Bouvier des Flandres

Breed Summary

The Bouvier des Flandres is a large, strong, impressive, and powerfully built compact dog. They have 2 thick, rough coats that give them a rugged appearance and protect them from harsh environments. They show the impression of impressive strength, with no sign of heaviness or clumsiness in his overall makeup. Bouvier des Flandres are agile and bold, yet his well-behaved disposition denotes his steady and fearless character. His gaze is alert and brilliant, depicting his intelligence, vigor, and daring. By nature, he is an equable dog.

Country of Origin: Belgium

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 84 of 196

AKC Classification: Herding

UKC Classification: Herding Dog

Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 23.5-26.5 in.; Male: 24.5-27.5 in.

Weight: Female: 60-90 lbs.; Male: 60-90 lbs.

Physical traits: Powerful, Compact, Large

Coat: Length: Medium

Characteristics: Double coat, hard coat

Colors: Fawn, black, gray, brindle

Overall Grooming Needs: High

Personality traits/Temperament: Affectionate, Courageous, Strong-Willed

Energy Level: High

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: Low

Tendency to Dig: Low

Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years


Bouvier des Flandres are healthy dogs. Their life expectancy is 10 to 12 years. Like all large and deep-chested breeds, the Bouvier can experience gastric dilatation and bloat. Owners should learn how to identify this potentially life-threatening condition and learn what emergency steps to take to address it. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a

high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential. Responsible breeders need to screen their breeding stock for certain health conditions like Bouvier des Flandres myopathy, cataracts, deafness, ectopic ureters, epilepsy, glaucoma, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, laryngeal paralysis, mega-esophagus, elbow dysplasia, portosystemic shunt, and subaortic stenosis.


The Bouvier dog depends on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared. Add a high-quality dog multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Provide a diet according to the different stages of a dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so monitor your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Don’t give human foods that are not safe for them. Consult with your veterinarian for further advice.


Bouvier’s are easy to train because of their impressive independent thinking. They are happiest when they have a job to do, whether that job is babysitting, herding, obedience, or guard dog or rescue work. Bouvier’s are easily trained to do almost any dog sport or activity, and they usually excel at it. They have a powerful prey drive so should be well socialized from the start. This breed is well suited for search and rescue work and adapts to the training easily.


The Bouvier was bred to do everything that needs doing in a barnyard and pasture except milk the cows. They are happiest when they stay busy. Boredom can make them destructive. They like to go with an owner who hikes or jogs or even bikes. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet. The Bouvier needs a large, enclosed exercise area where he can romp and play, preferably with other dogs or kids who will keep him in excellent condition both mentally and physically. Bouvier des Flandres can compete in dog agility trials, carting, obedience, dog showmanship, Schutzhund, tracking, and herding events.

Fun Fact

During World War one, the bouvier was used for carrying messages and rescuing soldiers.


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