Historically, the Bouvier des Flandres was a cattle driver in southwestern Flanders and on the plains of Northern France. In fact, the breed’s French name translates to “cow herder of Flanders.”
The “breeders” of these dogs were farmers and cattle ranchers who had no interest in pedigree; therefore there was no standard for the Bouvier regarding size, weight or color. It was not until 1912 that a standard was developed, and the Bouvier flourished until World War I, when it all but died out. Thankfully, the breed was brought back from the brink and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1929.
The Bouvier is a large, compact, powerful dog, and he sports both a mustache and beard, giving his rough coat a distinguished appearance. This breed is fearless and makes a good guard for his family, alerting them to the approach of strangers. Their independent streaks require a strong leader, so this breed may not be the best choice for an inexperienced dog owner.
Historically, Bouviers are used to working all day, so they require plenty of daily exercise. Grooming is easy, though – their rough coats require little more than a weekly brushing.
Although loyal companions, Bouviers are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health and your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Bouvier des Flandres are prone to include eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma; breathing problems such as laryngeal paralysis; joint problems such as hip dysplasia; and digestive issues such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV or bloat) and megaesophagus.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Bouvier has the misfortune of inheriting more than a hairy face, you’re protected.