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Bouvier Des Flandres Breed Summary

Strong-Willed, Protective, Loyal, Dominant and Intelligent

These dogs have an extremely powerful presence and were originally bred to herd livestock in Belgium and France. They are known for their unique and impressive moustaches and beards, which give them a stern appearance.

They are extremely kind and gentle by nature and have very even temperaments. For these reasons they make wonderful family pets, both here in the UK and in other parts of the world!

Fun Fact: Ronald Reagan, former President of the United States, owned one of these dogs!

Kennel Club Group Working
Lifespan 10 - 12 Years
Height (at the withers) Males 58cm – 71cm, Females 56cm – 69cm
Weight Males 36kg –54kg, Females 27kg – 36kg
Coat They have an Abundance of Hair, both Thick and Coarse. The Outer Coat is Shaggy and Shorted on a Dogs Legs. The Undercoat is Grained and Very Dense
Colour Black, Black and brindle, Blonde, Brindle, Brown brindle, Dark brindle, Dark grey brindle, Fawn, Fawn black mask, Grey brindle, Light brindle
Eye colour Dark
Common health issues Hip dysplasia, Cataracts, Eye problems, Elbow dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Lymphosarcoma (Form of Cancer), Ovarian Cysts
Other Names Flanders Cattle Dog, Vlaamse Koehond, Bouvier, Belgian Cattle Dog

Bouvier des Flandres's are very strong-willed, given their history of herding and protecting flocks of sheep. For this reason, they are also inherently protective over their families, not in an obvious way like a Lab but they will happily curl up next to you as a sign of love. This also means they can't be left alone for long periods of time, as it will result in them developing destructive behaviours. Having a strong personality, it's vital your dog knows their place in the hierarchy. Without showing your dog leadership, they will try to take your place, so need to begin training as young as possible.

Bouvier des Flandres translates from French to 'cow herder from Flandres' so it's really no shock that they were originally bred to herd cattle! However, they were also used for pulling carts and helping the farmers' family in whatever way possible, so we can only assume they were developed as a matter of practicality. Although we don't officially know their ancestry, it's thought the Bouvier des Flandres's ancestors may include Sheepdogs, Dutch Griffons and Barbets. During WW1 and 2 many of these guys were used as messenger and search dogs! They were officially recognised by the Kennel Club in 1929 with a breed standard being put in place in 1912.