Bouvier des Ardennes Dog: Characteristics, Origin, Temperament

The Bouvier des Ardennes dog is a rare breed of dog. It was originated in the Ardennes region of Belgium, where these dogs were used to herd cattle. As they were worked with cattle in the past, so they were called ‘Bouvier’ (bovine herder).

The loss of farms in the Ardennes area led to serious decline in the numbers of these dogs until 1985 when some breeders found a few dogs and used the original breed standard as their guide in re-introducing the dog.

Each region throughout the area where the breed was raised in the past had it’s 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.[1]

Bouvier des Ardennes Dog Characteristics

The Bouvier des Ardennes dogs are very beautiful and medium in size. They have dense and weatherproof coat. And they can come in any color except white. The breed is commonly found in brindled or peppered variety.

The breed has medium length, coarse, wiry hair with a ‘beard’ and ‘eyebrows’. They can have naturally short tails or long tails. They have high ears and keen eyes.

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The Bouvier des Ardennes dogs are medium in size. Their average body height is between 20 and 22 inches at the withers for females, and between 22 and 25 inches for the males. Average live body weight of the mature dog is between 28 and 35 kg for males, and between 22 and 28 inches for the females.

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Temperament

The Bouvier des Ardennes is a working dog, rather than a companion by nature. They are both determined and obedient. Despite the propensity of these dogs for hard work, they can be affectionate towards their owners.

It is very common for a Bouvier des Ardennes dog to form close connections with their family, and if left alone for too long can suffer from separation anxiety.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the Bouvier des Ardennes dog is between 10 and 11 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

The Bouvier des Ardennes dogs are medium in size and are very active. So, their diet should be formulated for a medium-sized breed with high exercise needs. You can also consult with a vet in your area for better recommendations.

Caring

Taking good care of the animals is very important for raising Bouvier des Ardennes dogs. As a working dog, they are very active. They don’t tire easily and will work continuously for hours without a break, rarely seen standing still.

It is said that, the breed is not suited to apartment life and need an adequate outlet for their bounds of energy. A vigorous walk of at least an hour daily is needed at a minimum, and off-lead exercise is preferred.

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The Bouvier des Ardennes dogs are adventurous and enthusiastic, and they will happily accompany you and your family on a vigorous hike, perhaps even stopping off for a refreshing swim on the way. Failure to adequately exercise, these dogs will inevitably result in nuisance behaviors, such as constant barking or destruction within the home.

Health

The Bouvier des Ardennes dogs are generally healthy. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions.

Their common health problems include hip or elbow dysplasia, epilepsy and eye conditions. Always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed NameBouvier des Ardennes
Other NamesAlso known as ‘Bouvier’ in the past
Breed SizeMedium
HeightBetween 20 and 22 inches at the withers for females, and between 22 and 25 inches for the males
WeightBetween 28 and 35 kg for males, and between 22 and 28 inches for the females
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorAny color except white
LifespanBetween 10 and 11 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginBelgium