Bouvier des Ardennes
The Bouvier des Ardennes is a robust four-legged friend. Originally bred to herd large livestock, it is still characterized today by its great adaptability and versatility. Dog lovers appreciate him as a curious, playful, agile and sociable dog. A Bouvier des Ardennes feels at home when his human is also doing well.
The breed belongs to the herding and driving dogs and has a strong build. Bouviers des Ardennes are medium-sized, stocky and have a heavy bone structure. They are characterized by their large head, long, pointed ears and stubby tail. The dog is assigned to FCI Group 1.
The coat of the Bouvier des Ardennes is rough and tousled, and it has a characteristic chin and moustache on its face. It has only been bred in Germany for a few years. This is why it is still one of the lesser-known dog breeds in this country. Yet it has a lot to offer dog lovers. Anyone who gives them a task can look forward to having a loyal companion and true friend. Whether agility, retrieving or tracking - he masters everything with flying colors.
The Bouvier des Ardennes is always enthusiastic about making its owner happy. As it has a pronounced protective and herding instinct, it is ideal as a house and yard dog. Thanks to his thick coat, he is hardly bothered by low temperatures. In winter, its already dense undercoat grows even thicker. This means that the Bouvier des Ardennes is always well protected, even in harsh weather. The Bouvier des Ardennes is docile and fits in well everywhere, which is why it is particularly suitable as a family dog.
The right food
The Bouvier des Ardennes is known for its appetite. It eats everything you put in front of it with enthusiasm. As it also has a strong urge to move, it does not tend to become obese if it is kept sufficiently occupied.
Nevertheless, you should ensure a balanced diet and only give treats in moderation. When choosing food, make sure it contains high-quality and balanced ingredients.
Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the feeding quantity.
Health & Care
Caring for a Bouvier des Ardennes is simple. Brushing the coat once a month and checking eyes, paws and ears for abnormalities is the most important thing.
The breed is prone to cataracts and hip dysplasia, so regular check-ups at the vet are necessary.
Due to its size and athleticism, the Bouvier des Ardennes needs plenty of exercise. It is therefore not suitable purely as an apartment dog. It is better to offer him a house with a garden.
He is a workhorse in the truest sense of the word and will be happy if you give him plenty of exercise and varied activities. Then he is balanced and shows his harmonious and cuddly side at home too. The Bouvier des Ardennes is not only a herding dog, but also a hunting dog and has the corresponding instinct. It is therefore advisable to keep him on a lead when walking together in the forest.
The Bouvier des Ardennes is a playful dog. That's why you can give him a lot of fun with balls and retrieving objects. A simple stick may suffice for retrieving, but special training aids such as throwing ropes and the like add variety to the game.
As the shaggy dog is a good tracker, there are many ways to challenge him with targets, marker cones or a few hidden treats.
A good lead and a collar or harness are also important. A tow lead is also recommended for young dogs that still need to be accustomed to working on a lead.
A food and water bowl as well as a dog basket or dog mat, brush and comb for grooming are also necessary.
Origin & History
As the name suggests, the breed originates from the French and Belgian Ardennes. It was widely used there as a farm and herding dog in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Its task was to round up sheep and cattle and guard the property.
Back then, living conditions were harsh and people were poor. Therefore, robust and hardy dogs were needed to support the household. The dogs were perfect for this. The farmers bred the Bouvier des Ardennes over many years to become a robust, agile and adaptable worker.
With industrialization, the need for suitable working dogs decreased. The breed was forgotten for a long time. It was not until 1983 that it was rediscovered by chance and rebuilt. In the 1990s, more attention was once again paid to the Ardennes breeding lines. In 1996, the breed was officially recognized by the FCI under standard no. 171. The willingness to perform, the docility and the friendly, people-oriented nature of the animals have made the Bouvier des Ardennes increasingly popular.