The Bouvier des Flandres :


         The region of Flanders, which shared an artificial border between France and Belgium dating from the treaty of Utrecht in 1715,
          has preserved the characteristics common to this region. This is particularly so in the extensive agricultural area found around the cities
          of Lille, Gent and Antwerp. In the 19th century, in this rural region intersected by the Lys and the Escault, the Bouvier developed its
          proficiency as a farm guard dog, and was bred to watch over cattle. He was also a draft dog, pulling carts of milk or coal.
          Multifaceted, the Bouvier inherited tracking ability from the dogs used by tobacco smugglers between Belgium and France.
          Bouviers also worked with customs officer.
          At the beginning of the 20th century,the Bouvier des Flandres began to represent in the canine exhibitions in Belgium and in the North of France.
          Thus in 1912 the "Saint Hubert Club of North" (FCI Club) organized with the agricultural committee of the North a competition of "Dogs used in
          agriculture" where Bouvier was present. The war of 1914-1918, the battle fronts of which crossed trough the geographic zone of Bouvier's origin,
          put the breed seriously in danger the extinction. Breeding kennel developed again after the war.
          The official name "Bouvier des Flandres", accepted in 1928 in Belgium and in 1931 in France, brought about a common standard in 1938.
          Beginning in 1946, the Bouvier des Flandres has takenon an international dimension. Bouviers are present in the all of Europe and in America.
          In 1965, The Belgian and French clubs, rmet in Lille and adopted one unique standard for this Franco-Belgian breed, "which was created over
          time and dedicated by the time … The breed is tied to my country as the most more faithful traditions"
Justin Chastel.

Qualities :

They are tow kinds: structural and temperament.

Structural Qualities:
The Bouvier des Flandres has powerful, short-coupled body, stocky body on top of strong and well musculed legs; He gives an impression of power but without heaviness or clumsiness in appearance or movement.
The stucture of the Bouvier des Flandres designates a dog of good stature, well built, tough, sturdy, very rugged, and provided with a coat which protects him from climatic variations, insulating him from the cold as well as from the warmth. Of a rather surly disposition toward strangers, this beautiful "hairy" athlete, proud and with a straightforward gaze, will be able to carry out with ardor his role as guardian of the house.

 he  is
"He is loving and patient friend of children".
 Moral Qualities:
"This breed rightly acquired a great reputation for calm and safety" (G Thorp former French club president). This strength of character has been forged trough many generations of use. The Bouvier has adapted well to the city life. Stable and sociable, he has become an ideal family companion . He is loving and patient friend of children.Of a legendary loyalty, he is watchful of the house, and property. This duty of protection is done calmy calmly firmly.
Balanced Temperament :"He does not show any unnecessary fear or aggression," wrote J Chastel, "He must be at the same moment wise and fearless". An intelligent renowned dog, he acts only after having deliberately analyzed the situation.
An untiring sporting compagion, he accompanies his family cheerfully during their excursion to the sea, their country walks or their mountains hikes. The most avid sports enthusiasts have a companion worthy of their goals, all-terrain biking, walk,hiking,tough and sturdy he will follow his owner with enthusiasm.

Capitaine des Ifs dorés


Thanks to all the physical and temperament qualities, the Bouvier is a very appreciated companion. Tracking, French Ring and Mondio-Ring, IPO / Schutzhund / RCI, Obedience, Agility, Herding.... For fun or competition, in these so different and varied canine sports, the Bouvier's special qualities will bring you pleasure, and pride in having such an wonderful dog, one so intelligent, obedient and pleasant to live with.

The "French Confirmation" standard seeks to insure the correctness of the Bouvier des Flandres, from the age of 1 year. A French dog cannot be judged for the "Confirmation" until he is 1 year old, but he can be judged in shows before 1 year of age.
When a dog is "Confirmé", he become a "real Bouvier "allowed to reproduce, his first provisory pedigree, dating from his birth is changed to the real "definitive pedigree"
The Bouvier must, to be confirmed, conform to the morphological and character criteria imposed by the breed standard. An official conformation judge of the French "Société Centrale Canine" (French kennel Club) awards the comfirmation.

The character of the Bouvier des Flandres must also be judged and approved before the dog can fully comply with the standard. This evaluation aims to eliminate the fearful, shy, and dangerous dogsfrom being bred. Character tests: TAN and TC were finalized in association with the Belgian club of the Bouvier des Flandres and adopted as the standard by other countries.
These are the tests trough wich the character of the Bouvier is judged.

The TAN: (test of natural aptitudes) and the TC (Test of character) are the primary requirements. Successfully passing the requirements of these tests allows reaching in confirmation the "first choice" and the " dog recommended for breeding "(witch is noted on the pedigree).
How are the tests conducted ? :
A "Tester" trained and named by the club of the Bouvier des Flandres observes the reaction of the dog, who is accompanied by his owner; in the middle of a group of friendly people. The tester watches the Bouvier's reaction to a gun shot . He also tests the courage of the dog in the face of aggression toward his owner by an ill-intentioned individual (who is protected from the bite by a special suit).
."No matter how beautiful, a dog who will not protect his master is not a good Bouvier and will be without any value for the breeding. "(J.CHASTEL)

A herding test on cattle is also established.It allows a judge to evaluate the herding insting of the dog and allows, in case of success, the awarding of the CANT (certificate of natural herding instinct).
The puppies stemming from parents who have passed these various tests will have a better chance of possessing the capacities and the character described in the standard, which recommends that a Bouvier must be beautiful and good character.
A level of selection established by the French Bouvier Club in 1992 allows points to be granted to the following dogs: stucture,successful tests (instinct and character) and the results of a radiograph (x-ray) of the dog's hips to determine that it is free from dysplasia (read by the official X ray reader designed by the French Bouvier Club) .
These results and points will be noted on the pedigree of the parentsfollowing their registration (L.O.F) number.

Research and purchase of a puppy :
There is a strong probability the qualities and defects of the parents will be passed onto their puppies. Therefore anyone interested in buying a puppy should include inquiries about the parents in his research.
You should:

 - Verify first of all that the two parents are registered on the French kennel club Book (Livre des Origines Françaises: L O F).

-Check that they were have been confirmed and possess a definitive pedigree. The higher their level of selection, the better chance they have of conforming to the Standard.Check also that the litter has been registred with L.O.F.


- The contact that you will have with the breeder will be of major importance:
You will recognize first of all the breeder's competence by the passion with which he speaks to you about his dogs, and you can evaluate the quality of his answers to your questions. You will form impressions by visiting his premises, and viewing the facilities available for the dogs. You will form an opinion from your first contact during the presentation of the mother, and possibly of the father, and of their puppies. You can evaluate the neatness of their living quarters, their environment and the space available for them to play and exercise. You will note the access that they have or do not have to the house. You will see them in the children's presence and see the activities favoring their development, and you can evaluate their adaptation to different noises .

- These are the experiences and the environment to witch they are exposed and which will influence and help prepare them for the life which waits for them.
Afterward, if this first meeting seems favorable to you, enter into discussion with the breeder. This will allow him to know you better, to understand your habits, your desires, your leisure activities, and to take into account your temperament. Knowing his litter, he will evaluate them with your needs and wishes in mind. He can then guide you in your choice to insure you have the puppy best suited for you.

- The choice of the puppy :
Male or female ?
The breeder will also be able to assist you in this choice. He has lived with his puppies since
their birth, and he knows his line and relatives. His experience and knowledge will guide and assist him in helping you in your choice. Rely on him.
You can also read some Articles writed by Bouvier spécialiste

- Papers and the compulsory vaccines :
The breeder must give you certain documents:
-The certificate of sale: which must be dated and signed and contain the price, the identity and the previous history of the puppy.
-The tattoo card: (showing the unique tattoo number of the puppy): real card of identity and the title ownership of the puppy.
-The notification of birth and the temporary certificate in the L.O.F. (provisory pedigree) or
the number of the file in class in the "Société Centrale Canine". This is not the pedigree definitive of the dog; the pedigree will only be given to you after the "confirmation" .
-The list of inoculations from the veterinarian, witch will contain the complete description of the dog, the address of the breeder, and the list of the vaccines given to the puppy.
-A small document explaining how to welcome your puppy. This document is not compulsory but it is a beneficial service offered by the breeder to you.

Who can help you in your research?
-The C.B.F. (French Club du Bouvier des Flandres)
-Your veterinarian
-The" Société Centrale Canine" S.C.C. (French Kennel Club)


The CBF French Bouvier des Flandres Club: a club in the service of the race:

The Club du Bouvier des Flandres, in France has more than 600 members, including both breeders and Bouviers's owners. Approximately 500 Bouviers are born each year in France.
Affiliated to the S.C.C. and approved by the Ministry of the Agriculture, the French Bouvier Club's mission is to improve the breed, to encourage the breeding, to contribute to the promotion and to develop the use. (For leisure, sport and work).
Numerous delegates of the club are distributed throughout the country to establish communication between the CBF and the owners .If in a news Bouvier's owner' home is too far from the breeder's home, he will be helped by the C.B.F. delegate.

 The French Bouvier Club organizes numerous activities:
The National annual Speciality, regional meetings and sessions where the Club tests (TAN, TC, and CANT) can be administered to interested candidates.The Club also participates in many dogs show activities.

Additionally, the C.B.F.:
· Maintains relations with the foreign Bouvierclubs.
· With the Belgian Club, is responsible for the management of the standard.
· Publishes an official bulletin which contains exhibition results, reports of Club meetings, and offers advice as well as abundant news dedicated to the Bouvier. The Club also distributes specialized documents on breeding and grooming …

Bibliography treating the Bouvier : in french

" Le Bouvier des Flandres Hier et Aujourd'hui " By Justin CHASTEL
"Le grand chien de race: cas pratique le Bouvier des Flandres " by Paul LEGALL

· The Club also offers a list of recommendedbreeding stock, and has a service " Breeding news" which provides information on pups available from the breeders members of the club.

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