- Activity Level: high
- Grooming Level: moderate
- Trainability: moderate
- Adaptability: moderate
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Medium
- Average Lifespan: 11-13 years
- Prey Drive: high
- Watchdog: very alert
- Registered?: aca, akc
Entlebucher Mountain Dog Breed Profile
Did You Know?
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog originated in the Swiss Alps as the smallest of the cattle herders with tricolor coats. Their main job was to help guard and move herds of cattle through valleys and up the sides of mountains. Although this was their main job, this dog breed was often used as an all-around farm dog.
The American Kennel Club recognized the Entlebucher Mountain Dog in 2011 as a member of the Herding Group. They can still be found guarding and herding cattle and working on the farm, but they are most commonly found as a lively family companion.
Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are known for their work ethic, spirited energy, and independent problem solving while on the job. Their cleverness, general happy demeanor, and zest for life earned them the nickname “Laughing Dog of the Swiss Alps”.
They are devoted to their families and are protectors of their “herd”, whether they have two or four legs. Due to their guardian background, they can be territorial and are naturally suspicious and wary of strangers. Proper socialization is important for any dog, but is especially important for dog breeds that have protective or territorial instincts. When properly socialized, these dogs make great playmates for older kids, especially because of their high energy.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a moderately adaptable dog breed. Due to their high energy and need for a job, they do not tend to adapt well to apartment living and tend to be better suited to larger homes with fenced-in yards and room to run.
As an alpine mountain dog, this dog breed handles the cold well. They do tend to be more sensitive to heat. Although they are independent problem solvers, they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.
Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are relatively healthy dogs. As with any dog breed, there are some potential health issues to be aware of. For the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, these potential health issues can include hip dysplasia, eye disorders, patellar luxation, and urinary syndrome.
Responsible breeders will be screening their stock for these issues to avoid passing them on to puppies, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Talk to the breeder about the genetic history of the parents and ask them about any relevant health clearances or test results.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a moderately trainable dog breed. They are high-energy working dogs that are happiest when they have a job to do. Although they are highly intelligent and pick up on things quickly, their high energy and independence can be an obstacle for inexperienced dog owners.
Novice dog owners interested in an Entlebucher Mountain Dog will want to enroll in puppy training and obedience classes or employ the help of a professional trainer to make sure they have the skills and tools to handle a high-energy working dog with an independent streak. Training methods should be kept positive and activities should be varied and fun to keep this dog engaged and interested.
Although Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have a double coat, it is short and requires minimal grooming. Bathing is only required on occasion with wipe-downs in between to keep their coat fresh. However, they will shed despite their short coat. A thick bristle brush and a stripping comb are great tools to have on hand and to use a few times a week to help manage their coat and keep shedding under control.
In addition to coat care, you will also need to care for your Entlebucher Mountain Dog’s ears, nails, and teeth. Plan to check your dog’s ears on a weekly basis to ensure they are clean, clear, and dry. Floppy ears tend to trap moisture, dirt, and debris more than ears that stick up all the time, which makes them more prone to ear infections. But, checking and carefully cleaning your dog’s ears regularly can help keep them healthy.
Regular nail trimming is also an important grooming task. Nails that are too long can make movement painful or can get caught on things. Usually, monthly nail trimming is sufficient to keep them from growing too long, but may need to happen more often if your dog’s nails aren’t wearing down enough naturally. If you hear nails clicking against the floor, it’s time to cut your dog’s nails.
Good dental care is also important. Active gum disease is one of the most common health issues in dogs, but it is also preventable. Proper dental care for dogs like brushing your dog’s teeth or using an enzyme toothpaste every day is ideal for preventing the tartar and plaque buildup that leads to painful dental diseases like gum disease and tooth decay.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a high-energy working dog that needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. These dogs are happiest when they have a job to do and are working hard.
In addition to their daily walks, some time to run and get in extra activity is a must for this dog breed. They also love doing stuff with you, so they tend to make great partners for running, enjoy going on a hike, and more. They also tend to be great candidates for many dog sports like herding, agility, tracking, obedience, and more.
A fully-grown Entlebucher Mountain Dog usually stands 16-21 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 40-65 pounds.
An Entlebucher Mountain Dog generally lives 11-13 years.
There are four Swiss Mountain Dogs and they all feature the notable tricolor coat – the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Appenzeller Sennenhund, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog.
Of these, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the largest and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is also sometimes referred to as the Entlebucher Cattle Dog and the Entlebucher Sennenhund.