Entlebucher Mountain Dog Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Entlebucher Mountain Dog Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
Steady and good-natured, yet bold and athletic, the stocky, muscular Entlebucher Mountain Dog (also known as the Entlebucher Sennenhund) enjoys romping and roughhousing.
Pulling a cart or sled, herding, agility, fetching balls, playing Frisbee, and weight pulling are productive outlets for his high energy. He likes to keep busy and needs something to do. He is not an apartment dog.
Entlebuchers bond closely with their family and seek lots of attention. Their determination to jump up into your face or shove their body against your leg can be disconcerting to those not accustomed to an enthusiastic, vigorous dog. They like children, but will bowl over little ones.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog makes a vigilant watchdog. He will sound off in a loud, deep voice to announce visitors -- or simply to let you know that your neighbor has stepped outdoors.
His attitude toward strangers varies from exuberantly friendly to polite to suspicious. Early and ongoing socialization is essential to develop the stable, self-assured temperament that all of the Swiss mountain dogs are known for.
The Entlebucher learns quickly but can be dominant and pushy -- necessary traits for working with unruly cattle, but challenging for nonassertive owners to handle. During adolescence, his hormones will kick in and he may start to test limits. Obedience training should start early.
Heeling is an especially imperative lesson, for these powerful dogs can literally pull you off your feet.
Entlebuchers bark sharply while working, so be prepared to control excessive vocalization from the beginning.
If you want a dog who...
- Is medium-sized, sturdy and athletic
- Has a short easy-care coat in a striking color pattern
- Thrives on vigorous athletic activities and exercise
- Is steady and dependable
- Makes a vigilant watchdog
- Is uncommon
An Entlebucher Mountain Dog may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Vigorous exercise requirements
- Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
- Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough
- Suspiciousness toward strangers
- Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
- Chasing and nipping at things that move: children, joggers, other animals, bikes, cars
- Waiting lists (very hard to find) and a very high price tag
An Entlebucher Mountain Dog may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Entlebucher Mountain Dog
If I was considering an Entlebucher Mountain Dog, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing. Bored Entlebuchers can destroy your home or yard in a single day.
- Providing enough socialization. Many Entlebucher Mountain Dogs have protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be overly suspicious or cautious of everyone, which is difficult to live with.
- Bounciness and high vigorYoung Entlebuchers (up to about two years old) can be bulls in a china shop. When they romp and jump, they do so with great vigor, and things can go flying, including toddlers, elderly people, and infirm adults. The temptation to play roughly is very strong in young Entlebuchers.
- The strong temperament. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are not Golden Retrievers. They are versatile working dogs, capable of learning a great deal, but they have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. They can be manipulative, and some are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
To teach your Entlebucher to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Entlebucher Training Page discusses the program you need.
- Barking. Entlebucher Mountain Dogs are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them. If you work all day and have close neighbors, Entlebuchers are not a good choice for you. For the same reason, Entlebuchers should never be left outside in your yard, unsupervised.
- Finding one and paying the price. This breed is very rare in the United States. Most breeders are charging well over $1000.
To learn more about training Entlebucher Mountain Dogs to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Entlebucher Mountain Dog the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Entlebucher Mountain Dog. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Entlebucher Mountain Dog might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Entlebucher Mountain Dog home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Entlebucher Mountain Dog...
When you're acquiring an Entlebucher Mountain Dog PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Entlebucher Mountain Dogs who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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