Friday, March 11, 2011


This is the third breed that the AKC recognized this year for the first time.  I already told you about the other two breeds, which were the Mexican Hairless and the Norwegian Lundehund.  So anyway, now I will tell you about Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, which are also sometimes called Entlebucher Sennenhund or Entlebucher Cattle Dogs.

This breed comes from an area of Switzerland called Entlebuch, so that's how the dogs got that funny name.  And in case your Swiss geography isn't so good, I found you a nice map to look at.  There are people called Senn living in the area around Entlebuch, and they were traditionally herders, so they used these Sennenhund type dogs to guard and herd their sheep, goats and cattle.

There are four types of Mountain Dogs, and they are (1) Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, (2) Bernese Mountain Dog, (3) Appenzeller, and (4) Entlebucher Mountain Dog.  The Entlebuchers are the smallest of the four breeds.  They are square, sturdy dogs who are about 19-20 inches tall at the withers, and they weigh 45-65 pounds.  Their coat is close and harsh, and it is always tri-colored (black, tan, and white).  Sometimes the tail is docked, but this is now illegal to do in many countries.  Other times these dogs are born with a naturally bobbed tail.

All of the Sennenhund breeds probably came from the big molosser dogs that the Romans brought to Switzerland in the 1st Century B.C.  The Entlebucher dogs were described as a separate breed in 1889, but before people could really get started breeding them, World War I came along and everyone got distracted by that. Then after the war, it was really hard to find any Entlebucher dogs.  But finally in 1926 a breed club was formed, and 16 dogs were used to get the breed started again.

The smaller Mountain Dogs, the Entlebucher and the Appenzeller, were the dogs that had the job of herding dairy cows in from the mountain pastures.  The Greater Swiss and the Bernese Mountain Dogs guarded the flocks and also pulled carts to take milk and cheese to market.

Nowadays, Entlebucher Sennenhunds are mostly used as family dogs.  They are loyal dogs who are smart, good-natured, and who love their people.  They are territorial and a little bit suspicious of strangers, which makes them good watch dogs.  Usually they like children, but the dogs need to be socialized and trained starting at a young age.

Because they had such a small gene pool, Entlebuchers were inbred and have several inherited health problems such as hip dysplasia.  Other problems they sometimes have are hemolytic anemia and progressive retinal atropy.

The breed is already recognized by international groups like the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the Kennel Club of the UK, the Canadian Kennel Club, and the United Kennel Club in the U.S.  And as of January, it is now also recognized by the American Kennel Club.


  1. What a great article and what a beautiful dog. I just got a Catahoula Leaperd Mix and love him. I love reading your posts.

    1. We just got a Catahoula/Entlebucher mix! She is amazing and we just love her. How big did your dog get?

  2. Dear Piper,
    I heard about some tsunami today, From Japan to here in America! I am worried, were you affected? If not then WHEW that IS a relief, but my relatives are...(Sniff)... Change of topic... I don't get what you mean by 'hairless' BTW what is the difference between hair and fur?
    Your Number one fan,

  3. Dear Tas,
    I live almost in the middle of the country, so there's really no tsunami that's big enough to get here! Or at least I hope there isn't! Where are your relatives? I hope they are okay! The earthquake and the tsunami are very scary, and I would not want to be around where there were happening.

    Anyway, about the other thing, if you are talking about an animal, I think you can use "hair" and "fur" to mean the same thing. So a "hairless" dog is really the same as a "furless" dog, but people only say "hairless" for some reason. I don't understand these things, really. I just know what I have heard. Also, people don't usually have "fur," they just have "hair." The English language is very strange!

    Love, Piper

  4. Dear Piper-

    I have a friend Entlebucher. His name is Earl, so we call him Earl the pearl and he's very nice. He does 'gility and other things like me. Then I got my sister Pearl, so we started calling her Pearl the Earl. Kind of silly. Mom really calls Pearl, Pearl-petual Motion and if you knew her, you'd know why she's called that.

  5. Opps,
    that should be signed

    --Zest, superstar in training

  6. Dear Zest,
    It's cool that you know an Entlebucher personally. Also, I will just say that if you keep collecting Pearls and Earls, you can string them together and make a nice necklace to wear. LOL My Aunt Cheryl in Austin is fostering an airedale named Pearl, and she has 10 puppies. They are keeping Aunt Cheryl very busy and entertained.
    Your friend, Piper