The Bouvier des Flandres, also referred to as Flanders Cattle Dog, is a well-liked breed of large, powerful dog that originated in Belgium. It belongs to the Herding breed family which is remarkable for their incomparable ability to control the movement of other animals. Flanders Cattle Dogs have been bred to become farm companions and cattle-herding dogs. Their weather-resistant, shaggy double coat is rough and harsh in the outside, and fine but dense underneath. Its colors usually come in fawn, black, blonde, gray, salt and pepper, or brindle, sometimes coupled with a tiny white star on the pet’s chest.
Height and Weight
The male members of the Flanders Cattle Dogs normally stand a height of 23 to 28 in at the withers, and weigh 75 to 110 lbs. Bitches, on the other hand, typically have a height of 22 to 27 in, and a weight of 60 to 80 lbs.
Despite their relatively intimidating look, Bouviers, in general, are gentle, pleasant, and obedient pets. With sufficient amount of physical exertion, the breed is also calm. They are known to be even-tempered, responsible, enthusiastic, and fearless. In fact, they make excellent watch and guard dogs that are very easy to train. The breed basically needs an experienced owner who can keep them from becoming dominant and over-protective. To prevent them from turning out to be too shy and suspicious with strangers, early socialization must be done. Bouviers are excellent family dogs. They bond well with children, and are highly adaptable. The breed’s loyalty is eminent.
Bouvier des Flandres are quite demanding when it comes to grooming department. Their shaggy double coat needs to be combed twice a week. It also has to be trimmed and clipped on a quarterly basis. Bathe and dry shampoo the pet only when very necessary. Bouviers tend to shed very little hair, especially when groomed properly.
Only a few members of the Bouvier breed happens to live very long. They are prone to quite a number of health complications such as cancer, chronic heart disease, eye defects, elbow disorder, and hip dysplasia. They are also commonly plagued with gastric torsion or bloat. Nevertheless, with proper attention, diet, and exercise, the breed can live for as long as 10 to 12 years.
Because of the breed’s thick double coat, they are not suitable for areas with hot climates. It is highly necessary that the Bouvier pets are kept in a chilly environment; preferably exposed alternately to the indoors and the outdoors. The breed does best in suburban dwellings with large yard space. Bouvier could be tolerant with apartment life provided that they get to receive ample socialization and exercise. Physical exertions such as long walks, hikes, jogs, or a lot of vigorous play sessions carried out on a daily basis are highly recommended for them.