Entlebucher Mountain Dog
The fourth mountain dog is the most active - the Entlebuch Mountain Dog, a powerhouse in miniature. With its almost inexhaustible energy, loyalty and playfulness, he is the ideal companion for any active person.
The Entlebuch Mountain Dog is recognized by the FCI. Like all Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs, it is assigned to Group 2. This also includes Molossoids, Pinschers and Schnauzers. Among the mountain dogs, he is the lightest and smallest. The males measure between 44 and 52 centimeters. The bitches are only slightly smaller.
Like its relatives, the Entlebuch Mountain Dog is characterized by its tri-colored coat. The majority of the hair is black. Markings are only allowed on the belly, legs and head. The breeding aims at the fact that the coloring appears as symmetrically as possible. The two brown spots above the eyes are particularly noticeable. They give the dog a friendly facial expression. He has wide floppy ears. The coat is stockhaired and thus in the original type.
The Entlebuch Mountain Dog has relatively short legs, but a long torso. This does not limit his urge to move at all. He reaches impressive speeds and likes to be kept busy. At the same time he is very agile. He possesses this characteristic due to his historical use as a shepherd dog. Today it leads to his versatile usability.
If you are looking for a dog that will accompany you when you go jogging, bring back the frisbee and with whom you can do dog sports, you have come to the right place with the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. The most important thing for him is to have a task. This he then fulfills with unrestrained energy and perseverance. The satisfaction of his master has top priority.
The Entlebucher Sennenhund has a very close bond with his caregiver and family. He is a stranger to strangers. He often expresses his displeasure by barking. Therefore, he is well suited as a guard dog. In a kennel, however, he has nothing to look for. He gets along quite well with cats. All in all, this makes him the perfect family dog.
Especially with small children, however, you should exercise caution. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is not aggressive, but impetuous. He needs clear boundaries. Because of his high intelligence, he can also be used as a companion dog or trained for disasters. As a beginner dog he is suitable only conditionally. This is due to his liveliness.
In addition, the Entlebuch Mountain Dog is sensitive. Once made mistakes in the education can be corrected only with difficulty again. However, once you have earned the dog's trust, you have found a loyal companion. He will live between 8 and 10 years. With the right dispositions and good care, he can reach 12 years or more.
A particular conspicuous feature of the Entlebuch Mountain Dog can affect the tail. About one tenth of the puppies are born with a stubby tail. This genetic defect is hereditary and becomes rarer through selective breeding.
The right food
Diet plays an important role in the health and well-being of an Entlebuch Mountain Dog. When you get a puppy, it's best in the beginning to pass on the breeder's usual food. Of course, this also applies when your dog is older. Gradually, the diet can then be changed to the new food. This is the most gentle for the dog's stomach.
For the puppy period, of course, the breeder's food is the best option. He knows from years of experience what a young Entlebucher Mountain Dog needs. Otherwise, as a rule of thumb, you should be careful with protein. Too much of it can excessively accelerate growth and lead to problems with the bones later on.
The adult Entlebucher Sennenhund is best fed with meat. As a descendant of the wolf, this is his natural food and therefore the best tolerated. Vegetables and rice are possible supplements. Dry food is also an option. However, you should check the ingredients carefully. Too much flavor enhancers and especially grains have a negative effect.
If your dog is overweight or underweight, it is a good idea to discuss nutrition with your veterinarian. He knows best how increasing age and different occupations also affect the nutrient requirements.
Health & Care
The short coat of the Entlebucher Sennenhund does not need any special care. If you brush it every now and then, that is quite enough. It is important, however, that you keep the dog moving. At least once a day, he should be able to really let off steam. But also in the rest of the time he needs space and occupation.
The Entlebuch Mountain Dog is quite a rare dog. This makes him something special. But the small population also brings dangers. Due to the relatively small gene pool, there are some problems with hereditary diseases. For example, despite its medium size, the dog is prone to hip dysplasia and problems in the knees.
You should pay special attention to your eyes and check them regularly. For example, cataracts and glaucoma can occur. Since these diseases are hereditary, you can only help your dog to a limited extent with the right care. The best thing to do is to think about it when you get your dog. You can recognize dogs with a high risk by the fact that the breeding was mainly focused on the external characteristics.
Often a dog with slight blemishes in the coloring is healthier and therefore the best choice. Such a genetically healthy Entlebucher Mountain Dog will live longer than one with pre-existing conditions. Of course, visits to the veterinarian are also important. Even in the puppy, tests for diseases can be done. If problems arise, discuss with the veterinarian the best course of action.
Of course, you need the standard equipment, such as food bowl, leash and collar. What other accessories your Entlebucher mountain dog needs depends on what you plan to do with him. For example, if you want to do agility with him, you will need obstacles to practice on. You can buy them or make them yourself. A sufficiently large plot of land would also be an advantage. Alternatively, there are club grounds that you can use.
So for agility you need many different things, some of which are more extensive. There are other activities that you can do with less effort. For example, if you want to teach your dog to track, treats are enough for the beginning. These serve as motivation.
This way you can teach your Entlebucher Mountain Dog much more. The intelligent dog learns quickly. However, the most important accessory that you should provide your dog is by far your time.
Origin & History
Like all Swiss Mountain Dogs, the Entlebuch Mountain Dog originates from the Swiss Alps. His home are the valleys around the rivers Entlen, Kleine and Große Emme. Until the beginning of the last century, there was not the classification that is used today. Only then were the Sennenhunde differentiated, and that according to size and weight.
Originally, the mountain dogs had the task of accompanying the herdsmen. They helped them to protect the herds and, above all, to drive them from one pasture to another. But this is not the only change. Old illustrations suggest that the mountain dogs were mostly white as late as the 19th century. The color breeding, often associated with inbreeding, led to the problems in the genetics of the dogs already described above.
After first efforts during the 1st World War, the official breeding history of the Entlebuch Mountain Dog began in 1926. In the beginning, progress was very slow. During the 2nd World War there were severe setbacks. After that, however, the breed established itself. Today, the Entlebucher is the second most common mountain dog after the Bernese. However, compared to its famous relative, he is still rare.
Today it is widespread in Europe, especially in German-speaking countries, and occasionally also in America. Increasingly, other dog breeds are currently being crossed with it. This is to reduce the problems with the small gene pool. These efforts seem to be successful. An increase in life expectancy has been observed.
So chances are excellent that you will find a loyal companion in an Entlebucher Mountain Dog, who will be by your side in all your undertakings.