Basics of Dog Breed : Bouvier des Ardennes

Posted on September 28 2018

Basics of Dog Breed : Bouvier des Ardennes

The Bouvier des Ardennes is a rustic dog, robust, short, stocky and compact. Heavy structure, powerful head, rough and tousled hair and the presence of mustache and beard are the characteristic signs of the appearance of this race carved for work.

Breed Information:

Origin:   Belgium
FCI Group: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
FCI number: 171
Hair type: Half-long
Shape of the head: Triangular

Race history

Formerly, the  Bouvier des Ardennes  was known in its region of origin - to which it owes its name - under the name "dog of cows". It has been raised for the management and care of cattle , but has also been used by sheep, pig and horse breeders. Able to work in the harshest conditions and on the most rugged terrain, the Bouvier des Ardennes was also used by hunters since the 19th century, taking part in the hunt for deer and wild boar .

The Liège Society for the Improvement of the Cattle Dog of the Province of Liège and the Ardennes was founded in 1913. It is she who will develop the first standard of the breed, which will be completed 10 years later, then published by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) June 16, 1963. In the meantime, the FCI had recognized the race definitively June 13, 1955

Physical characteristics

His hair: rough, tousled, dry, mid-long (about 6 cm on the whole body), shorter on the skull. Forming a mustache and a goatee. 
Its color: all except white. 
His head: powerful, strong, rather short. The skull is broad and flat. The stop is marked, but without excess. The truffle is broad and black, the muzzle thick and shorter than the skull, the thin lips, the powerful jaws, the cheeks very flat while being muscular. 
Its ears: triangular in shape, small in size, tied high, ideally rigid and straight. 
His eyes: slightly oval in shape, medium in size and as dark as possible. 
His body :heavily built, compact, with rather round ribs and a short flank. The upper line is horizontal and broad, the withers slightly protruding, the back muscular and supple, the rump broad and slightly inclined, the breast well down and the belly slightly raised. 
His tail: naturally short, thick and high attachment. 

Weight and size

Weight Cut
Female Between 22 kg and 28 kg Between 52 cm and 56 cm
Male Between 28 kg and 35 kg Between 56 cm and 62 cm

A dog breed Bouvier des Ardennes is classified in the category of large dogs .

Behavior and character

The  Bouvier des Ardennes is an energetic dog , enduring and tenacious . Raised for the driving, gathering and keeping of cattle, he asserts his determination and courage at home , valiantly defending his family. In the middle of it, he shows curiosity, sociability and joie de vivre. The Bouvier des Ardennes is also appreciated for its tremendous adaptability . He is therefore an excellent working dog and guard.


This dog requires a  firm and early education . A grip combining authority and gentleness makes it a pleasant companion both at work and at home. It is not a question of seeking the balance of power, but rather of making him aware of the limits not to be crossed and the rules of obedience.


Rustic and resistant, the Bouvier des Ardennes  does not fear much health . Its double coat, rough and dense gives it a good protection against cold and bad weather.

Maintenance & Hygiene


The Bouvier des Ardennes is subject to a single moult per year . Its maintenance is not particularly tedious, being a dog with a rustic coat.


It is recommended to  brush the dog once a week  using a scrub brush.

Physical activity

The Bouvier des Ardennes  needs a lot of exercise  for its physical and mental balance. Made for work and activity, he must be able to enjoy long daily outings and play sessions with his master.

Living conditions

The  Bouvier des Ardennes  is not really a house dog. He is used to living outdoors and appreciates space and freedom of movement . If he is called to live in the city, his master must be available and willing to give him long walks.

Price and budget

Minimum Maximum
Buying price 600 € 1000 €

Recent Posts