The Bouvier des Flandres is a very attractive dog with many wonderful qualities. In addition to being loyal, intelligent, and good-natured, they have an excellent reputation as a working dog that has served many people in need. While these qualities make the Bouvier des Flandres sound like the perfect dog, he may not be the perfect dog for you. Many people get a dog based on their looks or their reputation. They hear of a dog that makes a great guard dog, Seeing Eye dog, or Champion of many titles and decide that is the breed of dog they want to own. They don't stop and realize that that particular dog is the result of dedication and years of training. When they get the same breed of dog and realize he's not what they thought, there is disappointment and often the dog is given away or neglected. Don't let this happen with you and any dog you may want to get. Learn all you can about the Bouvier des Flandres before you decide to make him your own pet.
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When you see pictures of the Bouvier des Flandres, you are looking at a beautiful dog. You are also looking at the results of hours of bathing and grooming. The Bouvier in his natural habitat is a shaggy farm dog, probably full of dirt and grass mixed in his long coat and/or beard. You can turn him from this shaggy-looking dog to the dog you see in pictures, but it will take work.
The Bouvier des Flandres is not a dog for an inexperienced dog owner. They need an owner that has the time and energy to work with them on a daily basis. The dog needs to learn in a firm way from the beginning that you are the boss and not them. Without this direction, they will try to be the dominating one in your household. If you have other dogs or animals, be prepared for your Bouvier to not get along with them without proper socialization from the first day he enters your home. Socialization with animals and people will also help the dog to not be overly shy or overly aggressive. If you don't have time for this, the Bouvier probably is not the best choice of dog for you.
If you don't want to spend a lot of your spare time with him, don't get him. The Bouvier loves to spend time with the family, thrives on companionship, and wants to be where you are. They will stay at home when you go out (provided they have a large fenced-in yard), but they prefer being with you. If they are left alone a lot of the time, they often get bored and resort to bored-like behavior such as digging, chewing or barking, and often get aggressive.
If you don't have the time and expertise to train him or money to have him trained, you will do this dog a large disservice by getting him as your pet. This dog needs training to reach his full potential and to avoid aggression, over protectiveness and dominance. If the dog is sent to a trainer, you need to work with the trainer so the dog will understand what you expect of him. Without proper training, this dog can be unruly and troublesome for you, your family and your guests.
The Bouvier des Flandres is a large dog that takes up a lot of space. They love sleeping with their owners and spending a lot of time together. Before you decide the Bouvier is the right dog for you, take the time to evaluate if you are the right owner for him.
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