Don't Buy a Bouvier
single page version
For those who need a short version of my classic article, Don't Buy a Bouvier, here is a single page version. This version works well as a hand-out to be given at dog events. If you need a portable document version, see Portable Document version and the full length version updated to 2007 including the issue of Bouvs and cats is at Don't Buy a Bouvier (full length version)
DON'T BUY A BOUVIER !
by Pam Green, (copyright 1992 by author)
Interested in buying a Bouvier ? Well, I think you should also hear, before it's too late, that Bouviers are not the perfect breed for everyone. Think long and hard before buying or adopting one. You will be committing yourself for up to 15 years.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you are attracted to the breed chiefly by its appearance. Behavior, temperament, and trainability are what you actually live with. Be sure that the Bouvier personality truly suits your own personality and lifestyle.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you are unwilling to share your house and your life with your dog. Bouviers are family-oriented housedogs ; they do not make good "outdoor" dogs. (Actually few dogs are happy if "exiled" from house and family.)
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you don't intend to educate (train) your dog. Basic obedience training is a MUST if your Bouv is to be a pleasant and well-mannered housemate. and you yourself must do it (with help in class) ; no one can do it for you.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you lack leadership (self-assertive) personality. Bouvs are NOT submissive natured ; they tend to take advantage of wishy-washy non-alpha owners. You must be self-assured, consistent, and calmly firm.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you don't value laid-back companionship and calm affection. Bouvs are loving , but not highly demonstrative of their affections.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you are fastidious about the neatness of your home. Bouvs tend to track a lot of dirt into the house, more than almost any other breed.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you are fastidious about unpleasant odors. Bouvs have a fair amount of "doggy" body odor and they fart more than most breeds.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you dislike doing regular grooming. The Bouv's shaggy double coat demands grooming, at least 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a week.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you dislike daily physical exercise. Bouvs need exercise, but they are lazy, so you have to walk, jog, or bicycle with your Bouv.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you believe that dogs should run "free". No dog can run free and unsupervised, neither in urban nor rural setting. Bouvs , being herding dogs, will chase livestock, for which crime the stock's owner will kill the dog.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you can't afford to buy, feed, and provide health care for one. Bouvs are one of the more expensive breeds in all these respects. (Actually, no dog is cheap to keep; all can run up horrendous vet bills.)
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you want the "Latest Greatest Ferocious Killer Attack Dog" ; but also DON'T buy a Bouvier if you want a totally unaggressive and unprotective dog. The mere presence and formidable aura of a Bouv will intimidate and deter 95% of burglars, muggers, and rapists. Attack training may improve your chances against some of the remaining 5%, but it exposes you to tremendous potential liability and it demands many hundreds of hours of highly skilled training. If poorly done, it can create a dangerous dog.
- DON'T buy a Bouvier if you are not willing to commit yourself for the dog's entire lifetime. Every dog deserves lifetime loyalty from his owners. A Bouvier dumped into a Pound or Shelter has almost no chance of escaping death. Almost all disagreements and problems can be solved through counseling and training of owner and dog. If you must place your Bouv , do so only through a Bouv Club or Bouv Rescue group.
If all the preceding "bad news" about Bouviers hasn't turned you away from the breed, then by all means DO GET A BOUVIER ! They are every bit as wonderful as you have heard !
However you might give serious consideration to adopting a Bouvier from Bouvier Rescue as an alternative to buying a puppy. Almost all "second hand" Bouvs make wonderful family companion dogs.
presented by "Du Clos de la Fourrière" Bouvier Rescue
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