If you are considering a family pet, you should consider all the lifestyle changes that are involved with owning a pet. Such canine requirements include regular walks, baths, play time and trips to the vet. Once everyone in your family is on board with getting a dog, the choice of which breed becomes the next question.
One breed that is particularly well-rounded is the Bouvier des Flandres. This is a large breed dog but rest assured that Bouviers are family pets.
Bouviers are known for their sturdy and proud appearance. They are a compact dog with muscular limbs. Females range from 23.5 inches to 26.5 inches and are 60-85 pounds. The males are only one inch taller; however, they weigh from 75 to 100 pounds.
In terms of their fur, they have two coats which allow them to be comfortable in winter temperatures. They can be fawn, grey or black in colour.
Another standout feature of a Bouvier, apart from their tank-like appearance, is their beard that can grow quite long. This, combined with their alert eyes, gives them a wise appearance. Bouvier breeders typically dock their tails.
Bouviers are typically easy-going creatures who are a little bit shy towards strangers. They are far from timid but rather they take a few minutes to decide that a new person is okay. Bouviers are watch dogs; therefore, being cautious is simply an inherent trait!
These dogs are very intelligent and the good news about owning a smart dog is that toilet training is a snatch. They will quickly learn commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘heel’. They are; however, unlikely to do tricks such as ‘high five’. For whatever reason, Bouviers are not typically drawn to do these tricks, even for a treat.
One excellent feature of Bouviers is that they respond very well to their names. As they are herding dogs, they always come when they are called. Even if a Bouvier wants to stay where he or she is, instinct kicks in and they follow your voice.
Bouviers are often one person dogs. What this means is that he or she will become most loyal to one family member. While they will guard their entire human family, there is one person that they will follow around the house.
These furry friends are playful but not high strung. They do not need constant playtime.
Playing tug with a rope or stick is all-time favorite game and they are extremely good at it. Tips for winning is to buy a tug-rope with a handle for you to ease rope burn and to play on a tile or wooden floor to lessen traction for your Bouvier. This game is a life-long love and Bouviers will often bring the rope directly to a family member in order to play.
Bouviers are gentle and easy-going dogs. They often seem very interested in children. To be fair, the children are usually fascinated by them too! Young children are safe around Bouviers because they do not spook and are very sturdy dogs. If your son or daughter were to fall on it or step on a paw accidentally, the dog would not be hurt and thus never be encouraged to snap.
These intelligent dogs will also protect any children from strangers. In fact, many seem to think it is their duty in life to do so. Bouviers can easily sense when a child is frightened and they have acute hearing to do so. They will stand assertively in front of the child until the stranger departs. While Bouviers are not vicious, they will growl and bark in order to protect his or her “person”.
While Bouviers are typically laid-back dogs, they still require a daily walk. However, getting exercise for your pet does not have to be a arduous long walk. If there are children involved, playing together in the backyard can often result in tiring both the humans and dogs entities of the family!
Bringing a Bouvier to an off-leash zone is also a great option. Since they remain in eyesight of their owner, allowing the dog to wander usually results in the owner doing a lot less exercise than the dog which is a bonus after a long day at work.
A Bouvier’s fur is low shedding but it can get tangled. Regular brushing is necessary.
The one absolute requirement of a Bouvier owner is that he or she must be assertive. Bouviers are intelligent and therefore will easily determine themselves as the ‘Alpha’ dog in the house unless instructed otherwise. They are not trouble-makers but rather simply need an assertive owner to tell them what is acceptable and what is not.
If a family is looking for an easy-going dog that is also intelligent and protective, choosing a Bouvier des Flandres can be an excellent choice.