LUV My dogs: kids dog

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Showing posts with label kids dog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids dog. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Everything about your Volpino Italiano

Everything about your Volpino Italiano
  Similar in size and appearance to the Pomeranian, the Volpino Italiano is a much rarer breed. Developed in ancient Italy, this dog breed was loved by royalty and peasants alike as it is very friendly and energetic.
  This small Spitz breed has charmed Italian royalty and peasants alike since at least the 15th century, if not earlier. He has the characteristic double coat, prick ears, wedge-shaped head and upturned tail of the Nordic breeds. While he tends to love people and is often playful and alert, be aware: He can be a barker.

Overview
  The Volpino Italiano is Italy’s contribution to the Spitz, or Nordic, family of dogs. Although he’s rarely seen in the United States, if you do spot one, he will most likely be adorned in white fur . His coat may also come in fawn, red, black or champagne, but those colors are uncommon.
  Generally alert and intelligent, the Volpino tends to be a good watchdog, barking to alert you of the presence of people on your property. He can be wary of strangers, sharply registering his alarm when he encounters new people or dogs on walks. Even so, this snowball of cuteness will draw the admiration of people wanting to get to know him.
  If you are looking for a small but generally active dog that can potentially excel at dog sports such as agility, nose work and rally, this typical ball of energy is one to consider.

Quick Facts
  • The Volpino is often mistaken for a Pomeranian or Miniature American Eskimo, but he is a distinct breed. Differences can be seen in the head shape and size, with Volpinos being slightly larger than Poms.
  • The Volpino is a rare breed with only 3,000 or so in the world. Most are found in Italy, but other countries where they’ve made their homes include the Scandinavian nations, Great Britain, the United States and Canada.
  • Queen Victoria is said to have brought home a pair of Volpinos from Florence, Italy, in 1888, but she contributed to the breed’s misidentification by referring to them as toy Pomeranians.
Breed standards
FCI group: European Spitz #195
UKC group: Northern Breed
Average lifespan: 14 to 16 years
Average size: 9 to 14 pounds
Coat appearance: Thick, long, dense and fluffy
Coloration: white, black, tan and red colours
Hypoallergenic: No

History
  Volpino Italiano, being a direct descendant of the Spitz breed of dogs, has been in existence for more than 5000 years, as revealed from records. In fact, several paintings and artifacts of the 1500s, depict a similar breed having erect ears and white, curled tails. Being a favorite among the ladies, its popularity in the Italian royalty persisted for over centuries. Queen Victoria had many Volpinos in her possession which she had brought on her visit to Italy, White Turi, Bipo, Lena and Linda being some of them.
  Though small in size, it was used as a guard dog assigned with the task of alerting the bigger breeds at the sight of an intruder. In spite of its long and eventful history, it became popular outside of Italy, not before the 1880s. It obtained recognition from the FCI in 1903, but was on the verge of extinction in the second half of the 20th century, with only five Volpino Italiano registered in the year 1965. Several initiatives were taken for its revival in 1984 by Enrico Franceschetti as well as the Italian National Kennel Club (ENCI).
At present, they are still categorized as a rare breed with only 4000 dogs present in total. Though they are majorly concentrated in Italy, their breeding has been taking place at present in 15 countries including Brazil, Russia, Holland, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Greece, Hungary, U.K., U.S.A, Holland, Finland, and Canada.


Temperament
  The Volpino makes a good watchdog, and some can even be used as gun-dogs (bird dogs) if trained properly. They will make extremely active, affectionate pets.
These energetic, lively and active dogs have a loyal and affectionate nature, bonding well with the members of their house, thus emerging as a good family dog.
In spite of its closeness to its family, it is not too clingy and can move around independently.   However, it longs for the affection and attention of its loved ones.
If their watching ability is channelized in a proper way, they can make for good watch and even gun dogs.
  They mingle well with kids, especially those who can handle them in a matured and tactful way.
  The perfect Volpino puppy doesn’t spring fully formed from the whelping box. He’s a product of his background and breeding. Look for a puppy whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from an early age.

