Showsight Presents The Bouvier Des Flanders

Q&A bouvier

4. Cropped or uncropped ears? Do undocked tails affect judging? The AKC standard calls for a docked breed, I prefer cropped ears for a working breed. 5. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? Bites are better, but the heads are becoming too narrow and the fronts too straight. 6. Has your Bouvier competed in any performance events? Did that experience affect judging deci- sions? Can today’s show Bouvier still perform the functions for which he was bred? Yes, all my personal Bouviers must herd and protect. I can appreciate that “form follows function”. I do see many that are still built to do the jobs for which the breed originated. 7. What previously campaigned Bouvier come close to your ideal? Please explain. GCH Jack Of Hearts des Clanmoore. He was not a large dog and had the most correct coat I have seen in a long time. He was—and still is—extremely athletic. He required very little effort to move stock and could work all day and then some more. Absolutely gorgeous head, correct head plains and beautiful bite with full dentition. He also has a great temperament. 8. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? Our Bouviers are a little larger than their European coun- ter parts, but well built for the most part. 9. What sets the Bouvier apart from the Black Russian and Giant Schnauzer? Their athleticism, more compact, yet powerful build. 10. Do you have anything else to share? Bouviers originated as an all around farm dog, necessitat- ing their ability to perform multiple tasks. Those tasks included, but were not limited to, herding all types of livestock, protection of livestock, persons and property and cart pulling.

brought by the monks to Belgian. The Giant is the largest of the Schnauzers with German Pinscher behind them. The Black Russian Terrier has the Airedale Terrier and Bouvier behind them. So the addition of the terriers does add to the apparent differences. The Bouvier is moderate with round bone dog compared to the oval bone and leaner lines of the Giant Schnauzer. The ear crop, eyebrows and beard with the longer arched neck smoothly joining the closely groomed topline accentu- ates those longer lines. The Giant will appear totally square with the length of the back equal to the height from the withers to the ground, length of the skull to the withers is longer giving them a more elongated neck than a Bouvier. Compared to the larger Black Russian the Bouvier is of more compact proportions with the double coat trimmed to 2 ½ inches. The Black Russian carries a coat that may be as long as 6 inches. The length of the Black Russian’s head is approximately the same as the length of the neck that with exact measurements given for the proportions of the back. Bouvier heads are skull to muzzle at 3:2 and in proportion to the body. The Black Russian chest may be at or below the elbow but the Bou- vier’s chest reaches the elbow. A Bouvier breeder asked me what I thought of her new puppy. I looked in at the puppy bitch in the crate and asked Micky when did she get her 5-month-old Black Russian puppy? The puppy clearly had the larger appearance and exact proportions of the Black Russian. The one word to describe each breed that readily comes to my mind is Bouvier: agile, Giant Schnauzer: elegant, Black Russian: powerful. 10. Do you have anything else to share? The Douglas Adams quote, “If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat” applies here. The dog is the sum of its parts and how it uses them. As you evaluate the Bouvier, step back and put the whole picture together again and ask, “Can this dog herd?” MARIKO SAUM 1. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. A square, powerful free moving dog, good lay back, level top line, good sized correct proportioned head. 2. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? That size is not important, how important a level topline is to determine a correct working structure. 3. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Throw bait in the ring, especially when they do not pick it up.

GCH Jack Of Hearts des Clanmoore (Photo by Randy Roberts)

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