Bouvier Des Flandres

Lifestyle Needs

Bouvier des Flandres

The Bouvier Des Flandres is a large, rugged, powerful dog, who supposedly once herded and protected cattle.  He is a sociable dog who will protect his home and human family, and because of his size and strength will need training and firm handling.  He has a rough, shaggy type coat which will need frequent grooming and the occasional professional trimming in order to keep the hair out of his eyes.  He needs to live in a large house with a garden and should have plenty of exercise.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 8.3% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

The Bouvier’s coat could cause welfare problems if not given regular grooming and attention.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia (abnormality of hip joints causing pain and disability) breed mean score 12.3 (parents should be lower)
  • Elbow dysplasia (abnormality of the elbow joint causing pain and disability) ideally 0:0

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:

DNA Tests Available

None known

Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes

None known

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Laryngeal paralysis (may occur as part of a more generalised polyneuropathy – causing exercise intolerance, respiratory problems, gagging, coughing and loss of voice)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (chronic diarrhoea)
  • Cancers – including prostate
  • Shoulder osteochondrosis (abnormal cartilege and bone causing pain and inflammation)
  • Radial head subluxation (forelimbs are disproportionately short and have osteoarthritis of the elbow)
  • Dysphagia (associated with muscular dystrophy (weakness of larynx causing inability to swallow)
  • Persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV) (a foetal blood vessel in the eye does not not waste away as it should, affecting vision)
  • Glaucoma
  • Entropion (inward turning eyelids)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds