Bouvier des Flandres Dog: History, Temperament, Care, Training & more

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Bouvier des Flandres Dog Breed Information

Bouvier des Flandres
Level of Energy    
Exercise Needs   
Level of Affection    
Climate Tolerance     
Good With Children    
Tolerance of Animals     
Suitable as Watch Dog  

Bouvier des Flandres Dog – Just The Facts

  • AKC Popularity:  82
  • AKC Breed Group: Herding
  • Size of Male:  69-90 lbs., 24.5-27.5 in.
  • Size of Female:  69-90 lbs., 23.5-26.5 in.
  • Color:  Fawn, Salt and Pepper, Brindle, Gray, Black
  • Average Lifespan:  10-12 years
  • Breed Origin:  Belgium
  • Purpose:  Farm Dog, Cattle Herding Dog

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General Description

With a French flair to their name, who can ever forget the Bouviers des Flandres? The ruggedly hairy and bearded breed exudes an imposing presence. These working dogs have so much will power that they can easily overwhelm the novice pet owner! From head to tail and facial expression, there’s no doubt that the Bouvier is your perfect watchdog.

Origin and History

“Bouvier” is French for ox or cowherd, but this dog breed actually hails from Brussels, Belgium, where the pooches were aptly labeled as dirty beards, cattle drivers and cow dogs. They herded cattle and guarded farms. They also functioned as messengers during the First World War.

Because the early owners weren’t really particular about breeding the Bouvier for conformation, the dogs proliferated in a variety of colors and sizes. It wasn’t until 1912 that the standards for appearance began to be established. They were revised 10 years later. Today, you can find the dogs actively joining herding trials and shows.

Bouvier des Flandres Temperament

The gentle-looking giant is not to be underestimated. You’re likely to encounter some mood and dominance issues with the pooch. So unless you’re ready for major work, you may want to gain some experience in dog ownership before venturing into Bouviers ownership. The Bouviers des Flandres is generally protective, smart and reliable, yet they should never be left unsupervised around kids.

Care, Grooming, Diet & Exercise

Living Environment – Due to their very thick double coats, a Bouviers des Flandres can barely stand the heat! You’ll need to keep these dogs in a cool environment, alternating their exposure to the outdoors and the indoors. They do best in typical suburban dwellings that have spacious yards. The dogs can also tolerate apartment living when socialized and exercised enough.

Grooming – The Bouvier des Flandres is a shaggy dog, and it’s one breed that’s a tad demanding in the grooming department. The dog’s double coat requires bi-weekly combing and quarterly scissoring and clipping. As a show dog, the Bouvier will also need professional stripping services. Be ready to nitpick some debris and tiny objects from your pet’s rough coat often!

Diet & Exercise – There are a few dietary choices to avoid: horse meat, corn, beet and anything that contains soy. For a nutritious treat, serve beef or poultry, and mix these protein sources with some brown rice in small, regular servings. Records indicate that Bouviers des Flandres dogs were once accustomed to consuming flax.

On a scale of 10, the Bouvier’s exercise needs fall at either an 8 or 9. This dog breed must get its exercise regimen on a daily basis. Recommended activities include closely supervised long walks and hikes, a good jog and plenty of vigorous play. A Bouvier des Flandres denied the chance to exercise will become very destructive and aggressive.

Health – Very few of these dogs live very long. They are susceptible to a host of health conditions, including chronic heart disease, cancer, canine hip dysplasia, and elbow disorders. By far, the worst and the most common risk which can afflict your Bouvier is bloat or gastric torsion.

Bouvier des Flandres Trainability

Repetition, adequate socialization and well-met needs to vent energy all play a part in successfully training the Bouvier des Flandres. It’s interesting to note that despite its stubborn streak and predisposition to dominant behavior, the pooch is a fast and fairly trainable learner. You just need to play your strings right when handling the dog.