Entlebuchers are very pleasing in appearance. They are of medium size, and are slightly longer than they are tall. They are extremely muscular and very powerful, considering their size and weight. The coat is very short and is jet-black and shining with white on head, chest and paws. They have rust markings over each eye, on the cheek, on the chest, on the legs and under the tail. They have a dense undercoat (and yes they do shed, but not excessively). They carry their pendant ears forward when they are alert (which is most of the time). Their strong yet graceful gait is a joy to watch. Most are born with long tails, which are docked at birth. Many European countries no longer permit docking. Some breeders in this country are not docking and some breeders will leave tails at the buyer’s request. As these dogs are so rare, they are often mistakenly identified by the uninitiated as Greater Swiss puppies or Rottweiler /Beagle crosses.

Wildhorn puppy tails are always docked . . .

Entles became "Entlebuchers" not Appenzellers because of their bob tails.  To me it is part of the history  and, if you will, part of the "essence" of the breed.

I greatly favor the look of the docked or naturally bobbed tail. In general, I believe that many/most Entles have tails that do not meet the standard. (I do believe, however, that we should try and breed for the correct tail set) As Entles were either born with bob tails or were docked at birth, breeders have not bred for correct tail set. (This is true of other breeds

historically docked in the past) Many are poorly set on the croup, almost always too high. Often they appear kind of "stuck on" rather than the natural extension of the spinal column that they are. Also they are not to be held up higher than the back unless the dog is exited etc. Many Entles hold their tails very high most of the time and many carry them tilted forward and over their backs, or curled. This is not correct whether docked or natural. They should be carried straight out behind them, level with their back or slightly above (but out behind them) or hanging down. Often what is thought to be the "cutest" is the most incorrect one.

I firmly believe that all puppies in a litter must be docked or all puppies left natural. The tails are docked at three days of age. Sex and markings are all that can be determined. It is not possible to have any idea of temperament at that age, let alone match to a specific home or environment.   


Jedidiah of Wildhorn

Farah of Wildhorn x Obelix Szwajcar

The AKC/FSS standard states:


Dogs - 17 to 21 inches, Bitches - 16 to 20 inches. Ratio of height at withers to length of body: 8:10 - length to height ratio 10 to 8 measured from point of shoulder to point of rump and ground to withers.

Strongly muscled, agile, balanced dog with ample bone; but never overdone.

Size alone should never take precedence over type, balance, soundness and temperament.

Note that too small a dog generally lacks the power required and too large a dog may lack the agility and mobility desired in a herding dog.


Expression: Alert, attentive, and friendly. 

Eyes: Must be brown, darker eye preferred. Slightly small, almond shaped, with well fitted, black pigmented rims. Disqualifying fault: Blue eyes or yellow hawk eyes. 

Ears: Not too big, set on high and wide. When alert, are slightly raised at set-on, turned forward; in repose lay flat and close to head and form a nearly level plane with topskull. Firm, well developed ear-cartilage. Flaps pendulous, triangular, rounded at tips.   

Skull: Flat on top, broadest between set-on of ears, slightly tapering towards muzzle. Occipital bone barely visible.  Frontal furrow barely pronounced with minimal stop. 

Muzzle: Strong, well chiseled, clearly set off from slightly pronounced cheeks, tapering but not pointed or snipey. Bridge of nose is straight. Whiskers to be left natural.  

Nose: Black 

Lips:  Close fitting to jaw, with complete black pigmentation. 

Bite: Scissor bite preferred, even bite tolerated. Disqualifying faults: Overshot or undershot jaw; Wry mouth. 


Pleasing smooth merge of neck into topline. 

Neck: Medium length, strong and clean, merging smoothly with the body. 

Top line: Sturdy and level. 

Body: Strong, slightly elongated, length to be in rib cage and not in loin; length to height ratio 10 to 8 measured from point of shoulder to point of rump and ground to withers. 

Chest: Capacious, broad, deep, and reaching to the elbows; well sprung ribs. 

