Bouvier des Ardennes

Breed Information


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Bouvier des Ardennes

Other names

Ardennes Cattle Dog



Breed Group


Medium to Large



Life Span

12-14 years







Male: 22–25 inches (55–63 cm)

Female: 20–22 inches (51–57 cm)


Male: 62–77 pounds (28–35 kg)

Female: 49–62 pounds (22–28 kg)


Black, Grey, Fawn

Litter Size

4-6 puppies

Puppy Prices

Average $1500 – $3000 USD

The Bouvier des Ardennes is a rare breed originally used to herd cattle. Ardennes Cattle Dogs are still a somewhat rare breed in the United States, this can make it both difficult and expensive to find a puppy to buy. In buying a legit Breeder you can expect to pay $1500 – $3000 to Bouvier des Ardennes puppies.

Disclaimer: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

Breed Characteristics



Apartment Friendly


Barking Tendencies


Cat Friendly


Child Friendly


Dog Friendly


Exercise Needs




Health Issues






Shedding Level


Stranger Friendly




Watchdog Ability


Bouvier des Ardennes Dog Breed Characteristics


The Bouvier des Ardennes is a rare herding dog breed that originated in Belgium. Although little known outside of its homeland, the Bouvier des Ardennes is a versatile working dog valued for its intelligence, protectiveness, and stamina.

With its weather-resistant coat and compact size, this breed is well-suited for outdoor work and life on a farm. The Bouvier des Ardennes has a range of admirable qualities, making it a delightful family companion when provided with sufficient exercise and training.



The Bouvier des Ardennes breed dates back to the 18th century in the Ardennes region of Belgium. They were developed as all-around herding dogs to drive cattle and sheep and serve as guard dogs on farms in the rugged landscape. Their name “Bouvier des Ardennes” translates to “cattle herder of the Ardennes.”

Some experts believe the breed descended from ancient dogs introduced by Roman legions. The Bouvier des Ardennes likely has ancestry linking it to other Belgian sheepdogs like the Bouvier des Flandres and Schipperke.


In addition to herding and protecting livestock, the Bouvier des Ardennes performed other jobs on farms. Their compact size allowed them to eliminate vermin and hunt small game. The breed pulled carts and even worked as pack dogs, carrying loads across the countryside.

With industrialization in the 20th century, the need for herding dogs declined. The Bouvier des Ardennes was at risk of disappearing until Belgian breeders worked to preserve the rustic herder. Although still uncommon, the breed continues serving as an all-purpose farm dog and family companion.


The Bouvier des Ardennes has a rugged, muscular build suited for life as an outdoor working dog.


This is a medium-sized breed, averaging 16 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder and 25 to 40 pounds. Males are typically larger than females.

Coat and Color

A thick, dense double-coat protects the Bouvier des Ardennes from the elements. The outer hairs are harsh and straight, approximately 2 inches in length. The undercoat is fine and wooly.

Common coat colors include various shades of fawn, gray, and black. Small white markings may appear on the chest and feet. Puppies are born black, lightening to mature shades as adults.

Distinguished Features

The Bouvier des Ardennes has a weather-resistant body, prick ears, and a docked tail. The head is well-proportioned with a strong muzzle. While similar to the Bouvier des Flandres, the Bouvier des Ardennes is more compact in size.


The Bouvier des Ardennes is renowned for its versatility, intelligence, protectiveness, and loyalty. Proper socialization and training are vital for this strong-minded breed.


This dog is lively, assertive, and eager to work. The Bouvier des Ardennes needs extensive daily exercise along with mental stimulation. Without adequate activity, this breed can become restless and destructive.

With Family

Devoted to its family, the Bouvier des Ardennes serves as an affectionate companion and vigilant watch dog. This breed bonds deeply with all family members when properly socialized. The Bouvier des Ardennes is especially fond of children and protective of little ones.

With Other Animals

Early socialization helps the Bouvier des Ardennes accept other household pets. Some can be dog aggressive, requiring close supervision around strange dogs. Their strong herding instincts must be controlled around smaller animals.


While energetic and outdoorsy, the Bouvier des Ardennes can adapt to any living situation with sufficient daily exercise. They should not live outdoors alone and are happiest when with their family.


The Bouvier des Ardennes has abundant energy and stamina, requiring at least 60-90 minutes of daily vigorous activity. Long walks, running, hiking and interactive play will help meet their needs. This breed also enjoys having a job to do.


The dense double coat requires weekly brushing to control shedding and prevent matting. Hand stripping the coat 2-3 times per year preserves the protective harsh outer hairs. The beard needs regular trimming.

Health Concerns

This is generally a robust, healthy breed with few genetic issues. Some potential concerns include hip dysplasia, eye problems and skin allergies. With proper care, the Bouvier des Ardennes lives 10-14 years.


Smart, energetic, and often stubborn, the Bouvier des Ardennes needs consistent, positive training from an early age.

Intelligence and Trainability

This is an intelligent breed that can excel in obedience, agility, tracking and other dog sports. However, the independent nature of the Bouvier des Ardennes makes training challenging at times.

Positive Reinforcement

Motivating this breed through praise, play and food rewards yields the best results. Harsh corrections should be avoided, as the Bouvier des Ardennes is sensitive despite its tough exterior.

Patience and consistency are key when house-training this breed. Crate training assists the process.


The hardy Bouvier des Ardennes maintains its heritage as an energetic working farm dog. While devoted to family, early socialization and training is vital. When provided with ample exercise and stimulation, the Bouvier des Ardennes is a protective yet amusing companion.

This rare Belgian breed makes a fine dog for active households. Their range of talents and loving temperament are sure to delight the right owner.


Are Bouvier des Ardennes good family dogs?

Yes, the Bouvier des Ardennes tends to be very devoted and affectionate with family, including children. Early socialization helps ensure a friendly temperament.

Do Bouvier des Ardennes dogs shed?

Yes, the Bouvier des Ardennes is a seasonal heavy shedder. Weekly brushing helps control loose hairs. Hand stripping the coat a few times per year also helps minimize shedding.

How much exercise does a Bouvier des Ardennes need?

These high-energy dogs require at least 60-90 minutes of vigorous daily exercise along with mental stimulation. Interactive play, long walks, hiking and running help meet their needs.

What health problems do Bouvier des Ardennes have?

This is generally a healthy, hardy breed. Some potential concerns include hip dysplasia, eye disorders, skin allergies. With proper care, they live 10-14 years.

Are Bouvier des Ardennes easy to train?

They are intelligent but can be stubborn. Positive reinforcement training starting in puppyhood yields the best results. Consistency and patience are important when training this breed.

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