Fédération Cynologique Internationale

United Kennel Club

Bouvier des Ardennes

Bouvier Des Ardennes


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Belgium.

PUBLISHED

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FCI
25.10.2000.

UTILISATION

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FCI
Originally a true cattle dog, used to the open air and to the tough work of rounding-up, guarding and driving cattle. Even today with a minimum of training for maximum efficacity, it is a good all-purpose working dog and a specialised guard of stock and property.

CLASSIFICATION

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FCI
Group 1Sheepdogs and Cattledogs
Section 2Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
With working trial

UKC
Herding Dog

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Mrs Jeans-Brown with the collaboration of Mr. Triquet.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
The harsh climate of the Belgian Ardennes, the hard specific work, the difficult terrain and the poverty of the region have all served to fashion its type. Only the most hardy and the most hardworking of a deliberately restricted population were retained to drive the herds, usually consisting of milking cows and sheep but also pigs and horses in the 19th century. At the end of the 19th century the drovers’ dog looked like a sheep dog with a harsh coat, but stronger, bigger and more biting. In Belgian shows classes were opened to drovers’ dogs as an experiment to try to establish similarities of type. In 1913 « The Society of Liege for the improvement of the drovers’ dog from the province of Liege and the Ardennes » was founded and it drew up a proposed standard.
The disappearance of many farms in the Ardennes plus the reduction in milking herds considerably diminished the number of working dogs.
In about 1985, the collection of colostrum from milking herds led cynophiles to discover a few survivors of the Bouvier des Ardennes, more or less typical of the breed. By about 1990, some breeders set out to produce dogs which corresponded better to the type laid down in the standard and they began from these breeding lines in the Ardennes. Oddly enough, it was in the north of the country that a few drovers and shepherds, astounded by the way that these dogs drove herds, began a breeding programme, from a line transplanted there about 1930 - a breeding programme which was out discreetly but with care and confidence. It was only in 1996 that this breed line was discovered by the official cynophile authorities.
UKC
The Bouvier des Ardennes originated as a cattle drover in the Belgian Ardennes. Only the most hard and hardworking dogs from a very restricted population were retained and used to drive the herds, mostly cattle but also sometimes sheep, pigs and horses. They were also used to track deer and wild boar, and during the two World Wars they became poachers’ dogs. During the 20th Century, the disappearance of farms in the Ardennes and the reduction in the herds of milking cattle greatly diminished the number of working dogs, including the Bouvier des Ardennes. Around 1985 a few survivors of this breed were discovered, and some breeders set out to produce dogs that adhered to the original standard of the breed which had been published in 1923. The Bouvier des Ardennes was recognized by the United Kennel Club July 1, 2006.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

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FCI
It is a hardy strong dog of medium size which makes no concessions to elegance. It is short and thick-set with a bone structure heavier thant its size would suggest and a powerful head.
The adjectives short, compact and well-muscled describe it best. Its harsch tousled coat (except on the head where it is shorter and flat), its moustache and little beard all give a forbidding appearance. The Bouvier des Ardennes is to be judged in its natural stance, without physical contact with the handler and without stacking.
UKC
The Bouvier des Ardennes is a medium-sized, very hardy dog of rugged appearance. It is short and thick set, with bone that is heavier than its overall size might suggest. It is compact and well-muscled, with a harsh, tousled coat and a rather forbidding appearance. The breed should be judged in a natural stance, without stacking by the handler.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

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FCI

The length of the point of shoulder to the point of buttock is about equal to the height at withers.
The depth of the chest is about half the height at withers.
The head is relatively short and the muzzle is definitely shorter than the skull which is itself a little longer than broad.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

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FCI
The Bouvier des Ardennes is a dog which shows much endurance and energy. It is playful, curious, agile and sociable and its main quality is its adaptability, so that it feels at ease in every situation. It is obstinate and extremely courageous when it comes to defending its people, its belongings and its territory.
UKC
Extremely adaptable, the Bouvier des Ardennes is at ease in any situation. It is playful and curious, yet very obstinate and determined when defending its family, possessions or territory.

