Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Bouvier des Flandres

(Vlaamse Koehond)

Bouvier Des Flandres

Bouvier des Flandres


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Belgium/France.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
25.10.2000.
KC
October 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Originally the Bouvier des Flandres was used as a 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 gamekeeper’s dog.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 1Sheepdogs and Cattledogs
Section 2Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
With working trial

KC
Working
UKC
Herding Dog

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
Mrs. Jeans-Brown. Revised by Dr. R. Pollet, with the collaboration of R. Triquet and John Miller.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
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.
UKC
The Bouvier des Flandres breed originated in the agricultural plain of Flanders, Belgium, where it was used mainly for herding and driving cattle. Historically, the term "Bouvier" was applied to any dog that worked with cattle. This breed has also been known by various names, which include Vuilbaard (Dirty Beard), Koe Hund (Cow Dog), and Toucheur de Boeuf (Cattle Drover). When the Machine Age arrived and it was more economical to transport cattle by truck, it seemed the breed's usefulness was at an end. Bouvier fanciers rallied to save the breed from extinction, therefore preserving this multi-talented dog. The Bouvier has since proven itself, being used for police and army work, as a personal guard dog, as a guide dog for the blind, and in Search and Rescue work. In 1922 the Club National Beige du Bouvier established a single type and drafted a breed standard with the assistance of Bouvier breeders. The breed was first introduced to the North American continent in the 1930's. The exact origin and development of the breed remains in speculation. One theory states that it was developed using the blood of several of the continental herding breeds. Another states that it is a direct descendant of the Schnauzer. The Bouvier des Flandres was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Sub-brachymorphic. Short and 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.
KC
Compact body, short-coupled, powerfully built, well boned, strongly muscled limbs, giving impression of great power but without clumsiness in general deportment.
UKC
The Bouvier des Flandres is a compact-bodied, powerfully built, short-coupled dog of upstanding carriage with a rugged appearance.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI

Length of body from point of shoulder to point of buttock should be approximately equal to height at withers.
Proportions of length of skull to length of muzzle are 3 to 2.
KC
Lively appearance revealing intelligence, energy and audacity. Its harsh beard is very characteristic giving forbidding expression.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
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.
KC
Calm and sensible.
UKC
The Bouvier is even-tempered, agile, steady, resolute and fearless; his gaze is alert and brilliant, acting as a reflection of his intelligence, daring and vigor.

HEAD

:
FCI
The head has a massive appearance, still more accentuated by the beard and moustache. It is in proportion to the body and stature. Its clean cut lines are obvious to the touch.
KC
In proportion to build and stature general impression is of strength, accentuated by beard and moustache. Head clean cut. Skull well developed, flat, somewhat longer than wide. Proportions of skull to muzzle are 3:2. Stop shallow, but appears deep due to upstanding eyebrows. Muzzle broad, powerful, well boned, straight in upperline, sloping slightly toward nose which should never become pointed. Circumference measured just in front of eyes approximately equal to length of head. Nose should be very well developed, thus extending the foreface in a slightly convex line towards its tip, rounded at edges, always black. Nostrils wide. Cheeks flat and clean.
UKC
The head is impressive in scale, and is in proportion to body and build. It is accentuated by the characteristic beard and mustache.

CRANIAL REGION

:
FCI
Well-developed and flat, slightly less broad than long. Toplines of skull and muzzle are parallel. Frontal groove hardly denoted.

Skull

:
UKC
The flat, well-developed skull is slightly less wide than long. When viewed from the side, the top lines of the skull and muzzle are parallel. The skull is wide between the ears; the frontal groove is barely marked. Due to the upstanding eye­brows the stop appears more definite than it actually is. The proportions of the length of the skull to the length of the muzzle are three to two.

Stop

:
FCI
Only slightly pronounced; more apparent than real, due to upstanding eyebrows.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
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.
UKC
The large, well-developed nose is black and round at the edges, with flared nostrils.

Muzzle

:
FCI
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.
KC
Jaws strong. Teeth strong and white with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
UKC
The muzzle is broad, strong and well-filled-out, tapering gradually toward the nose. The cheeks are flat and lean. The lips are dry and tight-fitting. The jaws are powerful and of equal length.

