The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is not a well-known breed, coming in at a popularity number of 157 of 193. This spunky, active breed has a larger-than-life personality. Fiercely protective, extremely intelligent, and astonishingly active, the Entlebucher can be an overwhelming kind of dog for the owner who isn’t a proper fit for it. Historically, the Entlebucher was used as a Swiss farming and guarding dog, though its main task was to herd cattle. This dog has been nicknamed “The Laughing Dog” in German for its gregariousness and agility. This breed is actually part of a group of four Swiss alpine mountain dogs, with the Entlebucher coming in at the smallest of the four.
Entlebucher Mountain Dog APPEARANCE
With a height of 16 to 20 inches at the shoulder, the Entlebucher Mountain dog can be considered a medium-large dog. The Entlebucher is short in stature compared to other mountain dogs, but it’s made up for in bulk around the shoulders and a low center of gravity. This allows the breed to undertake feats of physical prowess with both power and nimble agility. The Entlebucher comes in at about 45 to 65 pounds, though this breed has talent in throwing around its meager weight for maximum effect.
The Entlebucher has a short coat with two layers. This breed needs little maintenance to keep healthy and clean. The Entlebucher should be brushed once a week just to help shed fur in a controlled way, though it may need extra grooming during seasonal shedding in the spring. Usually, not much bathing is needed either. Still, it’s a good idea to brush any dog’s teeth on occasion, and the Entlebucher is no exception. Because of the floppy ears, you’ll also want to pay attention to keeping them hygienic and dry so problems don’t develop.
One thing to keep in mind with the Entlebucher is that they have a history as guard dogs. This breed is not shy about sounding the alarm, and their bark is deep and loud. They also err on the side of caution, and are slow to trust strangers. If they believe their owner is being attacked, their strong protective instinct may prompt the Entlebucher to come to the rescue.
Their confidence means that these dogs may be rough and boisterous throughout youth, and it can be difficult to convince them to follow your lead as the owner. The independent streak of an Entlebucher can make them very difficult dogs to train consistently – despite knowing what the owner wants, an Entlebucher may refuse to comply. This individuality can be a benefit, however, as it means the Entlebucher doesn’t usually suffer from separation anxiety or other anxiety disorders.
As for families, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is not recommended for those with small children. This dog doesn’t do anything by small measures, and it’s important that everybody in the house can stand up to the Entlebucher at playtime. The breed’s history in herding may make this kind of dog likely to try to chase and herd small children. Because of the Entlebucher’s loyalty to his people, however, he can make a wonderful, active companion for older kids and adults alike.
Because of its cattle-herding instinct and tendency towards caution around newcomers, the Entlebucher will need socializing from an early age to learn to behave nicely towards cats and other dogs. This dog isn’t quite prone to aggression, but it is perhaps too ready to sound the alarm and take a dominant position over humans and animals alike.
CARING FOR AN ENTLEBUCHER MOUNTAIN DOG
Entlebucher care is relatively easy, with proper exercise being the main concern in keeping this breed mentally stimulated and in good health.
Since the Entlebucher can be prone to becoming overweight, make sure to monitor food intake and check with a vet to make sure your dog has an appropriate amount of muscle and fat. The history of this breed means they’ve been bred for intense daily activity, but most Entlebucher dogs in households don’t get the opportunity to burn off nearly the same number of calories. As for the amount to feed, the Entlebucher should be fed about 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day or an equivalent amount of wet food. This can vary some depending on activity level and size.
An Entlebucher is one of the most active dog breeds one can own. This dog needs constant exercise in order to keep it from putting out its excess energy in the form of destructive behaviors. These can include destruction of beds and toys or excessive barking because of boredom. These dogs do best when paired with owners with athletic jobs or hobbies. This is a great dog to take along to daily work outs and weekend sporting adventures. Extensive sessions of fetch are another great option for yard play at home. Bringing an Entlebucher Mountain Dog along on hikes or other activities where it can meet new people can be a dual solution for socializing and exercising this dog simultaneously.
As for training, more is always better when it comes to the Entlebucher. This dog is very smart and extremely active, and it thrives on learning new things. Dog puzzles and other interactive toys can help maintain this dog’s attention when the owner cannot. It’s important to train this dog from an early age in respecting strangers and other animals. Introduce the Entlebucher to new people and dogs often when young to prevent issues later. It’s also important to teach commands like speak and quiet, as this breed can be incredibly noisy if not taught properly. Getting a good leash for pulling may also be a good idea for this breed. This dog will need a very involved owner; somebody with experience in training previous dogs would be the best type of owner for the Entlebucher.
In general, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a very healthy breed. It hasn’t been far removed from its origins as a herding breed, and so the dogs of today still have more of a focus on ability rather than appearance. The life expectancy is 10-13 years, much as can be expected for a dog of this size.
The American Kennel Club recommends to ask breeders for several health tests, including Hip Evaluation, Ophthalmologist Evaluation, Patella Evaluation, and a PRA Optigen DNA Test. The Entlebucher seems to have more knee problems than is normal for a breed of its size.
Some health issues the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is prone to include: ectropion or entropion (eyelid issues), pulmonic stenosis, Entlebucher urinary syndrome, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, retinal atrophy, and retinal dysplasia.
If the owner is careful to keep an eye on the state of the Entlebucher’s knees and eyes, the main concern should then be about the Entlebucher’s mental state. These dogs need a job, and without one (or several,) they can start to become a nuisance to owners rather than a companion. It’s vital that this dog not be left to simple wander the yard on its own; try getting involved in obedience, agility, or many of the other interesting dog sports that might be offered in your area.