The Bouvier des Flandres originated in the Flanders region of Northern Belgium. A hard worker to the core, the Bouvier is a general purpose farm dog whose work includes cattle droving, sheep herding, cart pulling, as well as protection work in the police and military. The French name of the breed translates literally to "Cow Herder of Flanders." Other names for the breed are Toucheur de Boeuf (cattle driver), Vlaamse Koehond (Flemish cow dog), and Vuilbaard (dirty beard).
The origin of the modern Bouvier is debatable as the breed was not completely defined until the early 20th century. Some sources state the earliest known breeders were monks at the Ter Duinen monastery in Flandres, where imported breeds such as Irish Wolfhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, and local farm dogs were mixed to develop an ideal working dog for the region. Their strength, temperament, and rugged coat made them ideal for tireless, all-season farm work. World War I caused devastation to the Flanders region, and the breed nearly disappeared.
Today, the Bouvier is preserved through the work of responsible breeders who serve as stewards of the breed and work to ensure that the traits of these wonderful dogs will not be lost to time.
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