(AKC Herding Group)
Weight: 90 to 110 pounds (male); 75 to 95 (female).
Availability: May take some effort to find.
herding dog, as a draught dog and as churning dog. The
modernisation of farm equipment has affected these first tasks and
nowadays the Bouvier des Flandres is above all used as a guard dog
for the estate and the farm, as a defence and police dog. Its physical
and behavioural aptitudes, its great qualities of scent, initiative and
intelligence warrant its use as a tracking dog, a messenger dog and a
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : As its name indicates, the
Bouvier des Flandres (Flanders Cattle Dog) is native to Flanders, to
both Belgian and French regions of that name, since they are not
divided by any natural frontiers. The cowmen and drovers of stock in
Flanders needing good dogs to drive their herds, only selected from
the local dogs available those specimens which possessed the
required physical and behavioural qualities. The present day Bouvier
des Flandres has inherited these qualities.
compact body, strong and well-muscled limbs. The Bouvier des
Flandres gives the impression of power, but without clumsiness.
The Bouvier des Flandres is to be judged in its natural stance,
without physical contact with the handler.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
â€¢ Length of body from point of shoulder to point of buttock
should be approximately equal to height at withers.
â€¢ Proportions of length of skull to length of muzzle are 3 to 2.
BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT : The Bouvier des Flandres
has the calm, thoughtful character of a sensible, but fearless dog. Its
lively look indicates intelligence, energy and audacity. It is essential
that the Bouvier des Flandres should retain its aptitude for work. Any
change which could harm this must be penalised.
by the beard and moustache. It is in proportion to the body and
stature. Its clean cut lines are obvious to the touch.
CRANIAL REGION: Well-developed and flat, slightly less broad
than long. Toplines of skull and muzzle are parallel. Frontal groove
Stop: Only slightly pronounced; more apparent than real, due to
FACIAL REGION :
Nose: Nose continues the muzzle in a line which is slightly convex
towards its end. It must be well-developed, rounded at the sides and
always black in colour. Wide-open nostrils.
Muzzle: Broad, powerful, well-boned, straight in its upper line,
narrowing towards the nose, but never becoming pointed. Its length
should be shorter than the skull by 2 : 3. Circumference measured
just below the eyes should be approximately equal to length of head.
Lips: Well-fitting and strongly pigmented.
Jaws/Teeth: Jaws must be powerful and of equal length. Teeth are
strong, healthy, white and evenly set. Scissor or pincer bite.
Dentition must be complete.
Cheeks: Flat and clean, zygomatic arches are not very protruding.
Eyes: Frank and energetic expression, neither protruding nor sunken.
They should be slightly oval in shape, set horizontally. Colour should
be as dark as possible in relation to coat. Light and wild-looking eyes
should be strongly penalised. Lids black, without the slightest
indication of unpigmented areas. Haw should never be visible.
Ears: Cropped in triangle, carried upright, set high, very mobile; a
crop proportioned to the head size is recommended.
Position: Set high, above eye level, flaps falling vertically. The fold
must not stand higher than the top of the skull.
Shape and carriage: Half-long, forming an equilateral triangle,
slightly rounded at tip, lying flat against cheeks, except the slight liftup
at top of ear set; neither folded nor curled, in proportion with head
size; covered with very short hair.
NECK: Should spring cleanly from the shoulders and is carried
sufficiently upright. Strong, well muscled, widening gradually
towards the shoulders. Length slightly shorter than length of head.
Nape powerful and slightly arched. No dewlap.
BODY: Powerful, close-coupled and short.
Topline: Upper line of back and loins horizontal, tight and firm.
Withers: Slightly raised.
Back: Short, broad, muscled and well-supported, with no sign of
weakness, yet remaining flexible.
Loins: Short, broad, well muscled; must be flexible, with no sign of
Croup: Must follow as closely as possible the horizontal line of the
back and blend imperceptibly into the curve of the buttocks. Broad
but not excessively so in males, more developed in bitches. A croup
which falls away or a goose rump is a serious fault.
