Entlebucher Mountain Dog

The Entlebucher Sennenhund was developed in Entlebuch in Switzerland and is believed to originate from cattle dogs left by the Romans. The modern Entlebucher was recognized in 1889, but it was hardly known. In 1913 four exhibits were shown and after World War I there were no traces of the breed. After intensive searching all over the country, sixteen dogs were found in 1927. Those sixteen are the foundation of the modern Entlebucher.


Also known as the Entlebucher Sennenhund or simply the Entlebucher, this breed was primarily employed as a cattle drover, but was also used to guard the herds and as a general watchdog and farm dog. It is named after the river that runs through the valley where it is found, in central Switzerland.

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the more small of the four Swiss Mountain Dogs (the other three being the Greater Swiss, the Bernese and the Appenzell). In the 19th century these dogs were rather variable and were not recognized as distinct breeds. Then, in 1908, Professor Albert Heim, a Swiss canine expert, with the cooperation of the Swiss Kennel Club, set about standardizing and classifying them. He separated out the different types that were centred in distinct districts and gave them names according to their localities. In the valleys to the west of Lucerne, he recognized the Entlebuch breed. It had shorter legs and a smaller body than the others. Its short coat was tricoloured in black, tan and white, and its tail was severely docked.

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog had originated as a servant of the Lucernese herdsmen. Its main function was to assist in driving their cattle up into the high pastures for the summer, where it stayed with them to guard them. Then, at the end of the summer, it would help to bring them back down again to the shelter of the valleys for the harsh winter period. It was also employed to drive cattle to market and to move them though mountain passes when they were being used in local trading.

A highly localized breed, it has always been small in number and in the early part of the 20th century was nearly extinct. Although more common now, it has remained comparatively rare and is hardly ever seen outside its native country.


In personality the Entlebucher Mountain Dog has been described as quiet, trustworthy and trainable, docile with people, eager to work and intelligent and agile with cattle. As a pet animal, it remains active and playful even as an adult, often jumping up and hitting its human companions with its body, as if trying to herd them.


Height: Males 17.5-19.5 in (44-50 cm)/females 16.5-19 in (42-48 cm)/i5.5-i9 in (40-50 cm) [CKC][UKC]

Weight: 55-65 lb (25-29.5 kg)


The sturdy Entlebucher enjoys exercising while doing a job, such as pulling a cart or training for a sport. He thrives in the great outdoors, enjoying anything from long hikes to city strolls.


The Entlebucher is tuned in to his family and gladly takes on opportunities to learn through training. He is highly intelligent and learns quickly, but his independent streak means that he needs a good leader and consistent training.


He is an easy keeper with a coat that needs little more than the occasional brushing. He sheds but not profusely.


Average life span is 10 to 12 years. Breed health concerns may include hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Gallery of Entlebucher Mountain Dog