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National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association


Welcome to NEMDA's Comprehensive Entlebucher Breed Assessment (CEBA) program.

You have come to the right place to find out more information to learn more about this member's program.  

About CEBA  |  Benefits  |  Preparation  |  Protocol  |  Contact

About CEBA

What is CEBA?

CEBA is NEMDA’s Comprehensive Entlebucher Breed Assessment. It’s a fun and enlightening way to learn about your Entlebucher Mountain Dog’s temperament and conformation, and how your dog compares to the AKC Breed Standard

Part 1: Temperament Evaluation

Two evaluators, with canine behavioral backgrounds, will observe your Entle as you walk your dog through a series of aptitude exercises to evaluate your dog’s nerve strength, sociability, and play, prey, hunt, and defense drives. You will learn how your Entle compares to the AKC Breed Standard in temperament.

Part 2: Conformation Evaluation

A panel of three AKC judges will observe your Entle from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. You will learn how your Entle compares to the AKC Breed Standard in conformation, structure, and movement.

Where did CEBA come from?

CEBA is based on the Swiss Ankörung, a required test before breeding an Entlebucher in Switzerland. The Schweizerischer Klub für Entlebucher Sennenhunde (SKES)—the Swiss Club for the Entlebucher Mountain Dog—developed the Swiss Ankörung and gave NEMDA permission to adopt it in 2005. Unlike the Swiss Ankörung, CEBA is not a required test before breeding an Entlebucher in the U.S.

What happens at CEBA?

CEBA is a one-day event where up to 10 Entlebuchers are evaluated. CEBA’s whole-dog approach consists of two 20-minute evaluations:

What’s behind this mysterious word Ankörung?

Perhaps you’ve tried to find a literal translation for the German word Ankörung. There isn’t one because it is a practice or way of operating. And, by the way, it is always capitalized because all nouns are capitalized in German. Now to explain what it is!

Many breed clubs in Europe conduct an assessment as a precondition for a breeding license. This assessment is known as an Ankörung. It is typically a group event scheduled a couple of times a year so that animals can be efficiently and conveniently assessed.

In Europe, an Ankörung is required not only to breed dogs, but also many other domestic animals, such as horses, cattle, pigs, goats, and even bees. In general, breeding animals have to demonstrate they are capable of promoting “the preservation and advancement of the breed.” Individuals of each breed are required to display important characteristics to demonstrate they meet this preservation-and-advancement goal. For example, German Riding Horse Stallions (page 33) are graded on basic gaits, free jumping, and cross-country suitability.

CEBA is based on the Ankörung of the Swiss Club for the Entlebucher. To be awarded a license to breed in Switzerland, besides passing multiple health tests and conformation assessments, Entlebuchers must demonstrate a high degree of alertness, attachment to the owner, ability to get along with other dogs, and react calmly and confidently—showing neither fear nor aggression—to strangers, sounds, sights, and odd surfaces. Promoting these characteristics in the breeding stock is believed to be crucial to meeting the goal of preserving and advancing the breed.

In the U.S., is NEMDA unique in having a breed evaluation?

CEBA is noteworthy as it analyzes both the temperament and the conformation of Entlebuchers. Often, after a CEBA event, our evaluators and judges are inspired to introduce a similar program to their breed clubs. There are other breed clubs that promote a variety of evaluations, for example:

  1. The AKC offers Canine Good Citizens (CGC) certifications, stressing that solid dogs make better companions.
  2. Many breed clubs use the American Temperament Test Society protocol in their programs.
  3. The Boykin Spaniel Club sponsors a Working Ability Certification Program

When was the first CEBA event?

NEMDA’s first official CEBA event was in 2009.

How many dogs have been evaluated?

On average, ten teams are evaluated each year. Check out our CEBA teams database for a complete record.

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What are the benefits of participating in CEBA?

  • You receive a written CEBA report for each evaluation that profiles your dog’s temperament (more than 15 traits) and conformation (more that 50 traits) and conformation (more than 50 traits).

    You are encouraged to share the CEBA report with your dog’s breeder to provide important feedback about breeding choices.

  • Your CEBA evaluations give you valuable information if you’re considering other pursuits with your Entlebucher, such as performance sports, canine therapy, or breeding.

  • The evaluation is held in a relaxed, natural setting with plenty of time for each dog’s experience.

  • CEBA is an objective, non-competitive evaluation implemented by impartial judges and evaluators.

  • CEBA gives you a chance to experience your dog in a new situation. You and your dog are observed in an unfamiliar, yet structured, setting. This gives you an opportunity to see for yourself—and to hear from the evaluators—how your dog responded to a diverse set of stimuli.

  • CEBA’s temperament report may recommend training for you and your Entle to enhance your relationship. You’ll have the chance to discuss these training recommendations with the CEBA evaluators after the formal evaluations of all teams are completed.

  • CEBA is a way to learn about your breeding Entlebucher’s temperament and conformation and how your dog compares to the AKC Breed Standard

  • The CEBA evaluation of your Entle will give you information on more than 15 temperament traits and more than 50 conformation traits.

  • Your dog’s CEBA evaluation is one of many tools that can be used in selecting a desirable breeding mate.
  • Fundamentally, you’ll want a breeding candidate to have the temperament and conformation traits that (1) complement your Entle’s traits and (2) doesn’t duplicate your Entle’s less desirable traits. A list of all the dog-owner teams that have participated in CEBA since 2009 (the first year) is on CEBA's Homepage.

