Bouvier des Ardennes
The Bouvier des Ardennes is a rare breed that originated in Belgium and was developed by farmers to herd cattle and serve as a farm dog in the 17th to 18th century. Due to its excellent sense of smell, farmers eventually started using the Bouvier des Ardennes as a hunting dog and tracker so that it became an extremely valuable companion to many families especially during the World Wars. They were used as watchdogs and livestock guards mostly for cattle.
Even nowadays, they are predominantly used as farm dogs in their home region in Belgium, although they have been recognized by the United Kennel Club and the American Rare Breed Association in recent years.
The Bouvier des Ardennes is known for its obedient, affectionate temperament. These dogs tend to form strong bonds with their families and often display separation anxiety when left alone. They are usually very sociable, crave company and behave well around children they grow up with. They might nip at children's heels during play which is common for herding dogs, so this behavior must be checked and corrected vigorously when they are young in order to avoid later issues.
Owners should also be watchful if other animals are around the Bouvier des Ardennes as it is in their nature to hunt smaller prey. These dogs make excellent watchdogs, they are protective and suspicious of strangers. It's important to adequately socialize this breed when they are young. Failure to do so might lead to a distrust of strangers and if unchecked in potentially aggressive behavior.
Overall, this breed is considered highly intelligent and trainable, making it a great companion for families and competitor in canine activities.
As the Bouvier des Ardennes is a rare breed, not many health studies have been conducted. However, it seems that the average life span of this breed is 11 to 12 years.
They seem to be at risk for a certain number of genetic diseases which can be explained by the small gene pool. These health issues include orthopedic diseases such as Hip Dysplasia and eye conditions.
The Bouvier des Ardennes is considered a light to medium shedder during the majority of the year. However, during the change of the seasons, they tend to shed heavily for a few weeks. Many owners choose to shave their dog when temperatures rise, which usually decreases the shedding. Due to their rather long and dense fur, they require a fair amount of grooming and benefit from regular brushing, with a minimum of three times a week.
|Medium to Large
|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)
|Average $700 - $900 USD