Bouvier Des Flandres

Group 5: Working
Male: 62 – 68 cm
Female: 59 – 65 cm
Male: 35 – 40 kg
Female: 27 – 35 kg

Energy Level:  Moderate – High
Original Function: Herding, guarding
Lifespan: 9 – 15 yrs

Recommended for: Active people & families.

Note: Not many in Australia

Bouvier Des Flandres

About This Breed

The exact origins of this breed the Bouvier Des Flandres are unknown but from the 1600’s all dogs working with cattle were called ‘bouviers’ (bovine herder) and each region throughout the area had its own name and type.

These dogs were prized as drovers and guardians. During World War 1 the Bouviers served as messengers and ambulance dogs. Both France and Belgium claim origin of the Flandres dog.

They are a very adaptable and even-tempered dog. They make sensible and calm family companions. They are easy to train and have strong herding instincts in them.

General Characteristics

Appearance: Large sized body, rough, strong and compact. They have a rugged appearance with beards, moustaches, and bushy eyebrows. They give the impression of power, having strongly muscled limbs, but do not give any signs of clumsiness. They have an abundant, harsh coat which is unkempt-looking. Their movement is free and easy but, at the same time, powerful and driving.

Temperament: Calm, thoughtful character of a sensible, but fearless dog.

Characteristics: used as a herding dog, as a draught dog and as a churning dog. The modernisation of farm equipment has affected these first tasks and nowadays the Bouvier des Flandres is above all used as a guard dog for the estate and the farm, as a defence and police dog. Its physical and behavioural aptitudes, its great qualities of scent, initiative and intelligence warrant its use as a tracking dog, a messenger dog and a gamekeeper’s dog.

Colour: Coat is usually grey, brindle or overlaid with black. A completely uniform black is also accepted without being favoured. Light coloured, so-called washed-out coats are not acceptable. A white star on the chest is tolerated.

Coat: Very abundant, the outercoat forming with the dense undercoat a protective layer perfectly adapted to the sudden climatic changes in this breed’s native land. The hair must be coarse to the touch, dry and matt, neither too long nor too short (about 6 cm), slightly tousled but never woolly or curly.

Grooming: This breed has an abundant, coarse outer coat that should be kept at about 4 to 5 cm long. The undercoat is close and dense. Bouviers should be groomed at least three times a week with particular attention being paid to their beards and moustaches to ensure they are kept free of food particles. It is important to ensure the undercoat is kept matt-free for the comfort of the dog. The outer coat should be stripped at least twice a year during their moulting seasons.

Exercise: As puppies, Bouviers will get enough exercise running about their own gardens. Once adults, they are very adaptable to family circumstances, but should be given at least a good walk per day.

Health: This breed is generally sound but some can suffer from hip dysplasia and eye problems.