Chest: Broad and well let down as far as level of elbows, but not
cylindrical. The first ribs are slightly arched, the others rounded and
well-sloped to the rear, giving the desired length of chest. Flat ribs to
be severely penalised. The distance from the point of the breast-bone
(manubrium) to the last rib must be considerable, about 7/10 of the
height at the withers.
Underline: The underside of the chest rises very slightly towards the
belly, which is only slightly tucked up. Flanks must be short,
especially in males.
TAIL : Set relatively high, the tail must continue the line of the
Some dogs are born tailless and must not be penalised for this.
The tail should be docked in the first week of birth leaving 2 or 3
In countries where docking is banned, the whole tail is admitted.
Overview: Front legs have strong bone and are well-muscled.
Perfectly straight and parallel seen from the front.
Shoulders: Relatively long, muscled, without being heavy,
moderately oblique. Shoulder blade and humerus are approximately
of the same length.
Upper arm: Moderately oblique.
Elbows: Close to body and parallel. Elbows turning in or out, in a
natural stance or on the move, are considered a fault.
Forearm: Whether seen in profile or from the front, they must be
perfectly straight, parallel to each other and perpendicular to the
ground. They must be well-muscled and with good bone.
Wrist (carpus): Exactly in line with forearm. Only the pisiform bone
juts out at the back of the wrist. Strong bone.
Front pasterns (metacarpus): Strong bone, quite short, sloping
forward very slightly.
Forefeet: Short, round, compact, neither toeing in nor toeing out.
Toes should be tight and arched, with strong and dark nails. Thick
and hard pads.
Overview: Strong, with pronounced muscle, upright and perfectly
parallel seen from the rear. Must move in the same planes as the
Upper thighs: Broad, well-muscled, parallel in direction to the
median plane of the body. Femur must be neither too straight nor too
sloping. Buttocks well let down, trousered and firm.
Stifle (Knee) : Set approximately on an imaginary straight line from
the highest point of the hip (iliac crest) perpendicular to the ground.
Lower thighs: Moderately long, well-muscled, neither too straight
nor too sloping.
Hocks: Rather close to the ground, broad, tight. Seen from behind
they should be straight and perfectly parallel when standing. On the
move they should turn neither in nor out.
Rear pasterns (metatarsus): Strong and lean, rather cylindrical,
perpendicular to the ground when the dog is in a natural standing
position. No dewclaws.
Hind feet: Round, solid, toes tight and arched, with strong black
nails. Thick hard pads.
GAIT/MOVEMENT : The whole of the Bouvier des Flandres must
be harmoniously proportioned to ensure free, true and proud
movement. Walking and trotting are the normal gaits, although one
does also encounter amblers. At a normal trot the Bouvier des
Flandres covers its traces i.e.covers the front pad marks with the rear.
SKIN : Tight fitting; no excessive slackness; the edges of the eyelids
and lips are always very dark.
HAIR : The coat is very abundant, the outercoat forming with the
dense undercoat a protective layer perfectly adapted to the sudden
climatic changes in this breedâ€™s native land. The hair must be coarse
to the touch, dry and matt, neither too long nor too short (about 6
cm.), slightly tousled but never woolly or curly. Shorter on the head
and very short on the outside of the ears. The inner part of the ear
flap is protected by medium long hair. The upper lip carries a
moustache and the chin a full beard, giving the forbidding expression
so typical of this breed. The eyebrows consist of raised hairs,
accentuating the shape of the superciliary ridges without ever veiling
the eyes. The coat is particularly harsh and rasping on the upper part
of the back. It shortens very slightly on the limbs but remains harsh.
A flat coat should be avoided because it denotes a lack of undercoat.
The undercoat is a padding made up of fine dense hair which grows
beneath the outer coat and together with the topcoat it forms a
COLOR : The Bouvier des Flandresâ€™ coat is usually grey, brindle
or overlaid with black. A completely uniform black is also accepted,
without being favoured. Light-colored, so-called washed-out coats
are not acceptable. A white star on the chest is tolerated.
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Height at withers: 62-68 cm for males,
59-65 cm for females,
with a tolerance of plus or minus 1 cm.
For both sexes the ideal size is the middle range, i.e. 65 cm for
males, 62 cm for females.
Weight: approximately 35 – 40 kg for males
27 â€“ 35 kg for females.