Ardennes Cattle Dog

The Ardennes Cattle Dog, also known as Bouvier des Ardennes, was called the cowdog in the Belgian Ardennes. The harsh climate, as well as hard work and difficult terrain have all contributed to his character. The Bouvier des Ardennes is a dedicated and energetic worker. Courageous when it comes to defending his people and territory, he is also sociable, curious, and highly adaptable. Originally a true cattle dog, used for the tough work of rounding-up, guarding and driving cattle, today he is a good all-purpose working dog.

The Ardennes Cattle Dog is a short, compact and well-muscled medium-sized dog. The majority are short-tailed with a good number born tailless. The tail is thick and set high. In countries where docking is prohibited, the tail is left natural.

The topcoat is dry, coarse and tousled, about 6 cm long over all the body but shorter and flatter on the head. The hair forms a moustache and a little beard about 5-6 cm long and hides the internal corner of eye. The forearms are covered by shorter dry hair, a little shaggy, giving them a somewhat cylindrical aspect with the addition of short fringes on the back of the limbs. The back of the thighs has breeches. The outer side of the ears is covered with soft straight short hair with occasional longer hairs. The undercoat is very dense whatever the season and even more abundant in winter, protecting the dog from extremes of weather.

Ardennes Cattle DogPhoto courtesy of Club Français du Bouvier des Flandres

All colors are acceptable except white and the color of the undercoat varies according to the shade of the top coat. A white mark on the chest or the tips of the toes is acceptable. The coat is often formed from a mixture of gray, black and fawn hairs; a gray coat going from pale grey to dark grey; a brownish, red or straw colored coat.


  1. FCI-Standard N° 171/22.03.2002/GB

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