Also known as the Ardennes Cattle Dog, the Bouvier des Ardennes is an affectionate and obedient breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.
The origin of the Bouvier des Ardennes can be traced back to 17th century Belgium, though it is widely stated that the breed is among the most ancient of all breeds from the area. Enthusiasts believe the Bouvier des Ardennes to have descended from the Belgian Cattle Dog and the Picardy Shepherd, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.
Throughout its history, the Bouvier des Ardennes has been most commonly used for herding and driving cattle, as well as protecting cattle from predators such as wolves, proving its superior abilities to work in most any environment while providing companionship.
The destruction of World War I threatened complete extinction of the Bouvier des Ardennes. Credited for saving the breed are several unnamed breeders, who worked feverishly to gather breed-able specimens and repopulate the breed to the stable numbers it remains at currently.
Today, while the Bouvier des Ardennes has attained a regional popularity as a working and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of Europe.
Best known for its obedient and loyal nature, the Bouvier des Ardennes thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans. These dogs are very intelligent and generally easy to train. The Bouvier des Ardennes is alert and aware of its surroundings, loving to play the part of watch dog. As a pet, this breed is protective, obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. This active breed enjoys spending time outdoors, playing games such as fetch and frisbee, and going for long walks.
Due to its need for human relationships and willingness to learn, the Bouvier des Ardennes generally responds well to basic training and commands. These intelligent dogs have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.
Establishing immediate trust and respect is key to successfully training the Bouvier des Ardennes. This breed can be somewhat sensitive to criticism and responds best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training.
Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed
There are many benefits to owning a Bouvier des Ardennes. These dogs are very bright, obedient by nature, easy to train, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Bouvier des Ardennes gets along well with children and other pets, known for its sweet and gentle approach to small children. This breed is very alert and aware of its surroundings, making an effective watch dog, announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors. The Bouvier des Ardennes is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Bouvier des Ardennes. This energetic and active breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Bouvier des Ardennes not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.
The Bouvier des Ardennes has a strong instinct to herd and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these dogs are rather quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Bouvier des Ardennes must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.
This breed’s thick and wiry coat requires almost constant attention such as brushing, grooming, and bathing in order to maintain its attractive appearance and prevent matting.
As previously mentioned, the Bouvier des Ardennes remains rather rare outside of Europe and can prove quite difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.
Common Health Concerns
While the Bouvier des Ardennes is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, entropian – folding inward of the eye lid, ectropian – folding outward of the eye lid, food allergies, chronic kidney infection, and bloat.
Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Bouvier des Ardennes? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with you entire family.