Last year, we posted about the “other” Bouvier, the Bouvier des Ardennes, and wrote with regret that of the original five Bouvier dogs*, only the Bouvier des Flandres and the Bouvier des Ardennes remain. Still, a gene pool has swimming in it the DNA of dogs that came before, and we think it’s worth mentioning the Bouvier des Roulers, a breed that took its name from the area around the French town.
This was a large, wiry black dog with a deep chest, less coat and shorter hair. By all accounts, it was an impressive helpmate that worked not by chasing, but by blocking and moving lead cows. Along with the shorter and barrel-chested Paret style, it eventually developed into the Bouvier Belge des Flandres recognized in 1910 by the Societe Royale St. Hubert, Belgium’s national kennel club.
At one time, the Club actually drew up a proposed standard for both the Bouvier des Ardennes and the Bouvier des Roulers, but less than twelve months later, Belgium was invaded by Germany and the entire region of the Ardennes was occupied, the country devastated. Some of the Bouviers were presumed lost for good, and while a miraculous discovery lead to the revitalization of the Ardennes, surviving examples of the Bouvier des Roulers, Bouvier de Moermon, and Bouvier de Paret were never found, and it’s now believed they are completely extinct.
*The five original Bouviers were the Bouvier des Flandres, Bouvier des Ardennes, Bouvier des Roulers, Bouvier de Moermon, and the Bouvier de Paret.