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Bouvier Profile

Other Names: Bouvier, Belgian Cattle Dog

Country of origin: Belgium

Dog Group Kennel Club:  Working

General appearance:

The Bouvier has a compact body with strong muscular limbs and gives the impression of great power. It has a thick coat of medium length with a dense undercoat, with a distinctive beard and mustache. The ears are set on high, very flexible and triangular in shape.


Colours come ranging from fawn to black with bridle included in the range.  Light colours,
chocolate brown or a coat with white predominating are not desirable.


Dog              62cm - 68cm

Bitch            59cm - 65cm 


                            Min                   Max
Bitch            27kg (60lbs)     35kg (77lbs)

Dog              35kg (77lbs)     40kg (88lbs)


The Bouvier has a sensible temperament but is lively, intelligent and energetic. Quiet and calm breed, the Bouvier Des Flandres is intelligent, fearless, good natured, and responsible. Given the right home, training, and love, this breed would be great for family life. If socialised early on, they will accept other dogs and household pets. This breed is reserved when greeting visitors but will never be agressive. They are best described as enthusiastic, even-tempered, playful, gentle, and pleasant, this breed can make an excellent household companion.


Bouviers have a free and easy gait which is powerful.

Care and Training:

If properly groomed, this breed will shed little hair. Having a long and shaggy coat, they require much maintenance in the grooming field and need to be trimmed several times a year to prevent their shaggy coat from matting.

Consistent training is a must for this large and sometimes stubborn breed. Requires firm training. They are quick learning and can be trained quite easily.Then can be very good if trained as a guard dog.

Overall Exercise:  40 - 60 minutes per day. As puppies, Bouviers will get enough exercise running about their own gardens. Once adults, they are very adaptable to family circumstances, but should be given at least 1 or 2 miles walking per day.

Feeding Requirements:

Feeding will cost in the region of £4 to £5 per week.

Exercise: Medium

Grooming: Medium

Noise: Low

Personal Protection: Medium

Suitability As Guard Dog: High

Level of Aggression: Medium

Compatibility With Other Animals: Medium

Suitablity for Children: High

Often docked? yes

Average Litter size: 8

Life expectancy (yrs): 11

History:  Bouviers date back to the sixteenth century, originating from the Flanders border of Belgium and France where they were used to pull cards and drive cattle. They were also used for sheepherding, hunting, and to be fierce guard dogs. Bouviers were developed specifically to do all kinds of things, and were known to be an all-arounder. The name Bouvier means "driver of oxen" or "bovine herder". Bouviers are often called Cow Dogs, or Dirty Beards. During World War I, Bouviers almost became extinct due to the ravages on the country. Sadly, several sub-species of Bouviers did not survive the War. The Bouvier served as a draft dog, ambulance and messenger dog. Thanks to a Belgian Army veteran named Captain Darby, the Flandres survived another year and lived on. Fortunately his dog happened to be a well proportioned and award winning champion named Nic de Sittengem and was bred to keep the line of dogs alive. Most modern pedigrees of this day trace back to this specific dog. More recently, Bouviers have  continued their jobs as military and defense dogs. The breed standard for Bouviers was developed in 1912.


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