The Entlebucher (pronounced "en-tell-boo-shay") Mountain Dog is a medium-sized dog but is the smallest among the four Swiss mountain dogs and cattle dogs. It is also known as the Entlebucher Sennenhund, Entelbuch Mountain Dog, and Entelbucher Cattle Dog. It has a square profile and a sturdy look. The body is muscular, supported by straight front legs and broad hips. The head is proportioned to the body with a flat skull and features a straight muzzle with a well formed jaw, a set of medium-sized v-shaped ears that are highly set which are gently rounded at the tip. When the dog is alert, the ears are brought forward and raised at the base. The eyes are dark brown while the nose is always black. The smooth coat is close and harsh with black as the primary colour with markings similar to the Rottweiler. Proportioned markings of white colour can be found on the toes, tail tip, chest and muzzle (with a stripe running between the eyes to the top of the head) while the tan colour is always set in between the black and the white. An adult Entlebucher Mountain Dog can stand between 41 - 51 cm from the withers and weigh between 20 - 30 kgs.
Like all breeds of Swiss mountain dogs, the origins of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is ancient, most probably dating back to Roman times. There is not much written proof about the true origins of this breed, it is believed that it was named after a town located near Lucerne in Switzerland and is thought to be descended from the mastiffs brought by the Roman legions over two thousand years ago. The smaller of the Swiss Mountain Dogs including the Entlebucher were used to herd cattle from their mountain pasture while the larger breeds were used to guard the flock. It is well-known in its native land but remains a rare breed outside of Switzerland. It goes by the name "Entilbucherhund" prior to 1889 when Franz Schertenleib, with the help of a Zurich show judge, Professor Albert Heim made an intensive campaign to search down, identify and breed Swiss Mountain dogs before they become extinct. In 1926, it was promoted as a distinct purebred from the Appenzeller (another Swiss Mountain dog breed). Today, the Entlebucher is generally a companion dog.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog loves human companionship. It is a very friendly breed often eager to please its master. Its natural alertness coupled by a deep-sounding bark makes it an excellent guard dog. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog was originally bred as a working dog so it is very well-adapted to herding.
This dog has a highly boisterous attitude which makes it a bad choice for a novice pet owner. However, with proper methods of training and positive motivation particularly at an early age, The Entlebucher Mountain Dog can be an excellent friend.
The short coat is easy to groom and has low to almost no grooming requirements. Regular brushing with a soft bristle brush to remove loose or dead hair is suggested. Bathe only when absolutely necessary. This breed is an average shedder.
A healthy Entlebucher Mountain dog can live up to 13 years, accident and sickness aside. Because of inbreeding to preserve breed qualities, the Entlebucher has been noted to suffer from congenital defects, the most common being hip dysplasia, which affects the hip join and can cause painful arthritis and crippling lameness in its more severe form. Haemolytic anaemia, a form of anaemia caused by the abnormal breakdown of red blood cells either in the blood vessels or somewhere else in the body, is also known to occur.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog was initially bred to work the mountainous regions of Switzerland. Exposure to this native environment means that the dog is used to daily, brisk, and long periods of exercise. As such, it is not recommended for an apartment. It needs a home with a large, fenced-in garden in order to roam freely and safely off the lead. Failure to get the necessary exercise could make the Entlebucher Mountain Dog destructive, often it will find other outlets to release its energy, and at times, will display aggressive behaviour.
It is generally regarded as an excellent dog with children however because it is an energetic breed, it is not recommended for families with young children. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog has a strong instinct as a working dog so it is known to sometimes display herding behaviour towards cats and other dogs, sometimes displaying aggressiveness towards other canines.