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Description of Bouvier Des Flandres

The Breed History

In the region of Flandres in Belgium, and perhaps in Northern France also, this dog was bred strictly as a working dog. Though not well documented, the old Beauceron and Griffons may have contributed to breed genesis. Though records of a dog of this type date back to the 1600s, the first breed standard was drawn up in 1912. Their numbers were decimated during WW1, but the breed was carefully regenerated from a sire, Ch. Nic de Sottegem. The first recognition of the breed by the AKC occurred in 1929.

Breeding for Function

Driving cattle and pulling carts on the farm were their original purposes and now they serve as companion dogs and watchdog (or guard dogs). They require a working award as a defense or police/ army working dog before being awarded championship status in their native Belgium, which attests to the continued emphasis of the breed as a working dog. They have also proved well suited to tracking, as war messenger dogs, and as guide dogs for the blind.

Physical Characteristics

Height at Withers: female 23.5-26.5" (59.5-67 cm), male 24.5-27.5" (62-70 cm).

Weight: 60-88 lb (27-40 kg).

Coat: The rugged double coat consists of very harsh hard matte wavy hairs of about 2.5" (6 cm) length, standing out. The undercoat is dense, soft and wooly. Colors include salt and pepper, black, brindle, and gray. Only a small white marking on the chest is accepted (star). Grooming needs are moderate, shedding is average.

Longevity: 10-11 years.

Points of Conformation: The large, square and powerful dog is noted for the shaggy unkempt appearance and large head held in high head carriage. The gait is smooth, agile, and ground covering, The expression is intense, and eyes are colored dark brown and are oval. Palpebral margins are dark and bushy brows are prominent. The nose is large and black. Ears are high set and triangular, rounded at the tips and are sometimes cropped. Large moustache and beard sit at the end of a long slightly tapered muzzle. The skull is flat and wide, and the stop is slight. Neck is muscular and arched, and topline is level, thorax is deep and ribs are well sprung. Though substantial in the middle, there is a slightly tucked up abdomen. The high set tail is usually docked to leave only 2-3 vertebrae. Limbs are straight and fairly heavily boned and well muscled, they have short metacarpals and metatarsals. Feet are compact and the toes are well knuckled up, nails are black and the pads are thick. Dewclaws may be taken off.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

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