Underline: Slightly tucked up. 

Back: Straight, firm, broad 

Loins: Strong, flexible 

Croup: Slightly sloping, relatively long 

Tail: Natural tail or docked tail is equally acceptable. Natural tail set-on in continuation of the gently sloping croup. In motion can be elevated but never curled over back. Ring-tails highly discouraged. 


Strongly muscled but not too heavy.  

Shoulders are laid back, flat lying, well muscled and never loose. Upper arm length equal or slightly shorter than shoulder blade. Angle of shoulder blade forming as nearly as possible a right angle. Elbows lying well onto the body, turning neither in nor out.  

Forelegs are short, sturdy, straight and parallel; neither too wide nor too close together.  Seen from side placed well under the body. Pastern seen from front in straight continuation of the forearm; seen from side slightly angulated and relatively short.  

Paws point straight forward; compact, slightly rounded with well-arched toes. Pads coarse and robust.  

Dewclaws: May be removed on the front legs.  

Nails: Short, strong; any combination of black or white 


Well-muscled. Hind legs not too close together; from behind, straight and parallel. 

Upper thigh: Fairly long, broad and strong. 

Lower thigh: Approximately equal length to upper thigh; clean.  

Stifle: Well angulated. 

Hock joint: Strong; turns neither in nor out. 

Hock: Relatively short, perpendicular to the ground when dog is standing naturally; from the rear, parallel to each other. 

Rear dewclaws: Must be removed.  

Rear feet: Overall description same as front 


Double coat. Topcoat short, close fitting, harsh and shiny. Undercoat dense; of varying color. Wavy or soft coat tolerated but not preferred.

Disqualifying fault: Single coat. 


Tricolor. Basic color must be black with tan (fawn to mahogany) and white markings, which should be as symmetric as possible. The tan markings are placed above the eyes, on cheeks, muzzle, either side of the chest, under the tail, and on all four legs. On legs, the tan is situated between the black and the white. Small tan oval islands on cheeks are desired.  White markings include a distinct small blaze, which runs without interruption from top of head over bridge of nose, and can wholly or partially cover the muzzle. White from chin to chest without interruption. An inverted cross on chest desirable. In full-length tail, tip of tail is normally white. White on all four feet. 

Undesirable but tolerated - small white patch on the nape of the neck (not more than 2 inches)high boot, socks and bib.

Color and markings should not take precedence over overall soundness, balance and temperament. 


Ground covering, free, fluid movement with good reach and strong drive from rear. As the speed of the gait increases, legs converge - the rear more pronounced. "


There can be considerable variations in markings in a litter. Typically, breeding animals have coat patterns that are identical to the breed standard described above. It is however, important to note that not all Entles are born with “perfect” coat (marking) patterns. Quite often Entles have feet with too high white “socks”; chest plates or muzzle bands that are not perfectly symmetrical; narrow or almost non-existent blazes; too much white on face, feet or chest etc.  

Variation occurs in many if not most litters.

Most of the photos that you see on web pages are “perfectly” marked Entles. I have included some photos of Entles with a variety of coat patterns so that you can see the variations. Some of them are my pups, some are not. All of them are great companions and many buyers/owners find the variations very appealing.

At one time Entlebuchers had white collars that completely encircled the neck. This was bred out although we sometimes see Entles that have white patches on the back of the neck. The standard permits the white patch if it is not wider than “half a hand’s breadth,” but it is “not desirable.” Hands vary in size but my guess is that “half a hand” means between 1 ½  and 2 inches wide.

Many Entle puppies are born with small white patches of hair, usually on the side of the neck. These normally disappear in the first several months, however sometimes a few white hairs remain. One breeder reports a complete puppy collar that totally disappeared. 

Entlebuchers often have a black and tan mixed undercoat in the neck area. (Some Entles have a more wide spread black and tan undercoat.) This and the above mentioned white patches and marks are considered “collar remnants.”