Lips

:
FCI
Well-fitting and strongly pigmented.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Jaws must be powerful and of equal length. Teeth are strong, healthy, white and evenly set. Scissor or pincer bite. Dentition must be complete.
UKC
A full complement of strong, white, even teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Flat and clean, zygomatic arches are not very protruding.

Eyes

:
FCI
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.
KC
Alert in expression. Neither protruding nor sunken. Slightly oval in shape and horizontally placed but not too close together. As dark as possible in relation to coat colour. Light or wild-looking eyes highly undesirable. Eyerims always black, lack of pigmentation undesirable. Haw never visible.
UKC
The oval-shaped eyes have a bold and alert expression. When viewed from the front, the axis is on a horizontal plane. The eyes are a dark nut brown. The eye rims are black. The haw is barely visible.

Ears

:
FCI
Cropped ears: Cropped in triangle, carried upright, set high, very mobile; a crop proportioned to the head size is recommended.
Un-cropped ears: 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 lift-up at top of ear set; neither folded nor curled, in proportion with head size; covered with very short hair.
KC
Set on high, very flexible, triangular and in proportion to head.
UKC
The rough-coated ears are alert and placed high. If cropped, they are triangular in contour and in proportion to the size of the head. The inner corner of the ear should be in line with the outer corner of the eye. Natural ears are triangular in shape; slightly rounded at the tips. They fold vertically, and the fold must not stand higher than the top of the skull. The ears should lie flat against the cheeks and be covered with very short hair.

NECK

:
FCI
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.
KC
Strong, well muscled and thickening slightly towards shoulders. A little shorter than length of head, nape strong and slightly arched. Without dewlap.
UKC
The neck is strong and muscular, widening gradually into the shoulders. When viewed from the side, it has a graceful arch with an upright carriage. There is no dewlap.

BODY

:
FCI
Powerful, close-coupled and short.
KC
Short, strong, deep, broad, compact with very little tuck-up. Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock about equal to height at withers. Chest descends to level of elbows and is not cylindrical, although ribs well sprung. Croup extends horizontal line of back, blends imperceptibly with curve of rump; broad but not excessively so in dogs, broader in bitches. A rising croup, or one which falls away very definitely undesirable.
UKC
The body is powerful, broad and short. The length, from the point of the shoulder to the tip of the buttocks, is equal to the height from the ground to the highest point of the withers. The chest is broad, with the brisket extending in depth to the elbow. The ribs are deep and well sprung; the first ribs being slightly curved. The remaining ribs are well sprung and very well sloped as they near the rear, which gives the proper depth to the chest. The back is short, broad and well-muscled; supple, with no sign of weakness. The topline is level. The flanks and loin are short, wide and well-muscled, showing no sign of weakness. The abdomen is only slightly tucked up.

Topline

:
FCI
Upper line of back and loins horizontal, tight and firm.

Withers

:
FCI
Slightly raised.

Back

:
FCI
Short, broad, muscled and well-supported, with no sign of weakness, yet remaining flexible.

Loin

:
FCI
Short, broad, well muscled; must be flexible, with no sign of weakness.

Croup

:
FCI
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

:
FCI
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 and belly

:
FCI
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

:
FCI
Set relatively high, the tail must continue the line of the backbone. 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 vertebrae. In countries where docking is banned, the whole tail is admitted.
KC
Previously customarily docked or may be born tailless. Docked: Docked to 2-3 vertebrae. Undocked: Continuing normal line of vertebral column. Carried gaily when moving. In overall balance with the rest of the dog.
UKC
The tail is customarily docked to about four inches; leaving two to three vertebrae. It is set high and aligns normally with the spinal column. While in motion, it is preferred that the tail be carried upright. Dogs born tailless are not penalized.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
Front legs have strong bone and are well-muscled. Perfectly straight and parallel seen from the front.
KC
Forelegs very strong and absolutely straight. Shoulders relatively long, muscular without heaviness, obliquely placed. Shoulder blade and upper arm of equal length. Elbows well set into body and parallel, turning neither in nor out. Forearms, seen from front or side, straight, parallel to each other, perpendicular to ground. Well muscled, heavy boned. Pasterns strong, fairly short, sloping very slightly.
UKC
The forequarters are strong-boned, well-muscled and straight. The muscular shoulders are relatively long, with good layback. The shoulder blade and humerus are approximately the same length, forming an angle slightly greater than 90 degrees when standing. The elbows are carried parallel, and close, to the body.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Relatively long, muscled, without being heavy, moderately oblique. Shoulder blade and humerus are approximately of the same length.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
Moderately oblique.

