Dog Breed Group: Working Dog
Life Span: 10-12 years
Weight: Male: 32-50, Female: 30-48
Height: Male: 24.5-27.5, Female: 23.5-26.5
Origin of Name: The Bouvier des Flandres is a herding dog breed originating in Flanders, Belgium.
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The Buvière des Flandres roughly translates as "Coward of Flanders". In the early years of the breed, it was called "Vuilbard" ("filthy beard"), "cohond" ("cow's dog"), and "tcher de bouf or pick" ("cattle driver") - of this majestic shepherd. Appropriate description. Belgium once had several "Bavier" breeds; The Bouvir des Flandres is the last to exist in any great number.
In medieval times, when Bower was first conceived, Flanders was a princely state encompassing modern France, Belgium, and parts of the Netherlands. (To this day, both France and Belgium claim the bower as the original breed.) As many of the breed's earliest names suggest, moving cattle was Bower's primary occupation. But frugal farmers from France and the Low Countries preferred to own a versatile dog rather than a team of experts, so the Buyers retained themselves as shepherds, watchdogs, guardians, and cart-pullers.
By the end of the 20th century, the Bauvirs were attracting the attention of international dog fanatics away from the fields and pastures of Flanders. A Belgian breed club was formed, and French and Belgian experts formulated a written standard. With the outbreak of World War I, however, Buquier's bucolic homeland became a battlefield of nightmares. Farmers in the area were displaced, and their dogs were lost or destroyed.
The Belgian army was responsible for keeping the breed alive, and the Bauvirs distinguished themselves as daring and resourceful dogs of war. In peacetime, the Bauwirs lit their resumes as European police K-9s and guided the dogs to the blind.
The Bower was again nearly extinct after World War II, but European immigrants kept the breed alive in the Americas. The American Bower des Flandres Club was formed in 1963.