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  • Temperament: Loyal, Smart, Enthusiastic
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 161 of 192
  • Height: 17-21 inches (male), 16-20 inches (female)
  • Weight: 50-65 pounds (male), 40-55 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 11-13 years
  • Group: Herding Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Entlebucher Mountain Dog standing in three-quarter view facing left, head turned right
Entlebucher Mountain Dog lying in three-quarter view facing left, head turned right
Entlebucher Mountain Dog standing sideways facing left on a white background.
Entlebucher Mountain Dog coat detail
Five Entlebucher Mountain Dogs sitting in a field spaced apart and facing right
Two Entlebucher Mountain Dogs standing facing forward on leash
Entlebucher Mountain Dog sitting on a paved path facing right, head turned forward
Three Entlebucher Mountain Dog puppies

Find a Puppy: Entlebucher Mountain Dog

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Entlebucher is a compact, strongly muscled, elongated drover with ample bone. He has a short, hard and shiny coat, bright black with symmetrical markings of pure white on blaze, muzzle, chest, and feet; shades of rich fawn to mahogany are present on the eyebrows and between the black and white markings.

HEAD

In harmonious proportion to the body, slightly wedged-shaped; clean. Head planes of muzzle and skull more or less parallel. Expression: Alert, attentive, and friendly. Eyes: Must be brown, darker eye preferred. Slightly small, almond shaped, with well fitted, black pigmented rims. Disqualifying fault: Blue eyes or yellow hawk eyes. Ears: Not too big, set on high and wide. When alert, are slightly raised at set-on, turned forward; in repose lay flat and close to head and form a nearly level plane with topskull. Firm, well developed ear-cartilage. Flaps pendulous, triangular, rounded at tips. Nose: Black Lips: Close fitting to jaw, with complete black pigmentation.

BODY

Pleasing smooth merge of neck into topline. Neck: Medium length, strong and clean, merging smoothly with the body. Top line: Sturdy and level. Body: Strong, slightly elongated, length to be in rib cage and not in loin; length to height ratio 10 to 8 measured from point of shoulder to point of rump and ground to withers. Chest: Capacious, broad, deep, and reaching to the elbows; well sprung ribs. Underline: Slightly tucked up. Back: Straight, firm, broad. Loins: Strong, flexible. Croup: Slightly sloping, relatively long.

FOREQUARTERS

Strongly muscled but not too heavy. Shoulders are laid back, flat lying, well muscled and never loose. Upper arm length equal or slightly shorter than shoulder blade. Angle of shoulder blade forming as nearly as possible a right angle. Elbows lying well onto the body, turning neither in nor out. Forelegs are short, sturdy, straight and parallel; neither too wide nor too close together. Seen from side placed well under the body

COAT

Double coat. Topcoat short, close fitting, harsh and shiny. Undercoat dense; of varying color. Wavy or soft coat tolerated but not preferred. Disqualifying fault: Single coat.

HINDQUARTERS

Well-muscled. Hind legs not too close together; from behind, straight and parallel. Upper thigh: Fairly long, broad and strong. Lower thigh: Approximately equal length to upper thigh; clean. Stifle: Well angulated. Hock joint: Strong; turns neither in nor out.

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About the Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Entlebucher (ENT-leh-boo-cur) Mountain Dogs are muscular, long-backed cattle dogs standing from 16 to 21 inches at the shoulder. They have short, sturdy legs; a striking black, white, and tan coat; and an attentive, friendly face. Entles are famous for their agility, balance, and boundless enthusiasm.

Entles are vigilant protectors of their four- or two-legged “herds” and, when properly socialized, make durable and trustworthy playmates for older kids. Energetic Entles require lots of exercise, family time, and direction to reach their full potential. Inexperienced owners might be overwhelmed by this strong, self-confident, go-go herding dog eager for work.

Entlebuchers are fine dogs—clever, zesty, happy—but not for everyone.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Three Entlebucher Mountain Dog puppies

Find a Puppy: Entlebucher Mountain Dog

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Entlebucher Mountain Dog Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

Choosing which commercial food to give to your dog is a personal choice best made using recommendations from your vet or breeder. You should consider only a high-quality dog food formulated to your dog’s age and activity level. A working dog requires a different formula than a sedentary house pet, and a puppy requires different nutrition than a senior pet. This is a breed who loves to eat and thus can be prone to becoming overweight if you don’t monitor his food intake closely. If you choose to give treats during training, do so in moderation. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity in any breed.

GROOMING

The Entlebucher requires minimal grooming overall. With their dense, short, shiny double coat, they will need little more than a wipe-down with a damp towel between baths to stay in optimum appearance. The breed sheds quite a bit, so you may want to invest in a good stripping comb or a thick bristle brush to keep shedding to a minimum. Nails should be trimmed every month to keep them short and neat. Dental care should be started early and maintained on a regular basis throughout your dog’s life. Ears should be checked weekly. Cleaning out wax and debris can help avoid the ear infections that plague dogs with drop ears.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Infrequent

EXERCISE

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a quick and tough dog with a high energy level. It will take at least an hour of exercise daily to keep him in good physical condition. Since a “tired dog is a good dog,” keeping the breed’s energy channeled through exercise will make training and simply living with him much easier. Entles love doing things with their owners so make excellent companions for runners, hikers, bikers, and other very active people.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Needs Lots of Activity

TRAINING

Entles are smart, versatile workers who are very rewarding to train. Training with a positive approach will almost always yield quick and successful results. Early socialization is extremely important with this breed. They are very intelligent, so any training routine should include fun and variety to keep them from getting bored. They love having a job to do and are excellent candidates for obedience, tracking, agility, herding and almost any other canine sport.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

Most Entlebuchers are healthy dogs, but there are a few disorders the breed can be prone to. One issue found in the breed is Entlebucher urinary syndrome, a condition involving the misplacement of the ureter. Other conditions that have occurred in the breed include hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, and some eye disorders. Responsible breeders screen for genetic disease and select for health-cleared stock.

