Bouvier des Flandres Dog Breed Information: Profile, History, Care & Review

This is a versatile breed able to perform numbers of functions, including herder, worker, and protector. As such, this dog combines great strength with agility and endurance. The Bouvier des Flandres may be a compact, short-coupled dog of square proportion and rugged appearance. The Bouvier’s gait is free, bold, and proud. The weatherproof coat is tousled and double, with a fine undercoat and a harsh, dry outer coat. The coat is trimmed (if necessary) to a length of about 2.5″. The head is accentuated by a beard and mustache, which adds to the dog’s bold and alert expression.

The Bouvier des Flandres was originally bred to be a versatile farm dog. He helped farmers in a multitude of tasks, including herding livestock (particularly cattle), pulling carts, and guarding. The hard-working and intelligent Bouvier remains a perfect farm dog, also as a capable service, assistance, law enforcement, and watchdog. And while you’ll also find him competing in obedience, agility, and herding trials, serving as a family companion is the role that seems to suit him best.

Bouvier des Flandres Dog Information:

Breed Name Bouvier des Flandres
Other Names Belgian Cattle Dog, Flanders Cattle Dog, Vlaamse Koehond
Breed Group Herding (AKC:1931 & UKC)
Type Purebred
Size Large
Weight Males 75-110 pounds (34-50 kg)
Female: 60-80 pounds (27-36 kg)
Height Male: 23-28 inches (58-71 cm)
Female: 22-27 inches (56-69 cm)
Area of Origin Belgium
Life Range 10-12 years
Colors Black
Gray Brindle
Pepper & Salt
Level of Energy Energetic
Bark Tendency  High
Exercise Daily
Overall Grooming High Maintenance

Bouvier des Flandres Dog History:

The Bouvier des Flandres served farmers and cattle merchants in guiding cattle within the great farmlands of southwest Flanders and on the northern French plain. In fact, Bouvier means cowherd or oxherd in French, although the dogs were formerly more often called Vuilbaard (dirty beard) or koe hond (cow dog). Besides their main duty as a cattle drover, the Bouvier was an all-around farm dog, functioning also as a protector of the house and farm.

As expected from a dog selected to perform a number of tasks, these working dogs were of a variety of types, colors, and even sizes. This wide variety also reflected the fact that this was a working dogand that they were chosen by ability, not pedigree or aesthetics. The derivation of the breed isn’t documented but may have included mastiff, sheepdog, and possibly even spaniel breeds. The first breed standard, drawn up in 1912, reflected this diversity of types and signaled a growing interest within the breed.

Bouvier des Flandres Dog Photos:

Bouvier des Flandres Breed InformationBouvier des Flandres | PEDIGREE®Bouvier des Flandres Dog Breed Information, Pictures ...

About Bouvier des Flandres Dog Health:

Bouviers are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders will screen their stock for health conditions like Bouvier des Flandres myopathy, cataracts, deafness, ectopic ureters, epilepsy, glaucoma, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, laryngeal paralysis, megaesophagus, elbow dysplasia, portosystemic shunt, and subaortic stenosis. Like all large and deep-chested breeds, the Bouvier can experience gastric dilatation and bloat. Owners should find out how to identify this potentially life-threatening condition and learn what emergency steps to require to address it.

  • Major concerns: CHD, glaucoma, elbow dysplasia, SAS
  • Minor concerns: hypothyroidism
  • Occasionally seen: none
  • Suggested tests: hip, elbow, cardiac, (eye)

Nutrition For Bouvier des Flandres Dog:

The Bouvier should had best on a portion of high-quality pet food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared together with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior), and also, the Bouvier requires a diet lower in protein than most other breeds. Some dogs are susceptible to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats are often a very important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. The studies in which human foods are safe for dogs, and which aren’t. Ask your vet if you’ve got any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean water should be available at all times.

How to Take Care of Bouvier des Flandres Dog:

The Bouvier des Flandres is happy to lie around the house and enjoy the luxuries of companionship. He isn’t highly active, but he does need regular exercise. He lives comfortably within the city or country.

You’ll need to take special care if you’re raising a Bouvier puppy. Like other large breeds, the Bouvier grows very rapidly between the age of 4 and 7 months, making him susceptible to bone disorders. Don’t let your Bouvier puppy run and play on very hard surfaces like pavement or pull a cart until he’s fully grown, and his joints are fully formed. Normal play on grass is fine, as is puppy agility play, with its one-inch jumps.

