The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a medium-sized sturdy dog with small brown eyes, short multicolored fur, and small, triangular ears. The smooth coat is usually white, tan, and black with a soft and fluffy blaze and chest. Out of all the Swiss Mountain Dogs, the Entlebucher is the smallest and some say is a descendent of the Mastiffs that guarded and fought with the Romans. This breed was not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 2011 and is still quite rare in the United States but popular in Switzerland. It is a good family dog and is mostly kept as a companion pet now rather than a flock guard.
There are four breeds of Mountain Dogs, which are the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Appenzeller Mountain Dog, and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. The original Sennenhund breeds are thought to have been brought to Switzerland by the Romans in the first century, over 2000 years ago. However, the breed was almost extinct by the 1900s due to the crossbreeding with German Shepherds and other purebred dogs. In 1889 a man named Franz Schertenleib collected all the Entlebucher Mountain Dogs and bred them to keep the breed going. At that time, they were named Entlebucherhunds. They were originally used for herding and guarding sheep and cattle, while the larger Mountain Dogs were used for flocking cattle and pulling carts to transport cheese and milk to markets. Now they are kept mostly as companion pets and guard dogs. Until 1913, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog was considered to be the same breed as the Appenzell Cattle Dog. In that year, a few of these dogs were shown in a Swiss dog show by Professor Albert Heim where they were classed in the Swiss Canine Stud Book as the fourth Mountain and Cattle Dog breed. However, there was a delay and the breed was not given a standard until 1927 by the Swiss Club of Entlebucher Cattle Dogs. It took another 84 years before the AKC acknowledged them as an official breed. According to the AKC, the breed originated from Entlebuch, which is a valley in the District of the Cantons Lucerne and Berne in Switzerland.
Your Entlebucher Mountain Dog is medium sized, strong, and square-shaped with a sturdy, muscular body. Their coat is shiny black with symmetrical white on chest, muzzle, feet, and tail. There are shades of mahogany and fawn colors on the bushy eyebrows and between the white and black markings on the rest of the body. Some Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have small, tan, oval shaped markings on the cheeks and a few can have an inverted cross marking on the chest. The blaze is white and furry and the tail has just a bit of white at the tip. They have small brown eyes, triangular ears, a strong jaw, and straight teeth. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog’s nose is black and straight, with natural whiskers. They have a strong, medium length neck; the tail can be natural or docked, and elevated but not curled. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog has short and well-muscled front legs, long hind legs, and small paws.
Even though the Entlebucher Mountain Dog’s coat is short, it has a tendency to shed all year and it can be quite heavy in the spring. Your dog should be brushed at least once a week with a rubber curry grooming brush to decrease the shedding and remove the dead hair. They do not need to be bathed unless they are really dirty and should then be bathed with mild dog shampoo. You need to trim the nails once a month and brush the teeth daily, if possible, to keep the teeth clean and promote good dental health. Frequent brushing can also prevent bad breath. Look at your dog’s ears during your weekly brushing to check for wax, dirt, and other debris. If they are dirty, you can use a cotton ball with special ear cleaner for dogs as recommended by your veterinary care provider. In addition, you should check your dog’s eyes for discharge or cloudiness at this time.