The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is a medium-sized, short-coated, powerful breed native to Switzerland. It looks like a smaller version of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Both breeds are tri-colored, but the Greater Swiss weighs about twice as much as the Entlebucher. Entlebuchers have short, hard, shiny coats which are bright black with symmetrical markings of pure white on the facial blaze, muzzle, chest and feet and shades of rich fawn to mahogany on the eyebrows and between the black and white markings. These good-natured, energetic dogs historically were used to herd cattle, and they are well-built for that task. They have muscular hindquarters, broad hips and deep chests. Their body resembles that of a small Mastiff; they are slightly longer than they are tall and are quite stocky. Their piercing brown or chestnut eyes reflect an alert, friendly disposition. Yellow eyes, an overshot jaw and absence of an undercoat are faults in this breed.
Size and Weight
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog is the smallest of the four Swiss mountain dog breeds. However, these are not small animals. Adult males typically stand between 17 and 21 inches measured at the withers, and females range from 16 to 20 inches in height. Mature Entlebuchers usually weigh between 55 and 65 pounds, with females coming in on the lower side of the scale. Dogs that are taller or shorter than these ranges are faulted in the show ring. The Entlebucher Mountain Dog's size strikes a balance between power and agility. A bigger dog is stronger but less nimble, while a smaller dog is quicker but not as robust. In conformation competition, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog's soundness and balance are emphasized over its size.
Coat and Color
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog has a short double coat that feels a bit rough to the touch. Its outer coat is harsh, close-fitting and shiny, and its undercoat is thick and dense. Some Entlebuchers have wavy or soft coats, which are tolerated but not preferred under the breed standard. Entlebuchers are tri-colored dogs that should have symmetrical markings. They are mostly a shiny black, with a white muzzle and blaze, white paws and a white chin, throat and chest. An inverted white cross on the chest is desirable. They have tan (fawn to a rich mahogany) markings on the muzzle, cheeks, chest and legs, as well as over the eyes. Small tan oval islands on the cheeks are desired. Some Entlebuchers have a small white patch on the nape of their neck; this marking is acceptable but not preferred. Entlebuchers can be shown with natural or docked tails. If the tail is left natural, its tip should be white. Faults in the breed's coat and coloring include an interrupted blaze on the face, asymmetrical markings and too much white on the nape of the neck. Color and markings should not take precedence over soundness, balance and temperament in this breed.
Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are low-maintenance and require very little grooming. A good brushing every few weeks is usually all that is necessary to keep their short, thick coats tidy and shiny. This breed sheds a moderate amount, more so during the warm spring and summer months. They only need an occasional bath.