Entlebucher Mountain Dog

History

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog, or Entie, was developed in Switzerland. It is the smallest of that country’s four herding breeds (the others being the Appenzeller, the Bernese Mountain Dog, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog). Believed to be related to the Roman Molossers brought to Switzerland two thousand years ago, it was originally a herding and guard dog, but would sometimes pull milk carts, too – a real all-rounder. It is usually just kept as a pet nowadays.

Behaviour

Entie’s are intelligent working dogs who like to keep busy. They are great pets, as long as they belong to an active family. They dislike being left alone for long periods, so they need to have people around most of the time. They are good with children, but their herding instincts make them “round up” stragglers, and although this is just a bit of fun for older children, it can mean toddlers are pushed to the ground a bit too easily, or intimidated. Enties are wary of strangers in the home, but early socialization can nip this antisocial tendency in the bud. The dog will bark when someone is at the door, making it a good watch dog, always on the alert. They form very close bonds with their family and, without wider socialization, can sometimes be overly protective of their human friends.

Entlebuchers get along with other dogs as long as they are introduced to other four-legged friends at a young age. Similarly, with early familiarity they will get along just fine with cats and other pets in the house. When playing with other dogs, they have a tendency to try herding the group, but this is just normal behavior, and is fine as long as the other dogs are happy with being corralled!

Training an Entie is fairly straightforward, and training should ideally begin at an early age. They can be stubborn at times and may test the limits of your patience, so a firm and consistent approach to training is best. They are strong dogs, so it is important to teach them to walk to heal from the beginning. They will enjoy being taught to pick things from the floor, collect the post, fetch shoes, etc., and these tasks all help keep the dog's mind active. They like to please you and are very loyal, so teaching this sort of behavior suits their personalities.

Enties require a long daily walk, and they will happily play fetch or frisbee for hours. They rarely tire, and are at their happiest when out and about with you. They tend to do very well in competitions, enjoying flyball and herding tasks, and excelling at agility.

This breed has a short coat that only requires occasional brushing. They are very clean dogs and look after themselves. They molt twice a year, and are very low shedders.

Temperament

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are energetic, companionable, strong working dogs that need plenty of daily exercise to offset boredom. They your attention and expect lots of cuddles and physical contact. They are good family dogs, but can be a bit boisterous for small children. Wary of strangers, they make great guard dogs, always announcing the arrival of visitors. As with all dogs, early socialization will help them become well rounded adults.

Health Problems

Hip Dysplasia is one of the most common problems in the breed, but not more so than other breeds. Other possible issues include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina, which can lead to blindness), and haemolytic anaemia (in which the dog's own immune system attacks its red blood cells).

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 11 - 15 years
  • Weight: 57 - 66 pounds
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Short
  • Grooming Requirements: Once a week
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Small House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
  • Breed Type: Working Dog
  • Size: Large
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour

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