BREED DESCRIPTION & INFORMATION
(Click to View)
Note: The breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.
* The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.
From 22.5-27.5 in (57-70 cm) at the shoulder
Male35 to 40 kg; Female27 to 35 kg
The Bouvier des Flandres (literally: "Cow Dog of Flanders") originated in Flanders, Belgium. He was used mainly for herding and driving cattle. The first Bouviers arrived in North America in the 1930's. The breed distinguished itself during World War II for carrying messages and supplies to the front lines and searching out the wounded.
The Bouvier enjoys human companionship and does well in most environments. He is intelligent, alert, and agile, making him a very versatile breed who is seen in obedience competition, agility, carting, herding, as well as tracking. He is even-tempered, never shy and not overly aggressive. He is calm, rational, prudently bold, playful and outgoing with those he knows. Signs of shyness under normal situations or aggression without reason are uncharacteristic of the breed.
The Bouvier is often used as a personal watch or guard dog, police and drug detection dog, army dog, as well as a search and rescue dog. He has also been used as a guide dog for the blind, service dog and therapy dog. In Belgium a Bouvier may not hold the title of breed champion unless he has also earned a working dog title.
The general appearance of the Bouvier gives the impression of power without clumsiness. He is a square, thickset, short-bodied dog with muscular limbs. His intelligence and energy can be seen in his eyes. The Bouvier has a harsh, full double coat to protect him in all types of weather and climates. Rough to the touch and slightly tousled but not wooly or curly, the coat is neither too long nor too short. The coat colour is fawn, grey, dark grey, brindle, or black, with or without a white star on the chest.
If you are considering the adoption of a Bouvier des Flandres puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)
Some health concerns to be aware of for the Bouvier des Flandres breed include:
- Hip Dysplasia As with many large breeds, Hip Dysplasia is the most prevalent health concern in the breed.
- Bloat As with any deep-chested dog, the occurrence of Bloat or Gastric Torsion is a real possibility in the Bouvier des Flandres. If you are not familiar with this condition, it is absolutely necessary to learn about it and know the symptoms This is a real emergency and a life threatening condition that requires immediate Veterinary attention. See Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) - Bloat in the Health and Nutrition section of Canada's Guide to Dogs for more information and First Aid for Bloat for an article describing some of the things you can do if you are faced with this situation.
- Eye problems such as Cataracts and Glaucoma
- Thyroid problems
Recommended Health Screening:
For the Bouvier des Flandres, the CHIC* database includes health screenings for:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Congenital Cardiac Database
- Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist. Minimum age 18 months. The American Bouvier des Flandres Club recommends testing be repeated every two years until at least 8 years of age.
Additional Health Resources:
- Bouvier Health Foundation
- Genetic Diseases of the Bouvier des Flandres
- Canine Inherited Disorders Database Bouvier des Flandres
- Health and Nutrition Growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website which includes information on several health and nutrition related issues.
- Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) Providing a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
- AKC Canine Health Foundation Working towards developing scientific advances in canine health.
- Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF)
- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
- Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)
- University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHip)
- HealthGene HealthGene Corporation is the leading provider of veterinary DNA diagnostic services in Canada.
- Labgenvet Laboratory of Veterinary Genetics is a Canadian diagnostic laboratory that offers a comprehensive service of DNA tests for veterinary genetic diseases.
- CKC Breed Standard
- AKC Breed Standard
- UKC Breed Standard
- The Kennel Club (U.K.) Breed Standard
- FCI Breed Standard No. 191
- Grooming This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.
- Training For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.
Choose from a wide variety of items from Dogwise.com
- Beginner's Guide to the Bouvier des Flandres from the ABdFC
- Don't Buy a Bouvier By Pam Green
- Herding Dogs The Herding Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes training and general information about Herding/Stock Dogs; listing of Stock Dog Clubs and Associations; listing of upcoming shows and events; and more.
- Clubs, Sports & Activities For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
- Working Dogs The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.