Bouvier des Flandres: Work First, Then Pleasure

The Bouviers des Flandres is a mighty powerhouse with lively intelligence. Don’t be fooled by his calm composure: his vigilance is always on. The tall, dark, dutiful Belgian only relaxes when his breed-typical requirements have been met. For sporty families with older children, the Bouvier is happy to act as a loving bodyguard.

Clever power dog with lively intelligence

The roots of the Bouvier des Flandres go back to the 16th century: At that time he probably migrated with Spanish conquerors via northern France to Belgian and French Flanders. He was valued as a herdsman and herdsman, as well as pulling the milk wagon. The devastating First World War also almost meant the end for the Bouvier des Flandres – committed veterinarians later continued breeding with the few remaining specimens. The successful book A Dog from Flanders contributed significantly to its popularity and distribution.

Today the breed is still used as a guard in rural areas. In addition, the Bouvier des Flandres shows its talents as a guard, police, and protection dog and – thanks to its extremely pronounced sense of smell – as a tracking dog. If the breed is used properly, the Bouvier des Flandres proves to be a patient and well-balanced family dog.

Nature of the Bouvier des Flandres

The Bouvier des Flandres seems like a rock in the surf: calm, solid, and unwilling to give way when it senses a threat. He appears courageous and leaves no doubt about his intention to protect his people. You only hear its powerful barking in dangerous situations, which your neighbors will appreciate. The former herdsman and “hauling dog” who pulled boats through canals reliably completed the tasks assigned to him. He is lightning fast in his decisions and switches from “work” to “protect” in a second if necessary. A Bouviers des Flandres is always on duty: this ensures inner balance, to which he owes his stoic calm. At the same time, his patience and overview in the game and in dealing with older children prove to be tireless.

Bouvier des Flandres: Upbringing and Keeping

The powerful self-confidence of the Bouviers des Flandres – also known as the Vlaamse Koehond – requires your consistent and lasting training and leadership from day one. Thanks to his high erudition, the compact former cattle herder makes it easy for you – but it is precisely this intelligence that also wants to be utilized to the full. Besides at least two long walks a day, the breed loves to have a job to do. So the Bouvier likes to take over the guard on farms or on your spacious, fenced property. The powerhouse only fits into a city apartment if it is challenged and encouraged both mentally and physically.

Are you fascinated by the varied draft dog sport? Or are you already there? Then the powerhouse from Flanders is the right partner. Bred expressly for traction, the broad-shouldered Bouvier des Flandres puts in a lot of effort in the harness. Here he finds a way to push himself through strength and speed. At the same time, your commands will challenge his mind and intelligence. It is even suitable for demanding training as a guide dog.

Basic guidance from experienced dog trainers at a suitable club can be beneficial if you are considering this breed for the first time.

Care of the Bouvier des Flandres

The many hairs are not an indication of extreme care work: You can plan half an hour a day for extensive brushing. Remain consistent from dog childhood, because the Flanders Cattle Dog has a strong will of its own. The sooner he learns that ear and coat care are a must, the better.

Special features around the Bouvier des Flandres

The Bouvier des Flandres is a rarely seen breed with high demands in terms of keeping. Even the puppies show excellent willingness to learn. According to statements by connoisseurs of the breed, two-character variants have developed inbreeding. It is said that animals from Dutch breeding lines have a higher willingness to defend themselves against strangers. These breeding lines have only existed since the 1970s. 

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