Complete Guide To The Entlebucher Mountain Dog: Personality, Feeding, Exercise and More

Bred for herding, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog has many common characteristics shared with other Swiss Mountain Dog breeds. With its high energy and exuberant nature, this medium-size dog certainly isn’t for everyone. But, with the right owner with plenty of patience and consistency, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog can make an excellent family member.  

How Big Do Entlebucher Mountain Dogs Get?

Male17″ – 21″ at the shoulder50-65 lbs
Female16″ – 20″ at the shoulder40-55 lbs

What Do Entlebucher Mountain Dogs Look Like?

Compared to other Swiss Mountain Dog breeds, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest. Like other Mountain Dog species, this dog will have a tri-colored coat that consists of black, white, and tan.

These dogs usually have white on their chest, feet, and a blaze down the muzzle and top of their head. Usually, areas around the body are black or rust. Like other mountain dogs, these dogs have a coarse topcoat and wooly undercoat designed to keep the dog protected from cold weather and snow. 

What Is The Personality Of A Entlebucher Mountain Dog?

Although this dog is friendly with its owner and family, it can be somewhat aloof toward strangers. They will always announce the arrival of guests and can make a good watchdog for families. A key trait to the Entlebucher personality is a never-ending supply of energy.

This dog is happy to bark and bounce about and will always willingly accept roughhousing. The dog loves kids but sometimes takes roughhousing to the extreme. Due to its herding nature, it is not uncommon to watch this dog try to “herd” his family to one location, and on occasion, will nip at heels and feet.  

Because of their exuberance and high energy, this dog is not an excellent fit for everyone. These dogs are clever, energetic, and bouncy and need proper obedience training and instruction. This dog is not a great fit for novice dog owners or those who are unwilling to commit to a rigorous exercise routine.  

How Much Grooming Do Entlebucher Mountain Dogs Need?

Although this dog has a thick and long coat, it requires very minimal grooming. The dog will shed quite a bit, so regular brushing or hand-stripping is needed. Brushing your dog about once per week will help to eliminate some shedding.

The dog’s coat is described as “wash and wear,” with very little need for regular bathing. The fur naturally works to repel dirt and debris, so it will often only require a quick wipe-down to remove dirt. Like all dogs, keep the nails trimmed short if they are not naturally worn short by walking on rough surfaces.  

How Much Exercise Is Needed For A Entlebucher Mountain Dog?

Those who adopt the Entlebucher Mountain Dog must be prepared for plenty of exercise. This dog has plenty of energy and requires at least a full hour of vigorous exercise to keep it happy. This dog is perfect for active families who enjoy running, hiking, or biking. Your dog will be glad to join you on any adventure and is happier when he has a job to do. For the Entlebucher, a tired dog is a good dog.  

Remember that this breed of dog is also brilliant and is used to having a job to perform. The dog is a natural herder and likes to be able to work. This dog is the perfect dog to enroll in dog canine competitions such as tracking, herding, agility, or obedience competitions. Not only will this help to burn off loads of energy, but it will help to keep your dog mentally challenged and engaged.  

What Kind of Dog Food Is Good For A  Entlebucher Mountain Dog?

Personally I believe that most foods are fine for most dogs. Some dogs may not do well on some foods. However, as a rule I don’t blanket-prohibit any dietary ingredient from any breed at this time.

This is a breed that requires a large-breed puppy food to help control growth. Growing too fast can cause growing pains and potentially developmental orthopedic issues. For this reason, I recommend to my large dog breed owners to switch to adult food at around 6 months of age.

Best Puppy Food For Entlebucher Mountain Dogs:

Best Adult Food For Entlebucher Mountain Dogs:

Please don’t listen to the folks at the pet store trying to convince you to buy a grain-free diet for your dog. There’s zero science behind that and vets are actually seeing diseases now related to feeding grain-free foods.

It’s very important they remain at their optimal weight throughout their life. Have your vet go over with you exactly where to feel to know when your dog is too big.

How Long Does A Entlebucher Mountain Dog Live?

11-13 years based on information from the AKC

What Health Problems Can Entlebucher Mountain Dogs Have?

As a large breed dog, there are certain health issues that should always be a concern:

  • Hip Dysplaisa
  • Luxating Patella

However, there is a specific condition that this breed can have called Entlebucher Urinary Syndrome (EUS). EUS occurs when the ureter of one kidney does not attach to the bladder in a normal way. Some would call this an ectopic ureter, but in the Entlebucher Mountain Dog it can be quite more serious.

Typical symptoms revolve around the urinary tract. You might see your dog have a few Urinary tract infections that keep wanting to come back. Maybe there’s some early-onset urinary incontinence. Some dogs would have no symptoms at all.

In the worst case scenario, there’s an issue with the junction of the ureter and the bladder such that the ureter can not deliver urine from the kidney to the bladder. In this case, the urine will back up all the way into the kidney and then into the bloodstream. The only treatment for this would be removal of the kidney/ureter. Anything less would result in the death of the dog.

Unfortunately there’s no genetic test for this disease and it is impossible to prevent it by selective breeding because so many of these dogs have such silent symptoms that no one knows that they’re there. The only way to truly tell would be to do either an ultrasound or a contrast study in which a special dye is injected into the bloodstream that highlights the urinary tract.

Where Can I Find Out More About The Entlebucher Mountain Dog?

National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association (NEMDA)

AKC Breed Page

Where Can I Find An Entlebucher Mountain Dog?

List of Breeders from NEMDA

AKC Puppy Marketplace

Although this is a very healthy breed of dog, it can suffer from several genetic disorders and conditions passed along from the parent dogs. Before buying an Entlebucher Mountain Dog, be sure to adequately research the breeder to ensure they care for their dogs correctly. Every puppy should come with the proper health certifications, and at a minimum, be cleared for hip dysplasia which can lead to painful degenerative joint disease later in life.  

If possible, try to rescue an Entlebucher Mountain Dog. While this is a rare breed, it is possible to find certain rescue groups that specialize in this dog. Start your search with the National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association to not only learn about the breed but find potential rescues in your local area.  

Fun Facts About the Entlebucher Mountain Dog

  • There are four breeds of dogs that are considered part of the Swiss herding and mountain dogs. These are the Appenzeller, Bernese Mountain Dog, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and the Entlebucher. Of the four, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest.  
  • The Entlebucher Mountain dog is healthy and will usually live between 10 and 13 years.  
  • This dog is named for the Entlebuch region in Lucerne, Switzerland. It is thought that the dog was developed there and worked herding animals in these mountain areas in Switzerland.  
  • The Entlebucher Mountain Dog was almost extinct in the 1900s. Breeders attempted to cross this dog breed with other German dog breeds to make a hybrid dog. Alber Heim, a renowned breeder, is largely credited with saving the breed and allowing the breed to enter high-profile dog shows.