The Canine Chronicles Directory
Bouvier des Flandres
Bouviers des Flandres' are rough, strong and compact. Their beard, moustache, and
bushy eyebrows give them a rugged appearance. They have a course, shaggy-looking
outer coat that is dry to the touch and a soft, dense undercoat which protects this
breed during all types of inclement weather. The coat color is primarily black or
black-brindle, gray or gray-brindle or fawn. A white star on the chest is permitted
when showing this breed, but all other markings are undesirable. This breed has
a large head with a broad muzzle slightly tapering to the black nose. The jaw should
be strong and the teeth should meet in a scissor-like bite. The oval eyes should
be dark brown in color and the triangular shaped ears should be set high on the
head. The ears are customarily cropped. The long, well-muscled neck merges into
muscular shoulders. The compact body should be short and the chest should be broad
and deep. The front legs should be straight and sturdy and the hindlegs well-muscled
with powerful thighs. The round compact feet should have well-arched toes with thick,
firm pads. The tail is customarily docked to the 2nd or 3rd vertebrae. However,
many breeders will leave the tail natural. Some lines are born without a tail.
Bouvier des Flandres' have a very intimidating appearance. Despite this, they have
excellent temperaments as well as a pleasant nature. They are quiet, calm and gentle
when inside the home. They are affectionate with their owners and are generally
reserved but not aggressive with strangers. They should be socialized at an early
age to prevent shyness, over-protectiveness and to accept cats. Make sure to supervise
them with other household pets. This breed is excellent with children. Bouvier des
Flandres mature slowly and will not reach full maturity until they are 2-3 years
Male Height: 23-28" ; Weight: 75-90 lbs.
Female Height: 22-27" ; Weight: 60-80 lbs.
Bouvier des Flandres are hardy dogs and have a high threshold for pain so it can
be difficult for Vets to know where they are hurt. Some are prone to hip dysplasia
This breed will do fine with apartment living if given regular exercise but does
best with a medium to large yard.
This breed loves to exercise and does great running alongside a bicycle. Care should
be shown toward this breed's puppies until their bones are mature.
About 10-12 years
The long and shaggy coat of this breed requires a lot of work. Brush daily and only
bathe when necessary. The Bouvier should be clipped three times per year. Trim hair
inside of the ears and between the pads of their feet when needed. Despite their
long coat, the Bouvier sheds little hair.
The exact origins of the Bouvier des Flandres are unknown; it is possible that they
were developed by crossing the Griffon and the Beauceron. In the 1600s, all dogs
working with cattle were called "bouviers" attached to the name as this was the
region in which they were from, hence Bouvier des Flandres. This breed was prized
for being drovers and guardians. During World War I, Bouviers were extensively used
as rescue dogs and message-carriers. After the war, almost all of the Bouvier were
decimated. The only two types that survived were the Bouvier des Flandres and the
Bouvier de Andrennes, many of the rarer types became extinct. A Belgian Army Veterinarian,
Captain Darby, is credited for ensuring the continuation of this breed. In 1923,
"reconstruction" of the breed began. Captain Darby's champion, Champion Nic de Sittengen
was a valued sire during this process. Most of the modern pedigree traces back to
him. This breed has been used as a guide for the blind, search and rescue, police
and military work, and in competitive canine sports. The Bouvier des Flandres breed
is recognized by both the AKC and the UKC.
AKC and UKC Herding Dog