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Bouvier Des Flandres

Strong and versatile, originally a cattle herder

The word Bouvier means cattle herder and this was the traditional role of the breed. Many regions of Belgium and France had their own types of Bouvier, but most have become extinct, wiped out in the battles of the First World War. A Belgian army vet, Captain Barbry helped the breed to survive after rescuing a Bouvier in the War, and later started a careful breeding programme with this dog. Originally the Bouvier des Flandres was used as a herding dog, as a draught dog and as a churning dog. The modernisation of farm equipment has affected these first tasks and nowadays the Bouvier des Flandres is above all used as a guard dog for the estate and the farm, as a defence and police dog. Its physical and behavioural aptitudes, its great qualities of scent, initiative and intelligence warrant its use as a tracking dog, a messenger dog and a gamekeeper’s dog. The Bouvier des Flandres is a strong dog with a dense matt coat.

The Bouvier was bred to do everything that needs doing in a barnyard and pasture except milk the cows, so they are happiest when they stay busy. They are happiest when they have a job to do, whether that job is babysitting, herding, obedience, or guard dog or rescue work. A bored Bouvier des Flandres can be a very destructive one. They are an excellent fit for an active household with an owner who hikes or jogs or even bikes. The Bouvier needs a large, enclosed exercise area where they can romp and play, preferably with other dogs or kids who will keep them in good condition both mentally and physically. Bouviers des Flandres are easily trained to do almost any type of dog sport or activity, and they usually excel at it. They have a strong prey drive so should be well socialised from the start. They are consummate showmen and enjoy working or competing in doggie sports with their owner at their side. Extremely eager to please, once they know what you want them to do, they will do their best to satisfy you. Quiet, calm and sensible in the house, they are affectionate with their family and will accept other dogs and household pets if properly socialised and introduced when young.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKWorking
Bred ForFarming, Tracking, Guarding, Defence
Rare BreedNo
Country of OriginBelgium
TemperamentIntelligent, Calm, Fearless
Exercise NeededUp to 1 hour a day
Size of Home NeededLarge
Height at Withers – Females59 – 65 cm / 23 – 25½ in
Height at Withers – Males62 – 68 cm / 24½ – 27 in
CoatMedium, Coarse, Dense
ColourVarious – see photos
Life Expectancy10 – 12 years
  • This breed has also been known by various names, which include Vuilbaard (Dirty Beard), Koe Hund (Cow Dog), and Toucheur de Boeuf (Cattle Drover).
  • Protective of their families and homes, they are somewhat reserved with strangers but never aggressive.
  • The Bouvier des Flandres is slow to mature physically and mentally, and not considered fully grown until the age of 2 or 3.
  • Their beard gets very soggy when they eat and drink so daily cleaning of the face is needed.
  • Some members of this breed have been known to be aggressive with other dogs and animals.


Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about the Bouvier des Flandres.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about Bouvier des Flandres, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Bouvier des Flandres breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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