From my teenage years, I’ve always been fascinated by the Bouvier des Flandres dog breed. I would carry out research and ask as many questions as possible to find out more about the breed.
One of my top questions was how much hair they shed. Today, I have three Bouvier des Flandres dogs (one fawn, one black, and one gray color), and I have most of the answers to the questions that once plagued me.
So how much do Bouvier des Flandres shed? Bouvier des Flandres are low to moderate shedders. You’ll often find them shedding all year round but not so bad that it’s unbearable. Regular brushing will significantly reduce the amount of shedding, which is a lot of work as these dog breeds are high maintenance.
Living with a Bouvier des Flandres is quite amazing when you know their value. If you do not like having hair all over your house all the time, this breed works. Keep reading to find out how I manage my Bouvier’s shedding and what I do to keep it at a minimum.
How Bad the Shedding Really Is and What It’s Like?
Bouvier des Flandres shed less than most breeds (Labrador Retriever, for instance) and more than some other breeds (the Lhasa Apso instance). This dog breed has a water-resistant double coat. There are the outer coat and the undercoat. The outer coat is long and very coarse, while the undercoat is dense and fine.
Owning three Bouvier des Flandres is undoubtedly not an easy job (not that I’m complaining). I love my dogs to pieces, and I love taking care of them. But once in a while, I get frustrated having to clean up hair out of the house every day.
It is a bit difficult explaining how one Bouvier’s shedding looks like around the house, seeing as I have more than one. It is always a myriad of colors (as all three are of different colors). There is always hair (not a lot) flying around the house every day, and the hair is long, fine, and multicolored, so it is hard to miss.
I wouldn’t trade my Bouviers for anything, and at the beginning, it was hard keeping up with the cleaning (I’m not crazy about vacuuming. At all). But now, with all three being seven years old, I have gotten a handle on things and seen the need to seek a professional groomer’s services.
This is because this breed needs a lot of grooming because of the nature of their coat, and getting help is very important if you can’t keep up.
Check out some of the best ways to describe Bouvier des Flandres’ shedding:
- On the floor: You will definitely notice the hair on the floor. The hair strands are thin and fine, and you will usually find clumps of hair on the floor when you spend days without vacuuming. Depending on the color of the hair, a carpet will unnoticeably gather so much of it. With a carpet, you can go days without seeing hair on your floor, which is why some dog owners tend to use carpets.
- On the couch, bed, curtains, and other upholstery: At the moment, I use couch covers on my sofas, so all I need to do is dust it off from time to time. Before getting said covers, I would usually find dog hair on my couch, which wasn’t difficult to clean off in all fairness. This is because the hair is not pointy, so it didn’t really stick into the fabric of my couch. If you allow your dog on your bed also, from time to time, you’ll find some of their hair on it as well.
- Clinging to clothes: This is still a frequent occurrence for me with my dogs. I have to give myself a thorough look-down in the mirror every day before going out because I have found dog hair clinging to my clothes more often than not. As long as you encounter this breed, the chances are that you will get some hair on your clothes. The good news is that you can simply dust it off and go on with your day.
- On your hand: While petting or playing with the dog, the hair on my hand sometimes happens during the shedding season when my dogs shed the most (which is still not a whole lot of shedding). And also when I’ve gone too long without giving their coat a proper brushing. But it happens more when I pet my dog with wet hands. The hair just clings to my hands a lot more when I play with my Bouviers with wet hands.
- Allergies: The Bouvier des Flandres is a great dog to have if you suffer from allergies. His coat won’t get your sinuses riled up and have you gasping for air. So, if you’re looking to adopt a hypoallergenic dog, consider the Bouvier des Flandres.
The Bouvier des Flandres is one of the highest maintenance dogs out there. Their coat can become shaggy fast, which will require top-notch grooming. It is no surprise that another name for the breed is “Vuilbaard,” which means “dirty beard.”
Because of their fluffy coat, the Bouvier can get dirty very easily. A little outdoor break and he’s running home with muddy paws, debris and leaves on his fur, dirt on his beard, and sometimes feces on his rear. This is why they need to be brushed regularly and bathed every few weeks.
How to Reduce the Shedding?
Although the Bouvier is not the worst shedding dog, I do all I can to further reduce my dog sheds. Gathering the experience I’ve had over the years with my dogs and pointers from other Bouvier owners, I have compiled a list of the best methods to reduce the shedding in Bouvier des Flandres.
Best ways for reducing Bouvier des Flandres shedding:
- Regular brushing: Unlike most dogs, the Bouvier des Flandres requires more than once a week routine brushing. Due to the nature of their coat, they are required to be brushed several times a week. This is done to prevent matting and tangles on his coat. It is mostly done to get rid of the dead hair in his coat, which invariably reduces shedding. This will be much easier if the coat is trimmed once every few months by a professional groomer.
