Abilities

Entlebuchers can be trained for almost any dog activity or sport. They are happiest when given the opportunity to show their stuff.

Carting

Entles have been carting for centuries. When I first put a harness on Henri he acted as though he had always worn one. My dogs get excited when they see a working harness of any kind. Just make sure you get proper instruction, get the proper sized equipment and don't let your dog pull any serious weight until he/she is about two. Pulling weight while bone is still growing can cause serious damage to the dog.

You can find lots of info and sources for equipment on line. It is possible to earn a NEMDA Carting title.

 

Agility

Entles are physically and mentally made for this dog sport. It is an excellent opportunity for owners and dogs to have great fun and stay healthy, both in training and in active competition.  It is a great way to build and even greater bond with your dog and it is great fun.

                                                     

This photo was taken in December 09 at Long Beach. Bayla and Joyce have been our friends for years and Finn is a Wildhorn pup so it was great to have the opportunity to be there and see them both competing as the only Entles at the 2009 AKC/Eukanuba Agility Invitational.

Left: Bayla, still competing at nine, owned by Joyce MacKay and Finn owned by Kristine Stewart

"Finn MacCool of Wildhorn", in 2007,was the first Entle to earn an AKC agility title.

     

 

Right: "Lucy of Wildhorn" at 8 months was just beginning her agility career with her experienced owner/trainer Sue Edick. Sue says she not only did her weave poles well but does really fast.

Entles can earn AKC and Canadian Kennel Club  titles as well as titles through the United States Dog Agility Association.  http://www.usdaa.com/

 

Conformation

If you purchase a puppy with show potential, it means just that. There are no guarantees that such a puppy will have a successful show career. I bought show quality puppies with showing and breeding in mind.

Many Wildhorn pups have done well in the show ring.

Actually showing Entles in the US has not been easy. There are some regional rare breed clubs that conduct shows. However many of the large rare breed shows such as those offered by the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) require cross-country travel that is expensive and inconvenient.

 

 

 

January 2011, Entlebuchers will be moved  to the Herding group with full AKC privileges. !!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

                   Eulee of Wildhorn   

          2007 NEMDA Specialty Winner  

 

Currently Entlebuchers are eligible to compete in the Miscellaneous Class in American Kennel Club events. As of January 2010 and until January 2011 they are able to earn conformation points toward a new AKC title developed for the Miscellaneous Class, Certificate of Merit (CM)

Fifteen points are required as follows:

                             Dogs               Points  

                         Competing

                                  2                       1

                                  4                       2

                                  8                       3

                                 12                      4

                                 16                      5                   

                 

 Herding

Entles are natural drovers. Drovers usually work with large animals that can be difficult and/or dangerous such as cattle and horses. Drovers keep these animals together and move them in the direction that the herdsman indicates. They must be physically strong, agile and always alert for flying hoofs and angry animals. They may nip at the animals' heels and flanks and when necessary, hurl themselves against the animal to get the desired directional movement. (One can easily see how this ingrained behavior can crop up when an Entle sees a "herd" of loud, fast moving children.)

My puppies tend to have strong herding instincts. Mira shows her instincts herding children. Her sister, Cassie (Abigail Casandra of Wildhorn,) who lived with Matt Walter on a six hundred-acre farm in Wisconsin, was a full time working farm dog.  She excelled at managing hogs. In fact she preferred  hogs to all other animals. Hogs are very difficult to manage as they are very smart, strong, mean and have sharp teeth which they will use. She was the best “hog dog they had ever seen” and could “turn livestock” better than any other dog. The family had always had Australian Cattle Dogs (Blue Heelers.) Unfortunately, Cassie was killed in an  accident.

Entles can be trained for sheep but they are true drovers and are often too rough for sheep. They were bred to move very large animals such as cows, horses and hogs that don’t necessarily want to be moved. The jumping that Entles are famous for is very useful for hurling oneself against the shoulder of a cow that needs to be turned and isn’t responding to barking and heel nips. Photo, "Dolomite of Wildhorn".

I have another Wildhorn pup now successfully working with cattle in Montana, "Jasmine of Wildhorn" (Kova).

If you are interested in herding competition or just  want more information about herding, visit this site. AHBA Intro

 Obedience

Entles are ideal obedience dogs, however, as with most independent thinking herding and guardian dogs, they can be stubborn at times and are bored with too much repetition. Keep the training fun but be consistent. Enroll in training classes. Pick a trainer that is recommended by someone whose opinion you trust.

Classes are not necessarily just attended by inexperienced owners. Most experienced owners and obedience competitors attend classes to keep themselves and their dogs on their respective toes. Class participants also learn from one another and help one another with common behavioral problems.

Puppy classes are a must. Not just for the actual very basic obedience training, but more importantly for the pup's socialization with other puppies. Even if you do not plan to pursue an Obedience title you should follow up with at least a basic adult obedience course and preferably also an advanced class. You will so appreciate the results and you and your dog will be all the happier and well adjusted for it.

 

Entles can earn obedience titles through the American Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club.

 

If you get a pup, sign up for the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program with a qualified trainer in your community.  Check it out!  Welcome to the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program!

 

Gidget of Wildhorn

Search and Rescue (SAR)

Entles are intelligent, agile, and have the strength, stamina and willingness to please that are necessary in SAR dogs. In addition, their medium size makes it possible to access search areas that larger dogs cannot. there are currently some Entles being trained for SAR.

