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Bouvier des Ardennes

The perfect blend of uncommonness and hardiness

Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)

Original Name : Bouvier des Ardennes

Type : Lupoid

Male size : 22-24 ½ inches

Male weight : 61¾-77 lbs

Female size : 20½-22 inches

Female weight : 48½-61 ¾ lbs

Degree of grooming :

Countries of origin : Belgium


These medium-sized Belgian cattle dogs are short, stocky and hardy animals with a bone structure heavier than their size would suggest and a powerful head.Short, compact and muscular are the most appropriate words to use when describing these dogs. Their harsh, tousled coat – save on the head where the hair is short and flat – mustache and beard give them a forbidding appearance. But, all told, these are playful, curious and agile social animals that are exceptionally adaptable, so they feel comfortable in all situations.


Strong, rather short



Powerful but not heavy, with rounded ribs rather than flat ones.



All colors are acceptable, save white



Pricked, straight and pointed ears are preferred. Straight ears with drooping tips or half erect ears folded outwards are also acceptable.



Thick and set high. The vast majority is short-tailed and a good number are born without a tail bone.



The topcoat must be dry, harsh and tousled, 2 ½ inches long over the whole body, but shorter and flatter on the head, with large eyebrows.


The Bouvier des Ardennes has always been known as a cow dog in its native region and selection is focused on these abilities. It was fashioned by a regime of hard work in a harsh climate and a hilly environment where poverty was rife. Bouvier des Ardennes dogs are tenacious and exceptionally brave when it comes to protecting livestock, property and territory, displaying great endurance and energy.Only the most hardy and hardworking dogs in a deliberately controlled population were retained to drive herds, typically dairy cows and sheep, although pigs and horses also become part of their remit last century.The closure of many farms in the region together with the reduction in dairy cattle has seen a substantial drop in the number of dogs.Some more or less typical specimens of the breed were discovered by dog breeders around 1985, and by around 1990 they were being used to breed dogs to the standard.

Did you know ?

The coat must allow the dog to live outside, guarding and driving herds no matter how harsh the weather. The undercoat is very dense whatever the season, but more abundant in the winter, to protect the dog from the biting cold.


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