About the Bouvier

Originating in Flanders ( the northern part of Belgium) beginning of the 20th century, the Bouvier des Flandres- Vlaamse Koehond (literally Cow Dog of Flanders/ Bouvier is from the French word Boeuf= ox), was mainly used as a working farm dog.

A real Bouvier has lots of protection drive, courage and is sometimes stubborn. What he has learned, he never forgets.  It is a good companion for his housemates.  It is a strongly built dog, who is hardly immune for any weather conditions.

Bouvier des Flandres is pronounced  boo-vee-ay day - flahndr.

By 1992, the Club National Belge de Bouvier des Flandres agreed on a single type and created a breed standard for the guidance of Bouvier breeders.

Two main types were in the lead at that time:

The type Roeselaarse Bouvier (type Roulers) and the Bouvier des Flandres.

The type Roeselaar (Roulers in French) was huge, and black. Sometimes with white spots on the breast or chin. This was a heritage of the Trekhond, a race which has disappeared now.

The type Bouvier des Flandres was smaller, and was not black but grey.  But both types were quickly mixed, and one type came out.  They both had hard hair, and were dogs with lots of courage to protect .

During World War 1, Bouviers were used to carry supplies to the front lines, deliver messages, detect the living-wounded on battlefields, and do military tracking.  Because of the dangers of war and the intensive fighting in Belgium, along with the decline in need of farming dogs, the Bouvier nearly disappeared.

Some were brought to The Netherlands, where they were used in Police Task Forces.

The first Bouviers arrived in North America in the 1930's.

The breed excels as a police dog and army dog as well as personal guard dog.  Because lots of breeders have only looked after the outside of this wonderful dog, character has become a problem in some lines.  Fortunately there is still a heritage and some passionate breeders who protect the Bouvier as he has to be: a Character & Working Dog!

A sad story:
The Belgian Trekhond (Matin Belge)

One of the dogs who created the Bouvier is the Trekhond.
He was big, tall, and created the Roeselaarse Bouvier, together with other breeds.
He disappeared……….because of………..animal rights!

The story goed back towards beginning of the 20th century…time of poorness,
of people leaving the country……Titanic!

The Trehond pulled carts for butchers, milkman……;whatever. They couldn’t afford a horse.. They were not very expensive…  But animal right watchers couldn’t stand that, and helped by the Government, they created high taxes………who had a dog had to pay… Many dogs were killed by their owners: they couldn’t afford the tax, and the food was too costly……they were drawn in many cities..sad story.

These Trekhond was also used in war: he pulled the machine-guns. (Maxim, Hotchkiss). Thousands of dogs were bought by the army. The dogs had to be in good shape, and …be quiet because the enemy could hear them if they barked. These dogs could pull the machine guns in the trenches, and be very quick and mobile.

They had to wait until their bosses came back from the near battle field…who doidn’t come back many times…
They were gassed …just as the soldiers..They fought together with their owner a last fight……

Can we forget such a heroic animal? A dog who helped creating the Bouvier? After all the suffer he made as working dog and war-dog, the least we can do is bring him a last salute from this place.