing is very important to minimize shedding. They are certainly not the dog for those with allergies! We will go into more detail about grooming later on.
The breed standard for the Entlebucher Cattle Dog states that these dogs must be tricolor. They should be of a tan, black and white colorway, and their markings should be symmetrical. Sometimes, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs will be born with only two of these colors. These dogs will be penalized in the show ring, yet still make wonderful companions!
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a very dedicated and loving dog. They want to be with their owners at all times and do not like to be left alone. Leaving this pup alone can result in separation anxiety and unwanted behaviors. That being said, they are also an independent breed and won’t want to be sat on your lap all the time. They will just want to be in the same room as you!
Very loyal, these dogs will believe it is their duty to protect you and they therefore make very good guard dogs and watchdogs. They are constantly alert and will bark and let you know if anything is out of place. However, they are not aggressive and with training an socialisation can get on with anyone.
An intelligent breed, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is capable of learning anything and therefore they are easy to train. They will also excel at agility and other dog sports. Some of these dogs can retain a stubborn streak where they may not want to learn, but they certainly have the ability to and it will just take some perseverance from you!
The life expectancy of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is relatively long. These dogs can live for between 12 and 15 years, on average.
Known Health Issues
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a relatively healthy dog but, unfortunately, they can be prone to some health problems. We have laid out these main concerns below.
- Cataracts — you might suspect your dog has cataracts if they are constantly bumping into furniture. Cataracts can be corrected with surgery.
- Glaucoma — this is when pressure in the eye is abnormally high and the eye is constantly producing and draining fluid.
- Hip Dysplasia — this is when the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) — this is an eye disorder that eventually causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye.
- Obesity — monitoring your dog’s meals and making sure they get enough exercise will help to prevent obesity.
Regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your dog will ensure you can catch any of these issues before they become untreatable.
Remember — buy from a reputable breeder and the chances your dog will suffer any health conditions will be greatly reduced. Trusted breeders will do health checks on both parent dogs and will not breed if there is a chance of passing on any severe issues to offspring.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, it is time to take a look at what living with one of these dogs on a day to day basis is like. We will cover their food and diet, their exercise requirements and their grooming needs.
Food And Diet
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog requires a fair amount of food, although the amount you feed them should always be based on the weight, age and activity level. You should check the back of the food packet to see how much of a certain food you should be feeding your pup based on these things.
Try to find a food that meets all the nutritional requirements of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. You may want to look for a dog food formulated for active breeds so you know they are getting the right number of calories.
Best Dog Food For The Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural dry dog foodBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural dry dog food for the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. This food is formulated for medium to large breeds and therefore contains all the nutrients your pup will need to stay strong and healthy. With real chicken, your Entlebucher Mountain Dog will get the protein they require to keep their muscles lean, while also giving them the energy for their high activity levels.
There is also a blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in this recipe to support immune system health, life stage requirements, and a healthy oxidative balance, as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health. With no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, this mix provides your Entlebucher with a healthy, balanced diet.
An extremely active breed with a working history, it is no surprise that the Entlebucher Mountain Dog needs a lot of exercise. You should be exercising this dog for over an hour every day, because if they do not get enough exercise then they can begin to exhibit destructive behaviors due to frustration.
Thanks to their love of being with their family, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog will happily accompany you while you’re out exercising and can make a great jogging or hiking buddy. They are also intelligent and will therefore excel at dog sports. This is a great way to keep them active and engaged, and the whole family can join in!
As we have mentioned above, the Entlebucher Sennenhund loves their people and therefore makes a great family dog. With the correct training and socialization these dogs can get on with anyone, but you should be aware that they can exhibit herding behaviors towards young children. They are also very big dogs and may end up hurting young children without meaning to!
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog can get on well with other dogs, especially if they are raised with them. However, they can show aggression towards animals they don’t know and may even herd smaller animals.
If you are thinking about adding the Entlebucher Cattle Dog to your home, you’ll need to be up for some exercise! This dog breed will be best suited to a family who likes to be active outside and will certainly not tolerate being cooped up all day. They’ll also benefit from a home with a yard, where they can spend time outside playing with their family members, especially with interactive dog toys and games.
Remember, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog doesn’t like to be left alone for long periods of time and so this is not the dog for you if you are out for hours every day. You’ll also need to spend some time training your pup when they first get home, so make sure you have time for this too.
The Entlebucher is a very intelligent dog and therefore training should be easy. These dogs can learn things very quickly. However, often the Entlebucher Mountain Dog has a stubborn streak and just because they can learn things quickly, it doesn’t mean they want to!
Like all dogs, these pups respond best to positive reinforcement training and reward based training. This includes verbal praise and treats. You should never get angry or frustrated with your dog when training. They may not understand what is happening and this will cause them to not want to learn. You should ignore negative behavior and praise positive behavior so they learn which is more desirable.
Entlebucher Mountain Dogs love their humans, but they can be a little aloof with those they don’t know. This is what makes them such good guard dogs, as they will bark when they see someone they aren’t sure of.
Socialization is very important for the Entlebucher Mountain Dog so they learn not to be afraid of everything. They should also be socialized around children and other dogs because this way they will grow up to be well-rounded.
Introduce your Entlebucher to new sights, sounds, places, smells, people and animals in a calm and controlled way from a young age. This is the best way to socialize them.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog sheds and so their grooming needs are relatively high. You won’t need to take them to the groomers, but you will need to brush them twice a week to keep them in good condition and to minimize shedding. You should give them a bath only when they need it.
Trim your Entlebucher Mountain Dog’s nails as and when is needed and remember to brush their teeth as often as possible. Daily brushing is recommended to prevent the build up of dental decay and disease.
How much does a Entlebucher Mountain Dog cost?
An Entlebucher Mountain Dog can set you back between $1000 and $1200. You should always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder who can give you health clearances for both parent breeds. These dogs are rare, so you may have to be put on a waiting list.
If this is too far out of your price range or you want to adopt, you can always check your local shelter. You can also look online at rescue organizations for the Entlebucher Mountain Dog.
Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs good with children?
Entlebucher Mountain Dogs can be good with children, but they will need to be socialized properly. These dogs are large and will not realize that they could hurt small children and so they should always be supervised. Also, due to the fact the Entlebucher Mountain Dog was originally a herding dog, they may try to herd young children. This can be trained out of them, however.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog can make a wonderful family dog to those who have time to spend with them and those who love to exercise. Historically a working dog, the Entlebucher will want to be outside yet also by your side! While they won’t want to sit on your lap, they certainly won’t tolerate being away from you for hours at a time and love to play games and have fun with their owners. While these pups do shed and can be stubborn during training, they’re also fiercely loyal to their people and will want to protect you. Do you think a Entlebucher Mountain Dog could be the dog for you?