Health
  The basic well being and health of the Volpino Italiano breed are far better than with most dogs. However they are not immune to genetic and other diseases.
  As of mid-2013, the greatest threat facing this race is the genetic mutation of the eye lens called primary lens luxation (PLL). This is an extremely painful disease that manifests itself when the zonal cords holding the lens in place weaken and break at a genetically pre-determined time (usually about 4 to 8 years old). Once the zonal cords break, the lens begins to move into the interior of the eye increasing the pressure in the eye and causing the animal great pain. Because of the expense in removing the lens or the eyes, the animal is usually euthanized.

Care
  The long and dense coat of this breed will need regular brushing to keep it in tiptop condition and maintain its beautiful appearance.
  The Volpino Italiano is pleasingly independent in nature but with its intelligence and human oriented nature, it is generally easy to train. Harsh training methods will not suit this breed and it should be trained in a firm yet gentle manner.
  Because of the long and bushy coat, this dog breed requires weekly coat brushing and regular bathing. The Volpino Italiano requires a small amount of daily exercise.


Trainability 
  Volpino Italiano is easily trainable. Because they are very active, they can easily learn new tricks. Too much time should not be given to them because if they sense they can control you they will easily take advantage of it. The negative aspect of their intelligence is that they can be manipulative and very hard to control later. In the process of training him, you need a lot of positive reinforcement and you will definitely succeed. They should not be trained as watchdogs since they inherit the trait but unlike other breeds, they do not show any aggressiveness in their character.

Activity Requirements 
  Since the dog is active, he requires a lot of time to exercise and to play. Additionally, they are problem solvers so if they do not find enough activity they can be very destructive. They must be kept busy always. They are recommended to be kept in homes with fenced compounds with much room to run about. If you keep the dog in an apartment, he will become bored and stressed hence the best families to keep them are the ones staying in a compound.

Behavioral Traits 
  He tends to bark a lot especially when left alone. To some neighbors are not comfortable with noise, the barking can annoy them and they will not cope up with high-peached dogs produced by these breeds of dogs. The training can help them to stop barking at command but the desire to start barking cannot be removed out them. Because they love company, separation can really affect them.

Grooming
  The Volpino has a double coat — a soft, dense undercoat and a topcoat of rough, protective guard hairs. A ruff around the neck and a furry tail add to his beauty.
  The Volpino sheds, so brush him once or twice a week, with plenty of petting in between, to remove dead hair and help keep it off your clothing and furniture.
  You may also want to trim the hair on the feet between the pads and toes to give the dog a neat appearance. Of course, it’s important to keep the eyes and ears clean, too.
How often you bathe a Volpino depends on personal preference. If he spends a lot of time on your furniture, you can bathe him weekly if you use a mild veterinary shampoo or you can give him a bath only as needed. Be sure you comb out any mats or tangles before bathing him.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every couple of weeks or as needed. Brush the teeth often — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath.


Is the Volpino Italiano the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape.
Moderate Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.


Did You Know?
  The Volpino takes his name from the Latin word “vulpes,” meaning fox, a reference to the breed’s foxy appearance.
Read More

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Everything about your Cirneco dell'Etna

Everything about your Cirneco dell'Etna
  The Cirneco dell’Etna is a small and slender dog, similar in appearance to the Greyhound but with larger ears and a chestnut/tan coat. These dogs are an ancient breed native to the island of Sicily where they were valued for their intelligence and for their natural hunting ability. If you are looking for a small, active breed – especially one that takes well to dog sports – the Cirneco dell’Etna may be the right breed for you.

Overview
  The outgoing Cirneco (the plural is Cirnechi) weighs between 18 and 27 pounds, making him suitable for just about any home. Thanks to his innate athleticism, he’s a natural at agility and lure coursing, and he also does well in obedience, rally, and tracking. The Cirneco has a reputation for being easier to train than some other sighthounds — as long as you keep the training sessions short.
  Like most dogs, the Cirneco can become bored, noisy, and destructive if he doesn’t have other dogs to keep him company or if he doesn’t receive enough attention from his people. Despite his chase instinct, if a Cirneco is raised with other pets from an early age, he can live amicably with cats and small dogs.

