Appenzell Mountain Dog

Entlebucher Mountain Dog

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest of the four Swiss mountain dog and cattle dogs. It is also known as the Entlebucher Sennenhund, Entelbuch Mountain Dog, Entelbucher Cattle Dog and similar combinations. This breed was used originally for driving and guarding cattle. The breed is named for the Swiss town of Entlebuch in Lucerne.



The Entlebucher is a square, sturdy dog with typical working dog features. It has small, triangular ears and rather small, lively brown eyes. The head is well proportioned to the body, with a strong flat skull. The long jaw is well formed and powerful. The feet are compact supporting its muscular body. The smooth coat is close and harsh with symmetrical markings of black, tan and white. This tricolor coat has white on its toes, tail-tip, chest and blaze; the tan always lies between the black and the white. It has muscular broad hips. The hocks are naturally well angled. The tail is sometimes docked. Nowadays the tail is long, because of the new legislature concerning docking of tails (EU only).

Height: 16-20"
Weight: 45-65 lbs.


This is a breed with all the intelligence, personality, agility and loyalty you could ask for packed into a sturdy little package. It is important to make sure that this little herder is compatible with your personality and lifestyle, as this is a dog that will be happiest if it is by your side every waking hour. The Entlebucher, while being independent and self confident, is nonetheless very attached to its people and must be made a part of the family. One of the greatest qualities of this breed is its unwavering devotion to its master. This is not a breed that will do well if left in the back yard, unless, of course, that is where the family is as well.

The breed is territorial and slightly suspicious of strangers, making it a competent watch dog. They have an impressive bark and naturally announce the arrival of newcomers. While they are naturally confident and social dogs, socialization and training is required.

Entlebuchers are generally regarded as great dogs with children, although there may be exceptions. The additional time required to train a smart, willful dog is a major consideration for a busy parent. Due to the Entlebucher’s keen sense of social hierarchy, the head of the household will need to be actively involved in the training. This is an active, physical breed and loves to play and rough house. Once trained to be gentle with children, however, an Entlebucher is an excellent play mate and may even round up children like a small herd of cattle.


Like all of the Swiss mountain dogs, its origins are ancient, probably dating back to Roman times. Under the name Entilbucherhund the breed has been known since 1889 when Franz Schertenleib made a concerted effort to track down, identify, and breed this small mountain dog but no difference between this dog and the Appenzell Cattledog was noted. Only from 1926 has it been openly promoted as a separate purebred from the Appenzell and it started to rise in popularity.

Health issues

Due to inbreeding to preserve breed characteristics, Entlebuchers often suffer from congenital defects, the most common of which is hip dysplasia. Hemolytic anemia also is known to occur.

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