Bouvier des Flandres

The Bouvier des Flandres is a rather large herding dog that was developed in Belgium to herd sheep, drove cattle and pull carts. This all-around farm dog is known by several different names including the Bouvier des Flandres, Bouvier, Flanders Cattle Dog, Belgian Cattle Dog, Dog of Flandres and the Vlaamse Koehond. While it is not clear as to how long the Bouvier des Flandres has been existence, it is known that they were around before World War I. During this time, farmers and merchants used Bouviers primarily as working dogs. The dogs obtained their name because Bouvier is French for cow herd and Bouviers were commonly found in the farmlands of Flandres. Bouviers nearly became extinct during World War I; however, breeders were able to save the breed, and a revised standard was written in 1922. Although there are no scientific facts as to the Bouvier des Flandres' ancestry, it is thought that they may be related to various sheepdogs, mastiffs and spaniel-type breeds.

This dog was bred to herd cattle and to guard livestock. As a result, it is a very strong, agile dog that has great endurance levels. It's a large dog with square proportions with a soft undercoat and a coarse outer coat. It has long hair and is high in maintenance in terms of grooming. Its hair frequently needs to be trimmed. As stated above, the Bouvier des Flandres is a large dog that can weigh anywhere from 60 to 120 pounds as an adult. These dogs are most known for their thick, shaggy coats, which can be black, fawn, salt and pepper, blonde, gray, or brindle. White markings on the chest are permissible. The tail of the Bouvier can be docked short or left natural. When left natural, the tail is long, slightly curved and heavily plumed. Ears can be either cropped or left natural as well. Natural ears are triangular, small and flop over towards the cheeks. The head of the Bouvier should be large with a square muzzle and black nose. The body should be muscular, and the eyes should be dark brown. Personality: This dog breed is a calm, affectionate dog that is loyal and protective. It's a perfect family dog and very friendly towards children. It needs daily vigorous exercise in the form of a long walk or a jog. It's an adventurous dog that likes to explore. They are independent and strong-willed. If not trained properly they can be domineering. They are reserved towards strangers and sometimes aggressive towards other dogs. Despite its intimidating appearance, the Bouvier des Flandres is actually a gentle and good-natured dog. They are not overly active so long as you provide them with regular walks and exercise. This is an intelligent breed that is eager to learn and quite easy to train. Bouviers are fearless dogs, which makes them excellent guard dogs. However, they can become overly protective if you do not begin training at an early age. They are typically extremely suspicious of strangers, and as such, they do not take to new people very well. While Bouvier des Flandres are great with kids, they are not recommended for small children.

Bouvier des Flandres image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
Europe
Family
Function
Life Span
10-12 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
Bouvier, Flanders Cattle Dog, Belgian Cattle Dog, Dog of Flandres, Vlaamse Koehond, Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres Build Information

Size
Large
Length (Male)
22-27 in.
Length (Female)
22-24 in.
Weight
> 65 lbs
Litter Size
5 - 10 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
Both
Preferred Climate
Any Climate

This dog was bred to herd cattle and to guard livestock. As a result, it is a very strong, agile dog that has great endurance levels. It's a large dog with square proportions with a soft undercoat and a coarse outer coat. It has long hair and is high in maintenance in terms of grooming. Its hair frequently needs to be trimmed. As stated above, the Bouvier des Flandres is a large dog that can weigh anywhere from 60 to 120 pounds as an adult. These dogs are most known for their thick, shaggy coats, which can be black, fawn, salt and pepper, blonde, gray, or brindle.

White markings on the chest are permissible.

The tail of the Bouvier can be docked short or left natural. When left natural, the tail is long, slightly curved and heavily plumed. Ears can be either cropped or left natural as well. Natural ears are triangular, small and flop over towards the cheeks. The head of the Bouvier should be large with a square muzzle and black nose. The body should be muscular, and the eyes should be dark brown.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

This dog breed is a calm, affectionate dog that is loyal and protective. It's a perfect family dog and very friendly towards children. It needs daily vigorous exercise in the form of a long walk or a jog. It's an adventurous dog that likes to explore. They are independent and strong-willed. If not trained properly they can be domineering. They are reserved towards strangers and sometimes aggressive towards other dogs.

Despite its intimidating appearance, the Bouvier des Flandres is actually a gentle and good-natured dog.

They are not overly active so long as you provide them with regular walks and exercise. This is an intelligent breed that is eager to learn and quite easy to train. Bouviers are fearless dogs, which makes them excellent guard dogs. However, they can become overly protective if you do not begin training at an early age. They are typically extremely suspicious of strangers, and as such, they do not take to new people very well. While Bouvier des Flandres are great with kids, they are not recommended for small children.

Appearance

Colors
Black Fawn Gray Salt & Pepper Tan Brindle Yellow
Shedding
None
Grooming
High Maintenance
Coat Type
Rough

The Bouvier is a breed that requires quite a bit of grooming due to the nature of its shaggy coat. You will need to brush your Bouvier's coat at least two or three times a week so that mats do not form in its hair. During shedding season, you should brush its coat at least once or twice per day. If you wish, you can clip your pet's hair short to make it easier for you to groom.

You should only need to bathe your Bouvier des Flandres a few times a year when necessary.

However, it is good practice to check your dog's ears about once a month for any wax accumulation, and if needed, you can wipe the wax out with the tip of a damp cloth. Finally, if your Bouvier's nails grow too long, you can clip just the tips off using a pliers-style nail clipper made specially for pets.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Easy
Hunting Companion
No
Jolly for Jogging
Yes
Sighting Capabilities
No
Ideal for Tracking
Yes
Retrieving Skills
No
Pointing Breed
No
Herding Skills
Yes
Dutiful Watchdog
Yes
Security Guard Capable
Yes
Police Performer
Yes
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
No
Able to Perform Dog Carting
Yes
Agile/Zippy
Yes
Fun with Lure Coursing
No
Obedient
Yes
Possible Schutzhund Work
Yes
Trainable for Tricks
No
  • If you have been searching for a great family dog that will fearlessly look after your house as well, the Bouvier des Flandres may be the dog for you! These dogs are extremely gently and loyal to their human family members but are very suspicious of strangers
  • If you choose a Bouvier for your home, make sure you provide it with plenty of exercise
  • President Ronald Reagan once owned a Bouvier des Flandres that was named Lucky
  • The dog that starred in the movie "A Dog of Flandres" was a Bouvier by the name of Patrasche
  • Due to its strong herding instincts, the Bouvier may have a tendency to "herd" your children or other household pets

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Common Health Conditions in Bouvier des Flandress

For the most part, Bouvier des Flandres are healthy dogs that can live as long as 12 years or even longer. However, just as with most any other breeds, Bouviers are prone to developing various health problems. The most commonly seen of these health issues can be found listed here: Entropian/Ecttropian, Glaucoma, Gastric Torsion (Bloat), Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Epilepsy and Heart Problems.

Bouvier des Flandres Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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