Other Quick Facts
  • The Cirneco dell’Etna is a rare breed not readily found outside Italy — there are only 200 or so Cirnechi in the United States.
  • Although they are mainly companion dogs today, Cirnechi are known for their silent method of hunting, which allows them to catch animals off guard.
  • Since the breed is so uncommon, little is known about the health history of the Cirneco.
  • Like most sighthounds, Cirnechi aren’t too keen on having their feet touched.

Breed standards
AKC group: Hound Group
UKC group: Sighthound & Pariah
Average lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Average size: 18 to 27 pounds
Coat appearance: Close-Fitting, Long, Sleek, Smooth, Stiff, and Straight
Coloration:  tan- to chestnut-colored coat
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles, houses with yards
Temperament: Gentle, alert, independent, playful
Comparable Breeds: Pharaoh Hound, Ibizan Hound

History
  The Cirneco dell’Etna, also known as the Sicilian Greyhound, may resemble a small Pharaoh Hound, but he’s a distinct breed of Italian origin, with his own color markings, tail shape, and triangle-shaped ears. He gets his name from Mount Etna, on the Italian island of Sicily, where his ancestors hunted rabbit and hare. He stalks silently — so much so that he can even sneak up on birds. Today, this rare breed is predominantly a family companion.
  The Cirneco was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2006. The breed is also part of the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service, the first step toward AKC recognition. In 2012, the Cirneco dell’Etna will be admitted to the AKC’s Miscellaneous Class.

Personality
  The Cirneco dell'Etna has a strong, inquisitive, independent temperament, which is important in keen hunting dogs. It is also outgoing, friendly, affectionate and smart. Cirnechi are loyal and loving with their owners and friends. They are willing and eager to please and love to receive pets and praise. They usually make great family pets, although they can be reserved around strangers. 
  The Cirneco is an extremely adaptable breed that can thrive in a wide variety of environments. However, these are house dogs that definitely need to live indoors due to their short coats, thin skin and absence of body fat. They like to nestle on warm soft furniture, blankets and bedding, almost as much as they like to snuggle with their favorite people. 
  Cirnechi typically are tolerant of children, although this is not a bomb-proof breed and probably isn’t the best choice for families with very young kids. Cirnechi are social animals that tend to get along well with other dogs. They rarely cause problems in multiple-pet homes and, unlike most sighthounds, get along remarkably well with familiar cats. Of course, the earlier any dog is exposed to other household pets and small children, the more likely it is to get along with them as they age.

Health
  Since there are so few of these dogs, little is known about the health of Cirnechi. In general, they appear to be a hardy breed, but they can get muscle and toe injuries while running. A reputable breeder will discuss potential health problems with you, including any conditions that she has noticed in her own lines.
  As an ancient breed that has been largely unmanipulated by man, the Cirneco dell’Etna is hardy and healthy. The main health concerns to which this breed is prone include injuries that can occur while running. Responsible breeding practices and genetic testing can help to reduce the risk for inherited conditions in this and other breeds.
  Careful breeders screen their dogs for genetic disease, and only breed the best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy can develop a genetic condition. In most cases, he can still live a good life, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine. And remember that you have the power to protect your Cirneco from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping him at an appropriate weight is a simple way to extend your Cirneco’s life.


Trainability
  The Cirneco dell’Etna is an intelligent breed so they typically respond well to training. For the best results, start training early while your puppy is still young – that is when they will soak up the most training. Socialization is also important for this breed to help introduce them to new things and situations. Positive reinforcement training methods are recommended and you should be prepared to maintain a level of firm consistency with your dog to prevent him from becoming too strong-willed or independent. These dogs do very well when trained for hunting, lure coursing, agility, or other dog sports.

