Bouvier des Flandres (Herding Group)
The Bouvier des Flandres is an adventurous and independent member of the Herding Group. With its fearless attitude and protective defenses, this dog makes an excellent watchdog. They were bred to perform a variety of functions and have both size and endurance to back it up. The Bouvier is of compact size, rugged in appearance, and enjoys the protection of a weatherproof coat.
The temperament of the Bouvier des Flandres can be summed up in two words – confident and bold. An all-natural guard dog, this breed has a dominant personality that can easily be trained by the right owner. They are protective of its family and will fight any battle against intruders. So long as the Bouvier gets daily exercise it stays calm and well-mannered inside the house. They are safe around children but reserved around other dogs and pets.
A Brief History Of The Bouvier des Flandres
Belgium is the original area from which this breed comes from, dating back to the 1600s. During this time period the Bouvier des Flandres was a big help in aiding cattle merchants and farmers with guarding and herding. Most of the work was done in the farmlands of the southwestern region of Flanders, as well as the French northern plains. In fact, the name bouvier is French, meaning “cowherd”.
These dogs were also efficient in a variety of other tasks, making them well-known farm dogs and dependable cattle drovers. Like all breeds where a variety of jobs are done, these working dogs came in several colors, sizes, and types. Although the make-up of the breed is not documented, the involved types are estimated to be a variety of spaniel breeds, the mastiff, and the sheepdog.
In 1912, the first breed standard was drawn up for the Bouvier, due to a growing interest from dog fanciers. However, their numbers diminished during World War I. It was the bloodline from one superior surviving Bouvier, a dog named Ch. Nic de Scottegem, which can be found in almost every living pedigree of the Bouvier de Flandres today.
Upkeep Requirements For The Bouvier des Flandres
This is one dog breed that has extremely high exercise requirements and must have the freedom to roam and play during the day. Forget about keeping the Bouvier all couped up in the house until you are ready to play with him. This will cause frustration and destructive behavior. Daily interaction, mixed with vigorous outside games, and the chance to herd will keep this dog happy.
The Bouvier des Flandres has low tolerance to warm temperatures but can stand cool weather due to its heavy coat. They can live outdoors during the winter months, but as with any family companion, it is best to keep the Bouvier inside at night with the rest of the family. Grooming requirements call for at least two weekly brushings to keep its thick coat clean, plus a professional shaping or clipping every eight to ten weeks
The average lifespan of the Bouvier des Flandres is between ten and twelve years. Major Health Concerns that run common in the breed are SAS, glaucoma, elbow dysplasia, and CHD. Minor health issues include hypothyroidism. Veterinarians suggest that the Bouvier get specifically tested for hip problems.