The legacy of the Bouvier des Flandres has produced many admirable qualities in this breed.
- He is a square, powerfully built dog, rugged and formidable in appearance. His harsh double coat protects him in all types of weather; his keen sense of smell and watchful gaze make him a most suitable farm dog. (He thrives on plenty of room to work and exercise, but he is not an “outdoor dog”; he must live with his loving people — his “flock,” his “pack”.)
- He is agile, alert and intelligent, with character of great spirit and fearlessness; yet, he is serene in disposition, and has an even temperament.
Today, the Bouvier des Flandres acts as a farm dog, family friend, protector, shepherd, and guide dog for the blind or hearing impaired. His intelligence, sense of threat discrimination and keen scent qualifies many Bouviers to excel in police work, tracking and drug detection. Owning a Bouvier, like many dogs, requires patience, love, a lot of grooming, a willingness to exercise the dog and pay for regular health care, a desire to have a companion who follows you around the house keeping an eye on you, and a commitment to complete at least one set of good obedience classes.
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. The following description is that of the ideal Bouvier des Flandres. Any deviation from this is to be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
The Bouvier’s character is to be calm, rational, discriminating — prudently bold. He can be stubborn but still he is quite intelligent and very trainable. Because they have a high level of trainability, responsibility and discrimination, they are suited to modern police-style working functions. They can excel at tracking, search and rescue, drug detection, are extremely agile for their size and have an excellent capacity to react appropriately and only to the degree a situation requires.
Dogs, from 24 1/2 to 27 1/2 inches; bitches, from 23 1/2 to 26 1/2 inches.
From fawn to black, passing through salt and pepper, gray and brindle. A small white star on the chest is allowed.
Learn more at the American Bouvier des Flandres Club.