Bouvier des Flanders Description
The muzzle is wide, and it should have oval-shaped eyes that are brown in color. The nose should be black in color, and the teeth of this dog should be in the form of a scissors bite. The front legs of this dog should be straight and muscular.
The large shaggy coat will have a rough look, and it should either be fawn, brindle, gray, or black in color. These dogs will also have a thick undercoat. The ears should stand up, and they should also be triangular in shape.
If you've seen the movie, "A Dog of Flanders," then you know what a Bouvier Des Flandres is. These dogs are frequently referred to as the "gentle giants" of the dog world. They originated in Flanders, as their name suggests.
Bouviers des Flandres are sometimes referred to in Belgium, as the "babysitters." This is due to their love and devotion to children. When a Bouvier bonds with someone, it's for life!
Bouviers have been used for sheepherding, military work, as cattle herders, and as seeing eye dogs. They have been used to pull carts. They were used to pull ambulance gurneys during war time. They have an impressive background as dependable willing helpers.
Males range anywhere from 24 1/2 inches to 27 1/2 inches at the withers. Females range from 23 1/2 inches to 26 1/2 inches at the withers. Males may weigh well over 70 pounds. Females will weigh only slightly less than their male counterparts.
The general appearance of these dogs conveys the great strength and sturdiness that marks this breed. But don't let their appearance fool you, these are not full time outside dogs. Bouviers crave, no, they NEED human companionship. Be prepared to have a pet that is as comfortable inside the house as he/she is outside.
Bouviers have even, stable temperments. They are protective by nature, but are not true attack dogs. Bouviers are natural guard dogs. They instinctively protect family members.
Bouviers do need to be trained. You can do this yourself, or seek professional help. However, since they are such large intelligent animals, they need to be challenged and made aware of their status within your family. A Bouvier needs to know who the alpha in his/her pack is. Fortunately, they adapt well to obedience training and generally want to please their masters.
We have owned a Bouvier named Kosmos Kramer for over four years now. He is our son's best friend. These gentle giants seem to not only love and tolerate children well, but instinctively desire to protect children. When a neighborhood dog enters our yard, our Bouvier immediately places himself between the intruder and our son. We didn't train him to do this, it's just his nature.
Bouviers do require some special care. They shed very little, but what they do shed can get stuck between the layers of their hair and cause matting. They need brushing, at least once a week. We shave our Bouvier with our own dog clippers at the start of summer. Then, we allow his hair to grow over the fall and winter months.
During these months, we just trim him about every 6-8 weeks.
Groomers charge anywhere from 50-150 dollars to groom Bouviers, so investing in your own clippers makes sense. You can pick up clippers and tips on grooming at your local pet store. The clippers will run you approximately 100 dollars, but it's well worth it.
Good Bouvier breeders are not easy to find. Be sure you contact the American Kennel Society and the Bouvier Des Flandres Club to research your breeder. Be patient. Look around. Be sure that the Bouvier you purchase is from a good blood- line. If he/she is, you will have found a companion that is sure to please. These gentle giants are a dog lover's dream come true.
Also Known As
- Flanders Cattle Dog
- Vlaamse Koehond
The Bouvier des Flanders is a pleasant dog that is quick to obey its master. Though the dog may have a fierce look, it is very gentle. However, it does make a good guard dog, and it can be trained quickly. Owners will need to be consistent when training these dogs. Once they have been trained, they will retain their skills for the duration of their lives. The Bouvier des Flanders should only be purchased by an owner who knows how to lead it. While it is a good guard dog, it is also an excellent family dog, and it enjoys being around children.
The Bouvier des Flanders is a generally healthy breed, but they may be susceptible to hip dysplasia or eye disorders. These dogs have a maximum life expectancy of about 12 years.
Though these dogs are active, they will only need moderate amounts of exercise. Owners will want to take them on long walks, and they will also run behind you as you ride your bike. When they are puppies, owners will want to be careful exercising them because their bones must not be placed under too much stress.
Special Grooming Needs
The Bouvier des Flanders has a coat that requires extensive amounts of care. It will need to be brushed on a daily basis, and it should only be bathed when it is needed. The coat of these dogs will need to be cut three times each year. Excess hair should be removed from the ears, and it should also be removed from the feet. Owners will not want to let the hair grow too long. When these dogs are well cared for, they should not shed large amounts.