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Bouvier des Flandres

 

The name, Bouvier des Flandres translates from the French as "cow herder" or "ox Herder" of Flandres; an area that once covered parts of the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The Flemish people, credited with the development of the Bouvier, did so out of practicality. They required ONE dog that could herd, act as a stock dog or drover, a guard dog, watch dog, to churn butter, pull a cart, kill vermin and be the family companion; thus the size, stregth and versatility of the breed was established.

Two world wars took their toll on the Bouvier and a few dedicated breeders managed to save the breed. During World War I, this brave and loyal soldier pulled the wounded and carried messages, through the gunfire and shelling. The helicopter took over transportation of the wounded during World War II and the Bouvier's keen scenting ability was put to use sniffing out land mines and ammunition dumps. The U.S. military had a greater number of Bouviers serving as sentries than any other breed.

The Bouvier des Flandres was introduced to North America in the 1920's and now is found extensively throughout the world. Adapting to many more chores in the service of man, guide dogs for the visually impaired, search and rescue, theraoy dogs, police dogs and medical aides. The task the Bouvier has not accomplished is the one he has not been asked to attempt.

The Bouvier has a high prey drive and well developed character. Because of his strength, mass, gruff appearance, intelligence, fidelity to his master and attachment to all that belongs to the family, with whim he lives. The Bouvier is an extra ordinary guardian and protector of children and family, he is at the same time, their friend and playmate. Therefore, he must be taught at an early age what is expected of him and who is the leade of the "pack".

They are also a herding animal and the natural instinct of herding will usually come through. That means that most Bouviers will herd other animals or small children. Bouviers usually will use a "body block" in which they use their body to move what they want. They have also been know to "nip" at heels to help others move along.

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