Bouvier de Flandres - He is beautiful, yes, but are you good enough for him?
This is the Bouvier de Flandres - a handsome dog, distinctive by its beard and moustache. He is a highly intelligent dog, extremely gentle and loyal, but at the same time very protective.
The Bouvier de Flandres makes a good guard dog, but no training is needed to achieve this. It comes naturally to this breed to protect its people and its territory. But he will not do well outside, used solely as a guard dog. He is a people dog and needs human companionship.
This dog will learn easily, given the right sort of positive reward based training, but training needs to be ongoing. You cannot believe that once the commands are learnt, they will stay learnt. They can be over protective, and an alternative behaviour needs to be taught to prevent this trait.
The breed is good with children, not so good with other dogs unless he has been raised with them. Early socialisation is essential to combat this. He is not aggressive, but can be suspicious, and the earlier he meets other canines the better.
The Bouvier is powerfully built and possesses a double coat, in fawn, black or brindle. You may see them in chocolate, but this is not breed standard and would be detrimental if you wanted to show him.
It is a dog traditionally assumed to be non shedding, but like any dog, he will shed his undercoat in warm weather and requires regular brushing.
A male of the breed will weigh about 55kg and measure approximately 27 inches at the shoulder.
Originally from Flanders, the dog was employed as a general farm dog and used for herding cattle. He will have herding instincts, which could cause problems as with any herding breed, but can make a good companion so long as you are prepared to give him enough time and understanding.
He is bred to be part of the farmer's family. He needs to be with humans and does not do well as an outside dog.
He has a lifespan of between 10 and 12 years, so fairly long lived for a giant breed.
There does not appear to any breed specific health problems associated with this breed, though like any large dog, hip scores for both parents are essential.
Canine hip dysplasia
is the main condition from which they can suffer, along with
as with other large breeds. Elbow scores are also preferable to reduce the risk of
This breed has a tendency to flatulence after eating and the coat can smell very much like a fish pond when wet.
As with any breed, it is essential to find a good breeder who has health certificates.
Should you want to investigate the possibility of rescuing in the UK go to
Bouvier Rescue UK
and in the United States
History of the Bouvier des Flandres
From Bouvier de Flandres to Giant Dogs
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