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Bouvier Des Flandres

 

Bouvier Des Flandres

 

Description

Bouvier Des Flandres means "cowherd from Flanders."  Originally a cattle herding dog in Belgium and France, they were extensively used as a rescue dog and message-carrier during World War I and as a result of their exposure during warfare the breed was almost completely killed off.  After the war in 1923 this breed was rescued from near-extinction by a Belgian army vet. They are now serving as watchdogs, guardians, family companions and as tracking dogs.

 

Temperament

The pleasant natured Bouvier Des Flandres is an obedient dog who appears intimidating, but is actually calm and gentle.  This responsible, enthusiastic, even tempered and fearless dog makes an excellent guard and watchdog which is quite easy to train, being able to learn commands relatively fast.  These dogs will not hesitate in protecting the family when danger is present and will arise to the occasion if needed.  This slow maturing breed does not fully mature until the dog reaches the age of 2-3 years. 

 

Appearance

Height   56-71cm  (22-28in)

Weight:  27-41kg  (60-90lb)

The impressive and powerful Bouvier Des Flandres has a massive and heavily-coated head with a beard and mustache, with its thick beard and shaggy eyebrows giving this dog a very distinctive appearance.  These dogs have a double coat, a dense undercoat and a rough, shaggy-looking outer coat which is harsh and dry to the touch and protects the dog in all types of inclement weather.  This steel-wool hair comes in black, fawn, blonde, gray, or brindle.

 

Grooming

As the shaggy coat of the Bouvier Des Flandres requires a lot of attention, regular brushing of their long coat is necessary and when required a dry shampoo or bath.  At least 3 times a year these dogs will need to be trimmed as a well-groomed Bouvier will shed very little hair at home and it has even been reported that these dogs are very good for allergy suffers.  It is recommended that in between trims any excess hair inside the ears is removed and that the hair between the pads of the feet is trimmed. If you don't have the time to bath or groom your dog, your local  dog grooming salon provides these services.

 

Life Expectancy

About 10-12 years 

 

Health Concerns

As this hardy dog has become accustomed to harsh conditions, they seldom get ill, however some dogs may suffer from hip dysplasia and eye problems such as cataracts.  Possessing a very high pain threshold.

 

Suitability

They make a great family dog that adores children, is very adaptable, loyal and goes about its business quietly and calmly. Provided they are properly socialized at an early age, these dogs will usually get along well with other pets. This active and energetic dog has an average demand for exercise, requiring daily long, brisk walks or even running alongside a bike.  As this dog requires all its energy to build a strong, healthy frame, it is recommended that during the growing stage, exercise should be carefully regulated to only the walk, so that growing bones, muscles and joints are not too strenuously stressed.

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Working Dogs; This group  includes more breeds than any other. These dogs were bred to do a variety of work from guarding, herding, pulling sleds and rescue for example. A few in this group include Border Collie, Boxer and Bullmastiff to mention a few.

 

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