The Bouvier des Flandres comes from Belgium and is the product of centuries of breeding for purpose but not necessarily form or pedigree. Their early breeders were farmers, butchers, or cattle merchants not too concerned with creating a purebred dog. The first Bouviers varied in size, weight, and color but were recognizably Bouviers and had a variety of names: Vuilbaard (dirty beard), koehond (cow dog), and toucheur de boeuf or pic (cattle driver). They are driven, hard-working farm dogs whose intelligence, energy, and strength serves them well in agility, tracking, obedience, carting, and conformation. Their confidence and stability results in a dog suitable for dual roles as protector and family companion. They are adaptable to household living but must get daily exercise. Their profuse, double coat protects them from harsh weather but necessitates frequent brushing to prevent build-up of dead hair and matting.