The Bouvier des Flandres started out in Belgium in the 1600s herding cattle and pulling carts. Some believe the breed is a mix of Spaniels, Sheepdogs, and Mastiffs while others claim they are a blend of the Griffon and Beauceron. In those days, they were bred only for function so the appearance of the Bouvier des Flandres varied quite a bit.
At first, they were called the Toucheur de Boeuf, which means cattle dog, Koehond, which means cow dog, or Vuilbaard, which means dirty beard. The name they have now, Bouvier, means cowherd or oxherd.
A veterinarian named Adolphe Reul was a proud breeder who made the Bouvier des Flanders popular during those days even though there was no standard until 1912. Because of the destruction in World War I, the breed’s numbers dropped drastically but a survivor named Nic de Sottegem reignited their popularity after appearing in the Antwerp Olympics in 1920. In 1931, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed and it is now the 83rd most popular breed in America.
The Poodle is one of the oldest breeds of dogs ever recognized and has been around since ancient times, originally in Germany but then being perfected in France. They are thought to be a mix of the French, Russian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Hungarian Water dogs although the North African Barbet is also part of the mix according to some.
Others claim that there are some other breeds mixed in such as Asian herding dogs and other breeds that ran wild during that time. The smaller versions of the Poodle were created in the 1400s by breeding small Poodles with each other. At the time, the Poodle was mainly used for hunting ducks and truffles but became popular as circus dogs and in shows. The AKC officially recognized them in 1887 where they are now the 7th most popular breed of dog.