The Bouvier des Flandres is good-natured, obedient, and calm. Because of their intimidating appearance and courageous, responsible personality, this breed is an excellent watchdog and guard dog. They are easy to train and approach their work with great enthusiasm. They learn best from an owner that is consistent, balanced, and firm. Proper training and socialization with this breed will avoid the onset of dominance issues. The Bouvier des Flandres is terrific with children and makes a wonderful family pet. They are quiet and adaptable, and they are usually good with other dogs. This breed shouldn’t be left unattended with small, non-canine pets. This breed will not fully mature until the age of two or three years. They can be suspicious of strangers and protective of their owner(s) and family.
The Bouvier des Flandres is a hardy breed with few major health issues or concerns. They rarely become ill. Because of their large size, the Bouvier des Flandres is prone to hip dysplasia. Eye problems like cataracts may also be present in some lines. This breed has a high pain tolerance and can withstand forceful physical contact. Because of this quality, it can be difficult to determine when this breed is actually sick or needs medical attention. The Bouvier des Flandres typically lives for 10 to 12 years. They average 8 puppies per litter.
The Bouvier des Flandres is a Franco-Belgian breed with a disputable origin. Some believe the breed was created through a cross of the Griffon and the Beauceron. Originally used as a cattle and herding dog, this breed was also extensively utilized during the first World War as a rescue dog and message carrier. Because of this dangerous exposure, the Bouvier des Flandres almost became extinct. After the war, the breed was rescued and reconstructed, and a breed club was established in Belgium. This breed has a number of natural talents including carting, agility, obedience, schutzhund, police working, and military working. They have also been employed as guide dogs.
The shaggy, coarse coat of the Bouvier des Flandres requires a great deal of upkeep. It should be brushed regularly and dry shampooed only as necessary, and it should be trimmed at least three times per year. Excess hair should be removed around and inside of the ears, and trimmed between the pads of the feet. When the Bouvier des Flandres is properly groomed, he sheds minimally. It is a good choice for those that suffer from allergies.
The Bouvier des Flandres is content to live in a small household or apartment if he is sufficiently exercised. They enjoy going for long walks. While this breed is in the growing stages, exercise should be limited so that muscles, bones, and joints develop properly. They are relatively inactive indoors and are happiest with at least a large-sized yard.
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