Bouvier Des Flandres

Last updated October 2009

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch information related to this breed for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However, if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as highly undesirable, it must not be rewarded in the show ring.

General appearance

Compact body, short-coupled, powerfully built, well boned, strongly muscled limbs, giving impression of great power but without clumsiness in general deportment.


Lively appearance revealing intelligence, energy and audacity. Its harsh beard is very characteristic giving forbidding expression.


Calm and sensible.

Head and skull

In proportion to build and stature general impression is of strength, accentuated by beard and moustache. Head clean cut. Skull well developed, flat, somewhat longer than wide. Proportions of skull to muzzle are 3:2. Stop shallow, but appears deep due to upstanding eyebrows. Muzzle broad, powerful, well boned, straight in upperline, sloping slightly toward nose which should never become pointed. Circumference measured just in front of eyes approximately equal to length of head. Nose should be very well developed, thus extending the foreface in a slightly convex line towards its tip, rounded at edges, always black. Nostrils wide. Cheeks flat and clean.


Alert in expression. Neither protruding nor sunken. Slightly oval in shape and horizontally placed but not too close together. As dark as possible in relation to coat colour. Light or wild-looking eyes highly undesirable. Eye rims always black, lack of pigmentation undesirable. Haw never visible.


Set on high, very flexible, triangular and in proportion to head.


Jaws strong. Teeth strong and white with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Strong, well muscled and thickening slightly towards shoulders. A little shorter than length of head, nape strong and slightly arched. Without dewlap.


Forelegs very strong and absolutely straight. Shoulders relatively long, muscular without heaviness, obliquely placed. Shoulder blade and upper arm of equal length. Elbows well set into body and parallel, turning neither in nor out. Forearms, seen from front or side, straight, parallel to each other, perpendicular to ground. Well muscled, heavy boned. Pasterns strong, fairly short, sloping very slightly.


Short, strong, deep, broad, compact with very little tuck-up. Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock about equal to height at withers. Chest descends to level of elbows and is not cylindrical, although ribs well sprung. Croup extends horizontal line of back, blends imperceptibly with curve of rump; broad but not excessively so in dogs, broader in bitches. A rising croup, or one which falls away very definitely undesirable.


Moderate angulation, firm and well muscled, with large, powerful thighs. Legs strong and sturdy with hocks well let down and perfectly perpendicular when viewed from rear.


Short, round and compact. Toes tight and well arched. Nails black and strong. Pads thick and hard.


Previously customarily docked or may be born tailless.

Docked: Docked to 2-3 vertebrae.

Undocked: Continuing normal line of vertebral column. Carried gaily when moving. In overall balance with the rest of the dog.


Powerful, driving, free and easy; ambling permitted but not desirable.


Abundant, so thick that when separated by hand skin barely visible. Hair coarse to touch, dry and matt. Neither too long nor too short (about 6 cms (2½ ins). Unkempt-looking but never woolly nor curly, gradually becoming shorter as it comes down the legs, always harsh. Flat coat denoting lack of undercoat highly undesirable. Undercoat dense and close grained. On head shorter, outside of ears very short. Upper lip well moustached, lower carrying a full harsh beard giving forbidding expression so characteristic of breed. Eyebrows formed of backward-sweeping hairs accentuating shape of eyebrows but never veiling eyes.


From fawn to black including brindle. White star on chest permissible. White predominating or chocolate brown highly undesirable. Light washed-out shades undesirable.


Height: dogs: 62-68 cms (24½-27 ins); bitches: 59-65 cms (23-25½ ins). Weight approx: dogs: 35-40 kgs (77-88 lbs); bitches: 27-35 kgs (59-77 lbs).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – The Kennel Club breed standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the size measurements stated in the breed standard.