Entlebuch Cattle Dog

Entlebuch Cattle Dog Breed description: Character & Co

Entlebuch Cattle Dog


They definitely make an impression: Entlebuch Cattle Dogs. Their characteristic tri-coloured coat, agile build, their eager, intelligent eyes, constant activity. Their name originates in Entlebuch, a region in Switzerland between Bern and Lucerne, which is considered their home.

About the breed of an Entlebuch Cattle Dog

The Entlebuch Cattle Dog belongs to the FCI Group 2, Section 3, these are the Swiss Mountain Dogs. It is the smallest breed in this section. The Mountain Dogs are herding dogs.

About 10 percent of the puppies are born with a stump for a tail. So when you see an Entlebucher with a stubby tail, it does not necessarily mean that the tail has been docked.

History: the working dog

Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs are classic working dogs in the Alps. They guarded house and yard and accordingly had a close relationship to their family, but were reserved or even suspicious towards strangers. They pulled carts, for that they had to be tough and have a muscular build. Especially the smaller and therefore more agile strokes were used for driving cows: This means that they had to hold the herd together by pinching escaping cows or ones that would refuse to move on into their hind legs while at the same time trying to dodge their kicks. They were self-confident, intelligent and brave.

About a hundred years ago, the dogs were divided into the individual breeds 'Großer Schweizer Sennenhund' (Greater Swiss Mountain Dog), 'Berner Sennenhund' (Bernese Mountain Dog), 'Appenzeller Sennenhund' (Appenzell Mountain Dog) and 'Entlebucher Sennenhund' (Entlebuch Cattle Dog), with the Entlebucher being the smallest among them. At that time the tri-coloured pattern was also set as a breeding goal.

Banner: Shutterstock / Eric Isselee
Entlebucher Sennenhund, Swiss Mountain Dog in the forest, medium sized dog breed small young dog, young dog of an Entlebucher Sennenhund Entlebucher Sennenhund sitting on a meadow, black brown white dog, medium dog breed Entlebucher Mountain Dog puppy, small tri-colored dog, large dog breed, cute dog puppy, family dog, dog similar to Bernese Mountain Dog
Alternate Name Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Origin Switzerland
Life expectancy 10 - 12 years
Care requirements -
Activity level -
FCI group Swiss Mountain- and Cattledogs
AKC group Herding Group
KC group working group

Entlebuch Cattle Dog's nature: They need to be kept busy

The Entlebucher is confident and intelligent, fearless and active. They strongly fixate on their people and can even sense their mood. They are very devoted to their family and distrustful of strangers. Therefore they make for a good guard dog.

They definitely always need something to do. Dog sports are a suitable occupation for them, but they are just as well suited as disaster or avalanche dogs. If they feel bored, there is a high risk that they act protective over the children or the family or, if they see it as necessary, the car.

Attitude: Space and activity required

The Entlebucher needs sufficient space to move around in. But what they need even more is stimulation, movement and closeness to their people. If they are not used as working dogs, they should definitely be kept by active people who are enthusiastic about dog sports or a sport in which the dog can actively participate - more or less daily. They want to be outside in all weather conditions, to always learn and experience something new - preferably together with their human.

Raising an Entlebucher: lovingly and consistently

Since the Entlebucher is so fixated on its humans, it is relatively easy to train. They like to learn and can figuratively read their owner's feelings and wishes. There is hardly anything more important to them than to please their humans and to be praised by them. This also means that you should always be fair to your Entlebucher and treat the Entlebucher Mountain Dog puppy lovingly but at the same time consistently. This will further strengthen the close bond between both of you and provide you with a loyal and good comrade.


Breeding: Problems due to small gene pool

The Entlebucher has a relatively small gene pool, which makes breeding the Entlebucher Mountain Dog much more difficult.

Health and diseases in the Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dog

Due to frequent inbreeding, some diseases are widespread in the breed.

  • Eye malformations and diseases
  • Joint diseases like hip joint dysplasia and similar

In specimens with a high inbreeding factor, the life expectancy of the Entlebuchers is about eight years, otherwise twelve years.

What else you should look out for when buying a mountain dog

If you want to buy an Entlebuch Cattle Dog, you should definitely have a look at the pedigree of the parents at the Entlebuch Cattle Dog breeder. There should be as few duplications as possible in the ancestors, so that you end up with a puppy that is as robust as possible. Maybe it is not that important that the coat pattern is exactly as defined, if you get a healthy puppy in return.

An Entlebuch Cattle Dog puppy costs about 1200 Euros.

Further information on the Entlebucher is also available from the Swiss Mountain Dog Association for Germany.

Entlebucher Mountain Dog Breed Description

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog belongs to the category of medium sized dog breeds. External characteristics are:

  • Withers height males 44 to 52 cm, bitches 42 to 50 cm
  • Weight between 20 and 30 kg
  • muscular and strong with relatively long back and sturdy legs
  • tail is rather short and carried straight
  • short coat, hard and close to the body with dense undercoat
  • tri-coloured with basic colour black with white and tan markings, the distribution of which is precisely prescribed
  • short, wide drooping ears

Undemanding in care

The Entlebucher does not require much care. The coat needs to be brushed from time to time. Of course, as with any dog, you should check their claws, paws, eyes and ears regularly. You also have to pay some attention to their dental care.

Fur length short
Fur flat coated
Ear shape -
Tail lang
Anatomy sporty
Size ♀ 42 - 50 cm
Weight ♀ 20 - 30 kg
Size ♂ 44 - 52 cm
Weight ♂ 20 - 30 kg
Suitable For -


  • Hip dysplasia (HD)

    Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetic condition in dogs where the hip joint is not shaped properly. This leads to pain, stiffness and restricted movement.

  • Elbow dysplasia (ED)

    Elbow joint dysplasia is a chronic disease complex of the elbow joint of fast growing dog breeds.

  • Eye infections

    Chronic eye infections can be very painful in dogs and can be treated with medication. In rare cases, the cornea must be treated.

  • An Entlebucher Mountain Dog needs a lot of exercise. You should allow at least 3 hours per day for physical exercise. In addition, mental exercise is suitable at home with the help of search games, intelligence toys or a Kong.

  • Swissydog is the name for hybrid mixtures of two of the four mountain dogs from Switzerland.

  • There are several Swiss Mountain Dogs:

  • A serious breeder sells Entlebucher Sennenhunde only with pedigree and papers and asks for this at least 2500 euros.

Sources and relevant links

Offizielle Seite der FCI

Accessed on 01.03.2023

American Kennel Club

Accessed on 03.03.2023


Accessed on 03.03.2023


Accessed on 03.03.2023

Gabriele Lehari (2004). Ulmers Großes Lexikon der Hunderassen. Ulmer.

Hans Räber (2014). Enzyklopädie der Rassehunde, Band 1. Kosmos.

Verein für Schweizer Sennenhunde in Österreich

Accessed on 17.01.2024

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