HEAD

:
FCI
Strong, rather short.
UKC
The head is strong and rather short.

CRANIAL REGION

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FCI
Broad and flat, with an upper line parallel with that of the muzzle. Frontal groove and occipital crest are practically invisible. Superciliary ridges are emphasised by bushy eyebrows. Cheek bones are neither prominent nor too arched.

Skull

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UKC
The skull is broad and flat, slightly longer overall than wide. There is no occipital protuberance. The stop is pronounced but not excessive, though it is emphasized by the bushy eyebrows. Cheek bones are not prominent.

Stop

:
FCI
Pronounced but not excessive.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

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FCI
Broad, always black.
UKC
Broad and always black.

Muzzle

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FCI
Broad, thick and well-filled-in under the eyes clearly shorter than skull. Furnished with upstanding hairs masking the internal angle of the eye. The sides of the muzzle and the cheeks form a continuous line.
UKC
Thick and broad, well filled under the eyes, and clearly shorter than the skull. The toplines of the skull and muzzle lie in parallel planes. The muzzle is furnished with upstanding hair. The muzzle is as broad as the skull, with no indentation at their juncture. The lips are thin and close fitting, with black edges.

Lips

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FCI
Thin, close-fitting, always with black edges. The corner of the mouth must not be slack. Top and bottom lips, lower jaw and chin are all furnished with hairs about 5-6 cm long forming a moustache and little beard.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
The jaws are powerful. Dentition should be complete according to the dental formula. The absence of 2 premolars 1 (2 PM1) is acceptable and the molars 3 (M3) are not taken into consideration. The incisors in a scissor bite are set regularly in a open arc. The pincer bite with no lack of contact is accepted without being favoured. The mouth cavity must be as pigmented as possible.
UKC
The Bouvier des Ardennes has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors or level bite. The absence of the first premolars is not a fault. The M3 are not taken into consideration.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Flat but well-muscled.

Eyes

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FCI
Medium size, not too wide apart, slightly oval, neither round nor protruding, as dark as possible. The lids are edged with black and no haw should be visible.
UKC
Medium in size, set not too far apart, oval in shape, and as dark in color as possible. Eye rims are fully pigmented and no haw should be visible when the dog looks straight ahead.

Ears

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FCI
Un-cropped. Set high, triangular, rather small. When flattened, the tip should not reach further than the outer corner of the eye. Erect, straight pointed ears are preferred. Straight ears with tips falling forward or half-pricked ears, folded outwards are equally acceptable.
UKC
Triangular in shape, rather small, and set high on the skull. Fully erect ears are preferred, but semi-prick or rose ears are acceptable.

NECK

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FCI
Strong, well-muscled, with good reach, reasonably cylindrical, slightly arched, carried sufficiently high, without dewlap.
UKC
Strong and well muscled, slightly arched and free from throatiness.

BODY

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FCI
Powerful but not heavy, ribs rounded rather than flat. Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock is about the same distance as height at withers. Short-coupled.
UKC
The Bouvier des Ardennes is a square breed, measured from point of shoulder to buttocks and top of withers to ground. The body is powerful, with rounded ribs and a broad, firm back. The chest is deep to the elbows and quite broad. The topline is level all the way through the short, broad loin and croup, to the high set tail. There is little tuck-up.

Topline

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FCI
Horizontal, broad, powerful and tight.

Withers

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FCI
Slightly pronounced.

Back

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FCI
Well-muscled and well-supported. Supple without appearing weak.

Loin

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FCI
Short, broad, well-muscled, transversally quite flat.

Croup

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FCI
Broad, slightly sloping but preferably horizontal.

Chest

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FCI
Broad, descending to elbows, ribs well-sprung especially in top third. The underside of the chest should have a certain roundness transversally. Seen from the front of the chest is quite broad.

Underline and belly

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FCI
Belly quite full with little tuck-up.

