Have you heard of the Bouvier des Flandres?
You may be familiar with this majestic breed or not. Originating from Belgium in the late 19th century, these impressive canines were bred for herding cattle and guarding farms.
But their journey through time is fascinating — they were even used as rescue and message dogs during World War I.
Sadly, many perished in battle, and their numbers plummeted almost to extinction due to the destruction caused by the war.
A Belgian army veterinarian stepped in, breeding remnant survivors to preserve the breed so we can appreciate it today.
Bouvier des Flandres dog breed information
The Bouvier des Flandres is a stunning large breed dog with a regal look.
Defined by a shaggy outer coat with an underlying layer of fur, these canines have coats that offer protection from many climates.
Topping off their appearance are shaggy eyebrows, furry mustaches, natural or cropped ears, docked tails, and coats that come in various colors such as black, gray, fawn, or brindle with white markings on the chest. Their facial hair often resembles dirty beards.
The dogs need regular brushing to keep their double coats clean and healthy. As they age, their coats may even adopt a salt-and-pepper pattern.
With lifespans between 10 to 12 years and roles in law enforcement and as guard dogs.
Highly affectionate with humans
If you’re searching for a wonderful family pet, the Bouvier des Flandres makes an ideal choice.
Boasting a spirited yet loyal character, it loves spending quality time with its owners and should always have lots of attention and care to keep the dogs content.
Unfortunately, if left alone for too long, the Bouvier des Flandres may display undesirable behaviors such as barking, chasing, or destroying possessions.
However, when given the necessary attention they need from their loved ones, these dogs will bring joy to the entire family.
Common Bouvier des Flandres health issues
This breed is susceptible to Bouvier des Flandres myopathy, a genetic disorder that weakens muscles and decreases mobility.
Additionally, their vision can be impaired due to cataracts, an eye condition that clouds the lens and requires surgery if not addressed.
Ectopic ureters, a congenital abnormality, may be experienced when the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder do not develop as they should.
This results in an obstruction of urine flow, causing painful urination and other issues. Surgery is usually required to restore comfort.
Hip and elbow dysplasia, hereditary medical problems, can be found in Bouviers des Flandres, with abnormal joint formation often leading to pain and lameness. Surgery can alleviate this condition.
Additionally, bloat (or gastric dilatation-volvulus) seen in Bouvier Des Flandres may be life-threatening due to its ability to push against other organs, such as the heart.
If owners notice heavy drooling or panting, restlessness, and difficulty with eating or drinking liquids, seek immediate medical attention.
The Bouvier des Flandres’s coat should be brushed at least once weekly to ensure it remains healthy, soft, and tangle-free.
More frequent brushing will be necessary during shedding season to help keep matting from occurring.
The Bouvier des Flandres’s beard can also become matted and tangled with food morsels, so it should be cleaned whenever necessary.
Toenails should also be clipped weekly or as needed, depending on activities like running or long walks.
Bouvier des Flandres training
These working dogs display outstanding trainability and learn commands readily.
Not only are they suited for herding, guard work, or even babysitting, but the Bouvier des Flandres also excels in obedience training and dog sports.
This breed is renowned for its boisterousness; however, with sufficient patience and consistency, these canines can be taught a wide range of behavior and commands.
Furthermore, their high prey drive requires early and appropriate socialization to help them accept unfamiliar people or animals.