Bouvier des Flandres
A large black shaggy dog pants as they lie on a park bench.

Bouvier des Flandres

19 October 2023

Considering bringing home a new family member? The gorgeous Bouvier des Flandres can be a great choice!

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Let’s talk about… Bouvier des Flandres: what are they?

  • The Bouvier des Flandres is a strong and powerful dog breed that originated in Belgium, specifically in the region of Flanders.
  • They were initially bred for various tasks, including herding cattle, pulling carts, and guarding property.
  • Bouviers des Flandres have a unique facial "moustache," which adds to their charming and distinguished appearance.
  • They can grow up to 68 cm in height for males and 62 cm for females.
  • In terms of weight, males can weigh between 35 and 40 kg, while females typically weigh between 27 and 35 kg.
  • The average life expectancy of a Bouvier des Flandres is around 10 to 12 years.
Bouviers des Flandres  Exercise needs 4/5; Grooming ease 3/5; Trainability 3/5

What is the temperament of Bouviers des Flandres like?

  • Bouviers des Flandres are known for their calm and steady temperament.
  • They are incredibly loyal and protective of their families, making them excellent watchdogs.
  • While they can be reserved with strangers, they are usually friendly and affectionate once they establish trust.
  • Due to their herding instincts, Bouviers des Flandres may try to herd small children or other animals.
  • Early socialisation is essential to help them become comfortable and well-mannered around different people and animals.
  • With the right training they can make good family pets and can thrive in active households.

Bonnie, the Bouviers des Flandres

How much exercise do Bouviers des Flandres need?

  • Bouviers des Flandres are an active breed that requires a significant amount of exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
  • They need at least 1.5 to 2 hours of exercise per day to stay happy and healthy. This exercise should include activities like long walks, jogging, or playing interactive games such as fetch.
  • Puppies have different exercise needs compared to adult dogs. It's important to avoid overexerting their growing bodies.
  • For Bouvier des Flandres puppies, short and controlled play sessions of about 15-20 minutes, a few times a day, are sufficient.
  • As they mature, you can gradually increase the duration and intensity of their exercise. It's generally safe for them to have adult-level exercise at around 12 to 18 months of age.
  • Your vet can advise on the exercise needs of your Bouvier des Flandres.
Dipa, the Bouviers des Flandres

Do Bouviers des Flandres need a lot of grooming?

  • Yes, Bouviers des Flandres require regular grooming to keep their coats in good condition.
  • Their double-layered coats consist of a rough and wiry outer coat and a dense, soft undercoat.
  • This breed is considered to have low shedding, but their coats can become tangled and matted if not properly maintained. To keep their coats healthy, it is recommended to brush them at least two to three times a week.
  • During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing may be necessary.
  • Additionally, regular trimming of their hair around the ears, paws, and sanitary areas is essential. Professional grooming, including trimming and shaping, is recommended every six to eight weeks. Your professional groomer can advise.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Hugo, the Bouviers des Flandres

Are Bouviers des Flandres easy to train?

  • Bouviers des Flandres are intelligent and eager to please, making them generally easy to train.
  • However, they do have a strong independent streak, so consistency is important during training sessions.
  • It's essential to use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and rewards.
  • Starting training from a young age is crucial to shape their behaviour and teach them basic obedience commands.
  • Socialisation is equally important to ensure they grow up to be well-rounded and confident dogs.
  • Enrolling young dogs in puppy socialisation classes and basic obedience training can be beneficial for both you and your Bouvier des Flandres.
Lucy, the Bouviers des Flandres

What do Bouviers des Flandres eat?

  • A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for the overall health and well-being of Bouviers des Flandres.
  • As puppies, they should be fed a high-quality, large-breed puppy food to support their growth and development 3-4 times a day until they are 6 months old when it can be reduced to twice daily.
  • The gradual transition to adult dog food typically occurs around 12 to 18 months of age, depending on their individual needs and the recommendations of your vet.
  • It's important to monitor their food intake to prevent overeating and obesity, as Bouviers des Flandres can have a tendency to gain weight.
  • Treats can be given occasionally but should not exceed 10% of their daily caloric intake.

Are Bouviers des Flandres healthy?

Overall, Bouviers des Flandres are a relatively healthy breed. However, like any dog breed, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the health concerns associated with Bouviers des Flandres include:

Bones and Joints

  • Elbow Dysplasia - this condition is where there is an issue with how the bones fit together at the elbow joint
  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis


  • Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye
  • Glaucoma - the pressure of the eye becomes too high which can damage the eye


  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately!


  • Aortic Stenosis - a narrowing of the aortic valve of the heart


  • Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any concerns about the health of your Bouvier des Flandres or if you want to discuss whether this breed is right for you, consult with your vet.

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BorrowMyDoggy has 65 Bouvier des Flandres members

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, contact your local vet.

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