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Entelbucher Mountain Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

Entlebucher Mountain Dog in nature

Entelbucher Mountain Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a herding dog from Switzerland. They are the smallest of the four types of Swiss mountain dogs and are sometimes called the “laughing dog of the Swiss Alps”. Despite their small size, they are equally as hard-working and adaptable as the other Swiss breeds.

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs can make great canine companions or working dogs thanks to their loyal and reliable temperaments. However, you might have difficulty finding this breed due to their rarity.

Breed Overview


16–21 inches


40–65 pounds


11–13 years


Black, white, tan, yellow

Suitable for:

Active families or those with children looking for an intelligent working dog


Affectionate, loyal, stubborn, intelligent, reliable

As the smallest of the Swiss mountain dogs, the Entlebucher stands between 16 and 21 inches tall and weighs up to 65 pounds. They have tricolored coats available in black, white, and tan or yellow.

The Entlebucher resembles a miniature version of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, however, they have a more elongated back and shorter legs. Their temperament is similar to the second smallest Swiss mountain dog, the Appenzeller. Both dogs are more agile and energetic than their larger relatives. Entlebuchers do not let their small size interfere with their working abilities and are eager to be trained.

Entlebucher Mountain Dog Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Entlebucher Mountain Dog Puppies

Group of Entlebucher Sennenhund mountain dog outdoor
Image Credit: Natalia Fedosova, Shutterstock

It’s difficult to find Entlebucher puppies up for adoption because they are a relatively rare breed outside of Switzerland. If you are looking for an Entlebucher in the United States, you will have better luck finding one from an international breeder. You could also contact and locate different clubs for this breed in your area and search for a list of breeders there.

If you are lucky enough to welcome an Entlebucher puppy into your family, you will soon discover what makes the breed so special. Entlebucher puppies are very energetic and playful, so they enjoy plenty of playtime and light exercise.

Furthermore, they are fairly easy to train from a young age, although socializing with them can be challenging. Entlebucher puppies are wary of strangers and other dogs, making early socialization essential.

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Entlebucher Mountain Dog Origin & History

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs originate from Switzerland in the Entlebuch region. Their origins can be traced back about 2,000 years ago to Mastiff-type dogs brought into the Swiss Alps by Roman soldiers. These Mastiff-type dogs were crossbred with local herding dogs to create a reliable and adaptable breed that can work tirelessly in the harsh mountain region.

Entlebuchers were used to obediently complete herding tasks and made loyal farm dogs and cattle drovers.

Entlebucher Mountain
Image Credit: mjagpr, Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog 🧠

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have many desirable characteristics that lovers of this breed are drawn to. They are highly intelligent and trainable and eagerly want to learn how to complete tasks. They show strong herding instincts and a desire to protect their family from a young age. It is best to work alongside the breed’s temperament rather than trying to train it out of them. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs require plenty of exercise and attention to stay happy.

As an energetic dog breed, plenty of exercise and enrichment is a must if you want to keep them happy. However, adult Entlebuchers are not as energetic as they were as puppies and tend to become quieter as they mature. They do not bark much unless given a reason to and are confident when performing different tasks.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Entlebucher can be a devoted family dog as they are naturally protective and loving towards their family members. However, this breed isn’t the right fit for every family. They are better for farmers or families with older children, as long as all their needs can be met.

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs do not make great lap dogs that can be kept alone most of the day until their family returns. They have slightly more demanding exercise requirements than non-working breeds. Furthermore, the Entlebucher’s herding behaviors can be an issue for young children who could be knocked down or injured in the process.

Entlebucher Mountain
Image Credit: HutchRock, Pixabay

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs tend to be reserved and cautious about unfamiliar animals or people. It can take them a while to be fully comfortable around strange people. Plus, they require lots of socialization to get used to other dogs and cats. They seem to bond more easily to dogs than they do to cats. Entlebuchers get along best with livestock such as cattle and sheep since they are natural herders. You may want to think twice about allowing Entlebuchers to interact with smaller pets like rodents or birds since they do not get along well.

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Things to Know When Owning an Entlebucher Mountain Dog:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs should be fed a high-quality diet with a balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. The food should follow the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to ensure that your Entlebucher is receiving all the nutrients they need to be healthy. The main ingredient in this breed’s diet should be a quality protein along with a moderate amount of carbohydrates as an energy source.

Entlebuchers may have different dietary requirements depending on their lifestyle and age. You should consult with a veterinarian or registered canine nutritionist if you need help finding the right diet for your Entlebucher Mountain Dog.

Exercise 🐕

As a high-energy breed, Entlebuchers require plenty of exercise and interactive playtime. They need about 2 hours of exercise a day, which can be broken up into different parts of the day. They enjoy having a spacious area to explore and run around, so a large yard or secure dog park will be useful for exercise.

Walks, short jogs, hikes, and games of fetch are great ways to exercise Entlebucher and keep them happy and healthy.

entlebucher mountain
Image Credit: VincentScherer, Pixabay

Training 🦮

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are highly intelligent which makes them easy to train. With plenty of training from a young age, you can help them become obedient adults. Positive reinforcement and consistent training sessions tend to work best for this breed. It’s better to keep their training sessions short yet productive rather than long and boring which can make them lose attention easily.

Training sessions can be done throughout the day depending on what works best for them and their individual needs.

Grooming ✂️

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have smooth, short coats that are easy to groom. They only need to be brushed once or twice a week and don’t need to be bathed often unless they become visibly dirty. They also need their nails trimmed and ears cleaned regularly during their grooming sessions. This breed can easily be groomed from home and doesn’t usually need to be taken to be professionally groomed.

entlebucher mountain dog
Image Credit: MyImages – Micha, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions ❤️

Minor Conditions
  • Eye issues (cataracts, blindness, or glaucoma)
  • Skin conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Entlebucher urinary syndrome
  • Patellar luxation
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Bloat

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Male vs Female

Male Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are usually larger than their female counterparts in height rather than weight. Both sexes have similar temperaments and working abilities. The only differences in their behaviors would be related to hormones, which can begin to show when they are around 6 months old.

These behavioral changes can range from aggression to roaming behavior or be related to the females’ estrous cycle. Once your dog is spayed or neutered, these hormonal differences will be largely mitigated.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Entlebucher Mountain Dog

1. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs almost went extinct.

This breed nearly disappeared in the 1900s when they were bred with imported breeds and German Shepherds. However, a huge supporter of the Swiss mountain dog breeds, Albert Heim, had a major role in saving the breed. Heim introduced several Entlebuchers into a dog show in the 1900s to preserve the breed.

2. They are known as the “laughing dogs of the Swiss Alps.”

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have earned the nickname the “laughing dogs of the Swiss Alps” from their markings and temperaments. These dogs are always eager to work and do it with unmatched enthusiasm. Their owners often describe them as happy dogs that work with a canine “smile”.

3. They are the smallest of the four Swiss mountain dog breeds.

There are four Swiss mountain dog breeds, namely the Greater Swiss, Bernese, Appenzeller, and Entlebucher Mountain Dogs. The Entlebucher is the smallest of the four and is significantly shorter and lighter in weight.

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Final Thoughts

The Entlebucher Mountain Dog originates from the Entlebuch region in Switzerland. They are natural herders with a history as cattle dockers. They are the smallest of the Swiss Mountain Dog breeds and are characterized by their short stature and tricolored coats.

Entlebuchers can either be raised as loving companions or used for working purposes. This breed thoroughly enjoys working and receiving plenty of exercise. Although they are a happy and spirited breed, Entlebuchers can be wary of strangers and unfamiliar animals.

Featured Image Credit to: Vivienstock, Shutterstock

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