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Bouvier des Flandres

Tags: herding, Large-sized, Adaptable to apartment life, Kid-friendly, Protective guardian, Requires firm, dedicated training

That elegant-sounding Bouvier means "bovine herder" so you know what we were bred to do in Belgium, where the rest of each of our names designates the farming regions where we worked. (The Bouvier des Ardennes will tell you the same story.) Besides herding cattle and sheep, we hauled farm carts in a pinch. In times of war, we were reliable ambulance dogs, too. The Bouvier des Flandres was recognized by the AKC in 1931 and placed in the Herding Group.

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life -- with ample exercise
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Aloof and proud
  • Always alert
  • Born to run, happy to walk
  • Classy canine
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Courageous canine
  • Even-tempered, good-natured

Report card

  • Strong-willed
  • Dominant over other dogs
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Lives to work
  • Loves kids and vice-versa
  • Perfect protector
  • Playful pal
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to the country, tolerates town
  • Steadfast and strong
  • Stubborn streak
  • Training must be firm, patient, consistent

What to expect

Besides plenty of daily exercise in the fresh air, I have one more request (and a dirty little secret): They used to call my breed Vuilbaard, which means, "dirty beard," and I've never quite gotten over that. Please, please, please give me a good weekly brushing to clear out the dead hair and prevent matting. Then I'll give you a big, sloppy kiss in return.

Watch for

Rare reports of hypothyroidism, lymphosarcoma, and reproductive disorders -- but otherwise a generally healthy breed.

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