|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
The Bouvier des Flandres is a beautiful dog, once disputed between France and Belgium, to finally conclude that it is a French-Belgian breed.
The Bouvier des Flandres is recognized by the AKC and the FCI with this original name, but it is also called “Vlaamse Koehond” (cow dog), Vuilbaard (dirty beard), and Toucheur de Boeuf (cattle driver). It is an intelligent, obedient, solid, and fast dog.
Bouvier des Flandres: Origins
It is thought that for centuries, many in fact, it lived in the Flemish plains, in Belgium, but the first official data of the Bouvier des Flandres go back to 1937. Its origins are uncertain, the most credited hypothesis is that this dog is the result of a crossbreed between the Spanish Alano and other shepherd dogs from the region. Both breeds were present in the birth land of our Bouvier thanks to the Spanish people. During the crossbreeding process, some mixtures between the Briard and the Berger Picard were included.
In the past, the Bouvier des Flandres was used by the Belgian police, at the end of the 19th century, as a police dog, and then, during the First World War, it also served as an auxiliary to soldiers aligned for battle. An adventure that has reduced the population to the minimum, then it was relaunched by a strong rebuilding process.
Nowadays, it is no longer used by police and military forces, just like other breeds like the giant Schnauzer or the Russian black Terrier, breeds that in the past were used for this job. This is due to the care it requires in its coat. With this, we do not want to say that it is an unknown dog that is in decay. In fact, it is a breed that is increasingly growing in all continents, especially in Spain, where the Bouvier des Flandres has become quite loved for some years.
Bouvier des Flandres: Appearance
The general aspect of this 4-legged dog is short and sturdy: it is an animal that inspires strength and power. Undoubtedly, it is ideal for life outdoors, also because of its body dimensions: at the withers, a male stands at 24-27 inches (62-68 cm) and weighs around 77-88 lbs (35-40 kg), females are slightly smaller. The Bouvier des Flandres despite being very muscular is well proportioned and of rapid movements. Its head is totally covered by fur and its extremities are strong.
Its fur is generally tawny or grey, often striped or with anthracite grey stripes. There are also black specimens, but it is not a well-accepted color. The fur in the Bouvier des Flandres is very thick, rough to the touch, and is around 6 cm (around 2 inches ) long and it also has an inner layer (sub hair), fit even for more extreme weather.
Bouvier des Flandres: Temperament
Intelligent and obedient, balanced and brave: the Bouvier des Flandres is a dog that has an excellent character, it is fit for families but it is also adequate to carry out different tasks. Despite distrusting strangers, it is a balanced dog. Sometimes it enjoys to be calm, but it also integrates really well to a family, it worries about children. It also shows an over-the-top and high devotion towards its owner.
At home, it behaves perfectly, it does not cause trouble and it does not bother, it is very adaptable to any kind of training. It is intelligent and fast to make decisions, the Bouvier des Flandres is versatile, but its agility and its exceptional sense of smell generally makes it prone to be a guard, to defend or search for people. In fact, it is worth mentioning that it is also very courageous and tenacious.
Bouvier des Flandres: Grooming
We mentioned above that its hair requires specific grooming: in the case of the Bouvier des Flandres this is very true, and is not only a matter of aesthetics. Its fur is dry, it has to be washed only rarely, you must brush it daily, with care and with a brush with hard iron. This is carried out to eliminate dead sub hair. If you have any doubt, you can read our article about stripping and trimming.
Other than that, it is a “rustic” breed, it does not demand a lot, even from the point of view of feeding. It is a champion, it gets excellent results as agility (agility dog) and also in competitions for utility and defense dogs. But it is necessary to give it a lot of love, and it also requires lots of exercise every day, so as to keep in shape and it may exhaust its endless amount of energy.
Bouvier des Flandres: Care
From the point of view of feeding, the Bouvier des Flandres does not need a specific diet. It tends to enjoy generally good health. This animal is affectionate and intelligent, therefore, it is important to offer care and lots of cuddling.
The need to guarantee this dog the chance of daily exercise must not be underestimated: it requires it. Besides, if you always make sure it exercises properly you may avoid any type of problems with this beautiful dog’s character.
The average lifespan of these canine specimens is around 11-13 years. Sexual maturity is reached at around 10 months of age.
Bouvier des Flandres: Price, Breeders, and Puppies for Sale
As it is not a quite widespread breed, it causes that the price for a Bouvier des Flandres puppy is high. Undoubtedly, in a certified breeding establishment, it is difficult to find a specimen of this breed that is less than 900-1500 dollars, or 800-1200 English pounds.
On the internet, or in mixed pet stores, these reference prices may vary. But as we always advise, it is fundamental that you buy from a reliable breeder so you can be sure your puppy has been:
- Bred for good health and temperament;
- Well-selected (its parents were chosen without any genetic diseases);
- Duly socialized, so as it is not too fearful or aggressive,
- Vaccinated and well taken care of.
Besides if you adopt a puppy, a reliable breeder will give you a vet certificate, which specifies the animal has been dewormed and is completely healthy when delivered.
You may also ask for the pedigree, which is otherwise essential: it allows you to verify the dog´s purity. An animal with a pedigree has certain characteristics that belong to its breed that differentiate it from the rest.
Now that we have cleared all the most important aspects, you may go and find your new 4-legged dog, who is surely waiting for you.