  • (Click on the CEBA Participants tab.) Breeders can contact the owners to see the dog’s CEBA evaluations. If the owner is still a NEMDA member, their contact information is in the Members Only section.

  • If you are not logged on, you will be prompted for your username and password.

Does CEBA help breeders?    YES!

What are the benefits of volunteering for CEBA and how can I help?

Volunteering at a CEBA event is a great chance to observe other Entlebucher owners and their dogs going through their exercises. You’ll learn more about the nuances of Entlebucher behavior and conformation, as well as what to expect when you and your dog participate in a future CEBA event. We need volunteers, in fact 20 of them. The only way we can hold a CEBA event is because of our volunteers! Volunteers of most ages are needed in different positions, from being one of the crowd to scribes, and training will be provided.

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Where and when is CEBA held?

CEBA evaluations are held annually at NEMDA’s National Specialty & Entlefest in alternating eastern, central, and western regions across the U.S. Click Here for NEMDA National Specialty information.

Is NEMDA membership required to register for a CEBA evaluation?

Yes, NEMDA membership is required to register for a CEBA evaluation.

How and when do I register for CEBA?

You will start seeing announcements about Entlefest and CEBA in the February issue of the Entlebook (NEMDA’s newsletter). These announcements will direct you to a detailed registration packet that tells you how to register and pay online or by postal mail.

When will I know my start times for each CEBA evaluation?

When your CEBA registration is accepted, you’ll receive an email with your start times. Please confirm your start times as soon as possible by email so we can finalize the schedule for the CEBA event.

How can I prepare myself and my Entle for a CEBA event?

To enhance your CEBA experience, read and familiarize yourself with the AKC Breed Standard

Temperament Evaluation

  • Play and have fun with your dog.
  • Socialize your dog with various people and dogs.
  • Visit a variety of places with different physical obstacles, surfaces, sights, and smells.
  • Take a variety of obedience or Canine Good Citizen (CDC) classes to develop basic good manners.

Conformation Evaluation

  • Teach your dog to Stand for Exam so it will be at ease with a physical examination by each of the three conformation judges
  • Practice Showing Your Dog’s Bite.
  • Teach your dog to trot (gait) at your side on leash. (Link TBD)

I’ve done obedience (rally, agility) training with my dog. How might this help prepare us for CEBA?

A dog trained in sports—such as obedience, rally, and agility—needs to follow the rules of that particular sport. Such a dog is more likely to be prepared to handle the exercises in CEBA. Even though there are no formal rules for CEBA, it certainly helps when a dog has some basic obedience and social skills. The more you work and play with your dog, the better your communication and relationship with each other. It is this partnership that will come shining through during the CEBA evaluations.


How do we get a CEBA collar tag?

When you and your dog complete both the temperament and conformation evaluations at a CEBA event, you’ll be awarded a CEBA collar tag. This is the only way to get one of these coveted collar tags!

What are the rules for participating in CEBA’s temperament evaluation?

  • Be familiar with the AKC Breed Standard
  • Your Entlebucher Mountain Dog must be 18 months or older.
  • Dress your dog in a flat collar. Other restraints—such as harnesses, prong collars, or gentle leaders—are not allowed.
  • Participate with a standard leash 4-6 feet in length.
  • Participate without the use of any special control devices.
  • Participate without the use of food or tug toys. However, you can talk to your dog during the evaluation—feel free to give your dog encouragement and praise!
  • Attend CEBA’s Walk the Course With an Evaluator event. It’s held 30 minutes before the evaluations begin.

What are the rules for participating in CEBA’s conformation evaluation?

  • Be familiar with the AKC Breed Standard
  • Dress your dog in a flat collar or a show lead. A thin, shorter leash of 3 feet is recommended.
  • Keep comments and brags about your dog or any other dog in the vicinity to yourself.

Is CEBA always run the same way?

Within the constraints of varying evaluation sites, the CEBA committee members and volunteers make every effort to duplicate the evaluation procedures and exercises from year to year.

Can I designate someone else to handle my dog the day of the CEBA event?

You are expected to handle your dog on the day of the CEBA event. However, if you are unable to do so, a release form will be required.

What is CEBA’s cancellation policy?

Should you have to cancel after registering for CEBA, please notify the CEBA Committee as soon as possible so a participant from the waiting list can be added and registration fee can be refunded. Day-of cancellations will not be refunded.

Can the CEBA evaluation be repeated?

Yes, based on availability at future events and consultation with the CEBA Committee.

Do some dogs fail?

No! It’s not a test. It’s an evaluation. It is offered as an educational resource for NEMDA owners of companion and breeding dogs. The Temperament Evaluation is a detailed, written report that profiles your dog’s temperament against the AKC breed standard for more than 15 traits. It concludes with an Evaluation Summary section with one of three boxes checked (Well-Balanced, Training Recommended, Train & Repeat) and an Overall Remarks statement.

The Conformation Evaluation is a detailed, written report that profiles your dog’s conformity to the AKC breed standard for more than 50 traits. It concludes with an Overall Impression section with one of five boxes checked (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Satisfactory, Insufficient) and a narrative Positive Short Summary statement.


 I have more questions. Who do I contact?

If you have questions we haven’t answered in these FAQs, please email them to CEBA Committee. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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