The Bouvier des Flandres is a powerfully built, compact, short-coupled, rough-coated dog of notably rugged appearance. He gives the impression of great strength without any sign of heaviness or clumsiness in his overall makeup. He is agile, spirited and bold, yet his serene, well-behaved disposition denotes his steady, resolute and fearless character. His gaze is alert and brilliant, depicting his intelligence, vigor and daring. The Bouvier is protective and can sometimes be suspicious of other dogs. While he's not overly active in the house, he does need plenty of exercise. Country or suburban living suits him well.
The Bouvier des Flandres was developed in French-occupied Flandres in the 1600's to assist with the herding of cattle (located in what is today known as Belgium). The direct ancestors of the Bouvier des Flandres include the Brussels Griffon and the Beauceron. The legacy of the breed has produced many admirable qualities including a square and powerful build as well as a rugged and formidable appearance. The breed standards for the Bouvier were established in France in 1912 by the vice-president of the Club St. Hubert du Nord. While the breed began to decrease in numbers during World Wars I and II, they were able to survive in Belgium due to the efforts of a Veterinarian in the Belgian Army. The Bouvier des Flandres was not introduced into the United States until after World War II and the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1929.