The Bouvier des Flandres was bred to work for farmers, butchers, and cattlemen. The Bouvier’s early names of “toucheur de boeuf” (cattle driver) and “koehond” (cow dog) give evidence of its working history. The Bouvier is also an excellent guard and police dog. Used as an army dog during the two World Wars, the Bouvier carried messages under fire and hunted out the wounded. The Bouvier's bravery was such that many became war casualties, and it took a concentrated effort to reestablish the breed in its homeland of Belgium after World War II. During the 1930s, the Bouvier was introduced to North America, where it continues to gain popularity as a family pet and watchdog.
Responsible and loyal, the Bouvier is typically protective of the family’s children, although he may bump them to move them (every good herder needs a herd!). Constant supervision and care with big dogs around young children is always wise.
A working breed, Bouviers learn commands quite easily, but some may be strong-willed with meek owners. Although they require exercise, the Bouvier does relax a good part of the day – unless the family needs him. His protective drive typically makes him a good guard and watch dog. Socialization at an early age may mitigate wariness or unfriendliness with other dogs, but the Bouvier may be pushy with other animals.
Fond of human companionship, the Bouvier does well in most environments, provided it exercises outdoors every day. At a minimum a couple of daily 30-minute walks are recommended. .