Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are the smallest of the 4 Swiss Mountain dogs, including the Bernese Mountain, Greater Swiss Mountain, and the Appenzeller. Entlebuchers are also called Sennehund, which means the herdsman’s dog when translated. Each of these dogs is a descendant of the molossus-type canines that accompanied the Romans through Helvetia over two-thousand years ago. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog and Appenzeller, the two smallest of the Swiss Mountain breeds, drove dairy cows from mountain pastures, while the larger ones were draft dogs and guardians of livestock.

The first description of a dog residing in the valley of Entlebuch was in 1889. Both the Entlebucher and Appenzeller were considered the same breed during that time. In 1913, the expert on Swiss breeds, Professor Albert Heim, saw four of the small naturally bobtailed dogs exhibited and advocated for their independent recognition. Nevertheless, in the early 1900s, crosses with German Shepherd dogs threatened the breed.

World War I further threatened the dog, and after the war, not one could be found. Because of a few breeders, a breed standard and club was created in 1926, and seventeen Entlebucher Mountain Dogs were found. In 2007 the dog finally became eligible to compete in AKC herding events and the AKC herding group in 2009. These dogs can be born with short tails; however, the trait cannot breed true.

entlebucher mountain dog on a hill looking down at something not right

Breed Standard

This mountain dog is muscular with ample bone and slightly rectangular proportions. It has a level, sturdy back, a broad, deep chest, and a long tail carried up but never over the back. The dog’s feet are compact and slightly rounded with well-arched toes. The head is flat and wedged in shape, the muzzle is tapered, and the nose is black. The dark, small, almond-shaped eyes give the breed a friendly, attentive expression. Its ears are triangular and set high and wide; they have rounded tips and are carried close to the head.

Breed Facts

Energy levelWatchdog ability
Exercise requirementsProtection ability
PlayfulnessGrooming requirements
Affection levelCold tolerance
Friendliness toward dogsHeat tolerance
Friendliness toward other petsFriendliness toward strangers
Ease of training
  1. Popularity: Rare
  2. Family Group: Mastiff
  3. Country of Origin: Switzerland
  4. Date Developed: 1800s
  5. Original Purpose: Herding
  6. Current Function: Herding
  7. Other Names: Entlebucher Sennenhund, Entlebucher Cattle Dog
entlebucher mountain dog looking back before walking up a dirt road trail

Activity Level: High. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a fast, agile, and driven worker with plenty of stamina. Entlebuchers require plenty of exercises, and they can remain active for their entire lives. The dogs enjoy interactive play and dog sports such as herding and agility events. They are not adapted to hot weather and prefer the cold for outdoor exercise. This dog is heavy for its size and must be well conditioned to avoid injury during strenuous activity.

Grooming: The coat needs brushing weekly and more frequently during seasonal shedding.

Coat: A double coat with a harsh, shiny, short, close-fitting outer coat and dense undercoat.

Color: Tan with black and white markings

Group: Herding

Year of recognition by the AKC: 2011

Entlebucher Mountain Dog Temperament

entlebucher mountain dog laying down relaxing on the grass

Entlebuchers are the typical self-confident, tireless, and high-spirited working dogs. These dogs need outlets for their mental and physical energy and plenty of interaction with their owners. They possess well-developed protective instincts, which makes them excellent watchdogs. They are responsive, intelligent, easy to train, and love most competitive dog sports. Socialization and training need to begin as early as possible. The breed is usually good with other dogs but may not accept other pets unless socialized.

Entlebuchers are highly loyal and devoted and always want to be around their families. Although they learn quickly, they maintain an independent nature and are not afraid to follow their own choices, especially if you’re a pushover owner. The dogs have a loud bark, which may be their best protective ability. True to its herding instincts, they will try to herd children and other pets.


  1. Main Problems: CHD
  2. Minor Issues: PRA, ectopic ureter
  3. Rarely Seen: cataract
  4. Recommended Tests: DNA for PRA, hip, eye
  5. Life Span: 11 to 13 years
  6. Weight: 45 to 65 pounds
  7. Height: male – 17 to 21 inches; female – 16 to 20 inches

Breeder and Buyer’s Advice

five adorable and cute entlebucher puppies

Entlebucher puppies need to be socialized early. Also, try to enroll in training classes, beginning with puppy classes at 10 weeks old that utilize positive reinforcement methods. You can find breeders with Entlebucher Mountain Dog puppies for sale on the parent club’s website; however, if you’re looking for a specific mix like an Entlebucher Mountain Dog poodle mix, type “Entlebucher Mountain Dog puppies for sale UK” into Google or your favorite search engine. You are more likely to find specific breeders that breed mix designer dogs. The puppy’s price depends on the breeder and the dog’s pedigree.

Parent Club: National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association; founded in 1998

Rescue: You will find information pertaining to rescue dogs on the parent club’s website

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