TAIL

:
FCI
The majority are short-tailed with a good number born tailless. The tail is thick and set high.
Short tail: Short tail follows the topline. In countries where docking is prohibited, the tail should be left natural.
UKC
Thick and high set. Docked or natural are equally acceptable. Some are born naturally bobbed or tailless.

LIMBS

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FOREQUARTERS

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FCI
Powerful bone. The well-muscled front legs are upright viewed from all angles and parallel seen from the front.
UKC
Shoulder blade and upper arm are reasonably long and thickly muscled. They form an angle of approximately 110 degrees.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Reasonably long and oblique with thick muscle. Shoulder blade and upper arm form angle of about 110 degrees.

Upper Arm

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FCI
Long, well-muscled.

Elbow

:
FCI
Firm, neither set in nor out.

FORELEGS

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UKC
Straight and strong, with powerful bone. Length of the leg from elbow to ground is approximately one-half the height at the withers. The pasterns are short and strong and slightly sloping.

Forearm

:
FCI
Straight and strong.

Carpus (wrist)

:
FCI
Firm and clearly defined, near the ground.

Pastern

:
FCI
Strong, short and very slightly sloping.

FEET

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UKC
Round and tight with arched toes and thick, dark pads.

Forefeet

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FCI
Round, tight, arched toes, dark, thick elastic pads, strong dark nails.

Hind feet

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FCI
Like front feet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Powerful, well-muscled, with reasonable angulation, seen from rear parallel. Standing in profile the foot must be placed just behind the vertical line of the end of the ischium (point of buttock).
UKC
Powerful and moderately angulated. A vertical line drawn from the back of the pelvis should fall just in front of the toes of the back feet.

Thigh

:
FCI
Very well-muscled and with prominent muscles.

HIND LEGS

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UKC
The thighs have prominent muscles. Hocks are broad, sinewy and well let down. Rear pasterns are slightly sloping in profile. Rear dewclaws should be removed.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Reasonably long, very well-muscled.

Hock

:
FCI
Near the ground, broad and sinewy.

Rear pastern

:
FCI
Seen in profile, slightly sloping. No dew claws.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

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FCI
The limbs move in parallel lines, remaining in line with the body and do not crab. A fast free walk and a lively trot are the usual gaits. The Bouvier des Ardennes is not usually a galloper but it can spin round instantly, whatever its speed or gait. The trot covers the ground well with a regular gait and an excellent rear thrust, with the topline retained well on the move. The dog should not amble. Because it is an active dog, the Bouvier des Ardennes rarely remains still. When off the lead, its ability to drive herds means that it often follows its owner, making sweeping semi-circles.
UKC
A lively, ground covering trot with strong thrust from the rear. The legs should move in parallel lines with no crabbing. The topline remains firm and level when the dog is in motion.

SKIN

:
FCI
Tight fitting, without wrinkles, but supple. The edges of eyelids and lips are always well-pigmented.

COAT

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HAIR

:
FCI

The coat must allow the dog to live outside, to guard and drive herds, however extreme its local atmospheric conditions may be.
The topcoat must be dry, coarse and tousled, about 6 cm long over all the body but shorter and flatter on the skull, even with the presence of eyebrows. The hair must form a moustache and a little beard about 5-6 cm long and hide 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 longer hair making the breeches. The outer side of the ears is covered with soft straight short hair with occasional longer hairs. The auditory canal is protected by longer hairs which blend with those from the collar effect of backward sloping hairs around the neck. The spaces between the pads are filled with very short hairs.
The undercoat is very dense whatever the season and even more abundant in winter, protecting the dog from extremes of weather. It is also present on the limbs. Its length is about half that of the top coat.
UKC
The coat is dense, double and completely weatherproof. The outer coat is dry, coarse and tousled and about 2½ inches in length all over the body, except on the skull, where it is shorter and flatter. There must be a moustache and beard about 2 inches in length that hides the inside corner of the eye. The outside of the ears is covered by short, straight hair. The undercoat is very dense, regardless of season, and about half the length of the outer coat. The skin is tight fitting, but supple.

