Is a bouvier right for you?
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Owning a Bouvier can be a difficult, but rewarding. You will groom for hours on one dog. If you show you will groom at least 8 hours before you are ready. The dog you see on the Westminster is not the dog that lays on your floor, unless you groom often. Even if you groom maticulously, one hour of playing in the yard can undo all the hard work you did. Bouviers are called Dirty Beards for a reason. All they eat and drink usually goes down into the beard. If you do not wash and comb it frequently it can smell like a dirty dishrag. Not a pleasant odor.

If you are not a person who trains dogs or you can't stand saying "NO" to your dog, a bouvier is not for you. If you do not run your Bouvier, the dog will run you. They need a firm loving pack leader that doesn't reward bad behavior, and can stand to say "No" to the bad behaviors. If not, you can quickly have dominance become an issue. Some Bouviers are more head strong than others. Some need reminding seldom, and with others it is a daily ritual to tell the dog that you are the boss. At no time should corporal punishment be the way you train a Bouvier. They will not respond favorably, and can become aggressive quickly. Patience and firm guidance is the way you teach a Bouvier des Flandres.

When you decide you want to own a Bouvier you need to read Pam's Green's "Don't Own a Bouvier" (link at the base of this page) . It is not meant to discourage you but warn you about all the behaviors and traits a Bouvier exibits. Some of them are not for everyone. You need to decide. Once you have decided, you need to find a Breeder you are comfortable with and put money down on a dog. A supermarket approach to dog buying is risky, and can cause buyers remorse down the road. A dog worth having is a dog worth waiting for. And the old saying that, "you get what you pay for", is certainly true with this breed. A Super high price tag for a puppy is questionable. Someone who is charging vastly less than the going rate is a red flag! A breeder must cover their costs, but if they are cutting corners to produce the dogs, they will charge less to sell more. BEWARE. It can be a problem. Get to know the breeder.

Make sure the Breeder will support you and your questions as the dog grows. A breeder who will not do this is not worth the price of the puppy. Do not be put off by a breeder who is curious about you. The breeder spent hours of time on these puppies. They want them in the best forever home possible. If you are not a good fit for the puppy the breeder will be reluctant to sell you a dog. It is important you are honest about your lifestyle and your living conditions and family life for the breeder to choose a puppy that fits your energy level.

Each litter has it's clowns, it's aloof dogs, it's outgoing in your face dogs and of course my favorite the show star. However in each litter there is a family pet too waiting to be loved. If you are not forthright about what you expect, the breeder can't do their best at matching you with a dog. Picking your puppy yourself, if you are not a person who has been in dogs, and breeding for years is difficult. Your impression can give you a false reading if you have only seen the litter for an hour when you visited the kennel. It takes a long time to determine a dog's personality. Let the breeder help you, or let the breeder pick the puppy best for you. Good Luck!

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