Mountain Dog of the Ardennes, also called Bouvier des Ardennes or, in English, Ardennes Cattle Dog, is of Belgian origin and belongs to the group of shepherd dogs and cattle dogs. At first glance, he seems very intelligent but also a bit serious, he can intimidate the insecure, whether it is humans or other animals, but in truth he is affectionate and docile. It moves with elegance despite being a rustic and working breed. In Italy it is not very widespread but not even impossible to find, there are some, registered atENCI, at least thirty. Have you ever met one?
Ardennes Mountain Dog
From its origins, this breed has been used for the conduct and guarding of livestock and still is today, in addition to often taking care of guarding private property, whether it be houses or land. On the birth of the Mountain Dog of the Ardennes there are many hypotheses, obviously the Belgians argue loudly that it is a native breed of their region.
It would therefore be a descendant of the local sheepdogs who had already lived in Belgium for centuries. A not small group of experts, however, continues to argue that the Mountain Dog of the Ardennes is the result of crossings made in the past between two other breeds, the "Belgian Cattle Dog" and the "Picardy's Shepherd”.
Ardennes mountain dog: characteristics
At the withers a male of Mountain Dog of the Ardennes it measures about 60 cm and weighs 25 kg, females are usually slightly smaller: we can talk about medium size, for this dog, even if for its stature it is objectively not very heavy. Its gait is rather elastic, it has a vigorous stride thanks to the musculature well present all over the body.
Overall, this cowherd is proportionate: skull, trunk and limbs maintain the right relationships giving a sense of general harmony. The limbs are particularly solid, being a working dog, and above all the rear ones have defined muscles, more evident and developed than the other parts of the body. The trunk of this dog is broad and powerful, the ribs are rounded and the neck is not too stocky but not too long.
Head and muzzle are massive, the jaws are broad and structured and the Nose, always black, of considerable size. The ears protrude from the flat skull and are straight but with tips bent forward, the eyes must absolutely be dark, those yellow or other colors are not allowed by the standard of the Mountain Dog of the Ardennes.
On the colors of the coat, however, there are no restrictions, all colors are allowed but must be rough and curled, at least 5 cm long over the whole body except in the areas near the head and on the limbs where it is shorter. This breed also has an undercoat that changes in density as needed, depending on the climate: in winter it is very thick in order to protect our dog from the cold, while in summer it becomes sparse. A Mountain Dog of the Ardennes with hair longer than 6-7 cm or with short hair is not allowed by the standard.
Mountain Dog of the Ardennes: character
It is quite easy to train even if it is a rustic dog, the Mountain Dog of the Ardennes, because it is intelligent and intuitive, as well as good. With strangers he does not immediately show expansive, he has an extremely suspicious approach, but if he then decides that you are worthy of confidence, then he turns into a very affectionate dog.
IS' loyal and faithful, never outrageously aggressive even if used to guarding, it is not violent by nature therefore it is perfectly fine as a companion dog if it is immediately accustomed to the human context.
It must always be taken into account that we are dealing with a rustic breed and in general accustomed to life in the open air since historically the Mountain Dog of the Ardennes he always took care of the cattle. In the family he knows how to behave, he is an excellent companion and a discreet guardian but it is necessary to give him the opportunity to go out and be a bit in the green, in nature: he is not a sofa dog.
Ardennes Mountain Dog: breeding
In Italy there are 4 farms of Mountain Dog of the Ardennes recognized by ENCI, one is located in the province of Monza and Brianza, in Lombardy, a second in Veneto, in the Paduan area, then there are one in Puglia, in the province of Lecce, and another in Florence, in Tuscany. The number of specimens that ENCI records in our country, of this breed, is slightly decreasing and is around thirty.
Ardennes Mountain Dog: price
A puppy of Mountain Dog of the Ardennes it can cost from 500 to 1000 Euros, it is not easy to estimate the price and it is advisable to contact the farms that ENCI indicates as a reference for updated information, including on availability. The most common defects of the breed are the non-standard measures, a character that is too shy or, on the contrary, too aggressive, light bones or poorly developed muscles, light eyes or depigmentation of the nose.
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