DogNation Home DogNation Home

Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Quick facts

Entlebucher Mountain Dog AKC Group: Herding
Height: Male: 17 - 21 inches, Female: 16 - 20 inches
Weight: Male: 55 - 65 pounds, Female: 45 - 55 pounds
Colors: Tricolor -Black, Tan, and White
AKC recognized in: 2011

The Entlebucher Mountain dog originated in Switzerland. This breed descended from mastiff-type dogs brought by the Romans to the Swiss Mountains over 2,000 years ago. This is the smallest of the 4 Swiss mountain dogs, all of which had the same mastiff-type ancestors. The dog that later developed into the Entlebucher was originally used to herd cattle to and from the Swiss mountain pastures.

The breed was first named 'Entlebucherhund' in 1889. At that time, it was still relatively unknown and was thought to be the same breed as the Appenzell Cattle dog. That changed in 1913 when four of these dogs were exhibited at a Swiss dog show. Based on the judges' reports, these dogs were classified as a '4th Mountain and Cattle Dog breed' in the Swiss Canine Stud Book. However, the standard for the breed was created only in 1927 after the founding of the Swiss Club of Entlebuch Cattle Dogs in 1926.

The breed developed slowly and was eventually recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2011.

The Entlebucher Mountain dog is also known as the Entlebucher Cattle Dog or the Entlebucher Sennenhund, which translates to 'dog of the Alpine herdsman'.


Entlebucher Mountain Dog Summary
Affection four paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training three paws
Energy level three paws
Exercise Requirements three paws
Friendliness : Children five paws
Friendliness: Other Animals three paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness three paws
Protection Ability three paws
Watchdog Ability five paws

This hard working herding dog is confident, protective and territorial. He is very loyal to his family and thrives in a home where he receives lots of attention and exercise and is involved in everything that is going on. He loves nothing better than to climb atop things, in an attempt to keep an eye on his human 'flock' and make sure they do not stray too far and come to no harm. Interestingly, he will extend his watchful and protective eye over the other dogs and cats that are part of the family, but stray cats, squirrels, rabbits and other small critters will provoke his instinct to chase and hunt.

Entlebuchers enjoy long walks, hikes and treks, and generally do well in dog sports such as obedience, agility, rally, tracking and herding provided they receive consistent training.

While the Entlebucher may be a little too rambunctious for a home with toddlers, he can be the perfect playmate for older children who are looking for an high-spirited, endlessly active dog that can play fetch and learn tricks and is always ready for some rough and tumble. This dog plays hard and enjoys being boisterous. His way of welcoming any family member is by throwing himself at them. Unless you have the time and patience and are committed to providing the supervision and extensive training that this smart, energetic dog needs, it is best to wait till your kids are old enough and strong enough to hold their ground when this powerful bundle hurls himself against them.

The Entlebucher will look to the adults in the home for leadership and will not accept it from children. However, he will continuously test you to see if you really mean what you say. If there are things you do not want your dog to do but he continues to challenge you, stay your ground and do not give in, not even once. Giving in will only encourage him to try harder next time.

While training these dogs, positive reinforcement techniques, which include praise, treats and play, work much better than harsh verbal or physical corrections for getting his attention and teaching him what you like. Entlebuchers are highly intelligent, adaptable and versatile, with a strong willingness to work. They are quick to respond to commands from their owner making him especially suited as a companion and general all-purpose dog.

Although Entlebuchers are mostly cheerful, confident, self assured, and determined, they are reserved with strangers and tend to approach them with a sense of suspicion. That suspicion, combined with a deep bark that is not sounded without good reason, makes him an excellent watchdog. He takes his time getting to know people and doesn't make friends with just anyone.


The average lifespan of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is 10 to 13 years.

While the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Cataracts - A cloudiness in the lens of the eye, with varying degrees of opacity. Symptoms vary depending on the degree of opacity.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - A group of diseases that progress over time and eventually cause blindness in your dog. The retina either stops developing early or the receptors start degenerating early in life. This is an inherited disorder.

This dog can also develop Entlebucher urinary syndrome, a condition where the ureter does not connect normally with the urinary bladder. This condition can vary in severity. At best this may not cause any problems at all. In a worst case scenario, it can cause renal failure. Researchers are looking for a screening test to find the causative factors as well as a safe and effective cure.

The National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association (NEMDA) is working in collaboration with other organizations to eliminate these health issues from the breed through genetic testing, responsible breeding and fact dissemination.


The Entlebucher Mountain Dog require brushing once a week to minimize shedding. They are double coated, with the undercoat being very dense, and the top coat being short, harsh, and shiny.

Having such a high energy level, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog requires a lot of exercise. Give her at least an hour a day of vigorous activity, including activity that stimulates the breed's intelligence.

Entlebuchers are mountain dogs and prefer cooler temperatures. It is important not to let them get too hot. If you leave your Entlebucher outside during the summer, make sure he has easy access to plenty of cool water and shade throughout the day.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Entlebucher Mountain Dog in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Entlebucher Mountain Dog? Or maybe you have more questions that either or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.

Add Comment

* Required information
Captcha Image

Comments (0)

No comments yet. Be the first!

Random Dog Quote

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
Roger A. Caras

Site Navigation

Best Friend's Friend Rescue/Shelter Contest
I made the pledge!