Bouvier des Flandres

70-90 lbs
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 Purpose
cattle herding
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
sheepdog, mastiff, beauceron, griffon

Bouvier des Flandres Health

Sketch of Bouvier des Flandres
Average Size
Male Bouvier des Flandres size stats
Height: 24-27 inches Weight: 70-90 lbs
Female Bouvier des Flandres size stats
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.
Appearance of Bouvier des Flandres
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Bouvier des Flandres eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Bouvier des Flandres nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Bouvier des Flandres coat
gray Bouvier des Flandres coat
brown Bouvier des Flandres coat
red Bouvier des Flandres coat
cream Bouvier des Flandres coat
fawn Bouvier des Flandres coat
blue Bouvier des Flandres coat
silver Bouvier des Flandres coat
white Bouvier des Flandres coat
brindle Bouvier des Flandres coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Bouvier des Flandres straight 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
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Bouvier des Flandres requires weekly brushing
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 activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
15 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes
activity minutes

Bouvier des Flandres Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$2.00 - $2.25
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$60.00 - $67.50
food bag monthly cost

Bouvier des Flandres Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Bouvier des Flandres at six months
Male Bouvier des Flandres size stats at six months
Height: 21.5 inches Weight: 50.0 lbs
Female Bouvier des Flandres size stats at six months
Height: 20.5 inches Weight: 50.0 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Bouvier des Flandres at 12 months
Male Bouvier des Flandres size stats at 12 months
Height: 23.5 inches Weight: 65.0 lbs
Female Bouvier des Flandres size stats at 12 months
Height: 21.5 inches Weight: 65.0 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Bouvier des Flandres at 18 months
Male Bouvier des Flandres size stats at 18 months
Height: 25.5 inches Weight: 80.0 lbs
Female Bouvier des Flandres size stats at 18 months
Height: 24.5 inches Weight: 80.0 lbs

Top Bouvier des Flandres Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Bouvier des Flandres breeders of 2024.
Top Bouvier des Flandres breeder Lakotah Kennels
Lakotah Kennels
Brandywine, Maryland
Top Bouvier des Flandres breeder Briarlea Bouvier Kennel
Briarlea Bouvier Kennel
Glenwood City, Wisconsin
Top Bouvier des Flandres breeder Bajoron Kennel
Bajoron Kennel
Grover, Missouri
Top Bouvier des Flandres breeder D'Hart
Gig Harbor, Washington
Top Bouvier des Flandres breeder Bridgemont Family Farms
Bridgemont Family Farms
Marshall, Arkansas
Top Bouvier des Flandres breeder BOUVIERSLR
Lakeland, Florida
Top Bouvier des Flandres breeder Briarhill
Coshocton, Ohio
Top Bouvier des Flandres breeder Sleeping Lady's Bouvier des Flandres
Sleeping Lady's Bouvier des Flandres
Anchorage, Alaska
Top Bouvier des Flandres breeder La Chanson Bouviers
La Chanson Bouviers
Long Beach, California

Bouvier des Flandres Owner Experiences

6 Months
2 People
House & Yard
He’s a ball of furry love. Really loves attention and belly rubs and makes sure you do it. He loves to eat and is very well mannered for the most part. Everyone always compliments how well he stays for baths. I wouldn’t change him for the world.
4 weeks, 1 day ago
2.5 years
3 People
Where do I began because there is no end.
6 years, 8 months ago
3 Years
She is a gentle giant. She moves at a moderate pace. She is sweet and friendly with other dogs, as well as with people. She's like a huge teddybear!
6 years, 5 months ago
19 Months
2 People
She goes everywhere with us. She does need a firm hand when walking on a leash. Once she learns something, she doesn't forget so we have to make sure she learns proper behaviors. She is very cautious of strangers but loves our grandchildren! She is extremely patient with them and they love their"big Bear!"
4 years, 7 months ago
6 Months
5 People
Anubis has been one of the best things to happen to me he's a little douchbag he has always made up for it in intelligence in typical bouv fashion he get very annoyed when he's given command but always does them, he can't stand strangers but loves little kids and is the most food motivated dog I've ever had. I hope he never changes.
3 years, 6 months ago
Animal Expert Question Icon
Question - New pet

When I bring my 8 week old bouvier long should Insllow him to play and walk? What is the recommended length of activities for a Bouvier Des Flandres Puppy?

Animal Expert Question Icon
Question - My pet

My mail Bouvier is 21 months old and is not showing any interest in mating. Is he too young?

Hi there, Sorry for the delay in response! That's a great question. At 21 months he will likely have gone through puberty and should be physically able to mate. However, every individual matures at a different pace and some have more interest in mating at this age than others. We would want to ensure the female is in season and willing to mate. Consider that it is a female he doesn't see as a mate especially if they have been raised together. We do typically advise waiting until a male is at least 2 to mate as it is important to ascertain they have a good nature and no significant health issues before passing their genes on. I hope this helps! Best, Grace
3 years, 1 month ago
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