Exercise Requirements
  Cirnechi are high-energy animals that need quite a bit of regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally fit. They love taking long daily walks and having a chance to stretch their legs in safely-enclosed areas. It is important for Cirneco owners to have well-fenced yards, so that their dogs can run freely and burn off excess energy, which usually happens in short bursts. While they can be gregarious and playful, Cirnechi usually are calm and quiet, both indoors and out, as long as their exercise needs are met. They are great fans of toys of all sorts. A Cirneco can play with a single toy for hours, keeping it out of mischief. Cirnechi are active contestants in lure coursing and agility competitions. Participation in these and other canine sporting events provides a great opportunity to showcase the Cirneco’s athleticism, while at the same time giving him a chance to get physical exercise and canine socialization.
  Because the Cirneco dell’Etna was bred for hunting it is a fairly active breed with fairly high exercise requirements. This breed requires at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day in the form of a walk or jog – active play time is also appreciated. Training your dog for hunting, lure coursing, or other dog sports can help to meet its daily exercise requirements while also providing plenty of mental stimulation.


Grooming
  The Cirneco dell'Etna is a low-maintenance breed. Its short coat only needs an occasional brushing to keep it tidy and clean. A rubber curry brush or hound glove, or even a warm damp cloth, work well to keep its coat looking shiny and lustrous. Frequent bathing is not necessary and really should only be done when the dog is obviously smelly or dirty. Other routine maintenance is the same as for most breeds, including dental care to keep teeth clean, reduce plaque build-up and prevent bad breath. Regular nail clipping is also important. 
  Many sighthounds, including many Cirnechi, are sensitive to having their feet handled. Nail care should start at a very young age, so that it does not become a struggle. Owners should do their best to avoid cutting into the quick of the nail, which is quite painful for the animal. For those who are not comfortable clipping nails, a quick trip to a professional groomer can be a godsend for both owner and dog.

Did You Know?
  It’s believed that the Cirneco dell’Etna descended from dogs who were left behind by the Phoenicians along Sicily’s coast. The breed was depicted on Sicilian coins minted as early as the 3rd century B.C.


Is the Cirneco dell'Etna the Right Breed for you?
Low Maintenance: Infrequent grooming is required to maintain upkeep. No trimming or stripping needed.
Minimal Shedding: Recommended for owners who do not want to deal with hair in their cars and homes.
Moderately Easy Training: The Cirneco dell'Etna is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Read More

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Everything about your Clumber Spaniel

Everything about your Clumber Spaniel
  The Clumber Spaniel is one of the original nine breeds registered by the American Kennel Club. Long and low, it’s not as fast as other sporting dogs, but will work all day, trotting along in a slow, rolling gait. Dignified and pensive, but possessing great enthusiasm, the Clumber Spaniel also has a beautiful white coat.

Overview
  The largest of all spaniels, the Clumber Spaniel is a dog fit for a king. And indeed, much of the breed’s early history centers around French and British nobility.
  Bred to be a gundog that specializes in hunting in heavy cover, the Clumber Spaniel has the long, soft coat characteristic of all spaniels. Most Clumbers are white in color, while some specimens display brown, lemon or orange markings. It is fairly powerfully built dog with heavy bone structure and a massive head. This large muzzle enables the Clumber Spaniel to retrieve all types of game. The Clumbers have ‘melting’ heads and their faces take on a sleepy, mournful expression.
  Although not as fast as most other breeds of spaniels, the Clumber has great stamina and is able to trot along at a slow gait for hours on end. It is also a highly intelligent dog capable of independent thinking. These characteristics make it an excellent hunting dog; a task the breed was used for prominently amongst the British aristocracy. They are also gentle and loving and make excellent pets as well.

Highlights
  • Clumber Spaniels are rare and finding a breeder who has puppies may take time. Expect to spend time on a waiting list.
  • Clumber Spaniels can be destructive whether through boredom or play. Their strong jaws allow them to demolish many household items with ease and they can destroy many so-called indestructible toys. It is important to take this into consideration before purchasing a Clumber and to take the time to dogproof your house.
  • Clumber Spaniels are notorious counter surfers. They may be short, but their long bodies enable them to reach even the deepest of counter spaces.
  • Clumbers can figure out how to break into refrigerators, cupboards, and drawers.
  • Clumber Spaniels are not for neat freaks. They are heavy shedders and require daily grooming to keep their coats healthy and free of dead hair. Even then, you will find their hair in every part of the house.
  • Clumber Spaniels are an excellent breed for first-time dog owners. They are generally an easy breed to care for and are only moderately stubborn. They have a sweet temperament, and their intelligence makes them a wonderful companion.
  • Clumber Spaniels need 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily, broken up into two or three short walks or a single walk.
  • It is very important to maintain your Clumber Spaniel at a healthy weight to avoid stress on his joints. The breed has a high incidence of hip dysplasia and can become obese very easily.
  • Clumber Spaniels do very well in apartments if their exercise needs are met.
  • Clumber Spaniels generally do very well with children and other dogs and animals, but it is still important to properly socialize your puppy to prevent timidity.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Clumber’s long, soft coat is white, with lemon or orange markings.
  • Expect to find Clumber drool in odd places, like the roof of your car. They have been known to fling spittle up to five feet up and six feet out.
  • Insomniacs take note: Clumbers snore.
Breed standards
AKC Group: Sporting
UKC Group: Gun Dogs
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Average size: Clumber Spaniel males range in weight from 70-85 pounds
Color: White
Coat: Dense
Hypoallergenic Breed: No
Shedding: Constant
Grooming Needs: Moderate Maintenance
Comparable Breeds: English Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound


History
A drawing of two Clumber Spaniels from 1858.
  The history of the Clumber Spaniel is unclear. Current thinking is that the breed was developed by hunters and gamekeepers in the latter part of the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries – who bred dogs to fit function to practical demands. The breed name comes from the Duke of Newcastle’s estate at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire, England. A number of titled families and local gentry hunted in that area, known as “the Dukeries,” with Clumber Spaniels, and apparently bred them with the Duke’s dogs to create this fine hunting spaniel. Old pictures of this breed depict them almost always as white and orange, with less bone and smaller heads than today’s breed. Clumbers were first shown in England in 1859. The breed came to North America in 1844, coming to Canada with a Lieutenant in Her Majesty’s 97th Regiment stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The first Clumber recognized by the American Kennel Club was in 1878, six years before the American Kennel Club was founded.
  It is clear is that the breed was created to be low to the ground in order to quickly search through the underbrush while on the hunt. Its low and rolling gait was developed for endurance instead of agility or speed. This is a gentle, loyal and affectionate dog with an intrinsic desire to please.

Personality
  Clumber Spaniels are odd-looking, bottom heavy dogs who usually have no idea just how big they really are. They will try to climb on laps, or will lay on feet, with complete disregard for the comfort level of the person they are smothering. They are a happy breed, eager to greet anyone and everyone at the door. Clumbers are not guard dogs, they'll happily walk away with a stranger if you aren't paying attention. Excited Clumbers will pick up the nearest item that will fit in their mouths and shake their entire rear end while tail-wagging, which can lead to hours of laughter. They are polite dogs who rarely make a nuisance of themselves and would much rather sunbathe than alert you that the mailman is approaching.

Health
  The Clumber Spaniel, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, is susceptible to intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), a major health concern. Besides this particular disease, some of the other minor health problems that the breed is prone to are otitis externa, ectropion, and entropion, as well as seizures. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend elbow, eye, and hip exams early on.

Care
  The dense, flat coat of a Clumber Spaniel requires combing at least two to three times a week. Additionally, regular bathing is essential to keeping its coat clean and neat.
Its exercise requirements, meanwhile, consist of daily outdoor walks or long, energetic games. Be aware that some Clumber Spaniels may snore occasionally or drool.

Living Conditions
  Clumber Spaniels will do okay in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. They are very inactive indoors and a small yard will be sufficient. Like cooler weather.

Trainability
  Clumbers are moderately easy to train. Positive reinforcement and a lot of treats are the only way to get a Clumber to do what you want them to do, but they pick up on commands quickly when they learn there is food in the deal. Treating a Clumber with a harsh hand will result in his absolute refusal to move. A Clumber who doesn't appreciate a trainer's tone will sit down and refuse to go any farther, so patience and enthusiasm must always be employed. Consistency is also very important when training a Clumber. They are like teenagers, always looking for a loophole in the rules and will test boundaries daily.

Exercise Requirements
  Clumber Spaniel puppies are highly playful and have a great deal of energy. They however slow down significantly as they age and aren’t very active as adults. This makes them unsuitable for active, athletic owners that enjoy jogging and hiking with their dogs. However, they do require at least an hour of walking exercise each day. They also enjoy carrying things in their mouth as it gives them a meaningful task to be engaged with.

Grooming Needs
  Clumbers shed year round, and during season changes can shed quite heavily. Brushing should be conducted on a daily basis to minimize debris around the house, as well as removing loose hair from the dog's body. Trimming may be done on the rear legs, tail or feet and a breeder can teach the proper technique.
  The white coloring of the Clumber can make the dog appear dirty more often than he looks clean. But regular bathing won't damage the dog's coat, as long as the shampoo is made for dogs and is a gentle formula for frequent baths.
  A Clumber's ears should be checked every week for signs of irritation and infection. Because the ears hang, they can be prone to wax and bacterial build up. Use only a veterinarian-approved solution when cleaning a dog's ears. Teeth should be brushed weekly to prevent bad breath, gum disease and tooth loss, and if the dog goes not naturally wear down his toenails, monthly trimmings may be required.

Children And Other Pets
  It's been said that Clumbers and kids go together like ice cream and cake. Clumbers generally love kids, especially kids who throw a ball for them to fetch. They are usually protective of children in the family and are more likely to walk away than to snap or growl if they're getting unwanted attention from a child.
  If your Clumber puppy is raised with your toddler, you'll probably see a beautiful friendship blossom. The toddler may accidentally get flattened once in a while by an exuberant young Clumber, but he'll be licked until he's back on his feet.
Always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Clumber Spaniels also do very well with other dogs and animals, especially if they are raised with them. They are birdy, however, and you should protect pet birds until you're sure your Clumber understands they're off-limits.

Is the Clumber Spaniel the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Little to no trimming or stripping needed.
Constant Shedding: Routine brushing will help. Be prepared to vacuum often!
Moderately Easy Training: The Clumber Spaniel is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Slightly Active: Not much exercise is required to keep this dog in shape. Owners who are frequently away or busy might find this breed suitable for their lifestyle.
Good for New Owners: This breed is well suited for those who have little experience with dog ownership.
Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Did You Know?
  Some pretty important Brits were enamored with the Clumber Spaniel: Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, as well as Edward VII, were both fans of the breed.


Read More

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Everything about your Bouvier des Flandres

Everything about your Bouvier des Flandres
  Always an adventurer, the Bouvier des Flandres has rugged good looks and is generally ready and raring to do almost anything. His rough and tumble looks are a mere reflection of his incredible personality. With an inherent work ethic, the Bouvier des Flandres will herd livestock or children. It is essential that he has a job to do or he can become unhappy, bored and destructive.

Overview
  Meaning "cow herd from Flanders," the Bouvier des Flandres was bred in Belgium to assist farmers, cattle merchants and butchers with herding. Nicknamed "cow dog," "dirty beard" and "cattle driver," the breed still enjoys being a working dog. Often used for police work, as a farm hand, as a watchdog, for military work, as an assistant to the blind and more, the Bouvier des Flandres does best on land with a lot of exercise and training.
  Like most dogs with a working background, the intelligent Bouvier is an independent thinker, so he must be taught from an early age that you are his leader. It’s also important to assign him daily “work,” such as helping to pull garden tools around the yard or participating in dog sports, like agility, carting, herding, and tracking. Bouviers are active and athletic, so they enjoy jogging, hiking, and long walks  twice a day. If you’re the outdoorsy type, look into search-and-rescue training for you and your Bouvier.

Highlights
  • The Bouvier is not recommended for fastidious people who can't stand a mess. Although he can be tidied up with a significant amount of elbow grease, his coat tends to collect dirt and debris, which in turn is deposited throughout your house.
  • Not surprisingly, the Bouvier requires a lot of grooming — which can be time-intensive and/or expensive.
  • Because of his assertive personality, this breed is not recommended for first-time dog owners.
  • The Bouvier's size, herding instinct, and strong personality make leash training highly advisable.
  • The Bouvier is happiest when he is with his family.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Bouvier’s coat comes in several colors, ranging from fawn to black. You may also see brindle and salt-and-pepper coats. A small star on the chest is the only white allowed.
  • Bouviers have had roles in movies, including Town and Country and A Dog of Flanders, a film about a boy and his beloved Bouvier.
Breed standards
AKC group: Herding Group
UKC group: Herding
Average lifespan: 10 - 12 years
Average size: 65 - 110 pounds
Coat appearance: Double coat with rough and harsh outercoat that is shaggy in appearance; soft and thick undercoat
Coloration: Black, salt and pepper, gray, fawn and brindle
Hypoallergenic: Yes 
Other identifiers: Powerful body with a rugged exterior; rectangular ears; black nose; bushy eyebrows; dark-brown eyes with black rims; muscular legs; high-set, docked tail
Possible alterations: Blond, white markings
Comparable Breeds: Airedale Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier

History
  The monks at the Ter Duinen monastery in Flanders were among the earliest known breeders of Flanders. The bouviers bred by them are recorded as having been bred from imports such as Irish wolfhounds and Scottish deerhounds with local farm dogs, until a breed considered to be the predecessor of the modern Bouvier des Flandres was obtained.
  This became a working dog able to perform tirelessly, herding and guarding cattle and even pulling cargo carts, thanks to its strength and temperament, and to withstand the local weather conditions due to its thick coat.
  Historically, the ear cropping and tail docking could have been done for practical reasons, avoiding accidental amputations in the course of work, or to indicate the dog was working stock and not a pet subject to taxation.
  Up until the early 20th century, the breed was not completely defined, with three variants: Paret, Moerman or Roeselare, and Briard. Conflict between the proponents of these three variants held the breed's development back. In 1912 and 1913, several local kennel clubs recognized standards for Bouviers; however they usually had different standards for the Roeselare and other variants.
  World War I nearly caused the breed to disappear, due to the devastation that came over its region of origin and the fact that the dogs were used for military purposes. Indeed, Nic, a male trained as a trench dog who served during the war and was a perennial winner at dog shows after the war, is considered to be the founder of the early Bouvier des Flandres breed.
  A unified Bouvier des Flandres standard was created in 1936 by a joint French-Belgian committee. However, World War II again endangered the breed's existence. Due to these setbacks, progress was slowed, and it was not until 1965 that the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) breed standard, as agreed to by several minor kennel clubs, was adopted.



Personality
  Serious and thoughtful, The Bouvier Des Flanders is a dignified family companion who is built for athletics, but would much rather nap indoors by the fireplace. Rowdy and rambunctious as puppies, as adults Bouviers mellow into dignified and sober housemates.   They love to be with people and are happiest when completely surrounded by their “flock” of humans. Their protective nature makes them excellent watchdogs, and they are patient with children.
  The Bouvier has a strong personality: He needs an owner who can kindly and consistently show leadership, otherwise, he's likely to fill the void. This doesn't mean you should take a drill sergeant approach, but you must act the confident leader and consistently, albeit gently, enforce guidelines.

Health Problems
  Prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems such as cataracts. The Bouvier has a very high pain threshold. They can take a lot of contact with the cattle's legs without feeling it. This does not make them a veterinarian's favorite patient, as they cannot tell where the dog is hurting by manipulating the legs and/or other body parts. Tends to pass gas.

Care
  Although the Bouvier des Flandres breed is capable of living outside, they are at their best when given access to both house and field. They love human companionship and should be given a great deal of regular exercise. They enjoy playing for hours, which is a good exercise choice. Jogging or walking for long hours also keeps them healthy. Herding is one of their favorite games. Occasional combing and trimming of their coat is essential to keep them at their best. They can be great house dogs.
  You'll need to take special care if you're raising a Bouvier puppy. Like other large breeds, the Bouvier grows very rapidly between the age of four and seven months, making him susceptible to bone disorders. Don't let your Bouvier puppy run and play on very hard surfaces such as pavement or pull a cart until he's full grown and his joints are fully formed. Normal play on grass is fine, as is puppy agility play, with its one-inch jumps.

Living Conditions
  The Bouvier des Flandres will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least a large yard.

