Bouvier des Ardennes

Other names: Ardennes Cattle Dog, Ardennes Droving Dog, Petit Bouvier

Bouvier des Ardennes

The Bouvier des Ardennes is a very strong, adaptable, medium sized dog. Originally known as a cattle dog, it was bred initially in the forest regions of the Ardennes. While it is a breed that is quite curious and playful, at times these dogs may be quite territorial about their family and surroundings. This heavy-boned canine has quite a rough looking appearance with a tousled coat. 

Key facts about the Bouvier des Ardennes

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Playful Intelligent

Size :

Origins and history

Although not much is known about the origins of this breed, it is thought to have come about during the early 1800s, in Belgium in the Ardennes region.  After both World Wars, the breed was thought to be extinct, however two small groups were discovered, which over the following years, have been used to build up the presence of the breed once more.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)


Section 2 : Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)

Physical characteristics of the Bouvier des Ardennes

Adult size

Female : Between 20 and 22 in

Male : Between 22 and 24 in


Female : Between 49 and 62 lb

Male : Between 62 and 77 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



The breed is very muscular but also very flexible. The dog’s thick coat makes it look less agile than it actually is. The face and head have the appearance of being on the small size, being a flat shape. The muzzle and head are very distinct on this breed. The short muzzle has a broad black nose while the ears are triangle-shaped and short. 

Good to know

This is a very adaptable breed, capable of working in the mountains or on the lowlands. Their characteristics are to hunt and herd, and indeed, any other tasks you throw at them too. They are very keen to please their owner and show their devotion.


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    The Bouvier des Ardennes is known for being extremely affectionate, devoted to its family and also known for their intense loyalty. 

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    If you are a person that loves exercise, this is the dog for you. You just cannot seem to tire out the Bouvier des Ardennes dog.

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    Calm until provoked. This dog will defend his family and territory without backing down.

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    Very intelligent breed, easy to train.

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    This breed is eager for hunting as they have an excellent sense of smell. They are often used as herding and hunting canines.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    Initially can be quite wary of strangers, but once trust is held, the dog will be accepting of others.

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    Known to crave the constant company of those it loves. However this can also be a problem as he is anxious when separated from his owners for any length of time.

    Behaviour of the Bouvier des Ardennes

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      Tolerates solitude

      Loves the company of its owner, but may develop anxieties when left alone.

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      Easy to train / obedience

      As herding dogs they are quite easy to train and are certainly obedient dogs. Very intelligent and will learn quite complex commands. A tireless and dedicated worker.

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      Will only bark in a territorial manner when guarding and defending. However, can be quite excitable and barks if he doesn't get sufficient exercise.

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