The origins of the Bouver des Flandres is a cause of debate among breeders and dog experts. There are a lot of theories as to where they came from, but little evidence is present to support them. However, the breed is surely known to be present in Flanders in the late 1800s as a cattle drover.
Initially, the breed has been kept by the Dutch that gave them names such as Vuilbard (meaning dirty beard) and Koehund (meaning Cow Dog.)
Because of this, most people thought that the dog was developed from Germano-Dutch breeds.
Some people believe that the breed is a product of the cross between Beaucerons and other Griffon breeds.
Others believe that they descended from the now-extinct German Sheep Poedel. But the most likely theory of their origin is that they came from the mix between a Schnauzer and a Pincher.
These two breeds are common farm animals that were used for herding.
Nowadays, the breed is still used as a working dog in Europe. In America, they are mainly used as companions and pets. The breed also has growing popularity in Japan.
Traits and Behavior
Bouvier des Flandres has the typical temperament of a working dog, although, they are calmer and more relaxed. This breed loves to be around people especially their family and would suffer if kept outside and away from their loved ones.
As a result, this dog does develop separation anxiety often. This dog is very loyal and people-oriented, although they are not as showy in their affection. This breed can be quite dominant as is not advisable for first-time owners.
Primarily used for protection and as military dogs, this breed is immensely protective. They are defensive but aren’t aggressive. They are highly wary of strangers and are not welcoming. However, with proper socialization and training, they can tolerate other people.
This breed is good with children if they are brought up and socialized with them. However, they can be unpredictable if not socialized properly.
Because of their dominant nature, interactions with other dogs and non-canine animals can be problematic. There had been instances where they show aggression towards other animals.
As herding dog, they tend to nip at the heels and would hunt smaller animals. Training should be done to control this impulse.
This intelligent dog is quite challenging to train due to its dominant nature. Training this dog requires consistency, firmness, and determination.
Pet Care and Diseases
This high-energy dog needs a substantial amount of exercise to be happy. If not given the sufficient amount of activity needed, they tend to become excitable, destructive, and at times, aggressive.
A minimum of one hour daily walks is enough for this dog; therefore, a typical family can provide it with its exercise needs.
When inside the house, this dog is a big couch potato. They love to lounge around and are generally calm and relaxed.
Because of their thick coat, Bouver des Flandres need substantial grooming. Brushing is required 1 to 2 times a day, as well as daily baths.
Their coats need to be trimmed at least 3 times a year.
Owners may learn how to groom their pets, but most often, professional groomers are preferred. The hair in between toes and pads should be trimmed also to prevent any problems.
Bouver des Flandres are of average health. They can live up to 12 years and does not seem to suffer most of the genetic diseases that are common in purebreds. This breed can suffer from health problems such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, and bloat.
The Bouver des Flandres has a unique appearance. It looks elegant and refined, and at the same time, intimidating and imposing. This is a large breed that stands at around 24.5 to 27.5 inches and weighs approximately between 75 to 120 pounds.
The females are generally smaller than the males. The breed has a well-proportioned and muscular body that is covered by hair.
The tail of this breed may vary from long to short; some are even born naturally without a tail.
Before, the tails are docked into a shorter length, but it has become unpopular and is even banned in some countries.
The head and face of this breed are similar to a Schnaucher with the size of that of a Rottweiler.
The proportionate head is covered with thick hair that makes it look intimidating and larger than it is.
Their dark, oval-shaped eyes are covered by a matt of hair, and their ears are traditionally erect and triangular.
Generally, Bouver des Flandres have coats that are solid-colored with patches of a slightly different color. Their coat can be from fawn to black, including fawn, brindle, and salt and pepper.
The breed is expected to live for 10-12 years. A litter may consist of 5-10 puppies. Flanders Cattle Dog and Vlaamse Koehond are among its few other names.
Visit this dog club website dedicated to Bouvier des Flandres. Click this link: http://www.bouvier.org/
Watch this video: “Dogs 101 – Bouvier Des Flandres”