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Bouvier des Flandres

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.

Temperament 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 old.
Height, Weight Male Height: 23-28" ; Weight: 75-90 lbs.
Female Height: 22-27" ; Weight: 60-80 lbs.
Health Problems 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 and cataracts.
Living Conditions This breed will do fine with apartment living if given regular exercise but does best with a medium to large yard.
Exercise 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.
Life Expectancy About 10-12 years
Grooming 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.
Origin 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.
Group AKC and UKC Herding Dog