Fun with Entles
When we first brought our little Nelson puppy home, we didn't have much idea what we might do with him. We knew we'd cuddle on the couch and go for walks and hopefully throw a ball for him.
It turns out that Nelson is a great catcher - he can catch a ball or frisbee almost without looking, over the shoulder, in the air, sliding under the gate. You name it - he's embarrassed when he isn't successful.
We play some fetch everyday. It's a great way to burn off some of that energy and we all enjoy watching his athletic moves.
Nakita is not as driven by a ball, but she loves to chase Nelson. Now, the game of fetch goes like this. Nelson brings the ball to us and drops it. Nakita immediately grabs it, growling and shaking her head. In time, she may decide to give it up and let you have it. If you are quick.
Then we throw the ball and they both run. Nelson almost always gets to the ball first, often catching it on the fly. Nakita waits, sometimes just halfway out to intercept him on his return. She attacks full force and wrestles until she has that ball. Then she runs in, triumphant, growling and happy with herself. And it starts again.
Showing our Entles
A friend convinced me to start showing. "It's easy", she said. Well, I have found that it looks easy but in fact it is a whole new skill set for both me and the dogs. I needed some professional coaching! Thanks to Larry Clark & Shawna Swanson, we have made progress.
Nelson and Nakita have each achieved their IABCA International Championships as well as a few points in AKC / CKC.
Showing in Conformation was initiated as a way to showcase the best breeding stock of any species. Therefore, animals must be unaltered (not neutered or spayed). The official breed club sets the 'Standard' which is what each dog is judged against.
For Entles, the standard provides a height range, coat type, head shape, body shape, attitude and many other details.
The breed standard for the Entlebucher is quite similar between the AKC, CKC and FCI (European Kennel Club) with slight differences. In the USA, the Entlebucher is in the Herding group with Australian Shepherds and Border Collies. In Canada, he is in the Working group, with all of the Swiss Mountain Dogs, Akita, Mastiffs, Schnauzer, Great Dane & Boxer. In Europe, he is in Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer-Molossoid breeds- Section 3 Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.
Showing at Amercian Kennel Club or Canadian Kennel Club shows is a whole new world - with new friends and colourful ribbons. We sure aren't going to Westminster or Crufts anytime soon, but we've met some great people and dogs!
Other dog show events
If conformation doesn't sound like your kind of fun, or your dog has been neutered, there are plenty of other dog show events. These are called Performance Events. Perhaps Obedience or Rally suit your pup? Some Entles are great at Agility. Then there's Lure Coursing, Fast CAT - 100m dash, and many more. You may want to see what is offered for training in your area before you make your choice as some events are less common and harder to find.
More fun with your Entle
Maybe athletics is not your thing. Hiking with your dog is great, or just getting some exercise with a walk around the neighbourhood! Some Entles visit hospitals and nursing homes as Support Dogs. Others serve those with disabilities. Some sniff out dead bodies for rescue teams. Entles are very intelligent and capable. They can do most tasks, with a little training.
Whatever works for you will work for your Entle. They just want to be near you as much as possible. Even when they knock over the garbage or chew through your shoe, they will bring you a smile, perhaps when you really need it.