- Regular bathing: This is also necessary to keep your dog’s coat looking shiny and healthy. A bath once every month is recommended for this breed. Bathing should be done with high-quality shampoo and should not be done several times a month. Over bathing can cause skin sensitivity and irritation, which will only increase the shedding of your dog.
- Use high-quality bathing shampoos: So far, I’ve used oatmeal bathing shampoo on my dogs, which has been working well. The shampoo significantly improved the health of their skin and helps in controlling shedding. And bad shampoo can irritate your Bouvier’s skin, which can lead to abnormal or excessive shedding.
- Plenty of exercises: Exercising helps your dog in a lot of ways, and one of them is the stimulation it gives them. If your dog does not get enough stimulation, they can get very stressed and begin to lose their hair. Keep your Bouvier well exercised to help reduce the amount of hair it sheds.
- Feed a healthy diet: Feeding your Bouvier with a complete and balanced diet helps equip him with the nutrients and vitamins he needs to grow healthier hair follicles, which are more resilient to breakage. Adding Omega-3 supplements to their food is a great way to promote the growth of a healthy coat. But ensure you seek professional advice before adding supplements to your dog’s food. Just to be safe.
- Increase water intake: Dehydrated skin can cause excessive hair loss with your Bouvier. You need to make sure they drink the required quantity of water daily to ensure their skin is hydrated and healthy.
These methods are golden and will help in reducing shedding in your Bouvier des Flandres. Having to clean up all the time is not fun, so you should use these tips.
Grooming a Bouvier is not easy work either, so you might find that you need extra hands. And the best hands are those of professional groomers.
Dealing with Bouvier Shedding in the House
You mostly have to deal with cleaning dog hair off your floor and furniture every day. This is the primary reason some people prefer not to have pets, but it can be less burdensome if you know how to make it easy.
Cleaning my dogs’ hair off my bed used to be a tiresome task. No matter how hard I cleaned, I just wasn’t able to get all the hair out. Then I got a bed with washable slipcovers, and all I do is remove the cover and have it laundered every week.
Simply vacuuming gets rid of about 95% of the hair because some of it will find its way into corners where the vacuum cannot reach. The best type of floor you should get as a Bouvier owner is a tile or hardwood floor. This is very easy to vacuum. Carpets are a bigger problem to clean as you’ll need more than just a vacuum to get half the hair out.
A friend who is a fellow Bouvier owner employs different tactics with her floors. She bought carpets that match the color of her dog’s hair. This way, no matter the amount of hair on her floors, you will hardly take note of it.
Getting the hair off the couch is pretty easy. Vacuum cleaners can work, but most times will be unable to clean all of the hair. One of the best ways to remove dog hair from the couch is by wiping it off while wearing rubber gloves. The friction from both rubber and fabric will cause all the hair to come off.
Another method for getting dog hair off your furniture is by using a dry or slightly damp sponge. The sponge will ball up the fur so you can just pack it up and discard it.
For areas where your vacuum cleaner cannot reach, you can simply wipe the whole area with a wet paper towel. All the stray hair will stick to it, and you can just throw away the paper towel.
Spotting Abnormal Shedding
Your Bouvier des Flandres might be shedding more than usual and unevenly. This is abnormal and could be due to diverse problems such as poor nutrition, stress, and even medical related problems.
A vet is the best person to determine the exact reason for your dog’s abnormal shedding. So, the best course of action to take when you notice an issue like this with your dog is to first make an appointment with a veterinarian.
Abnormal shedding can sometimes be curbed by feeding your dog the right food nutrients. Quality dog food usually comes with all the nutrients your dog needs without having to use supplements.
However, some dogs with allergies (which is also another reason dogs shed abnormally) might have problems when experimentation is being carried out to determine which food is best for them.
Parasite infestation can cause abnormal shedding with your dog also. The presence of lice, fleas, or mites on your dog’s skin will irritate the skin, leading to hair loss. Fungal or bacterial infections also cause the same problem.
Health problems like kidney disease, thyroid, liver disease, or adrenal disease will cause your Bouvier to shed abnormally. These diseases are no small matter, so the vet should be your first go-to once you noticed abnormal shedding with your dog.
Spotting abnormal shedding on time can be the key to saving your dog’s life. Because while it may be as a result of a minor issue like parasite infestation, it could also be caused by a more severe problem like thyroid.
My Final Thoughts
Bouvier des Flandres is a great companion to have. Though they are not the best dogs for first-time owners, they make a good house pet.
With Bouviers, be prepared to let them roam around the yard a lot because they don’t respond very well with being stuck in the apartment. And going out to play and exercise often has them coming back with a dirty and debris-filled coat.
They require a high level of maintenance to keep their coat looking neat and their skin healthy. Professional help is often needed with Bouvier’s, especially with their grooming needs.
Overall, you should consider adopting this breed because of their intelligence, protectiveness, loyalty, and gentleness. But also consider them for adoption, especially if you suffer from allergies.