The Bouvier des Flandres is a large dog with a rugged and powerful appearance, a thick beard and shaggy eyebrows. Their ears are often clipped to create a fiercer look. While fearless and incredibly protective of family, this breed is also gentle and calm.
It is believed the Bouvier originated in the Flanders area of Belgium and on the neighboring northern French plains. Early breeders’ (farmers, cattlemen) primary intention for these dogs was for them to help with their work. The Bouvier des Flandres breed was utilized as cattle drivers.
Initially, breeders were not concerned about the Bouvier des Flandres’ ‘appearance’ and it wasn’t until after this breed’s first participation in a Belgium dog show in 1910, expert breeders agreed on a single type. An official breed standard was created in 1912 and the Bouvier des Flandres was listed in the stud book of the Societé Royal St. Hubert.
As the Bouvier des Flandres was becoming very popular, WWI broke out. Many of these dogs were lost and abandoned, many were taken by the Germans and many died. Fortunately, there were Bouvier des Flandres which survived the war and the breed was once again refined in 1922. The Bouvier des Flandres was recognized by the AKC in 1929 and was admitted to the AKC Stud Book in 1931.
Height: The height for a Bouvier des Flandres dog is 23-28 inches (58-71 cm.) and for bitches 22-27 inches (56-69 cm.)
Weight: The weight for a Bouvier des Flandres dog is 75-90 pounds (34-41 kg.) and for bitches 60-80 pounds (27-36 kg.)
Coat Type: The Bouvier des Flandres has a thick double coat that protects against inclement weather. The outer coat is rough and shaggy the under-coat is dense. The Bouvier des Flandres is sometimes considered a non–shedder, yet it does lose hair, it just gets caught in within the double-coat causing matting. Weekly brushings are required.
Color: The Bouvier des Flandres’ coat can be fawn, black, grey brindle, or “pepper and salt” in color. Solid black is not favored in the show ring, but is accepted while a blonde coat is not accepted in the show ring at all.
Temperament: Bouvier des Flandres are very protective, loyal, and gentle. This breed is good with children and other pets as long as socialized early. Easy to train, obedient, excellent guard or watchdog. Alert and fearless.
Health Problems: The Bouvier des Flandres is generally a hardy breed although they can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia along with and eye problems such as cataracts. Other health concerns include Other health concerns include autoimmune disorders, hypothyroidism, subaortic stenosis, cancer and bloat. The average life span is between 10 – 12 years.
• The Bouvier des Flandres was recognized by the AKC in 1929.
• President Ronald Reagan had a Bouvier des Flandres named Lucky.
• The American Bouvier des Flandres Club was established in 1963.
• The Bouvier des Flandres also goes by these names: Toucheur de Boeuf (cattle driver) and Vuilbaard (dirty beard) and Koehond (cow dog)
ANKC: Group 5 – Working Dogs
CKC: Group 7 – Herding Dogs
FCI: Group 1 Section 2 #191
KC (UK): Working