According to the AKC standard, “The Bouvier des Flandres is a powerfully built, compact, short-coupled, rough-coated dog of notably rugged appearance. He gives the impression of great strength without any sign of heaviness or clumsiness in his overall makeup.” Bouviers are powerful dogs with large heads, sturdy bodies and square proportions. They have thick beards and shaggy eyebrows which are hallmark traits of the breed. Their eyes are oval and should always be dark in color and their ears should be set high atop the head. Bouviers' water-resist double coats are thick and coarse to the touch and comes in colors of fawn, black, salt and pepper, or brindle.
Size and Weight
Bouviers stand between 23.5 and 27.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 70 and 100 pounds. The ideal height by breed standards for males is 25 inches and for females, 26.
Coat and Color
Bouvier des Flanders have thick, high-maintenance, water-resistant double coats. The undercoat is dense yet fine and the topcoat is long, tousled and coarse. Bouviers come in several colors: fawn, black, salt and pepper, or brindle, and many sport a white star on the chest.
Bouviers are high-maintenance when it comes to grooming. They require a bath and a trim every six to eight weeks, and in between their coats require a lot of upkeep. The thick coat of the Bouvier des Flandres needs to be brushed several times per week to keep shedding to a minimum, keep tangles and mats from forming, and to look for burrs, ticks or other items that may have gotten caught in the coat. Bouviers are hard to keep clean – especially their beards, feet, and rear ends. Their beards will hold water and food from their dishes, their rears can trap feces, and their feet will pick up mud, grass, dirt, sticks and other various outdoor items.
The ears and teeth of a Bouvier should be cleaned on a weekly basis so that harmful bacteria do not have the opportunity to flourish. Additionally, if your Bouvier does not wear his nails down naturally, monthly clippings will be in order.