Bouvier, Belgian Cattle Dog
This breed belongs to the working group. They are used as companions, as guard dogs and see in the show-ring.
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding will cost in the region of £4 to £5 per week.
A puppy will cost around £500. Once bought, apart from 2 visits to a professional groomer per year, there should be little expenditure.
9 - 15 years
Bouviers can be expected to live 11 or 12 years.
Average Litter Size
The average size of a litter is 7 or 8 puppies.
General Physical Description
Weight Height Range
Bitches measure between 59 to 65cms at the withers and weigh between 27 to 35kgs. Dogs measure between 62 to 68cms and weigh between 35 to 40kgs.
Due to the extinction of this breed after World War 11, close breeding has caused reproductive complications i.e. endometritis and ovarian cysts. Bouviers are, however, relatively hardy dogs, nearly free of Hip Dysplasia and other common conditions. Hypothyroidism and lymphosarcoma have been reported, albeit in small numbers.
Susceptibility To Illness
The exact origins of this breed are unknown but from the 1600's all dogs working with cattle were called 'bouviers' (bovine herder) and each region throughout the area had its own name and type. These dogs were prized as drovers and guardians. During World War 1 the Bouviers were almost decimated and many of the rarer types were lost altogether. The only two to survive were the Bouvier des Flandres and the Bouvier de Ardennes. Both France and Belgium claim origin of the Flandres dog. A Belgian army veterinarian, Captain Darby, can be credited with ensuring the continuity of the breed throughout the war years. His outstanding champion, named Champion Nic de Sittengen, won many competitions and proved himself to be of value as a sire. Most of the modern pedigrees trace back to him.
This is an intelligent breed which understands rapidly the task in hand and performs it with devotion. However, they can be stubborn dogs and the owner must be in control to ensure discipline is maintained.<
The head size, whilst big, is accentuated by the beard and moustache. They should have strong jaws with a regular scissor bite. The eyes should be alert in expression, slightly oval, and as dark as possible in relation to coat. The ears are set on high, very flexible and triangular in shape. The neck should be well muscled and strong, adjoining relatively long, muscled shoulders. The body should be short, strong, compact and deep. The front legs should be straight and very strong; the back legs, firm and well muscled with large, powerful thighs. The feet should be short, round and compact with well-arched toes and thick, hard pads. If the tail is docked it should be to 2 to 3 vertebrae and carried gaily when in movement.If undocked, it should continue the normal line of the vertebral column, agin carried gaily when moving and in overall balance with the rest of the dog. This breed though can also be born tailess. The preferred colours for the show ring range from fawn to black and include brindle, salt and pepper and grey. A white star on the chest is permissible but any other predominating white or chocolate brown is highly undesirable.
Country Of Origin
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.
Distress if Left Alone
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children
General Character And Temperament
Despite their forbidding appearances, Bouviers have stable temperaments and amiable dispositions making them ideal family pets. They can and will protect their families and homes. They are quiet, calm and sensible in the house and are obedient and affectionate with their masters. They are somewhat reserved with strangers but never aggressive. If socialised early on, they will accept other dogs and household pets.
> Once a week
Requires Professional Groomer
This breed has an abundant, coarse outer coat that should be kept at about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. The undercoat is close and dense. Bouviers should be groomed at least three times a week with particular attention being paid to their beards and moustaches to ensure they are kept free of food particles. It is important to ensure the undercoat is kept matt-free for the comfort of the dog. The outer coat should be stripped at least twice a year during their moulting seasons.
Bouviers come in black, fawn, brindle, salt and pepper and grey. Some may have white on the chest.
Suffers From Allergies