The Bouvier Des Flandres is a herding dog classified under the Working group by the Kennel club. It is a large breed measuring around 58-71 cm from withers and weighing between 36-54 kg. It a powerfully built, rough looking cattle herder with a dense outer coat that comes in fawn, brindle, black, grey or blonde colour. It has a compact body, well-boned with strong muscled forequarters and hindquarters. It displays an intelligent and energetic appearance when standing straight. It has a moustache and a harsh beard that gives a hostile look. It has a shallow stop that appears deep due to prominent, strong eyebrows. The broad and well-boned muzzle slightly slopes towards the nose but never pointed. The eyes are slightly oval in shape, not protruding or sunken accentuated by black eye rims. It has triangular ears, set highly on the head, strong jaws with teeth that form regular and complete scissor bite and a well-muscled and strong neck. It has straight forelegs, well-muscled and heavily boned and equally well-muscled hindquarters with short round and compact feet cushioned by thick and hard pads. The tail of the Bouvier can either be undocked or customarily docked to 2-3 vertebrae. The whole body is covered with a dense, matted outer coat that is coarse and dry, over an equally dense and grained undercoat.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Bouvier Des Flandres is a herding dog that originated in Flanders, Belgium. “Bouvier” is a French word which literally means “cowherd”, which was the original use of the breed. There is no real definite agreement concerning the exact lineage of the Bouvier. It may be a cross of the Griffon and the Beauceron but no one is sure. However, it is known that the earliest breeders of the Bouvier were the monks at the Ten Duinen Abbey at Koksijde in what is now Belgium. These dogs were a mix of Irish wolfhounds, Scottish deerhounds and farm dogs endemic to the region. During the end of the 19th century, veterinarians visiting local farms in a particular area of Belgium and France noticed local dogs of different built but looked very similar in general. These dogs were courageous working farm dogs, highly intelligent, very strong and were used for different purposes – from herding cattle to pulling small milk carts. Eventually, these were classified into three types: Bouvier d’Ardennes (small, prick ears), Bovier de Roulers (large, Matin-breed look-alike) and the Bouvier des Flandres (harsh coat). There were also Berger Picards in that area during that period. It is assumed that the Bouvier Des Flandres is a cross of the Berger Picard and the Matin.
Two dog fanciers during 1900, Mr. Moremans and Mr. Paret were credited as the first serious breeders of the Bouvier Des Flandres but could not agree to a breed standard. However, it was eventually Mr. Paret who would later be considered as the one who established the foundation bloodlines of the modern Bouvier. The breed standard was drawn up in Ghent by the Club National Belge du Bouvier des Flandres in January 15, 1922.
The Bouvier Des Flandres may look very intimidating at first glance, but is actually an obedient, good-natured and gentle dog. Its natural protectiveness, enthusiasm and fearless attitude makes it a well-balanced breed, excellent both as a family pet and a very good guard dog and watch dog. It typically gentle and calm inside the house but it is very active when outdoors. The Bouvier is very devoted to its owner, which makes it easy to train.
The Bouvier is an enthusiastic dog that loves to please its owner which makes it relatively easy to train. It learns relatively fast and once the Bouvier learns a command, it will remember it for the rest of its life. Training should be well-balanced and consistent. It gets bored very easily so repetitive command should be limited. Owing to their independent nature, this dog has a tendency to become dominant, both over humans and other animals. It also has a tendency to become overly protective and timid over strangers. However, just like other breeds, early obedience training as a puppy and socialisation to as many experiences as possible is key to having a well-balanced adult Bouvier. This dog can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, Schutzhund, tracking, and herding events.
The double coat of the Bouvier Des Flandres is so abundant and thick that even when separated by hand, the skin is barely visible. This harsh coat needs to be brushed regularly every couple of days or once a week using a steel comb. Comb right down to the skin and not just over the top of the hair. The undercoat is where matting begins which can cause skin diseases, discomfort and pain to the dog. Hairs between the pads should also be checked for mats. Nails should be trimmed at least monthly. Make sure to smooth the nails after trimming. Clean the teeth once a week using a soft toothbrush or washcloth. Inspect and clean the ears regularly and pluck excess hairs whenever necessary.
There are very few health concerns for the Bouvier in the United Kingdom because numerically speaking, this breed still has a small number in the UK. However, there are known issues that occasionally affect the breed in other countries including:
The Bouvier loves a good exercise. It is a working dog in its native home so it must be given a good amount of physical and mental stimulation if it is kept as a house pet. Jogging or brisk walking for an hour or two will keep the dog happy and healthy. Herding is its nature and will enjoy an hour of playtime off-lead in a fenced yard. A puppy Bouvier should only be walked for a limited period to prevent injury to its growing bones and muscles. It is an adaptable breed and can live in any home setting as long as it gets proper exercise.
The Bouvier is an excellent family dog and is great with children. It is also generally good with other dogs particularly if it is raised with them from puppyhood. Individual dogs have different dominance level. Some are typically submissive while others are dog-aggressive so proper training from a consistent owner is the key to correct this behaviour.