Bouvier des Ardennes Dog Breed (Complete Guide)

Bouvier des Ardennes Dog Overview

The Bouvier des Ardennes is a rugged-looking medium-sized dog that is extremely resilient. It has a short and thick-set, with bone that is heavier than its size would indicate.

It is compact and well-muscled, with a coarse, unruly coat and a rather foreboding aspect. The breed should be judged in its natural attitude, free of handler stacking.

The Bouvier des Ardennes is an extremely adaptable breed that thrives in any setting.

It is lively and inquisitive but tenacious and determined when defending its family, goods, or territory.

Bouvier des Ardennes Highlights

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  • Ardennes are worker bees, always on the move—looking for a job to do. These pups are sharp, agile, and on-point, which helps them excel in tasks and training.
  • Once these dogs are attached to their people, they don’t want to be without them. This breed works best for owners who are home a majority of the time.
  • After World War I, most believed these dogs were extinct. It wasn’t until the 1980s these dogs were found, and breeders could revive the breed.
  • This rugged pup is an ancient Belgian breed explicitly developed for herding and livestock maintenance.

Bouvier des Ardennes Breed Features & Ratings:

Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                                4 Star
EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS:           4 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                  5 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                         5 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:                5 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO OTHER PETS:    5 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO STRANGERS:     5 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               5 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                           5 Star
GROOMING REQUIREMENTS:           5 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                              5 Star
VOCALITY                                             5 Star

Bouvier des Ardennes Characteristics:

  • Dog Breed Group:  Herding Dogs
  • Height:  Male: 22–25 inches (55–63 cm) Female: 20–22 inches (51–57 cm)
  • Weight:  Male: 62–77 pounds (28–35 kg) Female: 49–62 pounds (22–28 kg)
  • Life Span: 12 to 14 years 
  • Type: Purebred 
  • AREA OF ORIGIN: Belgium
  • DATE OF ORIGIN: 17th Century 
  • OTHER NAMES: Ardennes Cattle Dog 
  • Temperament: Adaptable, Curious, Obstinate, Playful
  • Activities: Herding, Agility, Obedience
  • Color: Black, Dark, Fawn, Grey
  • Litter Size: 4 to 6 puppies 
  • Puppy Prices: Between $1500 to $3000 USD on average

Bouvier des Ardennes Health:

Due to the breed’s rarity, it has not yet been subjected to health studies, making genuine statistics on the Bouvier des Ardennes’ overall health difficult to come by.

There are various diseases to which they are more susceptible than the normal dog, and because many of them may be detected in breeding populations, they are worth addressing.

Screening for these disorders is critical in such a tiny gene pool.

Dysplasia of the Hip

A disabling condition that impairs a dog’s ability to walk and move around due to the hip joint failing to form properly. While this ailment is treatable through lifestyle modifications and medicine, it drastically reduces an animal’s quality of life. Hip scoring, via x-rays, must be performed on any dog prior to breeding from it.

Dysplasia of the Elbow

Similar to the hip equivalent, this is a bone disorder that results in painful and malformed elbows.

Epilepsy

A disorder in which the dog suffers from neurological seizures for no apparent reason. This disease, which frequently requires lifetime treatment, can be devastating at times.

Conditions of the Eyes

Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Retinal Dysplasia, Entropion, and Ectropion are all potential genetic eye disorders that must be ruled out prior to breeding an animal.

Bouvier des Ardennes Grooming:

Prepare to be confronted by the reality of Bouvier’s hair. These dogs have an extremely coarse, wiry coat that is notorious for matting and tangling.

Thus, everyday brushing is critical to avoiding unwelcome knots. However, this breed sheds infrequently, so it balances out.

As a matter of routine, you should give them a nice scrub in the tub once every 2-3 weeks—regardless of how much they despise it.

Following that, nails should be trimmed, wounds cleaned, and teeth brushed.

Bouvier des Ardennes Exercise:

This is a breed that does not tire quickly and will labor continuously for hours on end without stopping, rarely seen standing still.

As a result, it is clear that they are not suited to apartment life and want an outlet for their boundless energy.

At the very least, a strenuous walk of at least an hour per day is required, and off-lead activity is ideal.

The Bouvier des Ardennes, adventurous and eager, will gladly join you and your family on a strenuous hike, perhaps pausing for a refreshing bath along the route.

