The Entlebucher Mountain Dog: Everything You Need to Know

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog originated from Switzerland’s Entlebuch region, where it was primarily bred for herding cattle. This breed’s distinctive features and personality traits.

In this article, we will explore the history, physical characteristics, temperament, and health of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, so you can decide if the breed is the right choice for you.

History and Origin of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog breed has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. Originally bred in the Swiss Alps, these dogs were primarily used to herd cattle and sheep.

Their unique skills and abilities made them exceptionally well-suited for this role, and they soon became a popular choice for farmers and ranchers in the region.

The Swiss Connection

Switzerland is known for its many breeds of mountain dogs, and the Entlebucher is one of its most prized. The breed is named after the Entlebuch region, which is located in the central part of Switzerland.

The region is known for its rugged terrain, and the dogs that were bred there had to be hearty and durable. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog was originally classified as a type of Appenzell Cattle Dog, but in 1889, it was recognized as a separate breed.

Development of the Breed

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog breed was developed by crossing several other breeds, including the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Appenzell Cattle Dog, and the Bernese Mountain Dog.

The goal was to create a dog that was strong, agile, and had plenty of stamina to handle the rigors of herding cattle on steep, rocky terrain. Over time, the breed became popular among farmers throughout Switzerland.

During World War I, the breed nearly became extinct due to the lack of resources and the decline in farming. However, dedicated breeders worked hard to revive the breed, and it was eventually saved.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a stunning breed with a muscular and agile build. Their broad chest and strong legs give them the power and strength to excel in various physical activities, including agility and obedience competitions.

Size and Weight

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest of the Alpine mountain dogs. Males typically stand 17-21 inches tall and weigh 50 to 65 pounds. Females stand 16 to 20 inches tall at the withers and 40 to 55 weigh pounds.

Despite their size, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is an incredibly agile and athletic breed. They are known for their ability to climb steep mountains and navigate rough terrain with ease, making them the perfect companion for adventurous families.

Coat and Colors

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog has a short, sleek coat that is easy to care for. Their coat is thick and water-resistant, which allows them to withstand the cold and wet weather in their native Switzerland.

The standard coat colors include black; black, white & tan; and black, white & yellow. Yellow, white, and brown markings, as well as a distinctive white blaze on the chest, are acceptable according to the standard.

Distinctive Features

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a medium-sized dog with a muscular, sturdy, and athletic build. It has a square-shaped head that commands a powerful appearance.

The breed has medium-sized, triangular, and folded ears, strong jaws, and deep-set, dark eyes. The overall facial expression is attentive and alert, adding to the breed’s elegant physique.

Temperament and Personality Traits

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is an intelligent, loving, and loyal breed that is typically excellent with children and other pets. They have a high-energy personality and require regular exercise.

Intelligence and Trainability

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is an intelligent breed that is known for its ability to learn quickly. They respond well to positive reinforcement training and enjoy learning new commands and tasks.

However, some breed members can also be strong-willed and stubborn at times, so it’s essential to establish yourself as the pack leader early on to ensure successful training.

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a high-energy breed that requires regular exercise to remain healthy and happy. They enjoy activities such as hiking, running, and playing in open areas.

It’s recommended that Entlebucher Mountain Dogs get at least an hour of exercise per day to help them burn off excess energy and maintain a healthy weight.

Socialization and Interaction with Other Animals

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are social by nature and typically get along well with other animals. However, it’s essential to socialize them from a young age and introduce them to a variety of people and animals to help develop their social skills.

Some members of the breed are prone to chasing small animals, so it’s important to keep them on a leash in public areas and supervise their interactions with other pets.

Health and Lifespan

Like all breeds, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is susceptible to certain health issues. However, proper preventative care and regular checkups can help to ensure that they remain healthy and happy throughout their lifespan.

Common Health Issues

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is prone to certain health conditions, including:

  • Orthopedic Issues: The breed often suffers from orthopedic conditions such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation
  • Eye Conditions: Common eye issues in the breed are progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and glaucoma

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Regular preventative care and checkups are essential for the health and well-being of Entlebucher Mountain Dogs. It’s vital to keep up with vaccinations and preventative care measures to protect them from a variety of health issues.

Expected Lifespan

The typical lifespan of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is between 11 to 13 years. With proper care and attention, many members of the breed live well into their golden years.


The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a unique and fascinating breed. With its intelligence, affectionate personality, and unique physical characteristics, it makes an excellent addition to any home.

By understanding the history, physical characteristics, temperament, and health of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog breed, you can make an informed decision about whether this breed is right for you.

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