Entlebucher Mountain Dog

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
fast facts

About Entlebucher Mountain Dog

55-66 lb
11-15 years
Herding Group
Best Suited For
Families with older children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards and farms/rural areas
Devoted, loyal, intelligent, independent
Comparable Breeds
Appenzeller Sennenhunde, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
19-20 inches
Entlebucher Mountain Dog Basics

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog (pronounced Ent’-lee-boo-ker) is the smallest, but in no way least significant, member of the family of four Swiss mountain dogs or Sennenhunds. The term Sennenhund originates from the Swiss term Senn, which means herder.

The Entlebucher is a short, powerfully built dog. Its head is well-proportioned to its body and its eyes are small and lively. Like most other herding breeds it has extremely powerful jaws and thick, strong legs that support its sturdy body. It has a distinctive tri-color coat with tan, white and black markings.

A highly intelligent and extremely loving dog, the Entlebucher is also a spirited athlete with specific exercise and training requirements. This makes it a dog unsuitable for most casual dog owners. It can however make a wonderful companion for dog owners willing to put in the time and effort to fulfill its needs.

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest, but in no way least significant, member of the family of four Swiss mountain dogs or Sennenhunds.


The Entlebucher is named after its hometown in the Swiss region of Lucerne. They were first recognized as a distinct breed in 1889 and started to gain attention by breeders and enthusiasts in the early 20th century. The breed’s population however, already weak in numbers, faced a steep decline during World War I and the Entlebucher was all but wiped out. With the close of World War I, 16 specimens of Entlebuchers were gathered and bred by one Franz Schertenleib, thus rejuvenating and restoring the breed.


Although the Entlebucher’s exact origins are uncertain, it is believed that they originated from the massive Roman molossers that were used as guard dogs and war dogs.


Like most working dogs, Entlebuchers require a well-balanced diet fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients.

Entlebucher’s are a highly intelligent species of dog and are extremely eager to please their masters.


Entlebucher’s are a highly intelligent species of dog and are extremely eager to please their masters. They are highly trainable and respond extremely well to positive reinforcement based training techniques. They are quite independent and capable of making decisions by themselves and require consistent leadership. Faced with a lack of leadership, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog can often feel the need to assume a leadership role within its human pack which in turn can lead to various behavioral problems.


Entlebuchers weigh between 55 to 66 pounds.

Temperament and Behavior

Entlebuchers are extremely loyal and devoted to their masters and make excellent companions. They get along excellently with children and can be quite protective over them. Care should be taken with smaller children though as these dogs are quite robust and can accidentally injure youngsters and toddlers. Entlebuchers can also be suspicious of strangers and this, along with their self-confidence and bravery, make them excellent watchdogs. They have fairly loud barks, but do not bark unnecessarily.

Like most working dogs, Entlebuchers require a great deal of mental stimulation to remain happy and balanced. They are eager competitors in most sporting events and other agility events. They are also excellent for work with large animals such as hogs, cattle and horses.

Common Health Problems

Because the foundation stock of Entlebuchers was so small, these dogs are known to suffer from several hereditary ailments such as hip dysplasia, hemolytic anemia and progressive retinal atrophy.

Life Expectancy

A well cared for Entlebucher can often live up to 15 years of age.

Exercise Requirements

Bred to herd cattle across the Swiss Alps for days on end, Entlebuchers have a virtually inexhaustible amount of energy. Therefore it is important that they be provided with at least an hour of vigorous exercise each day. It is also beneficial for these dogs to have a meaningful task to which they can devote themselves to.

Entlebuchers are extremely loyal and devoted to their masters and make excellent companions.


The AKC has this to say about the Entlebucher: “The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a native of Switzerland and the smallest of the four tri-colored Swiss Mountain Dogs, which also include the Appenzeller Sennenhund, Bernese Mountain Dog and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The Entlebucher is a medium-sized, compact and strongly muscled. He has a short, hard, tricolor coat that is 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. Although primarily a herding and general all-purpose dog, Entles excel at competitive sports and are willing and enthusiastic partners in any athletic canine activity chosen by their master.” The Entlebucher was recognized by the American Kennel Association in 2011.


The Entlebucher’s coat is short and smooth to the touch. This dog is an average shedder and should be brushed at least once a week.


Because of their strong guarding instincts, Entlebuchers should be socialized with various people early on in life. This can help prevent any aggressive tendencies towards strangers that the dog could develop as it reaches maturity.

Photo credit: Serge Renggli/Wikimedia; Ellen Levy Finch/Wikimedia; Leuchtender Hund/Wikimedia

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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