The Bouvier Des Flandres is a Flemish breed that was meant to perform farm-work. However, it is interesting to note that the breed has managed to make a smooth transition to a wider range of roles in modern times, which is perhaps unsurprising considering their calm temperament as well as their surprising intelligence. Due to this, the Bouvier Des Flandres is a breed that interested individuals should consider when choosing a dog for a wide range of reasons. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Bouvier Des Flandres:
1. Most of Its Names Include “Cow”
Naturally, the Bouvier Des Flandres has different names in different languages. However, most of these names include “cow” in them, which says a lot about the primary purpose of the breed. For example, Bouvier Des Flandres means the “Cow Herder of Flanders” in French. Meanwhile, the Toucheur De Boeuf translates to something along the lines of “Cattle Driver” while the Vlaamse Koehond translates to something along the lines of “Flemish Cow Dog.”
2. Believed to Have Been Bred By a Monastery
The Bouvier Des Flandres is believed to have come into existence because of the breeding efforts of the Ter Duinen Monastery, which is one of the earliest breeders known to have existed in Flanders. Supposedly, the breed came from a combination of local farm dogs with some foreign imports such as the Irish Wolfhound.
3. Strong and Tough
Being both strong and tough, the Bouvier Des Flandres could perform a wide range of farm-work. For example, it is capable of pulling loaded carts. Likewise, its coat is superb for keeping it in sound health in spite of the bad weather conditions that can sometimes show up in the region.
4. Ear Cropping and Tail Docking Were Historical Practices
Both ear cropping and tail docking were historical practices when it came to the Bouvier Des Flandres. Nowadays, both practices are often regarded as being cruel when performed for cosmetic reasons. However, it has been suggested that there were practical reasons for the two practices in pre-modern times, with one example being the prevention of accidental amputations at the workplace.
5. Came Close to Extinction in the 20th Century
Like a number of breeds, the Bouvier Des Flandres came close to extinction in the 20th century because of the World Wars. In short, the breed suffered horrendous casualties in the First World War because of their military use, saw a short resurgence in the inter-war period, and then took another serious setback because of the Second World War.
6. Descended From a Trench Dog
The modern Bouvier Des Flandres is descended from a dog named Nic, who served as a trench dog in the First World War before going on to win numerous prizes in numerous competitions. For those who are curious, dogs did everything from serving as sentries to finding casualties in said conflict.
There are some people who can find the Bouvier Des Flandres rather intimidating. However, said individuals should know that the breed is famous for its good nature. In short, the Bouvier Des Flandres tends to be not just calm and gentle but also smart, fearless protectors of those that they see as family members.
8. Can Get Bored
With that said, there is a rather amusing drawback to the Bouvier Des Flandres’s intelligence. Simply put, they are good at learning new things. However, they get bored by repetition, meaning that their owners might want to avoid that when training them.
9. Can Be Aggressive Towards Other Dogs
By nature, the Bouvier Des Flandres is less than enthusiastic when it comes to strangers, whether canine or otherwise. However, if a member of the breed is poorly socialized, that can cause it to become aggressive towards other dogs because of over-fearfulness and other behavioral issues. Luckily, this is a simple problem that can be solved by the simple solution of socialization from a young age.
10. Surprisingly Good Choice for Apartments
For a dog meant to do farm-work, the Bouvier Des Flandres can make a surprisingly good choice for apartment dwellers. After all, it is a calm dog that is both smart and obedient. On top of that, while it needs regular exercise, its needs in that regard aren’t particularly excessive by the standards of some of the more energetic breeds that can be found out there.