Standing at a height of 42–52 cm and weighting 20–32 kg, the Entlebucher Cattle Dogs are the smallest representatives of the Sennenhund (Swiss Mountain Dogs). They are very lively,
self-confident and intrepid. They are good-natured and friendly to people they know; with respect to strangers, they are slightly distrustful – they are good guards. They are good-humoured
and learn quickly. Their short black coat with tan and with white markings requires neither bathing nor brushing. They tolerate minor mistakes in their training on the part of their owner.
They get on very well with the other dogs and like children. They need to feel their master close to them and also require physical activity.
Our Experience with the Entlebucher
The traits of the Entlebucher Cattle Dog listed in the previous paragraph The Basic Characteristics will be commented on and illustrated by our own experience and photographs.
Since the Entlebucher is a medium-sized dog with a very friendly expression, he can be taken everywhere, be it a restaurant, an accommodation facility or another place with a high
concentration of people, where people do not feel limited by his presence but rather find it pleasant. Before the Entlebucher, we had a big dog – the Hovawart, in whose case it was more
complicated to obtain the permission to enter some facilities and strangers remained at a respectable distance even if he was lying calmly under the table. Thanks to his size and character
traits, the Entlebucher Cattle Dog is a suitable companion for even very small children. As he is very strong, very lively, fast, self-confident and intrepid, he is a worthy partner
for wilder ‘manly’ games.
He likes taking trips, is a good car rider, and the other means of transport do not pose a problem for him either; he is quite dexterous in any terrain. He keeps looking after his pack
and keeping it together, so that he does not get very far from it. He does not have hunting tendencies; in the forest, rather than hunting animals he is interested in sticks (the bigger,
the better), which he keeps carrying. Considering his character and strong attachment to people, he obeys the recall command instantly when called to come; therefore, walks in the woods
or any other place offering multiple stimuli for chasing are a pleasure with him. He feels like at home in his original homeland, a land of mountains, pastures and chalets. When on a skiing
trip, he patiently waits for the skiers to come back from skiing and take him for his walk in the mountains.
He is good-natured and friendly; apart from his own family, he loves visits and company. No generation can resist his enticement to play. Once he has frolicked and has been petted enough,
he falls contentedly asleep in the middle of things. The Entlebucher Cattle Dog is truly a dog bringing joy to the whole family as well as friends.
He does not have the tendency to run away and roam around; he stays close to his house even when the plot is not fenced. He barks only when someone approaches the gate or the fence,
not at every passer-by, so he does not annoy everyone by his frequent barking during the day and at night. If he, however, evaluates a situation as a real danger, he can be very loud
and persistent. He is able to guard designated objects; he is very fond of watching warily mainly the small members of his pack.
He is good-humoured and learns quickly. With a happy ‘smile’, he awaits any action. Most of all, he likes to fetch a ball or a rope toy, but he manages also classic training with
enthusiasm and dexterity. He is a quick learner and is able to achieve excellent results at exams. At the training grounds, one should be aware that he is really looking forward especially
to activities connected with fast movement and that waiting in the queue he expresses loudly that he would like it to be his turn already. It there are more Entlebuchers on the training
grounds, it is clear that these manifestations are normal with this breed, but for the other participants in the exercise, such a concert may not always be pleasant. In comparison with
the other breeds, the training grounds will, besides the mentioned characteristic, show also the indomitable temperament of the Entlebuchers. If the dogs are left to run free, at the moment
when the other breeds have already run to their heart's content and are lying and breathing heavily, the Entlebuchers are happy to run a few extra laps. Thanks to these traits, they are
very good at agility and other activities. However, due to their physique (robust body and short subtle legs), it is recommended to reduce high jumps and extremely long runs.
The short black coat with tan and with white markings requires neither bathing nor brushing; it is maintenance-free and ‘self-cleaning’; it does not need care even before exhibitions.
If the Entlebucher Cattle Dog is well fed, his coat is beautifully shiny and pleasant to the touch. Whenever dogs stay in a muddy, dusty or dirty environment, some breeds are dirty
until they get a bath, but the Entlebucher soon has his breast and paws snow-white again. As his hair is very thick, moulting is quite significant.
Some literature on the Entlebucher Cattle Dogs says that they tolerate minor mistakes in their training, but this is not further specified. We believe that the reason is that the
Entlebucher Cattle Dog is very closely attached to his pack, is very emphatic and is not aggressive, which facilitates his training. If the owner fails in some respect, it can be fixed
with the Entlebucher considering his character and size even in adulthood much more easily than with large breeds, so he is suitable for first-time dog owners too. He gets on very well
with other dogs, is conflict-free.
He likes children and children like him. Because of his size and friendly expression, not even strange children are afraid of him.
His playfulness and inexhaustible energy entertain children of all age categories. Although he is very lively and fast, in the presence of very small children he moves carefully. Like
with adults, he wants to be in close contact even with a small person and he does not mind if the little one takes his things or crawls into his bed.
He needs a close attachment to his master and enough contact with him. He is able to wait patiently for his master to come back from work or elsewhere, but then he needs to do things
together with his master and get enough physical activity. In dog manuals, one can read that the dog needs to be walked, because the dog cannot walk itself. The Entlebucher is an exception,
because he often likes running on his own (preferably with some object in his mouth). Even so, he needs walks and other physical activities – not only because of movement, which he really
needs a lot, but also because of the contact with his people. The Entlebucher Cattle Dog is definitely not suitable for people who leave for work early in the morning, come back late in
the evening and do not like physical activity.