Moratel Entlebucher Breeders
Swiss Certified Entlebucher
My love affair with the Entlebucher Mountain Dog breed
started in Switzerland in the summer of 1990. I was an American
living in Switzerland, working for Hewlett-Packard at their European Headquarters.
One warm afternoon in July, while enjoying the crystal-clear waters of
Lake Geneva, I met a small Entlebucher Mountain Dog puppy trying to
swim for the first time. I was totally enchanted!
Meeting that puppy
changed my life. Several months later I had left Switzerland and was
living on a dairy farm in Quebec. The puppy, named Barnabe von Bielersee,
was there as well. The next year, my daughter Arielle was born, followed by her
brother Arlen two years later.
Babiche du Bois du Foyard, a female Entlebucher, arrived from Switzerland
in 1995, a four-month-old barking bundle of energy and affection.
For us two-leggeds, it was
love at first sight. Barnabe, however, didn't know quite what to
make of her. He was already five years old and was used to being an
In time, Barnabe and Babiche
came to love each other. In our veterinarian's words, they were a
"true couple", because when Babiche had her first litter of puppies,
she allowed Barnabe to come and inspect them, which is rarely the
case for female dogs who are bred with an unfamiliar stud dog. The
puppies were born in the bedroom, next to my side of the bed,
where Babiche hovered over them day and night for the first two weeks.
Once their eyes were open, they moved into a plastic swimming pool
in the middle of the living room floor where the entire family could
hold them and play with them.
When they started to climb
out of the pool, we moved them to the kennel, where they met the
barn cats, Dolly the donkey, and a herd of Holstein cows. We spent
many an hour lying in the grass with puppies running over and around
us. As they grew up and left one by one, taking the love we had
shared with them to their new families, we realized we were smitten.
We were becoming breeders, and we loved it with a passion. We
enjoyed meeting new people from across the United States and Canada,
whether by phone or in person at the farm. We enjoyed hearing the
anticipation in people's voices as we planned together the new
additions to their families. And most of all, we thrilled to hear
stories of the puppies' first days in their new homes. All our time
and effort in socializing the puppies had paid off. They were loving
I spent much of 1997
laying the groundwork with other conscientious breeders to form the
National Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Association, which supports ethical breeding and genetic
integrity. I am a Founding Member and one of NEMDA's Code of Ethics Breeders, who
agree to breed according to strict ethical guidelines and to submit all
breeding records to NEMDA's Breeding Committee.
To better understand the breeding
practices in the Entlebucher's country of origin, I have
travelled to Switzerland several times since 1997. I have met with
officers of the Swiss Entlebucher Club, visited several breeders,
and even had the good fortune to see a dog show featuring the four
Swiss Mountain Dog breeds (Entlebucher, Appenzeller, Bernese and
Greater Swiss) during one of her trips.
In my effort to obtain new
blood lines for future breeding, I added two young females to our
Entlebucher family in 1997. Venus v. Stauffenfeld arrived by plane
in September, 1997. The Stauffenfeld kennel is one of the oldest in
Switzerland, and the breeder, Frau Verena Siegenthaler, is an
international judge and was president of the Swiss Entlebucher Club
for many years.
During my 1997 visit to
Switzerland, I was joined by Gina Thomas of Eagleheart
Entlebuchers to bring home three Entlebucher puppies from the
Slovak Repulic. We drove across picturesque Switzerland and Austria
to the town of Bratislava, where we met breeder Jana Liptajova of
Balihara Ranch Kennels. Blessed Love of Balihara Ranch came to live
at Moratel Farm, while her sister Bliss went in Oregon and brother
Bailey to Washington.
In 1999 I moved to beautiful
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia with children and dogs in tow and continued raising Entlebucher
Mountain Dogs on 3 acres instead of more than 150. Bern Shiers joined me in 2007 as my new
life and business partner. Sadly, Bern passed away suddenly in early 2012. His memory lives on
in his love for our dogs and all the puppies we raised together.
Anyone wishing to purchase a
puppy or just wanting to see some Entlebuchers "live" is more than
welcome to visit us. We are located one hour southwest of the Halifax airport in
the picturesque province of
Nova Scotia, and we can pick up anyone
who flies into the Halifax Airport. For people coming by car, there is
ferry service from Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia, a
two-hour drive across Southwest Nova Scotia past
Kejimkujik National Park.
& Breakfast accomodations are available in the area. Please
e-mail us or call to arrange a visit.
Upon written request, we can
provide any of the following documents. Please include your e-mail address,
fax number and/or mailing address when requesting information.
For more information on
this breed, we highly recommend a small paperback book entitled The
Bernese and Other Mountain Dogs, A Complete Pet Owner's Manual. The
author is Gerd Ludwig, the publisher is Barron's, and you may order
it from your local bookstore using the ISBN number 0-8120-9135-3 or
on-line from Amazon. The price in the U.S. is around $6.95, and
$8.95 in Canada. The book was translated from German and has many
beautiful color pictures of the four Swiss Mountain Dog
- full four-generation pedigrees
- certification that our breeding
stock is free of hip dysplasia (OFA)
- annual eye certification that
our breeding stock has no eye abnormalities
- a copy of our sales
- references from families who
have purchased puppies from us
- references from people who have
visited us and met our dogs
- list of owners who are willing
to show their dogs to prospective clients
NOTE: The Entlebucher Mountain Dog
is known by various names: Entlebucher Sennenhund (German), Bouvier
de l'Entlebuch (French), Entlebucher Cattle Dog, Swiss Mountain Dog.
For more information on the Swiss standards for this breed,
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