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation
  • PRA Optigen DNA Test
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Entlebucher Mountain Dog

History

Dairy farming has long been vital to the Swiss economy as it provides the key ingredient for two leading exports: cheese and milk chocolate. To move and guard their herds in the days before industrial agriculture, Swiss cattlemen developed four breeds of Alpine mountain dogs known for their beautiful tricolor coats. Of these, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the largest, and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog the smallest and quickest.

The name Entlebucher, “Entle” for short, derives from the place of the breed’s origin, the valley of the river Entlebuch. They were employed as all-around farm dogs and guarders, but the primary task of these clever cattle dogs was to drive their charges up to high mountain pastures in the summer, keep an eye on the herd during grazing season, then move them back down into the valley for the winter.

This job description explains several of the Entle’s key traits. Bred to move cattle up and down sloping pastures, Entles developed remarkable balance and agility. The long, low Entle physique isn’t as exaggerated as a Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s, but the idea is the same: It makes it easier to nip at a cow’s heels and to avoid being kicked.

The breed’s love of work, and life in general, earned it the nickname “der Lachen Hunden” (the Laughing Dog). So enthusiastic is the working Entle, he might leap up and slam into a stubborn cow to move it. Such a can-do work ethic is essential in a 60-pound dog charged with moving a herd of 1,500-pound animals up the side of a mountain.

Did You Know?

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is AKC's 168th breed
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 2000.
There are 2 popular pronunciations for Entlebucher: Ent'-lee-boo-ker or Entel-boo-ker.
At the April 2007 board meeting the Entlebucher Mountain Dog became eligible to compete in AKC herding events effective June 27, 2007.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is also known as Entlebucher Sennenhund and Entlebucher Cattle Dog.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest of the four Swiss Mountain Dogs. The other three breeds are the Appenzeller Sennenhund, Bernese Mountain Dog and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.
The breed originates from Entlebuch, a valley in the district of the cantons Lucerne and Berne.
One of the greatest qualities of this breed is its unwavering devotion to its master. The breed is territorial and slightly suspicious of strangers, making it a competent watchdog.
Entles (referred to for short) have an impressive bark and are surprisingly strong for their size! They have a keen sense of social hierarchy and require a high level of early socialization and training.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Entlebucher is a compact, strongly muscled, elongated drover with ample bone. He has a short, hard and shiny coat, bright black with symmetrical markings of pure white on blaze, muzzle, chest, and feet; shades of rich fawn to mahogany are present on the eyebrows and between the black and white markings.

HEAD

In harmonious proportion to the body, slightly wedged-shaped; clean. Head planes of muzzle and skull more or less parallel. Expression: Alert, attentive, and friendly. Eyes: Must be brown, darker eye preferred. Slightly small, almond shaped, with well fitted, black pigmented rims. Disqualifying fault: Blue eyes or yellow hawk eyes. Ears: Not too big, set on high and wide. When alert, are slightly raised at set-on, turned forward; in repose lay flat and close to head and form a nearly level plane with topskull. Firm, well developed ear-cartilage. Flaps pendulous, triangular, rounded at tips. Nose: Black Lips: Close fitting to jaw, with complete black pigmentation.

BODY

Pleasing smooth merge of neck into topline. Neck: Medium length, strong and clean, merging smoothly with the body. Top line: Sturdy and level. Body: Strong, slightly elongated, length to be in rib cage and not in loin; length to height ratio 10 to 8 measured from point of shoulder to point of rump and ground to withers. Chest: Capacious, broad, deep, and reaching to the elbows; well sprung ribs. Underline: Slightly tucked up. Back: Straight, firm, broad. Loins: Strong, flexible. Croup: Slightly sloping, relatively long.

FOREQUARTERS

Strongly muscled but not too heavy. Shoulders are laid back, flat lying, well muscled and never loose. Upper arm length equal or slightly shorter than shoulder blade. Angle of shoulder blade forming as nearly as possible a right angle. Elbows lying well onto the body, turning neither in nor out. Forelegs are short, sturdy, straight and parallel; neither too wide nor too close together. Seen from side placed well under the body

COAT

Double coat. Topcoat short, close fitting, harsh and shiny. Undercoat dense; of varying color. Wavy or soft coat tolerated but not preferred. Disqualifying fault: Single coat.

HINDQUARTERS

Well-muscled. Hind legs not too close together; from behind, straight and parallel. Upper thigh: Fairly long, broad and strong. Lower thigh: Approximately equal length to upper thigh; clean. Stifle: Well angulated. Hock joint: Strong; turns neither in nor out.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black Check Mark For Standard Color 007
Black White & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 034

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Brown Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 022
White Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 014
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