Inadequate exercise will invariably result in nuisance behaviors such as incessant barking or destructive behavior within the home.

Bouvier des Ardennes Training:

It’s difficult to find a breed that outperforms the Bouvier des Ardennes when it comes to herding. Because they are naturally intelligent, this is an easy assignment for them.

One of this breed’s most endearing characteristics is its willingness to obey its owner, which makes training a breeze.

Despite the foregoing, the Bouvier des Ardennes is not without its obstacles and can occasionally challenge authority; this is especially true if their trainer is inconsistent.

Given the Bouvier des Ardennes’ versatility and intelligence, there is little reason to doubt that it would excel in more modern canine games such as flyball, agility, and obedience.

Bouvier des Ardennes Food and Nutrition:

If you bring an Ardennes puppy home, always introduce them gradually to your preferred food. They should consume a nutritious, balanced meal that satisfies all nutritional profile standards.

Always feed your dog according to their weight and life stage, therefore check the portion recommendations on the bag.

Avoid dangerous artificial substances and fillers to keep your pet healthy.

The Ardennes is a breed that thrives on dry kibble, wet food, and raw diets. However, always consult your veterinarian before making any changes.

Bouvier des Ardennes Temperament and Personality:

By nature a working dog rather than a companion, the Bouvier des Ardennes is tenacious and obedient. Despite its workaholic tendencies, this breed can be affectionate toward its owners.

Indeed, it is quite usual for a Bouvier des Ardennes to develop strong bonds with his family, and if left alone for an extended period of time, can suffer from separation anxiety.

When near small animals, extreme caution must be exercised, as this breed is bred to pursue smaller prey.

Similarly, chasing and nibbling at the ankles of little toddlers is not unusual and should be prevented from an early age to minimize future problems.

Failure to socialize this dog properly as a puppy nearly always results in a fear of strangers and possible aggressive tendencies.

Wary of strangers, the Bouvier des Ardennes will bark to alert you to the presence of a new person on their domain, and can become particularly hostile unless trained otherwise.

They are renowned for their bravery and will not hesitate to fight even the most formidable challenges.

Bouvier des Ardennes Care/Upkeep:

By nature, the Bouvier des Ardennes is a working dog, not a friend.

They are tenacious and obedient. Despite their proclivity for labor, these canines can be friendly toward their owners.

How much food a mature dog consumes is determined by its size, age, structure, metabolism, and degree of activity.

Dogs, like people, are individuals, and they do not all require the same amount of food.

Animal care is critical for rearing Bouvier des Ardennes dogs. They are extremely active as a working dog.

They are not often fatigued and can work continuously for hours on end without taking a break. They are rarely seen standing motionless.

According to legend, the breed is unsuitable for apartment life and requires a proper outlet for their boundless energy.

At the very least, a strenuous walk of at least an hour per day is required, and off-lead activity is ideal.

Bouvier des Ardennes dogs are courageous and eager, and they will gladly accompany you and your family on a strenuous journey, possibly pausing for a refreshing dip along the route.

Without appropriate exercise, these dogs would invariably engage in nuisance behaviors such as frequent barking or home destruction.

Bouvier des Ardennes Relationship with Children and Other Pets

The Ardennes may be an excellent friend for people from many walks of life. However, these canines thrive when given ample opportunity to roam.

Ardennes are by nature rural people who thrive on outdoor activities.

If you live in an apartment or a very populated location, this breed may not be a good fit. If, on the other hand, you have a large yard or acreage for them to roam, they will fit in well with your family.

The Ardennes region adores children, especially if they are nurtured together. They make excellent indoor and outdoor playmates.

You can count on the two of them to work cooperatively to burn off some energy. They are wonderful first dogs for children who are ready for their own pet.

However, because they are skilled herders, they may attempt to round up your children. Heel nipping is a characteristic of herding breeds, so you simply need to keep an eye on it.

The Ardennes is a dog that thrives with canine companions—and they will likely be happier in a multi-dog situation.

Naturally, this varies according to individual temperament. However, as a general rule, this breed is ecstatic to have friends.

Because it is ingrained in their DNA, these dogs are extremely compatible with livestock. However, you may need to train them not to chase or nip at barnyard miscreants if they go out of line.

