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Bouvier Des Flanders

Country/Date of Origin: Belgium/1600s

One of Belgium's native breeds, the Bouvier (which means cowherd) was developed as a butchers' dog in Belgium. It pulled the butchers' cart and herded the cattle to and from the stockpens. This gentle drover was almost lost in the destruction of two world wars that swept across its homeland in the twentieth century. The first Bouviers were imported to the US in the 1930's and this kindly, loyal breed has never gotten the popularity it deserves.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Belgian Cattle Dog

AKC Group: Herding

Breed Club: American Bouvier des Flandres Club

Rescue Club: American Bouvier Rescue League

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Body Type:

  • A large, rough-coated droving dog that is square in appearance
  • Has a full beard and mustache as well as very long eyebrows
  • Height: 23-27 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 75-95 pounds
  • Ears are cropped to a triangular point in the US and are carried erect
  • Tail is docked to about 4 inches in length


  • Great with children. A natural guardian
  • Can be aggressive with other dogs
  • A "homebody" this guard dog will not roam from the property
  • Intelligent and docile
  • Wary of strangers


  • Tousled, with a crisp top coat and thick, protective undercoat that provides a waterproof covering
  • Length should be kept at about 2 inches overall
  • Colors may be fawn to black, including brindle, gray, and salt-and-pepper. A small white star on the chest is acceptable but any more white than that is heavily penalized as are chocolate or parti-colors
  • Unlike most breeds, the Bouvier does not have a shiny coat. The hair has a dull matte finish
  • Moderate grooming required

Health Concerns:

  • Subject to hip dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Laryngeal paralysis
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Intelligent and trainable, the Bouvier is often used as a guide dog for the blind or as a police dog
  • Relative scarcity of the breed may make it hard to find a puppy

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