Elbow

:
FCI
Close to body and parallel. Elbows turning in or out, in a natural stance or on the move, are considered a fault.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The well-muscled and strong-boned forearms, from either view - front or profile - are perfectly straight, parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. The strong-boned wrists are exactly in line with the forearms. The pasterns are quite short and slope slightly forward. Dewclaws may be removed.

Forearm

:
FCI
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.

Carpus (wrist)

:
FCI
Exactly in line with forearm. Only the pisiform bone juts out at the back of the wrist. Strong bone.

Pastern

:
FCI
Strong bone, quite short, sloping forward very slightly.

FEET

:
KC
Short, round and compact. Toes tight and well arched. Nails black and strong. Pads thick and hard.
UKC
Feet are rounded and compact, with close, well-arched toes, which have strong, black nails and thick, tough pads. Feet turn neither in nor out.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Short, round, compact, neither toeing in nor toeing out. Toes should be tight and arched, with strong and dark nails. Thick and hard pads.

Hind feet

:
FCI
Round, solid, toes tight and arched, with strong black nails. Thick hard pads.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Strong, with pronounced muscle, upright and perfectly parallel seen from the rear. Must move in the same planes as the front legs.
KC
Moderate angulation, firm and well muscled, with large, powerful thighs. Legs strong and sturdy with hocks well let down and perfectly perpendicular when viewed from rear.
UKC
The horizontal line of the back should mold unnoticeably into the curve of the rump, which is characteristically wide. The hindquarters are firm and well-muscled, with large, powerful hams. They are parallel with the front legs from both a front and rear view.

Thigh

:
FCI
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

:
FCI
Set approximately on an imaginary straight line from the highest point of the hip (iliac crest) perpendicular to the ground.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The thighs are wide and muscular, with a moderate upper thigh, being neither too straight nor too inclined. The hocks are strong and rather close to the ground. When standing and viewed from the rear, the hocks are straight and perfectly parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. In motion they turn neither in nor out. There is a slight angulation at the hock joint. The rear pasterns (metalarsi) are hardy and lean, rather cylindrical, and perpendicular to the ground when standing. Any dewclaws are to be removed.

Lower thigh

:
FCI
Moderately long, well-muscled, neither too straight nor too sloping.

Hock

:
FCI
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 pastern

:
FCI
Strong and lean, rather cylindrical, perpendicular to the ground when the dog is in a natural standing position. No dewclaws.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
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.
KC
Powerful, driving, free and easy; ambling permitted but not desirable.
UKC
The complete Bouvier des Flandres is harmoniously proportioned to allow for a free, proud and bold gait. The reach of the forequarters compensates for, and is in balance with, the driving power of the hindquarters. While moving at a trot, the back remains firm and flat. The gait is the logical demonstration of the structure and build of the dog. As speed increases, the dog single tracks.

SKIN

:
FCI
Tight fitting; no excessive slackness; the edges of the eyelids and lips are always very dark.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
The coat is very abundant, the outercoat forming with the dense undercoat a protective layer perfectly adapted to the sudden climatic changes in this breed’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 waterproof covering.
KC
Abundant, so thick that when separated by hand skin barely visible. Hair coarse to touch, dry and matt. Neither too long nor too short (about 6 cms (21/2 ins)). Unkempt-looking but never woolly nor curly, gradually becoming shorter as it comes down the legs, always harsh. Flat coat denoting lack of undercoat highly undesirable. Undercoat dense and close grained. On head shorter, outside of ears very short. Upper lip well moustached, lower carrying a full harsh beard giving forbidding expression so characteristic of breed. Eyebrows formed of backward-sweeping hairs accentuating shape of eyebrows but never veiling eyes.
UKC
The Bouvier has a rough, tousled coat, giving an unkempt appearance. Its characteristic double coat is capable of withstanding hard work and inclement weather. The outer coat hairs are rough and harsh; the undercoat is fine, soft and dense. The outer coat is tousled without being curly. It is short on the skull. On the upper part of the back, it is particularly close and harsh, always remaining rough. The coat may be trimmed slightly only to accent the body line. Over-trimming that alters the natural rugged appearance is to be faulted. The undercoat is a dense mass of fine, close hair, which becomes thicker in winter. Together with the topcoat, it forms a water-resistant covering. The mustache and beard are very thick, with the hair being shorter and rougher on the upper side of the muzzle. The upper lip, with its heavy mustache, and the chin, with its heavy and rough beard, gives the gruff expression so characteristic of the breed. The eyebrows are made up of erect hairs and accentuate the shape of the eyes without ever veiling them.

