The year 2011 marks the occasion that the American Kennel Club recognizes the Entlebucher Mountain Dog (or “Entle”) as a member of its herding group. What are the breed standards for the Entlebucher? What are its main hereditary problems?
Entlebucher Mountain Dog Puppies are bred to Work
As the name implies, the Entlebucher’s home is in the Swiss mountains. The AKC recognizes it as the smallest breed within the ‘Swiss Mountain Dogs’ grouping, which the animal shares with the Bernese Mountain Dog, Appenzeller Sennenhund and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.
Entlebucher Mountain Dog puppies were initially raised to assist with herding cattle in the Swiss Alps. Their short coats prevent the accumulation of burrs while their heavily muscled bodies give them the energy to keep up with numerous herding tasks during a typical day.
AKC Standard for Entles
The male stands 17 to 21 inches tall; the female may measure 16 to 20 inches. The animal must present muscled, energetic and agile. The AKC requires a 9:10 ratio with respect to the muzzle and skull. Eye color is a darker brown. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs feature a double coat; animals with a single coat are disqualified. White markings are considered undesirable but will not lead to disqualification.
Are You Cut Out to Welcome Entlebucher Mountain Dog Puppies Into Your Home?
Entles are not lapdogs or pillow hounds. Due to their innate need to work – long and hard – these animals require a lot of exercise, plenty of space to roam and perhaps even a chance to do a “job.” These dogs are fiercely loyal and may refuse to interact with strangers.
Potential show dogs must be socialized well and often with people during their puppy stage or the owners risks losing the gentle and kind disposition that show judges look for. Apartment dwellers, the sedentary and individuals looking for a low-maintenance companion dog should look for a somewhat more sedate breed.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog Club of America alerts would-be owners of Entle puppies that there are hereditary health issues to be aware of.
Progressive retinal atrophy is a genetic condition that eventually leads to blindness. Breeders screen for the presence of the gene that causes the disease and reveal the information to potential buyers of their dogs. It is noteworthy that even if an animal becomes blind, it can still live a full and active life, albeit with a bit of an adjustment.
Another eye condition that the Entle may display is the posterior polar cataract. Dog owners who welcome this type of animal into their homes should work with a veterinarian who knows to frequently test the dog’s vision.
The National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association also warns that there is an additional condition these animals may suffer: Entlebucher Urinary Syndrome. A genetic condition that affects the bladder and ureter, EUS may result in occasional urine leakage, a consistent trickle of urine or even renal failure. Kidney surgery (in severe cases) or incontinence medication (in moderate cases) restores the animal’s health.
American Kennel Club: “Meet the Breeds – Entlebucher Mountain Dog”
Entlebucher Mountain Dog Club of America: “Health Concerns”
National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association: “Entlebucher Urinary Syndrome”