The Bouvier des Flandres is a bold and independent member of the herding group. The Bouvier looks tough but is gentle, loyal, and protective.
Confidence and bold are two words that best describe Bouvier des Flandres’ attitude. The Bouvier des Flandres is a well-mannered, obedient dog. Although they appear menacing, they are friendly and quiet.
They make excellent guard dogs and watchdogs since they are energetic, responsible, calm, and fearless. They are very easy to train. However, Bouviers are easily bored and learn best when repetition is kept to a minimum.
Bouvier des Flandres’ History
“Bouvier,” which means “cowherd,” is French. This breed’s historical origins are in Belgium, dating back to the 1600s. They were excellent at guarding and protecting cattle.
These dogs excelled at various other jobs, earning them a reputation as dependable cattle drovers and farm dogs. Although the breed’s genetic makeup is unknown, several spaniel breeds, the mastiff and sheepdogs, are likely involved. Irish Wolfhounds and Scottish Deerhounds may also be part of its ancestry.
Bouvier enthusiasts created the first breed standard in 1912. During World War I, the Bouvier population was reduced almost to extinction. A dog named Nic, that worked as a trench dog, survived the war and is the founder of the modern breed. Every living pedigree of the Bouvier de Flandres today is likely a descendant of Nic.
The American Bouvier des Flandres Club was formed in 1963 and is the breed’s AKC parent club.
The Bouvier dog has a rough coat and a gruff appearance. Its large head, enhanced by a thick beard and mustache, is possibly its most distinguishing characteristic. It conveys a sense of strength and size without being awkward or heavy.
Tails were traditionally docked to prevent injuries brought on by herding and cart-pulling, although the practice of cropping both ears and tails is now primarily aesthetic. Cosmetic docking is currently prohibited in many countries.
To prevent shyness, suspicion, and becoming unduly reserved around strangers, Bouviers should be socialized well, ideally from an early age. It is neither necessary to teach nor possible to train it to protect their families.
The Bouvier is a fantastic family dog since it gets along well with kids. The Bouvier is quite adaptive and conducts itself in a subdued manner. Obedience training should begin when they are young. Their conduct is influenced by the owner’s ability to convey expectations and the dog’s level of personal dominance.
If they are raised with other dogs since they are puppies, they are typically friendly toward them. The Bouvier takes a while to fully mature physically and mentally, taking between two and three years.
Caring For The Bouvier des Flandres
One dog breed, in particular, needs a lot of exercises and the freedom to wander and play during the day. Please don’t keep the Bouvier in the home all confined until you’re ready to play with him. Frustration and destructive conduct will result from this. This dog will remain content as long as there is daily interaction, vigorous outside games, and the opportunity to herd.
Due to its thick coat, the Bouvier des Flandres can endure cool conditions but has a low tolerance for hotter temperatures. Its thick coat needs to be brushed at least twice a week to keep it clean, and every eight to ten weeks, it needs to have a professional shape or cutting. Although they may survive outdoors in the winter, it is better to keep the Bouvier indoors at night with the rest of the family.
Dog agility trials, carting, obedience, dog showmanship, Schutzhund, tracking, and herding are among the sports in which Bouviers des Flandres compete. Non-competitive herding tests are used to assess a dog’s trainability and herding instincts. Then, Bouviers, that have fundamental herding instincts can be trained to participate in herding competitions.
Between ten and twelve years is the Bouvier des Flandres’ typical lifespan. The breed is prone to CHD, glaucoma, and elbow dysplasia. Hypothyroidism is among the minor health problems. Veterinarians advise having Bouvier’s hips properly checked.