COLOUR

:
FCI
The Bouvier des Flandres’ coat is usually grey, brindle or overlaid with black. A completely uniform black is also accepted, without being favoured. Light-coloured, so-called washed-out coats are not acceptable. A white star on the chest is tolerated.
KC
From fawn to black including brindle. White star on chest permissible. White predominating or chocolate brown highly undesirable. Light washed-out shades undesirable.
UKC
All colors from fawn to black, including salt and pepper, gray and brindle. A small white star on the chest is allowed. Other than the colors and patterns listed under "Serious faults" below, no one color or pattern is to be favored.

SIZE

:
KC
Height: dogs: 62-68 cms (24½-27 ins); bitches: 59-65 cms (23-251/2 ins). Weight approx: dogs: 35-40 kgs (77-88 lbs); bitches: 27-35 kgs (59-77 lbs).
UKC
In each sex, the ideal height is the median of the two limits. Males: from 24½ to 27½ inches; the median being 26 inches. Females: from 23½ to 26½ inches; the median being 25 inches. Height is measured at the withers. Any dog deviating from the minimum or maximum limits shall be severely penalized.

Height at withers

:
FCI

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

:
FCI

Approximately 35 - 40 kg for males
27 – 35 kg for females.

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Muzzle: Narrow, snipey muzzle.
Eyes: Protruding eyes. Sunken eyes. Lack of pigment in the eye rims.
Nose: Brown, pink or spotted nose.
Neck: Short, squatty neck.
Forelegs: Loaded, over-muscled shoulders. Straight shoulders. Elbows too far out.
Body: A long-lined, rangy dog.
Coat: Silky or woolly outer coat.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
FCI

Timid dog.
Molossoid appearance, too heavy a dog.
Body obviously too long (slight tolerance for females) or too light.
Too massive a head, marked stop, pronounced frontal groove, very prominent zygomatic arches.
Domed skull, narrow skull, very prominent occipital crest, important lack of parallelism between the toplines of skull and muzzle.
Muzzle too long, pinched nose.
Loose, thick or overlapping lips.
Wry jaw; malocclusion.
Small, unhealthy or poorly set teeth.
Light eyes, bulging eyes, untypical expression.
Uncropped ears which are curled or folded.
Cylindrical neck, dewlap.
Back very sagging, very arched.
Very faulty stance, obviously camped stance, sickle hocks.
Silky coat, lack of undercoat, puffed up coat, shiny, over-groomed.
Lack of head furnishings.
Simultaneous faults in pigmentation (nose, lips, eyelids).
UKC

Teeth: Overshot or undershot bites.
Eyes: Yellow or light eyes. Walleyed or staring expression.
Ears: Ears set too low. Ears set too close together.
Body: Flat ribs. Slabsidedness.
Hindquarters: Sunken or slanted croup.
Hind Legs: Sickle hocks. Cowhocks.
Coat: A flat coat (denoting lack of undercoat).
Color: Chocolate brown, white or parti-color dogs.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Obvious lack of type.
  • Unpigmented nose or of any colour other than black.
  • Pointed muzzle.
  • Pronounced over- or undershot bite.
  • Any missing teeth other than one P1.
  • Wall eyes or wild expression.
  • Entropion, ectropion, unpigmented eyelids.
  • Coat chocolate brown, white, pepper and salt, washed-out colour and any other pale fawn going from light to red, even with black overlay.
  • Height at withers outside the range of the standard.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism.
Color: Albinism.
Note: The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club, Inc. is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club, Inc. feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.