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Adopt a Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


livestock, herding

Area of origin:


Original function:

cattle herding

Average size of male:

Ht: 24.5-27.5, Wt: 69-90

Average size of female:

Ht: 23.5-26.5, Wt: 69-90

Other names:

Belgian cattle dog

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Bouvier des Flandres Dog Temperament

The Bouvier is a steady, stalwart companion that is loyal, devoted, fearless and protective. Given daily exercise, he is calm and well-mannered indoors, but ready for an adventure in the great outdoors. He is independent and confident of his own judgment, yet biddable and willing to please. He is reserved, even protective, toward strangers and can be aggressive with strange dogs. He is very good with children, although he may nip at heels in play.

Bouvier des Flandres Dog Care

The Bouvier des Flandres is not a breed that can be put aside until the mood strikes to play with him. He needs daily exercise and daily interaction, and a lot of both. He loves the chance to herd, but his requirements can also be met with a good jog, a very long walk or a vigorous play session. He makes a good house dog and would enjoy access to both house and yard. His harsh coat needs combing once or twice weekly, plus scissoring and shaping every three months.

Bouvier des Flandres Dog Health

Major concerns: CHD
Minor concerns: gastric torsion
Occasionally seen: entropion
Suggested tests: hip
Life span: 10-12 years

Interested in the history of the Bouvier des Flandres dog breed?

The Bouvier des Flandres served farmers and cattle merchants in controlling cattle in the great farmlands of southwest Flanders and on the French northern plain. In fact, Bouvier means 'cowherd' or 'oxherd', in French, although the dogs were formerly more often called vuilbaard (dirty beard) or koe hond (cow dog). Besides its main duty as a cattle drover, the Bouvier was an all-around farm dog, functioning also as a livestock and farm guard and draft dog. As expected from a dog selected to perform a variety of tasks, these working dogs were of a variety of types, colors and even sizes. This wide variety also reflected the fact that this was a working dog, and breeding stock was chosen by ability, not pedigree or esthetics. The derivation of the breed is not documented but may have included Mastiff, Sheepdog and possibly even Spaniel breeds. The first breed standard, drawn up in 1912, reflected this diversity of types and signaled a growing interest in the breed from dog fanciers. In the midst of the breed's rising popularity, most of the Bouviers were lost in World War I although some served as ambulance and messenger dogs during the war. One of the few survivors was of such superior quality that the breed was successfully revived through his progeny. This dog, Ch. Nic de Sottegem, can be found in virtually every modern Bouvier pedigree. In 1922, a revised standard further defined the desirable Bouvier type, and helped pave the way to a more homogeneous breed. When the first Bouviers entered American show rings in the 1930s, they aroused much attention among dog fanciers. The breed has never become extremely popular, but is well-known at dog shows and herding trials.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Bouvier des Flandres Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Bouvier des Flandress ready for adoption:

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