The National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association (NEMDA) is the AKC Parent Breed Club for the Entlebucher Mountain Dog in North America. Founded in 1998, we are committed to protecting and advancing quality breeding, ownership, and stewardship of the Entlebucher. More about NEMDA.
The Entlebucher Mountain Dog, also known as the Entlebucher Sennenhund or Entlebucher Cattle Dog, is the smallest of the four Swiss Mountain Dogs. The Swiss Mountain dogs are descended from Molossus type dogs brought by the Romans as they passed through Helvetia over two thousand years ago. The Entlebuchers were used as cattle herding dogs bringing the dairy cows in from mountain pastures. Learn more about the Entlebucher Mountain dogs to see if this is the right dog for you and your family.
The Meaning of Sennenhund
A German friend of mine who lives in Puschendorf, Germany told me the meaning of Sennenhund. Until now, no one has given me an acceptable explanation and it is not in any of my English/German dictionaries. Here is what he wrote:
A "senn" is a Switzerland cowboy. In the Alps, these are the mountains of Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy. The farmers bring their cows in spring to the meadows high in the mountains. It's a dangerous way for man and animal. This event is called "Almauftrieb". The cows were escorted by a man, the "Senn" or by a woman, the "Sennerin” and by dogs, the "Sennenhund”.
The Senn or the Sennerin and the dog lives over summer in loneliness high over their village in the mountains. There they live in a cottage called "Almhutte". The Senn milk the cows and make cheese. The cows are walking free over the grazing land. In the evening search the Senn calls his cows with a yodel. His searching is helped by his dog. The cows have bells that the Senn can hear. In the autumn the Senn comes with the dog and the cows down to his village. The cows would be decorated with flowers. This event was called "Almabtrieb”. So a "Sennenhund" is a shepherd dog for cows.
The story I told you is right, but it is romantic, like cowboy romantic. The real life is hard in the mountains and the farmers must make money with their cows and an "Alm" (Alpine pasture) is becoming rare in the countries of the Alps.