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Entlebucher Mountain Dog

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A working dog with ancient ancestry, the Entlebucher mountain dog was bred to herd cattle in Switzerland. Friendly and intelligent, these dogs can be amazing pets but they do need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. Entlebuchers are rare and so prospective owners may have to wait a long time for a puppy.

Which breed group is the Entlebucher mountain dog in?

Breed group: Working

Entlebucher mountain dog breed history

The smallest of the Swiss mountain dogs, the Entlebucher is a descendent of the Molossus which Roman invaders brought with them more than 2000 years ago. These dogs were then bred to herd cattle while larger breeds were kept to guard livestock and pull carts. Entlebuchers were developed in the Entlebuch valley and became prized working dogs and companions. They were crossed with German shepherds in the early 20th century and this threatened the continuation of the breed. Happily, enthusiasts saved it from extinction but the Entlebucher remains a rare dog. Puppies can be hard to find!

Entlebucher mountain dog breed characteristics

Entlebuchers have luxurious tricolour coats and slightly wedge-shaped heads with a furrow. Their eyes are round and are hazel to dark brown in colour. Their ears are large and pendulous with rounded tips and are carried close to the head when dogs are at rest, but slightly raised and forward when the dogs are alert. Entlebuchers boast sloping shoulders and a muscular build. Their backs are level and they have arched toes with thick pads. Tails can be bobbed or long. Long tails are carried down when the dogs are at rest and higher when they are in motion. The double coat features a short, harsh outer coat and dense undercoat.

These appealing mountain dogs are friendly, agile and intelligent. They learn quickly and are reliable by nature. They are people-orientated and can develop very strong bonds with their owners. Entlebuchers excel at canine sports but are easily bored and can become mischievous when not properly entertained.

  • Lifespan: 11-15 years
  • Height: up to 50cm
  • Weight: up to 30kg
  • Muscular
  • Round eyes
  • Pendulous ears
  • Sloping shoulders
  • Bobbed or long tails
  • Double coat
  • Tricolour
  • Friendly
  • Intelligent
  • Excel at canine sports
  • Easily bored
  • Can be destructive
  • May bark excessively

Health issues with the Entlebucher mountain dog

Entlebuchers are generally robust and long-lived dogs but they are prone to the following conditions:

  • Hip dysplasia (HD)
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (prcd-PRA)
  • Heart murmurs
  • Cataracts
  • Ectopic ureter
  • Entlebucher urinary syndrome (EUS)
  • Obesity

What is the Entlebucher mountain dog bred for?

These impressive dogs were bred to herd cattle in the mountains of Switzerland.

What sort of owners does the Entlebucher mountain dog suit?

Friendly, reliable and smart, Entlebucher mountain dogs are excellent family pets which thrive on human company. They are low-maintenance and are good watchdogs. However, they do like their food and so require owners who are prepared to be strict regarding their diet. They need company as they suffer from separation anxiety and they can be barkers. Due to their lively minds and impressive energy, these dogs need constant mental stimulation and plenty of exercise otherwise they can become destructive in the home. They are best suited to living with very active owners who live in the countryside and who can spend all day with their dog.


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