The Entlebucher Mountain Dog, also known as the Entlebucher Sennenhund or Entlebucher Cattle Dog, is the smallest of the four Swiss Mountain Dogs including the Appenzeller, the Bernese Mountain Dog, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The Swiss Mountain dogs are descended from Molossus type dogs brought by the Romans as they passed through Helvetia over two thousand years ago. The smaller of the Swiss Mountain dogs, the Entlebucher and Appenzeller were used as cattle herding dogs bringing the dairy cows in from mountain pastures. The larger breeds were used as flock guardians and cart-pullers to transport milk and cheese to market.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog (Shepherd Dog from Entlebuch, or Dog of the Alpine Herdsman) is a native of Switzerland, and the smallest of the four tri-colored Swiss Sennenhund breeds. Swiss farmers have historically used the Entlebucher to move cows from pasture to pasture in the Alps. Their keen intelligence, speed and agility also made them useful for the management of other large animals such as horses and hogs.
The Entlebucher is a medium sized, 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.
Prized for his agreeable nature, ease of training, and devotion to family, the Entlebucher possesses an excellent work ethic, and the ability to work alone or in harmony with his master. Given a job, he transforms from a lively, high-spirited playmate, to a serious, tireless, self assured dog of commanding presence. Although primarily a drover, Entles excel at competitive sports and are willing and enthusiastic partners in any athletic canine activity chosen by their master.
Purpose and heritage have resulted in an unusually intense bonding between the Entlebucher and his master; however the Entlebucher should not be considered a breed for the casual owner. He will remain an active, highly energetic dog for his entire lifetime. Because of the guardian traits of this breed, thorough socialization is required during puppyhood; typically Entles are indifferent to, or somewhat aloof with strangers.
The Entlebucher is a confident cattle dog, neither shy nor vicious; may be reserved with strangers. He is lively, active, persistent, self-assured and determined. Cheerful and capable of learning, he is loyal and protective of family, herd and property. He is highly intelligent, versatile and adaptable with a strong willingness to work; is quick and responsive to commands from his owner making him especially suited as a companion, herding and general all-purpose dog.
Dogs – 17 to 21 inches, Bitches – 16 to 20 inches.
Tricolor. Basic color must be black with tan (fawn to mahogany) and white markings, which should be as symmetric as possible. The tan markings are placed above the eyes, on cheeks, muzzle, either side of the chest, under the tail, and on all four legs. On legs, the tan is situated between the black and the white. Small tan oval islands on cheeks are desired. White markings include a distinct small blaze, which runs without interruption from top of head over bridge of nose, and can wholly or partially cover the muzzle. White from chin to chest without interruption. An inverted cross on chest desirable. In full-length tail, tip of tail is normally white. White on all four feet.
Learn more at the National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association.