Bouvier Des Flandres
Known originally as the Flanders Cattle Dog from the areas of South West Flanders and the French Northern Plains, these wonderful farmers dogs are known for their herding ability and as a draught dog. His scenting instincts also lent him to be used as a tracking dog and he was also kept as a messenger dog and gamekeepers’ dog. What becomes clear is that this dog was very highly x valued for his working ability and the standard reflects this strongly stating that “any changes which could harm this, should be penalized.
Though he is mostly used today as a farm dog, guard dog and defense/police dog, it doesn’t alter the need for the very attributes that made him what he was bred for. His coat is a huge part of his ability to work and the texture is vitally important, calling for a coat that is rough to touch, dry and Matt. One does not want a shiny, silky coat on this dog. His coat must be abundant and is double-coated with a dense undercoat and a harsh outercoat providing a protective layer that is waterproof. Colors range from grey, brindle through to black with a washed-out, light coat unacceptable.
So, the quest is to maintain that tousled, double coat which gives him that all-weather protection. Trimming is minimal to maintain the silhouette, yet he must not appear over groomed either.
To bathe the Bouvier, use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo or Plush Puppy Herbal Whitening Shampoo which is, in fact, a toning shampoo and not a lightening shampoo. Use either of the shampoos at approx. 5:1 dilution i.e. – 5 parts water to one part shampoo. This allows easier dispersion evenly throughout that dense “waterproof” coat. The Body Building shampoo will give you all the lift and fullness so required, and the Whitening Shampoo allows you to tone any unwanted warmer tones from sun bleaching or damage or just to give a darker depth to the coat.
For a black Bouvier or a dog that needs to intensify a washed-out coat color use Plush Puppy Black Opal Shampoo which is an ultra-toning shampoo – use at 1:3 dilution or for badly reddened ends on a dark coat, use up to 1:10 for lesser results The drier the coat the better the grab factor of the tone. Do not use on any area where black is not wanted I e the small white chest star that is allowed in the standard.
Shampoos are not just shampoos. However, most are used to just cleanse and smell good. Plush Puppy shampoos are very specific giving a direct outcome and allowing you the pro exhibitor to achieve the exact silhouette you are seeking. You can intermix the shampoos using say the Body Building and the Whitening together if you require both the outcomes. Or, use Whitening Shampoo on the top areas of the To keep your Borders coat in top condition try a mixture of Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil and Plush Puppy Coat Rescue as a treatment rinse and left in. This helps protect and hydrate the coat. Mix in equal parts 1 tablespoon of each into 1 Liter (1/4 Gallon) of warm water. Apply all over, do not rinse and then dry.
body and the Body Building throughout the sides and legs and head. It does allow you to mold the coat at the bath stage to some extent.
For a coat that is lacking or wishing to maintain texture use Plush Puppy Texture + Shampoo – another product formulated using the latest technology to retain and improve coat texture. Recommended to thoroughly yet gently cleanse and deodorize the coat of Terriers and other wire, harsh or coarse coated breeds without softening or compromising texture. It’s ideal for boosting body and coarseness in coats of all colors and coat types. Formulated to be pH controlled, creates/ maintains texture, easy to rinse out and low irritant with a subtle apple fragrance. Incorporates Gentian Root Extract, Juniper Fruit Extract, St John’s Wort Leaf Extract, Norway Spruce Leaf Extract, Hayflower Extract, Lemon Balm Leaf Extract, Arnica Flower Extract. Use at 1:10 or apply undiluted directly to areas requiring cleansing. Rinse thoroughly.
Now in order to hydrate this coat and keep it from getting brittle and to prevent breakage, especially around the beard and moustache, use as a final rinse, Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil diluted 1 teaspoon up to 1 tablespoon to 1 gal/4 liters water. Utilizing a large car sponge, saturate the coat after shampooing and rinsing with the Seabreeze Oil mix. Leave in and don’t rinse. This is truly an amazing product. It is water-soluble so it doesn’t go greasy and won’t make the coat soft or alter texture. You will get hydration, moisture, elasticity and minimize breakage. There is nothing quite like it and once hooked on this product, you will get fabulous results not only short term but long term. As show people, we like to bath and present well but it can dehydrate the coats especially if one is not able to use a conditioner as in the case of a Bouvier where we don’t want to soften texture as a conditioner will surely do.
You can also add 1 tablespoon of Plush Puppy Volumising Cream to the Seabreeze Oil mix to save time and add body and more lift if the coat is at all sparse. This coats each hair without giving a sticky, foreign feel to the coat. Also available is Plush Puppy Volumising Spray is a ‘Ready to Use’ for quicker, easier and fuller coat results. Perfect either before blow-drying or used to ‘fluff’ up the coat at the show. A light even spray, brush in until dry or use a dryer. For the legs and head to give more strength and body, use Plush Puppy Puffy Dog+ which is a stronghold mousse but totally water-soluble. Apply at root area around head and all over the legs. Dry as usual. Puffy Dog+ does not get flaky, nor leave white build up on the coat.
There is a lot of work to doing a Bouvier as he is a lot of dog and one should minimize the work by putting in the hard work prior to shows. Just a little Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil is just the best there is, formulated from highest quality Evening Primrose Oil, Calendula Oil and other good oils. It is all-natural and gives amazing results.
You could also use Plush Puppy Coat Rescue on beard or any areas needing treatment diluted 1 tablespoon to 250 ml (8oz) water and applied well through and rinsed after 5 minutes or leave in until show bathing. All of these are for that extra effort but not part of the usual routine.
You should keep in your box of tricks, Plush Puppy Powder Puff Regular and Plush Puppy Powder Puff Terrier. Both these are ostensibly cleaning powders that will clean a mess in a crate or whilst traveling etc. The spinoff is that they are also deodorizers leaving a clean fresh fragrance and the extra bonus with the Terrier powder is that it leaves an extremely harsh texture. A very light sprinkle of Powder Puff Terrier will give the coat added texture.
You can use Plush Puppy Wonder Wash for a no-rinse waterless shampoo on feet. I dislike using anything wet on the body of the coat after I have gone to such trouble to blow dry etc. and prefer if having to clean quickly, to use the Powder Puff cleaner.
The ideal brush when preparing and blow drying a Bouvier is the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush and the Plush Puppy Ultimate Slicker Brush. We love these brushes and they are exclusive to Plush Puppy using the highest quality of materials. So, showtime is here and your Bouvier is all done? Not quite – he could have a light mist of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher applied to the top area of his coat to keep him smelling fresh and clean – not bad if you have to travel with dogs in crates a good distance or the dog has been crated overnight. Judges judge with all senses so make this an olfactory sensation as well as visual.
To reduce time on drying use Plush Puppy FAST Blow Dry Spray that combines the latest active ingredients together to dramatically reduce drying time adds moisture and conditions while protecting the coat. It contains a recently discovered ingredient from the Australian Native Flame Tree that makes dry or old coat feel and look perfect. It also protects the coat from damage from sun and heat. It contains a slight hold ingredient for better coat management and a special active ingredient that eliminates static electricity and stops the flyaways. FAST is probably the most technically advanced formula in the Plush Puppy Range to date.
Your Bouvier with his calm and sensible attitude and frank expression should be looking a treat. His strength and personality should shine through with your presentation and your grooming and handling should be enhancing all his breed characteristics to their best. He is intelligent, energetic and agile with a free and proud gait. Above all, he is a Working dog. This dependable and courageous dog is not just another dog to show, he is part of the heritage of good working dogs and it is your mission to maintain the integrity and beauty of this marvelous breed.
Article courtesy of Plush Puppy Australia