COLOUR

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FCI
All colours are acceptable except white and the colour 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 without being sought after. The coat is often formed from a mixture of grey, black and fawn hairs; a grey coat going from pale grey to dark grey; a brownish, red or straw coloured coat.
UKC
All colors are acceptable except white. Most generally the color is a mixture of grey, black and fawn hairs. The grey can be from pale to dark. Sometimes the coat is brownish, red or straw colored. A small white spot on the chest and/or toes is acceptable.

SIZE

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UKC
Height at the withers for males is 22-24½ inches. For females, it is 20½ to 22 inches. Weight for males is approximately 60-75 pounds. For females, it is 48-60 pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI

56 - 62 cm for males.
52 - 56 cm for females.
With a tolerance of plus or minus one centimetre.

Weight

:
FCI

28 - 35 kg for males.
22 - 28 kg for females.

FAULTS

:
FCI

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
  • General appearance Too heavy, too elegant, too high off the ground.
  • Head Poor proportions, lack of parallel lines, too slight a muzzle, too little or too much furnishing, Roman nose or convex nose, stop too pronounced or too slight, skull too rounded.
  • Teeth Badly placed incisors. Missing one incisor (1I), one premolar 2 (1 PM2) or one premolar 3 (1 PM3).
  • Eyes Light, round, protuberant or sunken.
  • Ears Too broad at the base, set low, rounded tips; diverging or converging if carried erect.
  • Neck Slender, long, stuffy.
  • Topline Weak, long or narrow back and/or loin; sway or roach backed.
  • Chest Not deep enough, underline without transversal rounding, too narrow.
  • Tail Set too low, carried too high, tucked under, hooked or to the side.
  • Movement Narrow movement, not enough drive, mincing gait, hackney action.
  • Coat Not harsh enough, lying flat, head furnishing too short or too full, hair too long on skull, limbs with too much or too little furnishing, fringes on a long tail. Undercoat not dense enough, too short or too long.
  • Colour Too much white on chest or feet.
  • Temperament timid, sluggish.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Temperament Aggressive or nervous.
  • General appearance Lack of type.
  • Nose, Lips, Eyelids Lack of pigment.
  • Dentition Over or under shot jaw, even without loss of contact (inverse scissor); wry mouth; lack of one upper carnassial ( 1 PM4) or lower carnassial (1 M1), one molar (1M1 or 1M2 but not M3), one premolar 3 (1PM3) together with another tooth, or in total 3 missing teeth or more.
  • Eyes Yellow, China, wild-looking.
  • Ears Cropped or flat against the cheeks.
  • Tail Vertical whip tail or curled tail.
Coat All trimming hair long or very short, straight or curly, woolly or silky, lack of head furnishing or so much that it completely masks the eyes or even the head shape, lack of undercoat.
  • Colour White coat or white other than on chest or toes.
  • Size Outside the limits designated in the standard.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.) More than one inch over or under the prescribed height limits.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism. Lips, nose or eyerims not fully pigmented in black. Yellow eyes. Overshot, undershot or wry mouth. Three or more missing teeth, not counting the first premolars or the M3’s. Cropped ears. Drop ears that lie flat against the head. Natural tail carried curled over the back. Any evidence of trimming of the coat. Excessive head furnishings that completely mask the eyes. Solid white. Any white markings except on the chest and toes.
Muzzle: Lips not completely black.
Teeth: Overshot, undershot or wry mouth. Three or more missing teeth, not counting the first premolars or the M3’s.
Nose: Nose not fully black.
Eyes: Eye rims not fully pigmented black. Yellow eyes.
Ears: Cropped ears. Drop ears that lie flat against the head.
Tail: Natural tail carried curled over the back.
Coat: Any evidence of trimming of the coat. Excessive head furnishings that completely mask the eyes.
Color: Solid white. Any white markings except on the chest and toes.
Note: The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club, Inc. is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club, Inc. feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.