The Bouviers des Flandres is a sturdy, firm and fearless herding dog breed. Calm and sociable indoors, the dog is dedicated, loyal and protective with great inquisitive postures towards strangers. Rarely it nips the children at heels during play otherwise gentle and polite yet reserved with strange dogs, tends to fight with if any dog challenges it. Independent and dominating, the breed is self-sufficient but ever ready for adventures. Lively and playful, this dog needs exercises and outdoor activities to satisfy its physical and mental stimulation. The dog is perfect companion of farming families besides sniffer dog for law enforcement agencies and search and rescue organizations.
A versatile herding dog Bouviers is ideal for cattle driving, draft and guard dog of farms and livestock. The dog rightly possesses great power and stamina with flexibility in maneuvering. The breed is sized large with long legs, square in proportion and rugged appearance. The way of walk is proud, bold and free. Its water proof double coat is tousled and harsh that is long in length with relatively fine inner coat. The breed comes in many colors including fawn, black, salt, pepper, grey and brindle. Muzzle is surrounded by beard and moustaches which contribute its deterring expression.
The Bouvier is an old dog of Belgium developed for herding, driving cattle, farm and house guardian and companion of farmers and merchants while in travelling to markets and fields. This dog might be developed from a possible cross of Griffon and Beauceron. Some studies suggest that the monks of Ter Duinen monastery in Flanders are its true breeders, these Bouviers are said to be the result of a mix of Irish wolfhounds and Scottish deerhounds. Whatever is true, but the breed had helped the native farmers in general field works. Initially the dog was not of any definite size and weight but had almost all characteristics of common working and herding dogs of same category. The breed was recognized with different names like dirty beard dog (Vuilbaard), cow dog (Koehond) and cattle driver (Toucheur de boeuf). During World War I the dog had been used as message carrier, they rescued the soldiers during said war. This breed was recognized by AKC in 1931. A high sniffing sensitivity has open another wide area of work for them, narcotics and explosive detection by police and military departments, search and rescue for injured or missing personnel in any natural disaster are very helpful application of these dogs for mankind.
The dog is gentle, enthusiastic, responsible and loyal with pleasant nature. Sociable and co-operative, Bouvier thrives when in multi pet family, willing to please, it shares yard in playful activities. The breed is easy trainable, well responsive to commands and high intelligent. Reward based training is fruitful but the schedule should be consistent while diversity of events. The dog is very caring and affectionate with children with great patience against childish irritation.
Puppies tend to dominating over pets but shy or timid to strangers, aggressive to other dogs and chasing to cats. Early day’s socialization and growing the pets together from their puppyhood is the key of successful housetrain. Training Bouvier for guarding purpose would bring extremely protective instinct in them, they would not only bark to alarm but can mess with the threat.
The Bouvier des Flandres breed is extremely outgoing and lively which require regular exercises, the dog can run, jog and walk for long distances, additionally vigorous play sessions at yard and a herding and cattle driving job can fulfill some of its exertion requirements as well. Although the breed can survive in temperate and cool weathers but still prized as house dog. The dog is equally appreciated indoors as well as out at farms and yards during herding or guarding.
Grooming requirements are high, brushing twice in a week is necessary to avoid entangling and matting of hairs, further clipping and shaping the dog outline for shows would need experts and trimming should be planned three or four times a year.
Owner Should Know
The Bouvier dog’s harsh coat is subject to contain dirt and debris which could spoil your house’s cleanliness, the breed needs extensive grooming, twice a week brushing, and trimming twice in 6 months. One may need expert clipper as well.
Stubborn and aggressive, this breed is not suggested to first time dog owners. They are dominating and would require a strong handler instead.
Herding, and chasing trends tempt them to follow moving objects, keep in fenced yard or on leash when not supervising.
The breed is prone to hip dysplasia and eye problems.
They tend to discharge gas.
Seek for reputed and trustworthy breeders or suppliers to get healthy puppies, ensure puppies are clinically checked and are disease free.