If you are wondering whether or not you should adopt this majestic breed called the Bouvier des Ardennes, then you are at the right place! Here we will discuss all about them.

Before adopting a breed, it is essential that one should know everything about the dog, their habits, personality, and, of course, their daily needs. This is why, in this 5-minute read, we have got you covered with everything you need to know about this dog breed!


Height23-28 inches
Weight40-90 lbs
Life span12-14 years
Exercise needs1-2 hours daily
TemperamentCalm, Loyal, Protective
GroomingHigh maintenance

Origin of the Bouvier des Ardennes

As the name suggests, the Bouvier des Ardennes dog breed originated in the Ardennes region, a rugged and heavily forested area spanning parts of Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. If we dig deeper into their history, it is evident that their overall development is a result of the needs of the local farmers and the demanding work environment. But hey! Do not limit these dogs to their history and heritage because they have a lot more to offer to their owners. We mean that besides their strong work ethic and guarding skills, these dogs also gained love and affection from the locals.

Moreover, despite its historical significance and valuable traits, this guard dog faced challenges in maintaining its population and recognition. Unfortunately, these dogs are still relatively rare, and if you get a chance to pet one—you better consider yourself lucky.

Appearance of the Bouvier des Ardennes

Below are the physical characteristics and attributes of the Bouvier des Ardennes dog breed:

1. Size and body

This medium to large-sized dog breed is about 23-28 inches tall and weighs around 40-90 pounds. Generally, females are smaller than males, which makes their weight bar differ so much. Besides, these dogs have a robust build and a well-muscled body that flaunts their strength and agility. 

2. Coat

As you can tell by their looks, these working dogs, Bouvier des Ardennes, have a super coarse, tousled, and rough coat that sets them apart from other dog breeds and the Bouvier des Flandres. If you are excited about knowing their colors, then they have a pretty basic color palate that has colors like awn, brindle, or black. 

3. Other features

Moreover, these dogs are known for their super strong jaws and facial features that are expressive and can win anyone’s heart. With their triangular ears set high on the head, their overall perfectly proportionate body contributes to their attentive appearance. 

Personality and Temperament

Here are the details about the temperament and personality of the Bouvier des Ardennes dog breed:

1. Calm

Unlike many other aggressive breeds, these dogs are considered to be pretty calm and composed throughout the day. This particular temperament trait can be great for first-time owners and around strangers.

2. Protective and loyal

Even though they are not aggressive, this canine companion is protective of their family members and human children. Such traits can be traced back to their ancestry and history, as these dogs have always been loyal to their owners. 

3. Super energetic

Another trait of the Bouvier des Ardennes dog breed is that they are packed with energy! And we say packed, we mean that they will not sit in one place for longer than 5 seconds and will always wake you up for their training hours. Just so you know, this is also one of the reasons why these dogs might not be the best for newbie owners.

4. Good family dogs

Moreover, we have to agree that the this dog breed is an excellent family dog due to its calm temperament, loyalty, and calm demeanor. Also, because these dogs love playing games, you can include your family in for a few group activities. 

Don’t be fooled by their serious looks—underneath that scruffy exterior, lies a softie who loves nothing more than belly rubs!
a Bouvier des Ardennes dog outdoors

Grooming Needs of the Bouvier des Ardennes

The Bouvier des Ardennes is one of the most high-maintenance breeds that can be a headache for a first-time owner. As they are not hypoallergenic, they have unique grooming needs such as:

1. Brushing

When we say these dogs are high maintenance, we mean it! The Bouvier des Ardennes dog breed needs to be brushed every day for their lives for a great hair day. This means that they are also not hypoallergenic and will spread allergens if not groomed properly with a grooming mitt or a slicker brush. 

2. Bathing

As for their bathing needs, you will need to bathe these guard dogs once a month. Although, if they play in dust a lot and get dirty, then you can bathe them, but you should know that over-bathing can actually be bad for dogs. So, only use dog supplies like shampoo and conditioner (dog-safe) and bathe them once a month. 

3. Overall hygiene

Besides brushing your dog and bathing them, you should also take care of their dental health for tooth decay, eye health for eye boogers, and ears for ear wax. Also, debris, fleas, and ticks are some of the common health concerns in dogs that should not be ignored.

Training Essentials Of The Bouvier des Ardennes

When it comes to training these bad boys, you at least need to spend 2 hours a day on their rigorous training routine. This can include physically exhausting exercises and agility, but besides that, here are some everyday essentials that you should teach to Bouvier des Ardennes dogs:

1. Leash training

You must have understood now that these dogs are not the easiest to deal with when it comes to their energy levels. This is why you should never leave these dogs off-leash. Even during agility training, you should always keep a leash on them or take them to a closed place so they can’t escape. 

2. Mental stimulation

Besides rigorous exercises, do not forget that these working dogs also need mental stimulation as much as physical ones. You can organize and play puzzle games, hide and seek, and treasure hunt with the Bouvier des Ardennes dog breed for their mental stimulation. This will keep them busy and their bad thoughts away!

3. Patience and consistency

Last but not least, while you train them, you should remember that patience and consistency are the only ways to healthy training. You should not rush things; instead, take them on long walks and divide their training hours into small sections of 30 minutes or less so your dog has ample time to rest. 

Final Thoughts

Our final thoughts on whether or not you should bring home the Bouvier des Ardennes dog breed depends on whether you are an experienced dog owner or a newbie! If you are a first-time dog owner, these dogs might not be the best choice for you and your family. This is simply because they are not only high maintenance in terms of grooming but also require a minimum of 2 hours of training every day. An experienced dog owner would be able to deal with their energy levels and nutritional and medical needs as they know how to deal with high-energy dogs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Bouvier des Ardennes aggressive?

The Bouvier des Ardennes dog breed is not known for their aggressive behavior. Although individual temperament varies, if your dog is showing such unwanted behavior, it is best to train them to encourage positive behavior.

What is the life expectancy of Bouvier des Ardennes?

The life expectancy of Bouvier des Ardennes dogs is 10-12 years, which depends on several factors. The factors include genetics, lifestyle, nutrition, or any underlying health concerns that can affect your dog’s overall well-being.

Are Bouvier des Ardennes hypoallergenic?

No! The Bouvier des Ardennes dog breed is not a hypoallergenic dog breed as they have a double coat that sheds. So, if you are prone to allergies, these dogs might not be the best choice for you!

Can Bouvier des Ardennes be left alone?

The Bouvier des Ardennes dog breed thrives on human companionship and bonds, so frequently leaving them alone for long periods can lead to separation anxiety. Although you can train them to be alone for 3-4 hours a day, but only occasionally.

Share the Post: