AKC Dog Breeds: Bouvier Des Flandres

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Herding Group
Height: 22-28 inches   Weight: 60-90  pounds  Color: Black, grey, salt & pepper, fawn

The Bouvier des Flandres is a powerfully built, compact, short-coupled, rough-coated dog of notably rugged appearance. He gives the impression of great strength without any sign of heaviness or clumsiness in his overall makeup. He is agile, spirited and bold, yet his serene, well behaved disposition denotes his steady, resolute and fearless character. His gaze is alert and brilliant, depicting his intelligence, vigor and daring. By nature he is an equable dog. His origin is that of a cattle herder and general farmer's helper, including cart pulling. He is an ideal farm dog. His harsh double coat protects him in all weather, enabling him to perform the most arduous tasks. He has been used as an ambulance and messenger dog. Modern times find him as a watch and guard dog as well as a family friend, guardian and protector. His physical and mental characteristics and deportment, coupled with his olfactory abilities, his intelligence and initiative enable him to also perform as a tracking dog and a guide dog for the blind.

General Appearance

The head of the Bouvier des Flanders, like many breeds, makes it a truly distinctive breed. There is a heavy beard, moustache and thick and long eyebrows that somewhat obscure the features of the head, although that in itself makes the breed easy to identify. The head is covered with long and shaggy hair and the eyes beneath the heavy eyebrows are alert, very dark, intelligent and lively. The muzzle is long and tapered with a large, well developed black nose that is very obvious. The lips are tight to the teeth and are not pendulous or loose. The ears are either cropped to stand very upright or are left natural and fold over. The head is massive and very large on the breed. The coat should look windblown and somewhat tousled with a harsh, dry outer coat and a softer, finer and denser inner coat. The moustache and beard as well as the eyebrows will be longer than the rest of the coat and are typically straighter. The coat is wavy and slightly kinky in appearance but never straight or flat to the body.


The Bouvier Des Flandres is a dog that has many contrasting personality traits - they can be bold yet steady, spirited yet aloof, serious yet playful, and moody yet affectionate. These dogs are generally calm in nature, and are known to be very agile, although some tend to be lazy whenever given half the chance. The Bouvier Des Flandres is an intelligent breed, and in order to keep him alert and interest you need to provide mental stimulation through the activities that you provide for him. He is a protective dog when it comes to his family, and this makes him an effective watchdog. He can also be very assertive, but this is a trait that must be watched if he feels challenged. The Bouvier Des Flandres is a very alert and responsive dog in most cases, and these dogs usually have an even temper. They get along well with children that they have been raised with, as well as other animals that they have been raised with, although some can be aggressive towards other dogs. Rather than being a dog that bites, the Bouvier Des Flandres is a dog that tends to utilize his size in order to get what he wants, and may try to use his herding instincts to herd people and animals by pushing them with his large body. He can be quite reserved and stand offish with strangers. The Bouvier Des Flandres can also be very strong willed and dominant, and are therefore best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training.

Having a long and shaggy coat, the Bouvier Des Flandres requires much maintenance in the grooming field. Needing to be trimmed at least three times a year to prevent any matts or tangles, this breed should also be brushed on a daily basis. If properly groomed, this breed will shed little hair. Brush his beard once daily for hygiene reasons. Some scissoring and clipping may also be required with the coat of the Bouvier Des Flandres. This dog is a light to medium shedder when groomed properly.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Bouvier Des Flandres is around 10-12 years. A number of health problems and disorders are linked to this breed, and this includes entropion, torsion, thyroid problems, larynx problems, cancer, cataracts, glaucoma, HD, and bloat.

Activity Level
The Bouvier Des Flandres does best with a large sized yard, but will do okay in apartment life if given proper exercise. A very active breed, this dog must be regularly exercised. Long walks, and running free are recommended under close supervision


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Bouvier Des Flandres dog profile on dog encyclopedia
Bouvier Des Flandres on dog encyclopedia