The Ardennes may coexist well with domestic cats. It would be beneficial if you acclimated them early on to minimize the likelihood of unwanted responses.

Cage animals are not permitted. The Ardennes is way too rash to gamble. These canines should avoid coming into contact with the gerbil on your dresser, so always monitor and protect smaller creatures.

Bouvier des Ardennes Names 

RankBoy NamesGirl Names
01BuddyDaisy
02MaxBella
03CooperLola
04JackPiper
05TobyAbbie
06HarleyCoco
07DukeLilly
08OliverZoe
09TeddyRuby
10BusterMaddie

All About Bouvier des Ardennes

The Bouvier des Ardennes is known as a rare Belgian breed that many people are unfamiliar with.

If anything about this dog continues to peak your interest, you may wonder if it would be a suitable fit for your lifestyle.

Breeders bred the Ardennes to be dependable assistants in herding livestock.

Today, these spirited dogs have found their way into households all across the world—even after they came dangerously close to extinction.

Although these dogs are few, the breed continues to thrive, owing to their hardiness, durability, and general agreeableness.

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about this rare species.

Once you’ve located a breeder, puppy pricing should range between $900 to $1,500, depending on the breeder’s quality and purpose. Pets will cost less, whereas show dogs can cost significantly more.

Ardennes are hardworking bees, constantly on the move and looking for work. These pups are nimble, agile, and focused, which enables them to perform admirably in chores and training.

It’s unsurprising that farmworkers rely on these incredibly responsive dogs for herding.

Due to their exceptional ability to read people, they may initially stand back to observe newcomers.

The Ardennes has an acute awareness of their surroundings—if you require a protector to alert you to danger, this is the dog for you.

You may even take them out for some good old-fashioned labor and they will be equally content. These canines benefit from at least one hour of daily exercise but will gladly accept more.

They are happiest when they are not constrained in any way, which is why homes with plenty of open space function best.

Bouvier des Ardennes History:

Thought to have originated in the Ardennes region of Belgium prior to the establishment of records, best estimates place the breed’s origins in the 17th century.

A true working dog, the Bouvier des Ardennes was developed by farmers who placed a premium on the dogs’ talents over their outward looks.

While they were traditionally used for herding cattle, they were later effectively used as hunting dogs, pursuing wild boar throughout the countryside.

Additionally, they were used as watchdogs and continue to serve as watchful livestock guardians today.

Belgium was devastated during World War I, and the Bouvier des Ardennes quickly established itself as a useful companion, used to hunt animals and provide food for starving households.

They were subsequently recognized by the Belgian Kennel Club in 1923.

For several decades afterwards, particularly as local dairy farms declined, the Bouvier des Ardennes population fell to the point where their continued existence was questioned.

Surprisingly, after being considered to have perished from history, a small community was discovered unexpectedly.

According to legend, a group of scientists was investigating milk on a Belgian farm when they saw the farmer’s dogs were Bouvier des Ardennes.

Following that, a deliberate attempt was made to repopulate the breed. In 1996, another comparable small colony of the breed was discovered on another property, adding to the population’s strength.

Unfortunately, the remaining Bouvier breeds, with the exception of the popular Bouvier des Flandres, did not fare as well, and the Bouvier des Roulers, Bouvier de Moermon, and Bouvier de Paret are now completely extinct.

The Bouvier des Ardennes is still in use on Belgian farms today, performing its traditional cow herding responsibilities. Indeed, it is rarely kept alone as a companion dog.

Where to Adopt Bouvier des Ardennes:

Because Boston Boxers are a mixed breed, it may be difficult to locate a breed-specific rescue.

However, you may wish to contact Boston Terrier or Boxer breed-specific rescue organizations, as they frequently accept mixed breeds.

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

If you want to adopt a similar breed, consider taking time in the pros and cons of this breeds:

Bouvier des Ardennes Fun Facts:

  • The Bouvier des Ardennes is a herding breed indigenous to the Ardennes region of Belgium.
  • He is a huge dog with a gruff appearance that is capable of adapting to his environment. 
  • Not only is the Bouvier des Ardennes a working dog; he also enjoys playing and socializing with his family.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How much does did breed cost?

The Bouvier des Ardennes is a rare breed. Expect puppy prices to range from $900 to $1,500

Is this kind of breed good with children?

The Ardennes may be an excellent friend for people from many walks of life.

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