The Flandoodle Breed: Health, Temperament, and Care

The Flandoodle is one of the least well known of the Doodle breeds, indeed one you may never have heard of at all! What is a Flandoodle? This unusual Doodle is a cross between the Bouvier Des Flandres and the Standard Poodle. Both are large, non-shedding breeds themselves which means that the Flandoodle is always a large non-shedding dog himself.

The Flandoodle is a more uncommon Doodle breed whose parents are the Standard Poodle and the Bouvier Des Flandres. They are a large dog, weighing up to 85lbs. They are high energy but take care of their needs and they will repay you with loyalty and love.

Parent Breeds:Poodle and Bouvier Des Flandres
Height:22” – 28”
Weight:55lbs – 85lbs
Other names:Bouvipoo, Flanpoo, Bouvidoodle
Temperament:Loving, loyal, faithful and stubborn
Best suited to:Experienced dog owners, homes with a large outdoor space, families with older children, those with an active lifestyle

Most of us (especially if we are interested in Doodles) are very familiar with the Standard Poodle but the Bouvier Des Flandres is quite a rare breed and many have never seen one or heard of them. With that in mind, let’s start by taking a look at the Bouvier, one of the parent breeds that make up the Flandoodle.

The Bouvier Des Flandres

The Bouvier originates from Flanders in Belgium as his name might suggest. His working heritage lays in farming and his main tasks included cart pulling, herding, and guarding his territory. Today they can still be found working as farm dogs but are also used as assistance dogs, companions, guard and even law enforcement dogs.

The Bouvier has a heavy, shaggy coat, not unlike a typical Doodle coat so needs regular grooming and trimming to look his best. He is a large, sturdy dog standing around 25 inches for females with males slightly larger at around 26-27 inches and weighs between 70 and 120lbs.

No one is certain about how the very first Bouviers were bred but it is believed that early sheepdogs, the Dutch Griffon, and the Barbet may have been used in his development. The Bouvier worked as a service dog in both world wars being used as a messenger, a sentry and even to help sniff out ammunition.

The first breed standard was written in 1912 by the vice president of the Club St Hubert De Nord and the Bouvier reached the United States in 1920 gaining AKC recognition in 1929. In his native Belgium, the breeds working heritage is still prized and in order to reach champion status on the show bench, a dog must also have competed in working trials.

The Bouvier tends to have a strong personality, stubborn, and naturally protective so for this reason he is not suited to first-time owners. They are naturally aloof with strangers and protective of their families and it is important that aggression is discouraged as if the Bouvier is allowed to think he is the boss dog aggression can be an issue with this breed.

Early training, especially on the leash is essential as, like many herding breeds, he does have a tendency to chase and may not be the best choice of breed to have around young children and small animals.

Most Bouviers are fawn, black, salt and pepper, or brindle and the coat is double layered and water-resistant. Traditionally the ears were cropped, and the tail docked to help prevent injury while working but today many are left natural. In Belgium and many other countries, this was made illegal in 2006 so it is common to see modern Bouviers with natural ears and tails.

Flandoodle Temperament

We know now that the Bouvier is steady, stubborn, highly trainable, and protective so crossed with the clownish, energetic, and super intelligent Poodle what sort of temperament do we get?

We get a loving, loyal, faithful dog but one that is also high energy, playful and protective. The Flandoodle has a strong desire, in fact, a need, to be around people as both parent breeds were bred to work all day with their human companions. As such, like many Doodle breeds, he can suffer from separation anxiety and does not do well left alone for long periods.

The hunting instinct is also strong in this Doodle mix so training is very important to keep that prey drive under control. This is especially important around small pets and birds. If you have small furries, like Guinea Pigs, you should think very carefully before adding a Flandoodle to your family.

Socialization and stimulation are also very important as this is a highly intelligent Doodle that needs a job to do. Make sure to give your Flandoodle plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation such as trick training or agility. If he becomes bored, he may well become destructive.

Due to the stubborn Bouvier streak, the Flandoodle is not quite as easy or quick to train as some of the other Doodle breeds. However, if you are prepared to put the effort in you will be rewarded with an obedient dog that listens well. The Flandoodle is great with children so long as they are brought up around them from puppyhood but have been known to try to ‘herd’ their human flock.

Due to the high exercise needs of this Doodle, he is not suitable for apartment life. However, he is less vocal than many of the Doodle mixes which could be a good thing if you have neighbors.

This Doodle is not suited to everyone like many other Doodle breeds and is better for families with older children, couples, or single adults who have an active lifestyle. That said, he is very faithful and if you can meet his needs and he is the Doodle for you he will prove to be a wonderful companion.

Flandoodle Size

The Flandoodle is a large, occasionally almost giant, Doodle breed. He stands between 22 and 28 inches tall and weighing between 55 and 85lbs. He should be strong and sturdy looking rather than elegant like the Poodle.

