The herding dog breed known as the Bouvier des Flandres was developed in Flanders, Belgium. Originally bred for ordinary farm work like driving cattle, herding sheep, and pulling carts, they are now employed as police and guard dogs in addition to being kept as pets. The breed’s French name, which alludes to its Flemish ancestry, literally translates as “Cow Herder of Flanders.” Other names for the breed include Vlaamse Koehond (Flemish cow dog), Toucheur de Boeuf (cattle driver), and Vuilbaard (dirty beard).
In the early 1900s, the Bouvier des Flandres dog breed was highly established. The dogs were originally developed in Northern France and Belgium’s Flanders region to herd livestock. Nobody is positive, however the griffon and beauceron may have been crossed to create the breed. The Bouvier served as a messenger and rescue ship during World War I. Flanders was largely damaged, many of the dogs were lost in the line of duty, and the breed was on the verge of extinction. A Belgian army doctor is credited with saving the breed from extinction by breeding from the few surviving individual dogs. Today, the Bouvier works as a watchdog, a blind person’s guide, a police dog, and a tracking dog in addition to being a wonderful family pet.
The dog’s thick undercoat and rough, shaggy outer coat provide excellent protection from the weather. The Bouvier is most recognizable for its enormous head, which is covered with a distinctive beard, mustache, and bushy eyebrows. The tail is typically docked, and the triangular ears sit high on the head and may be natural or clipped. The legs are strong, and the back is short. Black, fawn, brindle, gray, and salt-and-pepper are just a few of the color options available for the Bouvier. On the breast of some, there is a white marking. Large and magnificent, the Bouvier des Flandres dog can reach a height of roughly 27 inches and weigh up to 95 pounds. The lifespan of the breed is 10 to 12 years.
The Bouvier breed has a reputation for being intimidating, solemn, and unflappable, but in reality, they are affectionate, kind, and unflappable towards their friends and family. They tend to be wary and skeptical of strangers, but they should never be hostile. The mature Bouvier is calm and sensible, and in addition to their original farm dog roles, they have been utilized as police dogs and guiding dogs due to their temperament and trainability.
Bouvier des Flandres Dog Breed Maintenance
The Bouvier should thrive on a premium dog food, whether it is manufactured commercially or is made at home under the guidance and agreement of your veterinarian. The Bouvier requires a diet lower in protein than most other breeds, thus any diet should be suited for the dog’s age. Watch your dog’s calorie intake and weight level because certain dogs are prone to obesity. Treats can be a valuable training tool, but offering them in excess might lead to obesity. Discover which foods fit the bill for canine consumption and which don’t. If you have any worries about your dog’s weight or diet, consult your veterinarian. Fresh water that is clean should always be accessible.
Even though the Bouvier des Flandres dog has a very thick coat of fur, it only has to be brushed once or twice a week with a basic brush and comb; extra attention should be given to the beard. Although this breed does moderately shed (it is not hypoallergenic), the majority of the hair will get tangled up in its double coat, which will eventually lead to mating. The Bouvier should preferably have its hair cut once every two to four weeks, especially if you plan to enter it in dog shows. In order to keep the nails from breaking or clicking on the floor, owners may occasionally need to clip the nails. To avoid tooth and gum disease, brush your teeth frequently. Finally, examine the ears for any indications of infection before cleaning them.
The Bouvier is happiest when he is working, whether that task be guard dog, rescue, herding, obedience, or babysitting. Nearly any dog sport or activity may be taught to a Bouvier, and they typically excel at it. They should be carefully socialized from the beginning because they have a strong prey drive. They adore working with or competing against their owner by their side and are superb showmen. Once they understand what you want them to do, they are incredibly eager to please and will make every effort to deliver. This breed easily picks up new skills and is highly suited for search and rescue activities.
Although the Bouvier des Flandres is a generally healthy dog breed, the national breed organization mandates the following health tests: examinations of the hip and elbow because dysplasia may be a problem, as well as a heart examination and ophthalmology evaluation. Although a thyroid examination is not necessary, owners of Bouviers may want to request one given the breed’s potential for hypothyroidism. Gastric dilatation and bloat can be problems with these deep-chested canines. Additionally, because the Bouvier matures slowly, owners must wait until they receive approval from their veterinarian before involving him in strenuous activities like long runs.
The Bouvier des Flandres dog has a generally positive temperament; it is friendly, playful, kind, devoted to the family, and loyal. However, despite its outgoing nature, this breed thrives when given a task to complete. It enjoys playing games, solving puzzles, and performing physically demanding jobs. The kinds of activities you engage in with your dog will require you to be very imaginative. There is a potential that it could develop into destructive conduct if left unsupervised for an extended period of time.
Children of all ages get along pretty well with the Bouvier. It treats them with loyalty, gentleness, and protection. However, you should never leave your dog alone with kids unless an adult is also there in case you need to step in and stop something from happening.