Entlebucher Mountain Dogs

The Only Mastiff-Type "Small" Dog

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Are Entlebucher Mountain Dogs truly "small"? No, they are really more "medium" than "small", being about the size of a large Beagle, but they fit the description of “we only allow dogs under 25 lbs in this complex” and so have earned a place in the category of "small" new breeds. The Entlebucher is well established in Switzerland but just recently was accepted into the ranks of the AKC.

This breed has the distinction of being the smallest mastiff-type dog, and shares that category's traits of friendly loyalty and persistence. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs were originally working dogs back home, with the job of herding the doe-eyed Swiss cows from one alpine meadow to another. While friendly and loyal to his family, they are a high energy companion that needs a job to be happy. If you are willing to put the time into training and exercising your Entle, he will reward you with years of loyal companionship and service.

Like his bigger cousin the Bernese Mountain Dog, Entleburger Mountain Dogs are black and tan with symmetric white markings, including a small white blaze which runs from the top of the head, down the nose and wholly or partially covers the muzzle. Unlike the wavy coated Bernese the Entleburger's coat is short, which he sheds periodicly and so is not hypoallergenic.


Swiss farmers from the town of Entlbuch, in a valley near Lucerne, developed this breed to move cows from pasture to pasture in the high Alps. Entles share their heritage with their three larger cousins; the Apenzeller, Bernese and Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs.

All of these are thought to have derived from the mastiff-type dogs that the Roman soldiers brought into Switzerland over 2000 years ago as they attempted to cross the high mountains with their general Hannibal.

The first mention of Entlebucher Mountain Dogs as a separate breed occurred in 1889, but they remained extremely rare until the mid 1920s, where they slowly gained the modest numbers they enjoy today.

By the Numbers

Size: 16 to 20 inches at the shoulder.
Coat Care: 1 – very low. He doesn’t need to be brushed unless he is shedding, nor a bath unless he has decided to take on a skunk or two.
Trainability: 9 –high. They are eager to please and learn easily but they need a job and don’t do well without something to do. 
Energy level: 8. They are high energy and need vigorous exercise at least an hour a day.
Good with Children: 8 – They enjoy their own children but have a tendency to nip at heels. How are they with kids? Check out this great video: 

Are Entlebuchers Good With Children?

Noise level: medium – 5: Will bark vigorously to defend their home.
Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: – 7, medium They are double but short-coated, and shed regularly.

To get more information or to find a puppy, contact the Entleburger Mountain Dog Club of America. Be sure to check out What Makes a Responsible Breeder before you start your search; you might want to check out What Makes a Responsible Pet Owner as well.

Tell Us About YOUR Dog!

People come to About Small Dogs to find a good dog, one that matches their lifestyle, their family and what they yearn for.

The best people to explain the finer points of what a breed is like are the people who own and are owned by them.

If you own this breed, this means YOU. What is your dog like? What stories can you tell? What would you like to say to someone who is considering your breed? What is your dog's sterling qualities? How about some of his or her not so great characteristics? Tell us a bit about the ideal owner for your breed as well.

People become good dog owners because they are educated. You know your breed better than any others. Share what you know!

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