Country of Origin
The Bouvier Des Flandres, also referred to as the Flanders Cattle Dog or the Vlaamse Koehond, originated in Belgium and the Ter Duinen monastery monks are some of the earliest contributors to the breed. There is no definitive documentation stating how exactly the Bouvier Des Flandres was created. However there is belief that breeds such as the Irish Wolfhound, Scottish Deerhound, Griffon and Beauceron may have played a part in the creation of the breed. The Bouvier Des Flandres was not created for show purposes. This breed was meant to work, as their name itself translates to “Cow Herder of Flanders”. The Bouvier Des Flandres was typically utilized for work such as cart pulling, cattle driving and sheep herding. After the industrial revolution, they were put to use in police and protection work. They also ended up hauling weapons and ambulance filters in the Belgium and French armies. The Bouvier des Flandres was also the breed of the childhood dog of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
The male Bouvier Des Flandres will typically reach heights of 23-28 inches, and will weigh between 75-110 pounds. The female Bouvier Des Flandres will reach heights of 22-27 inches will weigh between 60-80 pounds.
The Bouvier Des Flandres has a very coarse and dense weather-resistant double coat. The undercoat of the Bouvier Des Flandres is finer and softer but retains density. The face should have a thick beard and eyebrows. The Bouvier Des Flandres' coat can be seen in colors such as black, blonde, fawn salt & pepper, gray and brindle. It is not uncommon for the Bouvier Des Flandres to have a small white patch on it's chest. The blonde coat is not considered acceptable for the show ring. However, a solid black coat, while unfavorable, is still acceptable.
The Bouvier Des Flandres, while appearing intimidating, is quite a loving and gentle breed. They are typically calm and will carry out their task with pleasure. The Bouvier Des Flandres is also world renowned for it's loyalty and fearlessness. They will always rise to the occasion if a threat against their family is present. While it is not necessary to train a Bouvier Des Flandres to protect, it is also not possible to train it out of them. They are never a bully but always protective. The Bouvier des Flandres is devoted to its family.
The Bouvier Des Flandres is a friendly breed. They are great with children and have a serene disposition. They can do well with other dogs as long as they have been well socialized from a young age. The Bouvier Des Flandres is naturally hesitant when it comes to strangers and should be well socialized with humans in order to avoid shyness and suspiciousness.
The Bouvier Des Flandres can live successfully in an apartment as long as they are sufficiently exercised. However, as they are relatively inactive indoors, a large yard to play in would be best. The Bouvier Des Flandres' grooming requires a good deal of attention. They will require weekly brushings to removed dead hair and prevent matting and they should be bathed when necessary. Trimming every 3-5 weeks is required for a Bouvier Des Flandres that is active in the show ring. The ears and the pads of the Bouvier Des Flandres' feet will need regular attention between trimmings to remove excess hair. The Bouvier Des Flandres is said to do well for allergy sufferers as long as the dog is well groomed.
Training for the Bouvier Des Flandres is no arduous task. The breed is quite intelligent and will remember any command that is learned for the rest of their life. A firm and consistent pack leader is a necessity with this breed. Obedience school is recommended at a young age to assist in ensuring that it is very clear who the boss is. The Bouvier Des Flandres must always be made to heel at your side when walking, because to a dog, whoever is in front is in charge. This breed requires an experienced and dominant pack leader, as they can become inappropriately dominant towards humans otherwise.
The Bouvier Des Flandres is a fairly energetic dog that will require a good long daily walk or run. They should not be made to run during the younger years of development though. This could cause issues with muscle and skeletal growth.