Entlebucher Sennenhund

Entlebucher Sennenhund: A Working Dog, Eager to Please and Very Loyal to Family – but Suspicious of Strangers

Although originally bred as a working dog, Entlebucher Sennenhund puppies can make excellent family dogs, as long as the Entlebucher Sennenhund puppy is trained early and socialized often. Entlebucher Sennenhund puppies that are not properly socialized can become very territorial. Even if properly socialized, Entlebucher Sennenhund puppies can remain somewhat suspicious toward strangers, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you wish to use your pet as a guard dog, something the Entlebucher Sennenhund dogs do very well.

There are four regional breeds of the Sennenhund, all of which are native to the Swiss Alps. "Sennenhund," loosely translated, means "hound of the Senn." The Senn were traditionally herders in the Swiss Alps. Entlebuch is a municipality in Lucerne, in Switzerland. English translations of the name Entlebucher Sennenhund include the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the Entlebucher Cattle Dog, and other similar names. Of the four Sennenhund breeds, the Entlebucher is the smallest.

Other Sennenhund Puppy Breeds

In addition to the Entlebucher Sennenhund, other Sennenhund breeds include the Berner Sennenhund, also known as the Bernese Mountain Dog; the Grosser Schweizer Sennenhund, also known as the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog; and the Appenzeller Sennenhund, also known as the Appenzeller.


The Entlebucher Sennenhund, as with other Sennenhund breeds, is believed to be descended from dogs brought to Switzerland by the Romans in the first century BC; these breeds were large molossers. Molossers are all large dog breeds that share common ancestry from Molossia, a region in ancient Epirus. There, a large shepherd-type dog known as a molossus was commonly used for hunting, guard-dog duty, and so forth. Entlebucher Sennenhund puppies share ancestry, for example, with the St. Bernard and the Newfoundland.

It wasn't until 1889 that the Entlebucher Sennenhund was described as a separate breed from the other Sennenhund breeds listed above. Even with this distinction, though, the Entlebucher Sennenhund was only rarely distinguished from the Appenzeller Sennenhund. The breed remained relatively unknown until 1913, when four Entlebucher Sennenhunds were shown to Albert Heim, an advocate for the breeds, which were becoming quite rare.

The Entlebucher Sennenhund was entered into the Swiss Kennel Club studbook, but World War I soon followed. At first, absolutely no breed examples could be found after the war. In 1926, the first breed club for the Entlebucher Sennenhund was formed, and in 1927, 16 Entlebucher Sennenhund dogs were found. Thereafter, the breed was slowly restored. As it was developed, it was usually used for herding and guarding as was originally the case historically; however, today, the Entlebucher Sennenhund is usually kept as a companion dog.


A medium-sized dog, Entlebucher Sennenhund puppies grow to stand 19 to 22 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 55 and 66 pounds. The ears are small and triangular, and it looks like a typical "working dog." Its body is compact and well-proportioned, with a well-shaped flat skull and a long, powerful jaw. The Entlebucher Sennenhund is a tricolor dog, with tan, black and white markings. Most often, there are white patches on the toes, nose and chest, as well as the tip of the tail. Black and tan markings are usually adjacent to each other, with white markings placed as previously mentioned. The eyes are small and brown, very alert and intelligent.


The Entlebucher Sennenhund makes a wonderful and quite energetic pet, but be careful that you have a firm sense of yourself as owner, as these dogs also need plenty of gentle guidance. Your pet needs to be around people and friends at all times, and is very alert and eager to please. Typically, the Entlebucher Sennenhund has been used as a cattle driver, but today, it functions equally well as both a companion dog and guard dog for families or livestock.

Friendly, extremely intelligent, and cooperative, your pet just wants to be with you. You must be a firm owner who gently and consistently provides discipline, however, because Entlebucher Sennenhunds can become very high strung and hard to handle if you don't provide proper boundaries. You'll need to provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation for your pet to keep him or her happy, and you can actually use this to your advantage, since Entlebucher Sennenhunds are true working dogs.

Proper Environment

Your pet will not adapt well to an apartment situation simply because it must have lots of activity and room. That said, your pet is a very cuddly dog as well and can be friendly to strangers if properly socialized. He or she will probably be relatively standoffish initially with people it has not met previously. As a very devoted family member who will warm up to friends he or she knows well, your pet will be very obedient and loyal, guarding you as a top priority.

The best environment for your pet will be one where you can spend a significant amount of time around him or her. Entlebucher Sennenhunds are true companion dogs, and they need their people. Because they were bred to be working dogs, though, your pet also always needs something to do. He or she will be very obedient and ambitious about learning if you train him or her to do tricks or jobs, whatever they may be. Your pet will make an excellent watchdog and will keep a very careful eye on your property and on your children if you set him or her to this task.

This medium-sized dog can't pull a huge amount of weight, but is very energetic. He or she will enthusiastically handle small loads quite well if you train him or her to pull a cart to carry small goods or gardening equipment, for example, and to work alongside you.

Indoors, Entlebucher Sennenhunds will be very well behaved and quite low key as long as they're given plenty of exercise outdoors. Your pet doesn't function particularly well in hot or humid weather, though, so make sure you provide cool shade and/or a cool indoor setting for your pet on hot, oppressive days. He or she may be prone to overheating, so take care to give your pet plenty of shade, rest, and water on days when it's sunny outdoors and he or she is particularly active.


Entlebucher Sennenhund puppies have suffered from some of the consequences of inbreeding, because foundation stock numbers have been relatively small. The most common congenital defect the Entlebucher Sennenhund suffers from is hip dysplasia. In some cases, these dogs can also develop hemolytic anemia and progressive retinal atrophy. Experts continue to work on eliminating these congenital defects by pursuing responsible breeding, and performing genetic testing whenever possible. Make sure you buy your pet from a reputable breeder, which will help cut down on the risk of congenital defects in your puppy.

With proper veterinary care, you can expect your pet to live a long and healthy life, despite congenital problems, with a lifespan of between 11 and 15 years.

Grooming The Entlebucher Sennenhund is very easy to groom. Simple brushings on a regular basis should be enough to keep your pet's sleek, hard coat in good condition and cut down on shedding. Your pet is an average shedder, and should rarely need to be bathed.


Entlebucher Mountain Dog (Entlebucher Sennenhund) (Entlebucher Sennehund)

(Entelbuch Mountain Dog) (Entlebuch Cattle Dog) (Entlebucher).

Retrieved May 30, 2012.

Entlebucher Mountain Dog.

Retrieved May 30, 2012.

Dog Breed Standards: Entlebucher Sennenhund.

Retrieved May 30, 2012.


Retrieved May 30, 2012.

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