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Bouvier des Ardennes Breed Description

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Breed Organization

United Kennel Club (UKC)

Native Country

Other Names
Ardennes Cattle Dog

Life Expectancy
Approximately 11-14 Years

Litter Size
No litter information available.

Breed Group
UKC - Herding Dog Group

General Description

The Bouvier De Ardennes can come in any color except white. It is usually found in brindled or peppered variety. It has medium length, coarse, wiry hair, with a "beard" and "eyebrows". This dog is naturally tailless and is around 24 inches at the shoulder. Ideal weight is between 55–65 lbs. This dog has short, prick ears and a keen eye.

Breed Standard

Head: Massive, relatively short. Stop not pronounced. Short, broad muzzle with goatlike beard. Tight-lipped jaws.
Ears: Not cropped. Flat ears are not permissible. Erect ears breaking forward and semi-prick folding to the side are permitted.
Eyes: Dark color. Gold color or walleyes not permissible.
Body: Medium size. Short, thick neck. Broad forechest. Broad, deep chest. Ribs well sprung. Belly not tucked up. Topline (back, loin, croup) powerful, broad, and horizontal.
Tail: Naturally tailless or docked to one vertebra.
Hair: Rough, mussed, 5 cm long. Must be shorter on the head and legs. Very thick undercoat.
Coat: All colors permitted.
Size: Approx. 60 cm.
Weight: 22 to 25 kg.


Some believe that the Bouvier des Ardennes was the result of a cross between the Belgian Cattle Dog and the Picardy Shepherd. Others maintain that it is a native breed, probably developed around the eighteenth century by crossing several local sheepdog breeds.

In the past, all the dogs that worked with cattle were called Bouvier (bovine herder). Each region throughout the area had its own type. From ancient rough-coated stock, these dogs were prized guardians and drovers. As the motorized age arrived, the need for driving cattle to the market was gone and so was the call that helped with the drives.

The Bouviers were almost eliminated after the bloody fighting of World War I. Many of the rarer types were lost altogether. The breeds that are a memory include: Bouvier de Roulers, Bouvier de Moerman, and Bouvier de Paret. Still remaining are the Bouvier de Ardennes and Bouvier des Flandres. Both France and Belgium have claimed the dog of Flandres, and the FCI has actually dubbed it "Franco-Belgian".


This rustic breed is accustomed to living outdoors, tough guard work, and herding cattle, at which it excels. This tough, hard-working dog is always on the alert and is wary of strangers. He is affectionate with his owner and very obedient. They are good with children they have known from puppyhood. Socialization is imperative. Obedience training and socialization will not be a problem as these dogs are obedient and easy to train. When the dog is performing its herding duties, the slightest sign of command from the master will be acted at once by the dog.

his dog is not made for city living. He needs space and a lot of exercise. Regular brushing is required.


Herder, Guard Dog, Pet.


No health information available.

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