The Bouvier des Flandres almost became extinct during WWI when they were used for delivering messages among the troops and to help locate injured soldiers on the battlefields.
Nowadays, the Bouvier des Flandres is a fantastic family dog that is adored for his natural intelligence and vigor. This dog also has a history of being a hard-working cattle dog. As such, whenever he sees any moving object, such as joggers, runners, or bikers, he has a tendency to herd them to a safe location.
As with all dogs that were bred to do farm work, the Bouvier des Flandres has incredible strength and endurance, and needs sufficient exercise to stay healthy. Though the Bouvier could live in a small home, such as an apartment or condo, you will need to take him for several walks to expend his energy.
- Flanders Cattle Dog
- Toucheur de Boeuf (“cattle driver”)
- Vlaamse Koehond (“cow dog”)
- Vuilbaard (“dirty Beard”)
Body: Square with a broad chest, a well-muscled, powerful back, and well-sprung ribs
Coat: Harsh, weather-resistant double coat capable of protecting him from extreme weather conditions
Color: Fawn to black, gray and brindle, or salt and pepper
Ears: Small, set high, somewhat oval shaped, rough coated, and either cropped or natural
Eyes: Dark brown, oval shaped with black rims and with abundant brows
Feet: Short, compact, and round with black nails, close, arched toes, and thick, hard pads
Head: Well-developed with a shallow stop, broad muzzle, large black nose, beard, and moustache
Legs: Forelegs are well-boned, straight, and muscular. Hind legs are powerful and muscular with broad hocks and wide, muscular thighs
Neck: Strong, muscular and beautifully arched
Weight: 60 – 88 pounds (27 – 40kg)
Height: 23 – 27 inches (58 – 69cm)
Tail: Short, docked and carried high
- Recommended for experienced handlers
- Adaptable to city and country living
- Not recommended around cats unless raised with them
The Bouvier des Flandres is a powerful, strong-willed, and highly intelligent dog with a laid-back personality. He is a well-behaved, versatile dog with great strength and character, and who loves and needs to be with his family or, in his eyes, his flock. While most herding dogs will nip at the heels of their herd to gather them together, the Bouvier will instead use his large powerful body to move his herd to where he can be with them and protect them.
Most Bouviers will dominate other dogs and are not recommended around cats unless raised with them. Early socialization and training is essential and will help teach them who is their friend and who is not. A well trained, well socialized Bouvier will be a great watchdog, wonderful companion, and lifetime friend.
The Bouvier des Flanders is well suited to outdoor living but needs human companionship. He’s a messy dog when indoors and needs an owner capable of dealing with his wet beard, muddy feet, and tendency for flatulence (gas).
AKC Group: Herding Group
Originally used for cattle herding but also used for herding oxen and general farm work such as pulling carts.
The Bouvier des Flandres is used for tracking by the police, search and rescue missions, and as guide dogs for the blind.