Working-Bouvier PDF Print E-mail

The bouvier – originally a stock dog!

A small group around Felix Hohmeyer in the Bielefeld area started herding 1 ½ year ago, mostly with Australian cattle dogs. They organized two 3-days-seminars with the Australian herding expert Simon Leaning. So what seems more obvious than just get on the road and find out for ourselves how 14-weeks-old Amy thinks about sheep?
The result wasn’t bad at all, but encouraged us to take further steps in this direction. Tremendous how this little bouvier girl courageously faced and prevailed against these five rather stubborn sheep –huge in her small eyes- , that hadn’t been nice to some dogs before as we had noticed.
The most interesting and amazing perception was that in this work no treats as secondary motivation are required, the dog either has this drive and basic instinct…or not.
In herding the flock is motivation enough, just to herd is fun, so the dog only has to be directed a little, so it seems. Well ok, a little more is still required, but not now and here with Amy, because we’re just at the point of coming to know sheep and cattle better.
The time out on the farm of Felix Hohmeyer may initiate another interesting field of performance, time will tell how seriously we’ll be able to practice it, but the first steps are taken…even promising ones!


As we have been interested in the bouvier’s original kind of work like herding for quite a while, we’ve been in contact with America for some years. For one thing the American scene around the  working dog shows big interest in our local waterwork practised with Bryana, for another thing their herding activities attract our attention, a field of work/sports that is the bouv’s basic heritage, but totally neglected in German bouvier organizations, only practised here with border collies and a few others.

Likewise old bouvier qualities and abilities like “treideln” (pulling boats through canals) which makes this dog interesting for waterwork as well, or carting (cheese and milk to the market) are marginalized and don’t seem to be of any interest to local bouvier people, apart from the race descriptions  where you still may find it.

Therefore our American contacts concerning the working bouvier are more intensive -for reasons of interest-  than those in Germany where the only choice for a bouvier seems to be IPO and VPG.


One of the herding experts working with bouviers des flandres in America is Tim Taylor. To give you an impression of his work, just enjoy his videoclip “stock dog”:

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