For information on SAR check this link.

http://www.nasar.org/

Hiking/Backpacking

Entles are in their element on camping and hiking excursions. It's a natural environment for them. They used to spend their summers high in the Alps, guarding and moving cows. This is something that they can start when very young.

 The dog pictured to the right is Benjamin Eli of Wildhorn (Rowdy) who began wilderness backpacking as a pup in Colorado. Rowdy now lives in Alaska.  Below left, Ellie of Wildhorn at Hueco Wall. Ellie lives in Colorado.

Below right is Bravo Victor of Wildhorn (Bravo) . They live and hike in Arizona. Bravo is also a Platinum level Flyball competitor and is active in agility and freestyle. He also has a dock jumping title. My pups are very lucky!!

 

                                                                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracking

Entles have great noses, supposedly the best of the Swiss Mountain breeds and comparable to that of a German Shepherd. Puppies can be started as young as four months if it is presented as a fun game. 

Oona was my first tracking dog. She loved it and so do I.  

With Oona gone, I started  with Mira. She loved it and had great aptitude. Elka does also but it is hard to work between litters with breeding bitches. I sometimes go out with a tracking group on Sunday morning. For me it is a great excuse to spend hours outdoors with one of my dogs enjoying the scenery with good dog people.

At Entlefest, here in Ohio in August of 2002 and again in 2006, we held Tracking workshops. Not to my surprise, every Entle we started showed aptitude for tracking. They can and will do anything their owner wants them to do, and do it well with training.

Entlebuchers are now able to compete in AKC companion events which includes Tracking.

Weight Pulling

At Entlefest in Utah in 2001, there was a weight pulling demo by Greater Swiss owned by our friends Karen Becker and Michael Reddin. After the demo we tried some Entles with some small harnesses. Lida at, 45 pounds, pulled the most, 500 pounds.

We were encouraged by Karen & Michael to pursue the sport when we got back to Ohio. We found and attended one competition . Lida pulled 705 pounds, on grass, which constituted the first leg of a weight pulling title. (That was 15 X her body weight. The photo below is of Lida pulling at the actual meet.)

I did not pursue this sport. In January of 2002, Lida became deathly ill with a rare strain of leptospirosis and nearly died of kidney failure. She  fully recovered but I was reluctant reluctant to train her to competitively pull and quite frankly this sport was not that captivating to me. I believe there is an Entle in the west that may be competitively pulling.

For more information and to find pulling contests in your area try this link.www.iwpa.net

Flyball

Entlebuchers love flyball because it is a competitive, fast-paced game of fetch, and there is nothing that many Entles like better than a game of fetch! Flyball is a dog team relay sport: Four dogs and their handlers, and up to two alternates, make up one team. Two teams at a time race each other: Each dog on each team takes a turn running down a 51-foot course over a set of four hurdles, releasing a tennis ball from a Flyball box, and racing back over the hurdles with the ball. The first team to send and return all four dogs without error wins the heat. 

Entlebuchers can make outstanding Flyball dogs because of their stamina, focus, and incredible drive. To learn more about Entles in Flyball go to www.flyballdogs.com/redrockets, or for general Flyball information go to the North American Flyball Association at www.flyball.org   

Freestyle

Canine Freestyle is, in my opinion, the ultimate test of obedience training. According to the Canine Freestyle Association "Canine Freestyle is a choreographed performance organized with music, illustrating the training and joyful relationship of a dog and handler team."    To me it is a absolute joy to watch and I am envious of the relationship between the handler and the dog.  I can only watch in rapt amazement..... I can't dance.

Anavey of Hephzibah (Alida's littermate) and Teri Beeman (photo to the right) have numerous titles.   Teri also teaches freestyle in Spokane.

If you want to learn more visit the Canine Freestyle Association at Canine Freestyle Federation: home page

Although we have several Entles successful with this sport, I don't have any links to Entlebuchers doing freestyle but here is one to the Golden Retriever that in large part is responsible for it's popularity. Rookie is retired now. YouTube - Carolyn Scott & Rookie

                                                

Travel

Travel is not truly an ability but I am compelled to mention the Entles affinity for travel. I am not sure it is entirely the actual travel that is so appealing to them but more the idea of being with their person in whatever circumstance that may befall him/her.

My Entles are always ready to leap into the SUV when a door is opened and scramble to get into a crate. (They travel in crates as I believe it to be safest for them.) I choose to believe that they are also excited and curious about our next adventure. Often they can tell where we are going or at least why we are going by the equipment that gets packed. Tracking harnesses get Mira a-twitter while a grooming box or the first aid kit which used to be the grooming box got Henri going as he loved dog shows. You get the point.

                                                                                                                                                                                      In any case they are delightful traveling companions. At every friend's home or motel they act as though we have reached our final destination and are very much relaxed and at home.  They very much model their human's behavior.

One summer Alida and Mira  accompanied me in my Jeep to Wisconsin to visit the Hesseforts and their Wildhorn pup, Maddie, then onto Montana  to visit the Taylors and then to Utah to Jan Vincent's.

It was a wonderful trip. The only drawback was that I was limited on the sight seeing other than from the car as I won't leave them unattended in a car. A small price to pay for the companionship.  The photo is of the Girls and I in the Badlands. A kind stranger took it for us.

I have never had an Entle, regardless of age, get motion sick, plane or car.