Are you interested in an Entlebucher puppy? Could you give one a good home? Are you looking for the bond between owner and dog that Entlebuchers are renowned for?
Update 5 November 2023 –
When thinking about your suitability to have an Entlebucher as part of your family, please consider the following points:
An Entlebucher develops a very strong bond with its principal carer and appreciates having human company. They are not a dog that is well suited to being left on their own for long periods of time. They like the opportunity of free-running and although they are only moderately demanding of exercise, you will generally tire before they do. As intelligent working dogs they enjoy the challenge of both agility trials and flyball.
The Club reserves the right to make full enquiries as to the suitability of owners and to view the future home of the Entlebucher, to assess that suitability.
Read the following tips on diet, training, and more throughout puppyhood.
Your puppy will probably have been fed 4 meals a day since weaning and this should continue until he is 12-14 weeks old. Between 3-6 months 3 meals a day should suffice and between 6 months and a year 2 meals will be plenty, perhaps at breakfast time and again in the early evening. Always refer to the recommend amount for the age and weight of your puppy according to the food manufacturer’s guidelines.
Some puppies are just greedy, but if they’re consistently clearing their bowl you may want to increase their meal size gradually. Don’t leave an unfinished meal down; pick up the bowl after 20 minutes. The adult weight of a girl Entlebucher is around 23-24kg and therefore they fall into the medium sized category; boys tend to be around 27-28kg so, for the sake of feeding fall into the ‘large’ category. Dry food provides a good source of teeth cleaning, which is important.
Most importantly, a bowl of fresh water should be available at all times and replenished regularly.
A good method of checking that puppy is not over or underweight is if you can feel but not see their ribs. If in doubt please ring or ask your vet.
Change from one brand of food to another should be gradual, mixing small but increasing amounts of the new food into their meals until the change-over is complete. Complete pet foods are the most beneficial for the developing needs of your puppy and incorrect feeding early in the puppy’s life can lead to stunted growth, bad teeth and poor bone formation.
Some human food can be toxic to dogs. It is better to keep the dog to balanced dog foods and specially produced treats.
Chewing & Teething
Chewing is essential as teething is an uncomfortable process for any animal, so a good solid chew is particularly useful during this time. Crunchy biscuits will help to keep teeth clean and help teething puppies’ gums. As with babies their gums get very sore, they may go off their food, have an upset stomach and get a bit whiney.
At the first sign of chewing anything from your arm to furniture, quickly substitute a chew and your puppy will soon get used to what he is allowed to chew. First teeth are usually lost at around 3-4 months; don’t be surprised if you don’t find any of the lost teeth, it’s not uncommon for the puppy to swallow them.
Although puppies have normally outgrown general chewing by the time they reach adolescence, offering chews will help to keep their teeth clean and their breath fresh. Bones are not advisable.
Your puppy should be provided with their own bed in a quiet area where they can feel safe and retreat from activity; this should be respected, they should be given time alone and not be disturbed. Everything will be new to them so they will need time to take it all in and not be bombarded with too many new experiences at once.
Puppies suddenly decide they are tired and need a sleep. Please leave them to sleep; waking them up because friends or family have called will just upset the puppy and make them miserable.
Basic training starts from the moment your puppy moves in and good manners are a virtue to any dog.
Training classes are a great way to socialise puppy with other dogs and people and are highly recommended. As guard dogs, Entlebuchers can be a little cautious of strangers so early sozialisation is a great way for them to get used to strangers and other dogs. They can usually attend classes from 13 weeks and if you can find a class that teaches the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme that will give them a good structure and all the basic skills required. Your nearest class can be found on the Kennel Club website.
Bad habits which develop at an early age will become difficult to correct later; don’t allow them to do anything from day 1 which you wouldn’t want them to do at a year old. Be consistent: changing habits and rules will just lead to confusion.
Take training one step at a time; Entlebuchers are very intelligent but don’t try to teach your puppy too many things at once. The first two things to learn are their name and ‘no!’ They will have heard ‘no’ before so just be consistent with commands and give them plenty of praise when they get it right. All puppies, whatever the breed, like to please their owners.
Please don’t chastise your puppy for bad behaviour you haven’t witnessed; you have to praise or chastise within 1 second of the action or your dog will not associate your reaction with their behaviour.
Puppies are smart and intuitive but that will only get them so far. If it’s on the floor and you don’t want them to have it, pick it up. If you give them a toy shoe, don’t be surprised if they play with your shoe; if you give him cardboard to nibble on, don’t be surprised if he chews any and all cardboard boxes. Choose wisely!
PLEASE DO NOT PLAY TUG OF WAR GAMES with puppies. If you have a toy that they’re allowed to pull on please do not pull back go with them.
Dogs in general like to be clean and your puppy will be used to going to the toilet on newspaper.
The easiest thing to do is to take your puppy outside as soon as you get up in the morning, immediately after each meal, after excitement and play and before bedtime; if you’re at home take them out every hour. As the puppy grows increase the intervals to 90 minutes and then to 2 hours.
Watch for signs that they might need to go, such as circling or putting their nose to the ground, and try to get them onto their paper or outside at this point, then pile on the praise when they go where you want them to or reward them.
Again, consistency being key, if you take them out through the same door each time they will learn to wait by that door if they want to go out, and you can leave a puppy pad or newspaper near the door for the occasional accident.
Entlebuchers are usually quick to house train; pick a word for their eliminations and stick to it so as to avoid confusion. You may be able to train them to go on command in this way, which is useful when travelling, for example.
During the first year most of the puppy’s energy goes into growing and playing. Long walks are unnecessary at a young age, play is often sufficient and a good sleep will follow! From 6 months to a year a 30 minute walk is plenty.
Any impact to the soft bones and joints can cause long lasting damage so don’t let your puppy go up and down stairs, jump in or out of the car, on or off furniture etc. Try to lift them wherever you can and definitely do not start any sort of agility exercise until at least 12 months old.
Mental stimulation is equally important both as a puppy and into your dog’s adult life; teach them new things regularly and come up with inventive new games which challenge them to think sometimes this can tire them more than all-out physical exercise! Try hiding their favourite toy in long grass or behind a tree; make them wait whilst you do it (incorporating obedience) and then send them off to find it. It’s gentle on the joints, you don’t have to keep up with them and you’ve piqued their senses and instinct.
For dog and passenger safety, and in order to comply with the Highway Code, your Entlebucher should travel in a crate or behind a dog guard in the boot, or on a seat, secured with a dog seatbelt. These are inexpensive and are easily attached to the dog’s harness. PLEASE NOTE: seatbelts are not suitable to be used with a collar as a sudden stop will jerk their neck.
Video with thanks to the Swiss Club – SKES