LIVING WITH THE BOUVIER DES FLANDRES
By Cindi Stumm & Fritz Dilsaver
T he Bouvier des Flandres originates in the Euro- pean region of Flandres. Th eir name means cow herder or cow herder from Flandres. Th ey were bred to be a versatile farm dog and was used to herd cattle, guard the family and the farm, pull carts, and help the farmer and the family with a multi- tude of tasks. Th e Bouvier worked as a service dog in both World Wars. Th ey were used as a messenger, a sentry dog, and as a search dog to locate ammunition and mines. Photo courtesy of Judy Casper.
Bouviers love spending time with their family and being able to go with you when you go out or just spending quiet time by your side in the house makes for a happy Bouvier. Th ey are deeply devoted to the family and love being a part of the action. As soon as you bring your puppy home it is important to start showing the puppy the rules and the guidelines of the household. Th e puppy will be calm and attentive and eager to please you. Th ey learn very easily and tend to retain what they have learned. You need to be very consistent and be in charge while laying out the ground rules of the life of your new Bouvier. Th ey will grow
into a much happier dog when everything is clear to them and they have a boss to follow. Th ey like to have structure in their lives. If this is not made clear the Bouvier will make up his own rules and test you to see what he can and cannot do. Even though the Bouvier has a strong personality, they are a sensitive breed. Th ey react better to kind- ness and gentle commands with con fi dence and leadership rather than the hard drill ser- geant approach to enforce guidelines. You have the power to mold this cute, fl u ff y fur ball you brought home into a bright, loyal, well mannered, obedient adult, stable and con fi dent!
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