Bouvier des Flandres GIFs Cliparts
The Bouvier des Flandres is a herding dog breed originating in Flanders, Belgium. They were originally used for general farm work including cattle droving, sheep herding, and cart pulling, and nowadays as guard dogs and police dogs, as well as being kept as pets. The French name of the breed means, literally, 'Cow Herder of Flanders', referring to the Flemish origin of the breed. Other names for the breed are Toucheur de Boeuf (cattle driver), Vlaamse Koehond (Flemish cow dog), and Vuilbaard (dirty beard). The monks at the Ter Duinen monastery were among the earliest known dog breeders in 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. The breed's practical use became antiquated after the invention of the automobile, when cattle were more practically transported by trucks. 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.
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