He has a rounded, medium-sized head with floppy ears which may be smaller than many other Doodles. The overall impression should be of a solid, powerful dog rather ‘square’ so his length and height should be roughly equal.

Health Problems of the Flandoodle

What sort of health concerns can you expect with a Flandoodle? Whilst we like to talk about hybrid vigor when referring to our beloved Doodle breeds it is very important to be aware that any mixed breed dog can be subject to the health concerns from both parents as they can inherit problems from both sides.

For the Flandoodle these include:

  • Addisons Disease
  • Bloat (this cannot be tested for and is a potential problem in all large, deep chested breeds)
  • Cushings Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Heart problems
  • Luxating patella
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Skin problems
  • Eye problems

That’s quite a list of potential illnesses, so it is essential when breeding or buying a Flandoodle that BOTH parents are fully health tested. DNA health testing is important as well as hip and elbow X-rays. When buying a puppy, you should be given copies of both parents’ certificates.

To help to prevent bloat you must avoid exercising your Flandoodle for at least an hour before or after feeding. Also, try to feed smaller quantities more frequently rather than one large meal much as you would with any large breed.

Remember to take care not to over-exercise your Flandoodle until he is fully mature as hip and elbow problems are often environmental rather than genetic. Don’t allow your pup to go up and down stairs, jump on or off furniture, run on slippery surfaces. Stick to the five minute per month of age rule while walking your pup as he is growing.

Flandoodle Coat Type and Color

What sort of coat does the Flandoodle have? Well as both parent breeds are furnished meaning they sport those wonderful beards, mustaches, and eyebrows that us Doodle lover’s covert, the good news is that all Flandoodles are furnished too. You will never see a flat-coated Flandoodle.

Both parent breeds are also low to non-shedding too so again you won’t get a heavily shedding Flandoodle. This means they can be suitable for allergy sufferers or people that don’t like dog hair in their homes.

Their coat can range from shaggy and tousled like a Bouvier Des Flandres to tightly curled like the Poodle. They may also be double-coated like the Bouvier. Your Flandoodle will definitely need daily grooming to prevent matting. Regular clipping or trimming either at home or in the salon to keep his coat healthy and looking at its best will also be necessary. Their coat may be rough to the touch and water-resistant.

You can see Flandoodles in a wonderful array of colors as he can be fawn, sable, black, salt and pepper, and brindle like the Bouvier as well as black, white, red, silver, or even particolored like the Poodle. Whichever you choose the Flandoodle is a striking and very attractive looking dog.

How Much do Flandoodles Eat and what to Feed Them

As with all dogs, especially large breeds, good nutrition is very important. Whatever type of food you choose, be it canned, kibble or raw make sure it is the highest quality you can afford.

When your Flandoodle is a puppy he will need to eat 7-10% of his body weight per day split into four meals. This will need gradually reducing to 4% split into two meals once he is fully grown.

Allergies and skin conditions are common in this Doodle breed, so a natural diet is recommended if possible, such as complete raw food, a high meat content canned food, or kibble with few additives.

Some Flandoodles are sensitive to chicken so if your Flandoodle seems to suffer from itching or digestive issues avoiding chicken and opting for turkey or fish-based food instead is a good idea.

Exercise Needs of The Flandoodle

The Flandoodle is an active breed and he will need at least 90 minutes of vigorous exercise every day once he is an adult. He does need a garden or fenced in yard as well as long daily walks. If he is trained well, plenty of running off-leash or even alongside a bicycle is great for this Doodle breed.

Like most Doodle mixes many Flandoodles love water and swimming provides wonderful exercise if the opportunity arises. He also loves to hunt so a run at a park or forest with the opportunity to chase squirrels and rabbits is also great fun for your Flandoodle.

They also excel at agility so if you can join a local club or set up some obstacles in your yard this is another great way of providing both physical and mental exercise for your Flandoodle. Scent work and puzzle-solving games are also great ways to keep your dog entertained and you may be impressed by his aptitude for games of this nature.

If there are any enclosed dog fields available for hire in your area this could be very useful for your Flandoodle especially if he has a high prey drive. An enclosed field provides the perfect opportunity to let him run free and fulfill his instincts with no danger of getting lost or causing trouble with other dogs due to his assertive personality.

One thing is certain your Flandoodle will keep you fit and active. If he is given ample exercise, he will be happy to put his paws up at home with you for the rest of the day.


Now you know about the Flandoodle you may decide he is the ideal companion for you. If you want a large, powerful, and extremely beautiful Doodle who is devoted to you but will protect you from intruders or threats whilst keeping you active and providing great cuddles on the sofa afterward you might just have found your ideal companion dog.

He will certainly be a talking point and not many people you meet will be able to correctly guess his parent breeds. He could also be an excellent choice if you need your dog to double as a guard dog as well as your buddy. Unlike many Doodle mixes who would roll over for a tummy tickle or lick an intruder to death!