Training should begin the day you bring your Bouvier puppy home. He’s generally eager to please, so training is fairly easy. But he is often stubborn, so owners must be consistent and firm to overcome his dominant personality.

Another important step in training a Bouvier des Flandres puppy is socialization. Socialization is that the process by which puppies or adult dogs find out how to be friendly and get together with other dogs and other people.

Bouvier des Flandres Grooming, Bathing & Coat:

The Bouvier’s coat needs brushing once or twice every week. A good slicker brush or pin brush and huge comb will work for this. The beard may have a cleaning at the same time, and also the dog’s toenails should be trimmed each week or two.

Bouvier des Flandres Dog Exercise:

The Bouvier was bred to do everything that needs doing in a barnyard and pasture except milk the cows. They’re happiest once they stay busy. A bored Bouvier is often a very destructive one. They’re a superb fit for an active household with an owner who hikes or jogs or maybe bikes. The Bouvier needs an outsized, enclosed exercise area where he can romp and play, preferably with other dogs or kids who will keep him in fitness both mentally and physically. Heavy exercise should be limited while he’s a growing puppy.

Bouvier des Flandres Dog Personality:

Despite the massive size, the Bouvier des Flandres is a calm and docile dog known for having a pleasing nature, and maybe a great family pet. The Bouvier can get along well with other animals if raised with them; if not, some may be aggressive toward other dogs.

The Bouvier is simple to train. Some people say that once taught, and a Bouvier will always remember a command. The dogs are, however, slow to mature physically and mentally, and aren’t considered an adult until the age of two or three. Although not a guard dog naturally, the Bouvier is loyal to its family and makes a superb watchdog.

Bouvier des Flandres Dog Training:

The Bouvier is happiest when he has a job to do, whether that job is babysitting, herding, obedience, or watchdog or rescue work. Bouviers are easily trained to try to almost any type of dog sport or activity, and that they usually excel at it. They need a strong prey drive, so they should be socialized from the beginning. They’re consummate showmen and enjoy working or competing with their owners at their side. Extremely eager to please, once they know what you would like them to dothey’re going to do their best to satisfy you. This breed is well suited for search and rescue work and adapts to the training easily.

Pros of Bouvier des Flandres Dogs:

  • Intelligent Rank: Smart: Bouvier des Flandres’s has great intelligence.
  • Hypoallergenic: Bouvier des Flandres does well with allergy sufferers by causing a fewer allergic reaction.
  • Drooling tendency: The Bouvier des Flandres is a perfect example of a very low drooling tendency.
  • Watchdog Ability: Bouvier des Flandres is one of the best watchdogs.
  • Mouthiness: Bouvier des Flandress has lower than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
  • Impulse to Wander or Roam: Bouvier des Flandress tends to escape less than other breeds.
  • Adaptability: Bouvier des Flandress adapts very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Bouvier des Flandress are very kid-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Bouvier des Flandress is one of the best breeds for elderly people.

Cons of Bouvier des Flandres Dogs:

  • Apartment Friendly: Bouvier des Flandress are not apartment-friendly dogs.
  • Grooming: Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition.
  • Weight Gain Potential: Average to High.
  • Office Friendly: Bouvier des Flandres is not the best dog breed for the office environment.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Bouvier des Flandress are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.


More About Bouvier des Flandres Dog:

With his tousled coat and powerful build, the Bouvier des Flandres embodies a rugged adventurer packed with strength, endurance, and vigor. Originally bred to be a hard-working farm dog, he also makes an excellent family pet who thrives among the people he loves. While his appearance is striking, the appeal of this dog is usually found in his intelligent and serene nature.

As a member of the Herding Group, he features a tendency to herd moving objects, including children, people on bikes, and joggers. He’s naturally protective of his “flock” and can defend his family should the necessity arise. However, he’s not aggressive without cause.

Fearless and assured with a strong personality, the Bouvier may be a natural athlete outdoors, but he’s also happy hanging out with you inside. While not terribly high-energy, he does need vigorous exercise to keep healthy. He can live comfortably in small quarters, like a condo or apartment, but it’s important he’s walked or exercised several times each day.

For those, however, who embrace his strong personality, extreme grooming needs, large size, and protective nature, the Bouvier is often a great choice.

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