Bouvier des Flandres is a Belgian (Flemish) herding dog breed from the 17th century that captured the heart of an American president.
History of Bouvier des Flandres
It was the 17th century and the Ter Duinen monastery monks in Flandres were already accomplished dog breeders. They imported large breeds such as Scottish Deerhounds and Irish Wolfhounds with one objective – to create a new resilient and relatively large working breed. Their dogs could herd cattle and pull carts for hours.
The breed still wasn’t fully defined at the beginning of the 20th century. It nearly disappeared during First World War as the dogs were used for military purposes. The unified standard of the breed was created in 1936 and the breed was recognized by the FCI in 1965.
Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the USA, owned a Bouvier named Lucky.
Appearance, Temperament and Health
Appearance of Bouvier des Flandres
Height: 62–68 cm/24–27 in (dogs), 59–65 cm/23–26 in (bitches)
Weight: 35–40 kg/77–88 lb (dogs), 27–35 kg/60–77 lb (bitches)
Bouvier des Flandres is a compact dog of powerful built and rough coat. Its a heavy beard and mustache is a notable feature that accentuates the dog’s head. The ear and tail-cropping that used to be done to prevent injuries are purely cosmetic now.
The coat color can vary from fawn, black, grey brindle to “pepper and salt”. Their coat requires regular brushing to brush out the shedding hair that usually gets caught in the double coat and causes matting of the coat color.
The Bouvier des Flandres is a breed of loyal and gentle nature. It’s a good family bread as well as guard and work dog and very intelligent. The Bouviers are fearless and resilient, fast learners and easy to train, however, they require balanced training because they tend to get bored easily.
They are reserved with the strangers but not aggressive. They need to be socialized at an early age to prevent suspiciousness. Due to their good adaptability they tend to be very good with children.
The average life expectancy of the Bouvier des Flandres is 10 – 12 years.
This breed doesn’t tend to have hereditary diseases. However, like other large breeds, it can suffer from hip dysplasia. The Bouviers need regular activity as well as quality food to keep them healthy.
Bouvier des Flandres as Work Dog
The Bouvier des Flandres was bread to be a cattle herding dog, later even a breed used in war. It still serves its original purpose as a herding and guard dog although it has become more of a dog for active families. It enjoys activities like the agility training.
Are you lucky enough to call yourself a friend of a Bouvier des Flandres? Let us know!