Bouvier des Flandres, a big dog breed.
Bouvier des Flandres, a serene and talented dog.
This rugged looking breed is believed to have originated in the Flanders area of Belgium and on neighboring northern French plains. It was often called Vuilbaard
(dirty beard), or Koehond
(cow dog), or Toucheur de Boeuf
(cattle driver). These early Bouviers were not of uniform size, color or weight as there was no written standard which breeders could follow. The breeders of that era were not organized an didn't have any single type in mind. There were as many as four types. Most breeders in the early 1900s, were farmers, cattlemen, more interested in how the dogs behaved around cattle, and how well they drove cattle to market. For them, appearance wasn't an issue. The machine age had an adverse effect, as the arrival of trucks, replaced the need for Bouviers in getting cattle to market. Fortunately, there were quite a few breed fanciers who wanted to protect this fine working dog and they began to organize.
Bouviers first appeared at a dog show in May 1910, in Belgium. However, it took several years before expert breeders could agree on a single type, but finally in 1912 an official breed standard was created and the breed was listed in the stud book of the Societé Royal St. Hubert. Unfortunately, the First World War swept over Europe taking a terrible toll on the breed. Some were used as ambulance dogs and messenger runners, many were killed. Countless were abandoned and thus starved to death. Thankfully, not all perished. A magnificent specimen, Ch. Nic de Sottegem was shown in Antwerp in 1920 and was highly praised by the judge, Charles Huge. It was a turning point for the breed and many Bouviers today, can trace their lines back to that dog. In 1922, the standard was again refined to further define the type. The Bouvier des Flandres was recognized by the AKC in 1929 and was admitted to the AKC Stud Book in 1931.
Dog: 24.5 - 27.5 inches (62 - 70 cm).
Weight: 69 - 90 lb. (31.3 - 41 kg).
Bitch: 23.5 - 26.5 inches (60 - 67 cm).
Exercise Needs: High.
Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years.
The Bouvier is a large dog breed with a tousled appearance, a large head with either cropped or natural ears, The body is square and robust. The tail is docked very short. The colors can range from fawn to black, including gray, brindle and salt and pepper. In temperament, the Bouvier is a levelheaded, sound, indomitable, fearless dog, but not vicious or shy. It can be threatening and aggressive to other strange dogs. It is good with children when raised with them, and loves the company of people, making an excellent family pet. It does best in the country with lots of space for its daily required exercise. The coat is about 2 ½ inches (6.4 cm) long and therefore needs routine combing and brushing weekly to control shedding. The coat is either clipped or stripped (for show). A Bouvier puppy is very intelligent, but needs socialization and some formal obedience training. Like most large breeds, the Bouvier can suffer from hip dysplasia and therefore it is prudent to deal with reputable breeders who have all breeding stock tested clear for this problem for several generations. With the avoidance of hip and elbow dysplasia in mind, it is also a good idea to raise Bouvier puppies on Large Breed types of puppy food which are designed to allow a proper, but slower rate of bone growth. For all adult Bouviers, rather than one large daily meal, two or three small meals is definitely preferred, followed by a complete rest period, without activity. This is to avoid gastric torsion, a life threatening problem.
Want info on this big dog breed
the Bouvier dog
and breeders who have a Bouvier puppy for sale
? See the Bouvier breeders
. If no nearby dog breeders
, see the Cdn. Bouvier dog
club, Bouvier rescue
or the US Bouvier des Flandres
club, Bouvier rescue
for advice on other Bouvier des Flandres breeders
Click on the Bouvier dog club - Bouvier rescue buttons - Below.
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