Bouvier des Flandres, also known as Flanders Cattle Dog or Vlaamse Koehond is a loyal and devoted herding dog. This large and powerful breed was developed in Belgium (Flanders region of Europe) to be utilized for working purposes.
The name Bouvier des Flandres refers to “cowherd from Flanders”. Farmers or cattle merchants also refer to these dogs by nick names like Toucheur de Boeuf (cattle driver) and Vuilbaard (dirty beard).
Apart from herding livestock, these dogs are also skilled at tasks like tracking, guarding, police work, cart pulling, competitive obedience, agility etc. During World War I, they were also used as message carrier and rescue dogs.
Bouvier des Flandres dog breed is characterized by compact and powerful build and rugged appearance. Upper lip has heavy mustache and chin has rough beard creating a gruff expression.
Head is slightly longer than it is wide. The oval eyes are dark brown in color and eye brows are bushy. The high set ears are triangular in shape. They can either be cropped or left natural.
Nose is large, black and well developed, having flared nostrils. Tail can be docked in regions where it is not considered illegal.
Color: Black, grey, fawn, blonde, salt and pepper, and brindle are some of the most common Bouvier des Flandres colors.
Height: The average height of these dogs is 23 to 28 inches. Bitches are generally a bit shorter, that is, 22 to 27 inches.
Weight: The ideal weight of these dogs ranges between 75 to 90 pounds. Female Bouvier des Flandres dogs usually weigh about 60 to 80 pounds.
Being large in size, these dogs are prone to Hip Dysplasia. They are also susceptible to eye problems like cataract. Besides, these dogs have a high level of resistance to pain.
Life Expectancy: On an average, Bouvier des Flandres life span is about 10 to 12 years.
Litter Size: 5-10 puppies. Average litter size is 8 puppies.
The dog has a long, weather resistant double coat consisting of soft, dense undercoat and rough outer coat. The hair coat requires regular grooming and needs to be brushed several times in a week. It should be trimmed about three times in a year.
Other Bouvier des Flandres grooming responsibilities include trimming hair between paw pads and inside ears, clipping toenails, checking and cleaning ears and so on.
These dogs need not be bathed frequently. As these dogs do not shed much, especially when trimmed, they can be suitable for allergy sufferers.
Here’s an interesting video of some adorable Bouvier des Flandres dogs having fun.
Bouvier des Flandres temperament is steady, courageous, faithful, protective, enthusiastic, adaptable and highly intelligent. These even tempered dogs have a calm but cheerful personality.
They are well mannered indoors and active outdoors. They make wonderful family pets. Plus, these alert dogs can very well be entrusted with guard dog duties.
These loyal companions are great with kids but can be reserved with strangers. Bouvier des Flandres should be socialized right from the beginning to avoid problem behaviors.
This also helps them in getting along well with other household pets, even cats. Supervision may be required around non canine pets.
These obedient dogs tend to learn quickly but they should be trained consistently, carefully avoiding harsh methods. Therefore, they are best matched with firm and confident experienced dog owners.
These energetic dogs require plenty of exercise but they are not overactive. They immensely enjoy long daily walks, jogs and energetic play sessions. Puppies in growing stages should not be involved in strenuous exercise.
Thus, it is suggested to restrict your beloved doggy’s exercise to light play sessions and short walks to avoid chances of damaging the growing bones, muscles and joints. These dogs are more suitable for suburban or country living rather that sedentary apartment living.
Nonetheless, they do well in apartment situation when adequately exercised and provided access to at least a large sized yard for play because these working dogs are relatively inactive indoors. Bouvier des Flandres breed dogs are considered as ideal farm dogs.