The Bouvier des Flanders is a herding dog from Flanders. They were originally used for general farm work, including cattle droving, sheep herding, and cart pulling. Today, they are also used as guard dogs as well as family pets. The French name literally means “cow herder of Flanders,” which reflects the Flemish origin of the breed.
The Bouvier des Flandres is an obedient dog with a pleasant nature. They look intimidating, but are actually calm and gentle. They are enthusiastic, responsible, even tempered, and fearless, and are excellent guard and watchdogs that are easy to train. This breed learns commands relatively fast. However, Bouviers get bored easily and learn best when repetition is limited.
A unified Bouvier des Flandres standard was created in 1936 by a joint French Belgian committee. However, World War II again endangered the breed’s existence. Due to these setbacks, progress was slowed, and it was not until 1965 that the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) breed standard, as agreed to by several minor kennel clubs, was adopted.
The Bouvier des Flandres originated from Flanders, Belgium around the sixteenth century. They were bred to drive cattle and pull carts. The name Bouvier means driver of oxen. They were almost lost during World War I. They came to the United States in the 1930’s and are registered by the American Kennel Association.
The Bouvier des Flandres has a rough coat with a dense undercoat that requires plenty of attention. It needs to be brushed regularly, bathed infrequently and trimmed professionally several times a year. The pads of its feel will need to be trimmed also.
The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the male Bouvier des Flandres ranges from 24 to 28 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and 75 to 90 pounds and the females run from 22 to 27 inches to the withers and 60 to 80 pounds.