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Bouvier Des Flandres

A Serious and Serene Dog For A Serious and Serene Owner

Bouvier Des Flandres

A Serious and Serene Dog For A Serious and Serene Owner

The Bouvier des Flandres makes an ideal pet and companion for those who prefer a calm, serene dog that's not overly active or high-strung. Confident and cool, this breed makes an excellent watchdog and is well suited to cooler climates. Families with or without children make good homes for the breed, although you may want to think twice if you have smaller pets that tend to run and chase, as the Bouvier des Flandres is historically a herding dog. While the breed is loving and loyal, most are not overly demonstrative.

History

A breed originating in northern France and the Flemish region of Belgium, the Bouvier des Flandres was bred primarily to protect and herd livestock and other inhabitants on farmland. Many believe that the breed developed through cross-breeding of local farm dogs with Schnauzers, Irish Wolfhounds, Tibetan Mastiffs and Beaucerons or Griffons.

During the First World War, the Bouvier des Flandres worked as messengers, and the breed became nearly extinct. However, a handful of breeders retained their dogs to assist ambulances and work as pack dogs during the war. The breed's popularity grew when a group of breeders gathered to produce a "Standard of Perfection," a more refined breed which became the first of the Bouvier des Flandres to be recognized by the Societe Royale Saint-Hubert. It was around 1912 when local kennel clubs began recognizing standards for the breed.

Appearance

A powerfully-built dog with a rugged appearance, the Bouvier des Flandres is a medium-size dog as an adult, typically weighing between 70 and 100 pounds, with females standing about 24-26 inches tall, males approximately 25-27 inches tall.

This rough-coated breed may be grey brindle, black, fawn, or salt and pepper in color, and offers the impression of a large, strong dog without appearing heavy or clumsy. The Bouvier des Flandres' double coat is water-resistant, and coarse to the touch. Shaggy eyebrows and thick beards give the breed its unique appearance. Squarely built with large heads and dark, oval eyes, the ears are set high on the head. The long, tousled topcoat gives this breed its shaggy, cute, and somewhat rumpled appearance.

Temperament

A sober, thoughtful dog, the Bouvier des Flandres is highly intelligent and presents an air of calm and confidence when challenged. Those who desire a pet that is playful or light-hearted would do best to choose another breed, as this one has a most serious and serene side. If you do choose the Bouvier des Flandres as a pet, you will find that he demonstrates his loyalty and love in subtle ways, and can be quite distant when his needs are met.

Exercise is important for every dog breed, but particularly for this one. While Bouviers can be impressively athletic, you may find your pet gets a bit lazy unless motivated to move, so daily walks and exercise are essential.

While this breed is not aggressive in terms of biting or attacking people or other animals, the Bouvier des Flandres will use his strong, large body to try to control people. Because of his history as a herding and tracking breed, he still has this urge to "herd" or control others. It's important that you socialize your puppy early on so that he or she understands the difference between friend and foe. Additionally, it may not be a good idea to place this breed in a home with cats, hamsters, or other animals that chase or run, unless you're certain that your dog can keep its predatory instincts in check.

Proper Environment The Bouvier des Flandres enjoys a suburban or rural environment that offers plenty of room to run, although apartment living is also acceptable as long as you take your pet out for exercise and socializing on a daily basis. Cooler climates are ideal for this breed. If you live in a hot climate, this may not be a suitable breed, as the thick double coat makes the Bouvier des Flandres nearly intolerant to heat, meaning your pet will need to live indoors in air-conditioned conditions, with the only exposure to the outdoors for exercise and excretory needs.

Health

Without health issues, most Bouvier des Flandres live on average 10 to 12 years. Highly resistant to pain, this breed silently suffers from certain health conditions which are common in larger dog breeds, such as hip dysplasia as they get older. Some of the health conditions found in the breed include primary glaucoma; cataracts; entropion (where the eyelid folds inward); thyroid problems; subaortic stenosis; muscle degeneration; and dysphagia of the esophagus and/or pharynx (causing difficulty in swallowing).

The Bouvier des Flandres has an especially high pain threshold, which means your dog could become injured or sick and show very few signs of pain or discomfort. Owners should be aware and watchful for any signs or symptoms of illness.

Grooming

Because of their coarse, thick double coat, the Bouvier des Flandres is a high-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Brushing about 3 times each week will help prevent tangling and matting, and keep shedding to a minimum. While brushing, keep an eye out for ticks, burrs or other debris that may have become tangled in the coat.

Bathe your pet about every six to eight weeks and give him a trim (or have it done by a professional) at this time. It's especially important that you clean areas such as the feet, anal area and beard, where they tend to get especially dirty. Clean your pet's teeth and ears on a weekly basis, and trim nails monthly.

References

Bouvier des Flandres - Appearance & Grooming.

http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Breed-Center/Herding-Group/Bouvier-des-Flandres/Appearance.aspx

Retrieved January 5, 2013.

Bouvier des Flandres Temperament What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em.

http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/reviews/bouvierdesflandres.html

Retrieved January 5, 2013.

Bouvier des Flandres Dog Breed Information.

http://www.dogs-and-dog-advice.com/bouvier-des-flandres.html

Retrieved January 5, 2013.

Bouvier des Flandres - History and Health.

http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Breed-Center/Herding-Group/Bouvier-des-Flandres/Overview.aspx

Retrieved January 5, 2013.

Bouvier des Flandres.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouvier_des_Flandres

Retrieved January 5, 2013.

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