Species group: Herding Group dogs
Other name(s): Flanders Cattle Dog; Vlaamse Koehond
The Bouvier des Flandres is a serious-minded working breed developed in Belgium to perform such tasks as hauling carts, droving cattle, herding sheep, and protecting farm and family. They are loyal to family but intimidating to intruders, and you will definitely need to know what you're doing to properly socialize this strong-minded dog. The herding urge means that this dog will sometimes nudge people or appear to be a bit pushy if not well-trained. However, their calm temperament means that they can make an excellent family dog. Despite their working heritage, they do know how to turn it off and relax. Indeed, some owners have reported that their pets are a tad lazy, so you may sometimes have to provide the motivation to get them to exercise.
As part of their farm dog history, this breed traditionally had cropped ears and tail, perhaps to avoid them getting caught while they were on the job. However, the practice of cropping is becoming a thing of the past. Indeed, it is illegal in most of Europe.
Appearance / health:
Bouvier des Flandres is a powerfully built, strong boned, well-muscled, rough-coated dog of notably rugged appearance. The head is in proportion to the body, accentuated by beard and mustache. The eyes are oval and dark brown in color. The nose is large and black with flared nostrils.
Bouviers need be thoroughly combed or brushed at least once a week to prevent matting. They need to thoroughly combed or brushed before giving them a bath to prevent matting. They may be trimmed once in two months. Toe nails can be trimmed once in a week. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly. Occasional brushing using special toothpaste and toothbrush available at pet stores prevents tartar build up.
A long walk twice a day is necessary to keep the dog physically and mentally stimulated. Puppies can be taken for shorter walks.
Bouviers are prone to hip dysplasia (a hereditary disease that eventually causes lameness and arthritis of joints). They are also disposed to bloat (torsion) and volvulus (twisting of intestine).
Behavior / temperament:
Bouviers make excellent guard dogs. They thrive in the company of their owners and do not like to be left alone for more than few hours. Separation anxiety may lead to destructive behavior like digging and barking. They also have a tendency to chase moving objects.
They are intelligent, calm, and eager to please with a good attention span. Early basic obedience training is must for Bouviers as they can be difficult to control as an adult. They need to be trained firmly and consistently.
constant companion, excellent watch dogs, intelligent, happy healthy dog, huge hearts, entertaining
fear aggressive dog, stubborn streak, pack leader, daily brushing, stomach sensitivity, firm hand
powerful dogs, puffy monsters, daily exercising, beard, bit Hitler
A Quirky, Playful, Beautiful Breed
If I had a dollar for every time someone stopped me in the dog park or on the street to tell me how beautiful my pet "bear" was, I'd have enough money to adopt all the Bouviers in the country. As a puppy, Bauer—named after Jack Bauer from 24—was very athletic. He loved to go on long hikes in the woods and play fetch with tennis balls or sticks. He still does, but now he's 11 years old and much more likely to prefer a nap in the house. We taught him how to sit, stay, play dead, jump, high five, and crawl using a clicker, and he still remembers those tricks. He's not overly affectionate, but will sometimes come up to me and lick my hand and face like crazy, and he makes this silly howling noise when the blender's on. And, of course, he's gorgeous—hard to groom, but he rarely sheds. I adore this dog!.
From steph Dec 21 2016 4:08AM
I've had two different bouvier's with two very different personalities, but I'll focus on my most recent for the purposes of this review.
Bouvier's (if you don't already know) are huge dogs. This means they need a ton of space to run and play. These are definitely not apartment dogs.
My bouvier was raised on an acreage, so there was never a shortage of places for him to explore.
As anyone with a large dog knows, it takes a lot more planning (and uncomfortable squeezing) to take them anywhere that requires a vehicle.
Unless you have a mini-van or SUV, trips to the dog park, vet visits or vacations will be characterized by being intentionally squashed or scratched by big paws and enjoy eau de smelly dog.
Expanding on my last point, yes bouviers smell, bad. They have very shaggy thick fur, which unless you groom and bathe them every day, is going to develop a bit of an odor. Like any dog, bouviers love gross things. Rolling in it, eating it, bringing it back to you. It's going to happen.
Despite this having a bouvier is worth it. They are often called "gentle giants" for good reason. They are incredibly intelligent and fiercely loyal.
Bearing in mind that every dog has a unique personality, bouviers for the most part are very easy going and adore being around their people.
My bouvier is extremely submissive and shy, sometimes on the verge of anxiety, but despite this he's still the sweetest dog you could ask for.
Bouviers can be great guard dogs if they're trained for it (or sometimes even if they're not). As stated before they are very loyal to their human families, but can have quite an intimidating presence to anyone they don't know.
Though this has some benefits it can also be challenging. You need to always be aware of how the dog is behaving, especially when they are approached by someone they don't know.
All in all bouviers are an excellent family dog. They're gentle with kids and usually get along with other pets. They are intelligent and very amusing to watch.
However before adopting it is wise to educate yourself on the breed and sure you're aware of the challenges their size brings..
From Lyse12 Sep 29 2015 1:13PM
A gentle giant
Originally bred as a hardworking farm dog, the Bouvier is impressive in size and stature, but has a gentle demeanour.
They can be good family pets, as well as excellent guard dogs.
Due to their size, basic obedience training is a must. As an absolute minimum, you must teach Bouviers to reliably respond to basic commands.
They do well with an experienced owner as it is important to consistently make the dog aware that the owner is the boss.
These dogs are gentle, loyal, and protective by nature. A good family dog, the Bouvier is good with children. And is very adaptable and goes about its business quietly and calmly.
Though they are fairly inactive indoors, they need lots of regular outdoor exercise to remain calm.
Bouviers get bored easily and if left alone for long periods of time they will resort to barking and destructive chewing.
Requires regular grooming to avoid the shaggy sheepdog look.
Very gassy with lots of smelly burps and farts, no matter the diet.
This particular dog was not a good match for me as she became very jealous of my boyfriend and this resulted in lots of bad behaviour..
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