Are you looking for a companion that could help you work on a farm? This dog makes an excellent choice for outdoor works, as well as simply spending time with the family – introducing the Bouvier des Flandres.
This dog is perfect for dog lovers who are looking for a work companion. The Bouvier is adorable because of its unique appearance. It is a large dog that has a lovely coat covering its head and body. Besides its fascinating looks, the Bouvier is also affectionate towards its family.
Smart and devoted are two factors that make the Bouvier shine among other breeds. That is why many people often use them as watchdogs because of their robust nature.
Origins of the Bouvier des Flanders
We can trace back the early accounts of the Bouvier to medieval times. Ever since, people have used them as herders, guards, and watchdogs, mainly in France. However, records show that the Bouvier also used to work as a cattle driver, which gave it the name ‘toucher de boeuf or pic.’
The Bouvier also had several other names during its early years, including ‘vuilbaard,’ which means dirty beard, as well as ‘koehand,’ which means cow dog. Furthermore, the name Bouvier des Flandres roughly means ‘cowherd of Flandres.’ All of these names given to the Bouvier shows that it is an excellent working dog.
Interestingly, the Bouvier sparked the interest of many dog lovers in different countries during the 20th century. Unlike before, people owned them as companions and house pets, instead of a herding dog. The common interest for the Bouvier led to the formation of a Belgian breed club, wherein French and Belgian experts made a written standard.
However, the exciting history of the Bouvier became horrible when World War I came. During this period, it is evident that several homes became a battlefield, wherein Bouviers were significantly affected by the war. The aftermath of World War I left many homes destroyed, as well as ended up taking the lives of several Bouviers and other dog breeds.
Moreover, the Belgian army saved the Bouviers from the brink of extinction. They were responsible for sustaining the breed and used them as war dogs. The Bouviers were resourceful dogs and made an outstanding contribution during the war. Interestingly, European police also used Bouviers as K-9s, as well as guide dogs for the blind.
World War II came, and it left a devastating impact on many countries. The Bouvier’s population extremely declined after the war, which made it close to extinction. Thankfully, the European expatriates preserved the breed in America.
Characteristics of the Bouvier des Flanders
Height: 23.5 – 27.5 inches
Weight: 70 – 110 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10 – 12 years
The Bouvier is a large dog that could stand up to 27.5 inches tall and weighing up to 110 pounds. It may not be evident on its beautiful coat, but the Bouvier is a powerful dog with a muscular body. You can quickly identify it through its appearance since fur covers its whole body and head – which also comes with a beard and mustache.
As mentioned earlier, Bouviers as highly efficient herd dogs. They are capable of performing various tasks on the farm with the help of its muscular body. However, the Bouvier is more than just a working dog since many dog lovers worldwide are passionate about owning them as house pets.
Bouviers are natural workers. They are comfortable in working in various tasks, which goes along well with their versatility. They are more of an all-around dog that uses its healthy body to get the job done. With proper training and patience, the Bouvier could be the perfect companion for your home or farm.
Caring for the Bouvier des Flandres
Like most dogs, the Bouvier works best in high-quality dog food. Homemade meals are also fine as long as your local veterinarian approves them. In contrast to other dogs, the Bouvier requires a low-protein diet. Also, make sure to manage the amount of food to feed them to avoid obesity – this also applies to most dogs. Controlling the calorie consumption of your dog could save them from other medical conditions.