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Bouvier des Flandres

The Bouvier des Flandres is a Belgian cattle dog, hardy, trustworthy and – when its ears are cropped, as in its country of origin – looking the epitome of ferocity. It can be kept as a pet but tends to be a one-person dog, though that means guarding its family as well.

Origin and history

The Bouvier was derived from a number of working Belgian breeds. It was developed with an eye towards producing a good all­purpose dog, suitable for the rough shoot, for herding, and for work as a draught dog. It was not until 1912 that a meeting was held to discuss a possible standard for the Bouvier. No agreement was reached, and devotees had to wait until after World War I for a standard to be drawn up by the Club National Beige du Bouvier des Flandres and for efforts to be made to improve future stock of the breed.

Good points

  • Can be kept as a pet
  • Easily trained
  • Impressive guard
  • Loyal to owner’s family
  • Trustworthy

Take heed

  • Not suited for town or apartment living
  • One-person family dog

Size

Weight dog 77-88Ib (34.9-39.9kg); bitch 591/2-77lb (27-34.9kg). Height dog 241f2-27in (62-68.5cm); bitch 23-251f2in (58.5-65cm).

Exercise

Needs plenty of exercise. Not ideally suited to town life.

General appearance
Rather short-legged and cobby, the body set on well-muscled, strong legs, giving the impression of great strength without clumsiness

Colour
Usually fawn or grey, often brindled or shaded Black is also permissible, and no colour shall have preference. Light, washed-out shades are undesirable.

Head and skull
The head should appear big, the moustache and beard making it appear even more so in proportion to the body and height. When handled it should be found to be well chiselled. Well developed and flat, the skull should be slightly broader than it is long. The lines of the underside of the skull and the top should be parallel.

The proportion of the length of the skull to the muzzle should be 3:2. A very slight furrow in the forehead The stop not very deep, but appearing so, due to the heavy eyebrows. The muzzle broad, strong and bony, rectangular when seen from the front, gradually narrowing towards the nose, but never becoming pointed The circumference, measured just in front of the eyes, should be approximately eqLjal to the length of the head. Extending the foreface in a slightly convex line towards its tip, the nose should be very well developed, rounded at its edges and always black. Nostrils wide Cheeks flat and clean.

Tail
Docked to two or three vertebrae. It should continue the normal line of the vertebral column and be carried gaily when moving. Dogs born without a tail should not be faulted for this

Feet
Short, round and compact. Toes tight and well arched. Nails black, strong. Thick, hard pads.

Grooming

Regular brushing will keep the coat in good condition.

Feeding

Recommended would be 20-330z (587-936g) of a branded, meaty product with biscuit added, or 3-5 cupfuls of a dry food, complete diet, mixed in the proportion of 1 cup of feed to 1/2 cup of hot or cold water.