Originally bred by the butchers, cattlemen and farmers of southwest Flanders and the northern hills of France as a cattle dog, the Bouvier Des Flandres is a powerfully built dog of rugged appearance. Although their vocation remained primarily that of a cattle herder, the breed proved so versatile that they were utilised as a cart-puller, sheep-herder and general farmer’s helper. During World War I, the Bouvier Des Flandres was also used as an ambulance and messenger dog. In modern times they are mainly a companion dog, although in Europe they are highly prized as a police, defence and army dog. The breed has also performed well as a tracking dog and guide dog for the blind.
The Bouvier Des Flandres has a strong build. Their thick, coarse coat with distinctive, rather unkempt, appearance is usually fawn or grey and is often brindled or shaded. Black is also permissible.
Noted for their intelligence, energy and audacity, the Bouvier Des Flandres makes an excellent guard and watchdog, being docile with those that they know but distinctly suspicious of strangers without being aggressive. As a family friend, guardian and protector they are unsurpassed, being loyal affectionate and completely devoted. Early socialisation with other pets will ensure easy integration into a household with existing pets.
Grooming and care
The Bouvier Des Flandres has a double coat requiring frequent grooming to avoid matting. Their coat should be kept about 1 to 1.5 inches long.
The Bouvier Des Flandres thrives on an active lifestyle, and requires room to move plus plenty of exercise in order to keep them happy and out of trouble. A long daily walk will satisfy them.
For the latest research in breed-related problems in Bouvier Des Flandres visit the University of Sydney’s LIDA (Listing of Inherited Disorders in Animals) website.