Bouvier des Flandres

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70-90 lbs
23-26"
Belgium
Belgian Cattle Dog, Vuilbaard (dirty beard), Koehond, Toucheur de Boeuf

The Bouvier des Flandres was once a hard working dog that was bred to herd cattle and use his brute force around the farm. Originating in Belgium and Northern France, these thick coated, intelligent dogs were almost lost during World War I when much of their land was destroyed. After the war, they gained in numbers and popularity, earning a reputation as a beloved family dog. These loyal protectors excel at any job given them, and thrive with lots of human interaction and athletic exercise. Today, you can find Bouviers working as police, rescue, and guide dogs. Despite its energetic nature, the Bouvier is just as happy to relax with their loving family.

Purpose
cattle herding
Date of Origin
1600s
Ancestry
sheepdog, mastiff, beauceron, griffon

Bouvier des Flandres Health

Average Size
Height: 24-27 inches Weight: 70-90 lbs
Height: 23-26 inches Weight: 70-90 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Bloat
  • Megaesophagus
  • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis
  • Laryngeal Paralysis
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Heart
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Throat
  • Endoscopy

Bouvier des Flandres Breed History

In Southwest Flanders and the northern French plain, 17th century farmers and cattlemen needed a dog who could work on various areas of the farms. They needed cattle herders, protectors for their stock, and even some brute muscle to pull carts, churn butter, and work the grist mill. The early days of Bouvier des Flandres breeding are often debated. Some believe it to be a cross between the mastiff, sheepdog, and even a spaniel breed. Others say it is a cross of the Beauceron and Griffon breeds. Back then, the men who bred them did so purely for function, and paid little attention to any kind of breed standard. This created a great variation in appearance. Regardless, they did exhibit enough characteristics in common to be considered the same breed. Originally, they were called by many names, including “koehond,” which translates as cow dog, “vuilbaard,” or dirty beard, or “toucheur de boeuf,” or cattle driver. The term “Bouvier” is a French word meaning oxherd or cowherd, and coupled with their region of origin, their modern name was born. Along the way, Adolphe Reul, a veterinarian at the Veterinary School of Brussels, pointed out the admirable qualities of the breed to the breeders of the area, though a standard was not adopted until 1912. During World War I, numbers of Bouviers dropped as their homelands were destroyed, but one who survived, named Nic de Sottegem, appeared in the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp. His descendants can be found in almost every modern bloodline. The Bouvier was recognized by the AKC in 1931, and began to be imported in the United States. Today, the Bouvier has traded in the hard farm work of its origins for jobs such as police, military, rescue, and guide dogs.

Bouvier des Flandres Breed Appearance

Straight front legs and wide, muscular thighs give the Bouvier des Flandres a square-proportioned and powerful look. A strong, muscled neck arches into a short, broad and muscled back. The large head sports a distinctive beard and mustache. Expressive oval, dark brown eyes look out from the furry face, and alert ears are high on the head. The ears may be cropped to a triangular contour. A broad muzzle tapers gently to a large black nose that often exhibits flared nostrils. The strong white teeth of the Bouvier’s powerful jaw meet in a scissor bite. The paws are rounded, and have thick pads, well-arched toes, and strong nails. The Bouvier tail is generally docked, and carried upright when the dog is active. The long, thick, double-layered coat keeps the Bouvier comfortable in all kinds of weather. The outer coat has rough, harsh hair strands, while underneath, lies a dense layer of soft, fine hair. The colors of the coat can vary, and can range from fawn to brindle, and gray to black, with a possible salt and pepper appearance.
Eye Color Possibilities
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
Brindle
White
Silver
Blue
Fawn
Cream
Red
Brown
Gray
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Bouvier des Flandres Breed Maintenance

Brushing the long and dense coat of your Bouvier should be performed once or twice weekly with a slicker brush and comb to prevent matting and tangling. Without regular grooming, your Bouvier can develop hot spots, painful skin lesions that can lead to infections, especially in hot and humid climates. Clipping and shaping can be done three to four times yearly, being sure to snip excess hair between paw pads and inside the ears. The long beard can become messy from eating, and may need to be cleaned more often. This breed sheds little if properly groomed. Only bathe when necessary, using dry shampoo. The strong nails of Bouviers should be trimmed regularly, and the ears checked for wax and debris. This is a breed that benefits from daily exercise and human interaction, as well as a task. Provide vigorous play sessions, walks, and jogs, but be sure to moderate exercise during the puppy growth stage. The Bouvier can thrive in both the country or in an apartment. Due to a predisposition for digestive complaints, avoid table foods high in fats, sodium, or artificial additives. While your Bouvier is a puppy, be careful to not overfeed him, as it can contribute to various physical conditions.

Brushes for Bouvier des Flandres
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Bouvier des Flandres Temperament

The Bouvier is a spirited and bold breed, who is intelligent and even tempered. Though they are independent, they are devoted dogs who need lots of attention from their families. Known for their protective nature, they make wonderful guard dogs, as they are often intimidating to intruders. While Bouviers are usually good with children, they can sometimes play too rough. If socialized from the start, Bouviers will get along nicely with other household animals. While the breed is easy to train, Bouviers do not fully mature until two to three years of age, so training should be consistent. Early socialization is recommended to prevent them from becoming dominant and overprotective. Good socialization can also help to lower aggression toward strangers and foreign dogs. This sturdy and muscular breed is meant for herding, which can sometimes lead to animal and car chasing. Walks, social outings, competitive herding trials, and other dog sports will benefit Bouviers, as will a job to do.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
15 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes

Bouvier des Flandres Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$2 - $2.3
Monthly Cost
$60 - $67.5

Bouvier des Flandres Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 50 lbs
Height: 20 inches Weight: 50 lbs
12 Months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 65 lbs
Height: 21 inches Weight: 65 lbs
18 Months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 80 lbs
Height: 24 inches Weight: 80 lbs

Top Bouvier des Flandres Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Bouvier des Flandres breeders of 2017.
Lakotah Kennels
Brandywine, Maryland
Briarlea Bouvier Kennel
Glenwood City, Wisconsin
Bajoron Kennel
Grover, Missouri
D'Hart
Gig Harbor, Washington
Bridgemont Family Farms
Marshall, Arkansas
BOUVIERSLR
Lakeland, Florida
Briarhill
Coshocton, Ohio
Sleeping Lady's Bouvier des Flandres
Anchorage, Alaska
La Chanson Bouviers
Long Beach, California

Bouvier des Flandres Owner Experiences

Judah
2.5 years
3 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Where do I began because there is no end.
1 month, 3 weeks ago