Bouvier des Flandres
The Bouvier des Flanders is a very large and powerful dog that has a wonderful, gentle personality and a natural enthusiasm for everything that it does. They are athletic and strong yet capable of adapting to smaller living spaces provided they have regular outdoor exercise. Originally used as a cattle dog the Bouvier des Flanders is muscular and capable of running and endurance activities as well as herding and obedience type work.
The Bouvier Des Flandres coat is rough, harsh, and thick, and has a softer undercoat. This dense double coat needs to be well looked after to keep it in good condition. However, he is not a heavy shedder, which is good news for allergy sufferers. The coloring of the Bouvier Des Flandres may be black, fawn, brindle, or have the salt and pepper effect. He has a powerful build and a distinctive appearance, with a very rugged look about him. His distinctive beard adds to his rugged appearance.
Bouvier des Flandres Temperament
The Bouvier Des Flandres is a dog that has many contrasting personality traits - they can be bold yet steady, spirited yet aloof, serious yet playful, and moody yet affectionate. These dogs are generally calm in nature, and are known to be very agile, although some tend to be lazy whenever given half the chance. The Bouvier Des Flandres is an intelligent breed, and in order to keep him alert and interest you need to provide mental stimulation through the activities that you provide for him. He is a protective dog when it comes to his family, and this makes him an effective watchdog. He can also be very assertive, but this is a trait that must be watched if he feels challenged.
The Bouvier Des Flandres is a very alert and responsive dog in most cases, and these dogs usually have an even temper. They get along well with children that they have been raised with, as well as other animals that they have been raised with, although some can be aggressive towards other dogs. Rather than being a dog that bites, the Bouvier Des Flandres is a dog that tends to utilize his size in order to get what he wants, and may try to use his herding instincts to herd people and animals by pushing them with his large body. He can be quite reserved and stand offish with strangers. The Bouvier Des Flandres can also be very strong willed and dominant, and are therefore best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training.
When it comes to grooming you will need to put some effort in with the Bouvier Des Flandres in order to keep his coat in good condition, as well as checking his teeth, nails, and ears regularly. Brush and comb his coat around twice a week, and brush his beard once daily for hygiene reasons. Some scissoring and clipping may also be required with the coat of the Bouvier Des Flandres. This dog is a light to medium shedder when groomed properly..
The Bouvier des Flanders originated in Belgium in the 1600s. They were used on the large farms and cattle ranches in the Flanders area and the name actually means "cowherd of Flanders". The first of the breed was developed by farmers likely by crossing mastiffs with spaniels and sheepdogs and was bred for ability, not for a specific appearance. Therefore in the original Bouvier des Flanders there was a great deal of variation found within the dogs known by the name.
The first showing of the Bouvier des Flanders was in 1910 at the Brussels International Dog Show although the standards were not developed until 1912. Many of the breed were killed during World War l during bombing raids and destruction of the area. The actual Bouvier des Flanders ancestors that are found in most current lines all stem from a single bloodline, a male known as Ch. Nic de Sottegem, which was owned by the Belgium Army.
Currently the Bouvier des Flanders is a relatively uncommon breed outside of shows and breeders kennels. They are recognized by most Kennel Clubs however have not typically caught on as a companion dog probably due to their large size and rather intimidating appearance, although they make terrific pets. The Bouvier des Flanders has been used as rescue dogs as well as for assistance dogs for handicapped and blind individuals with great success.
Training the Bouvier des Flanders requires that the dog bonds with the trainer or owner and understands that he or she is the boss. This means working with the puppy in very positive and consistent manners right from the start. Once the Bouvier des Flanders understands that the human is the leader, they are extremely affectionate, willing learners and very obedient in nature.
The Bouvier des Flanders is a naturally very clean dog and will typically learn the routine of house training within a very short period of time, often just a couple of weeks. They are also good both on and off the leash and can be trained to heel off the leash with little effort once they have passed the impulsive puppy stage. A large breed, they do not mature either physically or mentally until about two to three years of age and so trainers should keep in mind not to expect them to have really mature behaviors even though they are large in size at a young age.
Obedience training and lots of early socialization is a requirement of the breed. They can be somewhat independent and headstrong through their teenage phase so consistency is important. They may also become protective and territorial so socialization is key for the breed.
Training the Bouvier des Flanders as a herding dog is a true pleasure. They are very astute and intelligent and will catch on to what the trainer is requiring very quickly and easily. They do require repetition of training until the command is mastered, but once they have it down they seem to never forget. The Bouvier des Flanders makes an ideal obedience show dog as well as an agility dog although their large size is often a bit of a challenge if they are not worked with at this event at a young age.
A number of health problems and disorders are linked to this breed, and this includes entropion, torsion, thyroid problems, larynx problems, cancer, cataracts, glaucoma, HD, and bloat. The parents of the Bouvier Des Flandres puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.