ENTLEBUCHER MOUNTAIN DOG
Life span: 10-15 Years
Height: 17 – 20 inches.
Weight: 45 – 65 lbs.
Known as one of the four breeds of mountain dogs developed by the Swiss, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a high-spirited and very capable herding dog. While it has the smallest stature of any of the Swiss Mountain Dog breeds, its lengthy body, and stout legs bode well for its untiring work ethic. The Entlebucher has a welcoming face with brown eyes and a tri-colored coat of short hair.
This relatively large dog has a strong and sturdy body, with small ears that fold down almost completely, and a medium sized tail that is down when resting and usually cut, although this is not recommended due to its cruelty. Its eyes are brown with a black nose. Their coat is dense, straight, and shiny. Coat colors are predominantly black, with symmetrical white markings on the snout, chest, feet, and tail; and brown markings on the eyebrows, chest, and legs.
Mountain Dogs are divided into four breeds, the Appenzeller, the Bernese, the Greater Swiss, and the Entlebucher. The original Mountain Dogs are believed to have been brought by Romans, around the first century, and the American Kennel Club believes the Entlebucher originated in Entlebuch, Switzerland. They were constantly crossbred with other purebreds, causing them to almost become extinct by the 1900s, but were saved in 1889 by a man named Franz Schertenleib, who bred the Entlebucher Mountain Dogs he could find to keep the breed alive. The Entlebucher and the Appenzeller were considered the same breed until 1913, when Professor Albert Heim showed the dogs in a Swiss dog show, getting the Entlebucher to be classed into the Swiss Canine Stud Book as the fourth Sennenhund. It was not until 1927 that this breed was given an official standard, and until 2011 for it to be recognized by the American Kennel Club.
This loving dog is affectionate with its family, but also protective of them and of its territory. This means they tend to be very wary of strangers, sometimes even aggressive with them, and it takes time for them to get acquainted with people. They are, however, good with children if taught to tolerate them, but not with small animals that it will most likely perceive as prey. Given their high energy, they need to be exercised daily alongside their owners, especially due to their need for attention. They are not quiet dogs, but instead are quite loud, and will bark when a stranger comes into their territory.
This breed tends to suffer from congenital diseases, some of which are:
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Patellar Luxation, a disease where their kneecaps are slightly out of place or even dislocated, although this disease is genetic, it can also happen through injuries.
Hemolytic Anemia, a disease in which the dog has two defective genes preventing the proper production of pyruvate kinase, which creates healthy blood cells. Dogs with this disease do not tend to live past their second year.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
This low maintenance breed needs occasional bathing and weekly brushing, although they do shed a lot. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are highly energetic, and therefore need plenty of daily exercise alongside their owners, such as hiking, going for a run, etc. Training should be relatively easy, given that they are quick learners and willing to please. However, be sure to make training sessions interesting, as they will also get bored quickly. Early socialization is a must for this breed.