Training
  Bouviers are extremely intelligent dogs however; they require a strong authority figure. It is essential that a Bouvier des Flandres thoroughly understands his place within the household. Given the chance, he will overtake the home and attempt to rule the roost.
  Many Bouviers excel in herding, agility and obedience trials. Their desire to work and do their jobs well make them well-suited for many other things including tracking, search and rescue as well as police work. Training should be started early. It should be done with patience, kindness and assertiveness. Plenty of delectable treats should be used as rewards for doing well.

Activity Requirements
  This gentle giant requires a lot of vigorous activity throughout the day. As Bouviers move from adolescence to adulthood, they will become a bit lethargic and will often need to be told when it's time to exercise, but keeping their activity levels high is very important to their health and mental well being, even if they need to be coaxed into it.
  This breed, despite their large size, is well-suited for an apartment or condominium, so long as they are exercised daily. If Bouvier Des Flandres aren't exercised enough they can become destructive, and an apartment would be mincemeat in the mouth of a bored Bouvier. A house with a large fenced-in yard for running is great, but as the Bouvier gets older, he may appreciate long walks more so than romping in the grass.

Grooming
  The Bouvier has a double coat, with a tousled look. His undercoat, which offers warmth and water-resistance, is soft, dense, and topped by rough hairs that protect the dog from inclement weather. A mustache, beard, and eyebrows give the Bouvier his characteristic gruff appearance.
  If you adore the way Bouviers look in the show ring, think twice about getting the breed: This well-coiffed look takes hours to achieve. At home, the Bouvier is your typical shaggy dog. His coat doesn’t shed much, but it does develop mats and tangles if not thoroughly brushed once a week. A good brushing takes about an hour; ask your breeder or a groomer to show you how to line brush the coat, so you don’t miss any mats. You’ll need a stiff bristle or pin brush, as well as blunt-tipped scissors. If you don’t plan to show him, it’s okay to trim the Bouvier’s beard and coat for easier upkeep. The rest is routine care: bath your Bouvier when he’s dirty, as well as clean his ears and trim his nails on a regular basis.

Children And Other Pets
  The Bouvier is a wonderful family dog who is devoted and protective with his family, including children. He may wish to herd his children with nudges and barks.
  To best teach him to get along with kids, he should be raised with them or, if he doesn't live with them, he should be exposed to children as he grows up.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  The Bouvier should be raised with other dogs and animals for the best chance at getting along with them when he grows up. If he is socialized and trained properly, he usually just ignores other animals in his household. Buy hid instinct to herd and chase is strong, supervision is always a good idea.

Is this breed right for you?
  The Bouvier des Flandres is known as one of the most loyal of dog breeds on the planet. A friendly disposition, it can sometimes be shy and needs to be both trained and socialized young with both people and non-canine pets. A lover of children, it makes a great family dog, although it is a large breed and needs to learn how to behave around younger kids as a puppy. This dog most definitely needs a strong leader to show who is boss and avoid any behavioral problems. Generally inactive indoors, the Bouvier des Flandres does OK with apartment living, although it does best with a large yard or plenty of land in which to roam free. Requiring daily brushing and bathing, this breed requires a lot of grooming; however, due to low shedding, it is an awesome addition for allergy sufferers.

Did You Know?
  The Bouvier des Flandres has several European nicknames: Vuilbaard (dirty beard), Koehond (cow dog), and Toucheur de Boeuf (cattle driver).

Notable Bouviers des Flandres
Lucky, pet of Ronald Reagan
  • Soprano de la Thudinie, the post-war foundation stud of Justin Chastel's de la Thudinie kennel in Belgium and the most prominent ancestor of the modern type of Bouvier des Flandres.
  • Lucky, pet of Ronald Reagan.
  • Patrasche, the dog found by a boy named Nello in A Dog of Flanders, is often asserted to be a Bouvier des Flandres.
  • Max and his mate Madchen and their puppies, fictional characters featured in W.E.B. Griffin's Presidential Agent series.
A dream day in the life
The Bouvier des Flandres is a lover of people and family and will enjoy waking up around those it enjoys most. Going to work outside, it'll happily follow the commandments of its owner. Once its day's work has finished, it'll guard the house and romp around with the kids. After a nice run around the block, the Bouvier des Flandres will nestle in with the rest of the brood for a good night's rest..

Read More