Entlebucher Mountain Dogs

The smallest of the four Swiss Mountain Dog breeds. The other three in the family are: Greater Swiss, Bernese and Appenzeller. The Entlebucher is also known as the Entlebucher Sennenhund, Entlebuch Mountain Dog, Entlebucher Cattle Dog but the easiest of all... Swiss Cattle Dog!

 
Data top entle

What's New

Data earned his Grand Champion (GCH) title at the Kenosha Kennel Club All-Breed Conformation show September 10, 2017! He also earned another Herding Group 3 Placement along the way at the Elgin Kennel Club August 26, 2017 under Judge Jimmy Moses.

Data is still the only Entlebucher to now hold higher level dual Championship titles (MACH2 & CCH)! A truly amazing dog!

Kai racing thru tunnel

Recent Events

Team Kai earned their Master Century Standard (MXC) title June 4, 2017 in Green Bay under judge Greg Beck.

Kai/Patrick took 3rd place overall in the 16" class at the 2016 AKC Agility Invitationals in Orlando Florida! Kai is now the highest placing Entlebucher in a National event, earning a place in the AKC record books!

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs

In General

Animated Graphic of an Entlebucher Mountain DogHow do you say that? We hear it all the time, over and over...
There are 2 generally accepted pronunciations for the breed.
The more popular (and the way I say it):
Auditory Pronunciation.

When asked to repeat the name (3 or 4 times), I usually just say, “Swiss Cattle Dog” and that satisfies most people. I came across the breed in 1998 while researching my next dog. I answered questions on a website and the Entlebucher was a suggested match to consider. I read anything I could find and really liked what I read... but had a bad experience with an Entle breeder who misrepresented themselves. I caught the breeder in a lie and it was probably the best thing that could happen. It opened my eyes and gave me an extra healthy dose of caution. We had never purchased a puppy before. Up to that point, all our dogs were rescues.

from left to right- Jaylah, Kai and Data We wanted to meet as many Entles and their owners as possible. I found knowlegeable, friendly people connected with NEMDA- National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association (AKC Parent Club; the only active club in North America). I flew to their Breed Specialty and was warmly welcomed! There is no substitute for first-hand learning through interaction and observation! Experiencing the range in body type, temperament and personality helped me understand what I was looking for and wanted in my future Entlebucher puppy. That is also when I knew~ this was the breed for me!

The Entlebucher dates back to 1889. All the Swiss breeds are named after the region they are from. The Entlebucher is from the Entlebuch region in the Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland. Alpine herdsman used them to herd cattle~ they are drovers by nature. The Entlebuch region is just 22 square miles, rural in nature with a focus on crops, fruit and cattle breeding. Swiss cattle are known to be large, unexcitable, docile and hardy milk cows. The cattle graze summers in the high meadows of the Alps while grazing their way back down for winters. The greatest risk for the cows is not predators, but navigating the rocky and uneven terrain of the Alps. Entlebuchers helped keep the cows safe on proper paths. That is why moderate and balanced structure is key to the heritage, function and essence of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. Translated, Sennenhund means 'dog of the Alpine Herdsman'. They are not a 'hound dog' and do not exhibit hunting instincts. The "hund" in Sennenhund refers to the German word for dog. Entles are medium sized, short coated and always tri-colored. They are stocky, solid and robust; slightly longer than they are tall with an 8:10 ratio.

Data, Jaylah and Kai  playing chaseIn the U.S., Entlebucher tails can be docked or left natural. If the tail is full, it is preferable to have a white tip. An Entlebucher can also be born with a natural bobtail of any length, all are equally acceptable by the standard. U.S. Entles are often docked if there is a noticable kink or for purely aesthetics reasons. Some breeders like the docked look and some want to gain an advantage in conformation showing. Being a newer, rare breed Entles born with curly, high set, or thin tails don't stand a chance succeeding in the show ring against docked Entles. How the tail looks and is held can make or break the dog's silhouette which is a key factor in a judge's impressions and subjective opinion interpreting our standard.

Some people are very passionate about their Entle tail preference. Natural tails have gained in favor and popularity due in part to the European docking ban. Personally we like the docked look but have never owned an Entle with a docked tail. Our insight for this breed is that a tail (or lack of one) does not "make" the dog... other breed attributes are much more important! That said, we've observed first-hand, a weird bias against bobtails in the Entlebucher. Bayla had a 3/4th length bobtail and we experienced prejudice about it her whole life! Bayla's tail was unique and beautiful plus it didn't get in the way or knock things over so we have an affinity for bobtails.

At ExcelEnts our philosophy on the Entlebucher tail is: whether docked, left full, or a congenital bobtail~ it is a personal preference and legal in the United States. Any individual's decisions for their own dogs need to be respected. We have no tolerance for people who cannot articulate their thoughts in a dignified, kind way while recognizing others' rights.

NEMDA Entlebucher Breed Standard webpage
AKC Entlebucher Photo Gallery- Scroll down for pictures
Swiss Club for Entlebucher Mountain Dogs
Swiss Club Entlebucher link to Breed Standard

Temperament

Entles are larger than life! Everything about them is more dramatic than what you will read! They need mental stimulation in addition to physical exercise to be content and well adjusted. Some say Entles are stubborn- I don’t think so. Cattle dogs need to know when/if to defy a command that would put them or their charges in danger. Cattle are bigger and not as easily intimidated as sheep. Jaylah at Ice Cream shopIt takes "street smarts" to command them. Entles are clever, thinking dogs that want to work for their owners and please. They need a fair, consistent and strong leader or and Entle is willing to assume that role... because they can. An Entlebucher is not the best choice for first-time or inconsistent (with rules) owners. Entles are observant and they quickly pick up on patterns. Even informally when you don’t think you are actively training an Entle, they are learning. That can be a blessing or a curse.

Entlebuchers are best suited for owners that understand the intelligence and unique characteristics of herding breeds. Every Entle I’ve ever met has been quick and eager to learn. They crave interaction and to be close working companions, involved in all aspects of your life. If they can’t be an important part of the family and get adequate daily exercise- it will show up in their behavior... from uncontrollable barking, jumping and displacement nipping to obsessive compulsive and/or inappropriate herding behaviors.

Jaylah on a puppy outingEntlebuchers get very attached to their families but are naturally suspicious of strangers. The breed standard describes them as aloof. This is true to a greater extent in some lines more than others. The most important job of an Entle puppy owner is socialization- early and often! That can not be emphasized enough! It must be top priority the first year to consistently expose an Entle puppy to as many different types of people and situations as possible. The owner needs to be alert, aware, patient, and in control of all interactions to insure mostly positive, safe experiences.

Socialization balances out an Entlebucher's aloof nature and teaches them how to handle themselves. They need to learn what is normal or not normal in different situations. Without proper socialization, as adults they can be reactive, spooky or always "on guard" for threats... in some cases even aggressive because they always feel threatened. With good breeding (nature) and proper socialization (nurture), adult Entles will become well adjusted, wonderful companions.

He Just Wants To Say "Hi!"- by Suzanne Clothier is an excellent, important article all dog owners need to read, share and discuss. Like people, dogs are individuals each with unique needs, likes and dislikes. Realistically, not every dog really wants or needs to be "social" with other dogs or people... and that is OK! Every dog should be a well socialized, canine good citizen to integrate appropriately in society. That does not mean that every dog enjoys or should be forced in to social activities, especially if the activities do not fit the dog's personality or temperament. Breed levels of congeniality are another consideration to think about when adding a dog to your family. To enjoy the best match, a dog's individuality should compliment the owner's or family's needs and lifestyle.

 

 

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