Bouvier des Flandres vs Giant Schnauzer – A Comparison

Bouvier des Flandres and Giant Schnauzer belong to these breeds that often get people confused and have them mistake one breed for another.

However, these mix-ups are perfectly understandable.

The two breeds indeed have a lot in common, starting with the way they look.

Both are strong, large dogs with characteristic furry beards, mustaches, and eyebrows.

Furthermore, they have a similar background and history. Each of these breeds was originally bred as shepherds.

Like most of the dogs who used to herd livestock, their intelligence, propensity for hard work, and high trainability have helped them find new roles in modern times.

Comparing Bouvier des Flandres vs Giant Schnauzer and what they’re used for today shows that they share a lot of the same duties.

Both breeds excel as watchdogs but also have found their place as service dogs, in police, and in the military.

AttributesBouvier des FlandresGiant Schnauzer
Good For First Time OwnersNoNo
Good Guard DogYesYes
Apartment FriendlyWith Enough ExerciseNo
Good Family DogYesYes
SheddingLowLow To Moderate
Barking And HowlingLowModerate
Height 21-28 inches (55-70 cm) 24-28 inches (60-70 cm)
Average Life Expectancy10-12 Years12-15 Years


Bouvier des Flandres – Dog Breed Information

Bouvier des Flandres Yorick39 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Hailing from the Flemish or Flandres region of Belgium, Bouvier des Flandres was bred as a shepherd breed and even the breed name translates as the cowherd of Flandres.

Besides just herding, they were true all-around farm dogs. Bouviers helped herd and guard the livestock, pulled carts, and protected the farm.

They became so helpful to people that when Belgian farmers were enlisted to serve in World War I, they brought their dogs with them.

Bouviers served in the military as ambulance and messenger dogs and almost became extinct before the war ended.

Today, almost all dogs belonging to this breed are descendants of only a few who were lucky enough to survive the war.


Bouvier des Flandres is a compact large-sized dog with an imposing rugged appearance.

They feature a strong build with a broad chest and muscular shoulders and legs.

Their body is covered in a waterproof double coat. The undercoat is thick and soft while the topcoat is rough and tousled.

The breed comes in a variety of different colors including black, fawn, gray, pepper and salt, and brindle.

Bouvier’s most distinctive feature is its massive head with hallmark shaggy beard and mustache and pronounced eyebrows.

Their ears have a triangular shape and are set high on their heads. The tail is long and carried upright, although some dogs are born tail-less.

Male Bouviers’ height is around 23-28 inches (59-70 cm) and their weight is in the 75-110 pounds (34-50 kg).

Adult females can grow up to 21-28inches (55-70cm) and weigh up to 60-80 pounds (27-36 kg).


Even though they’re rather huge, Bouviers are very calm and kind.

This is especially true for fully grown dogs while at a young age they can be a bit mischievous and somewhat vocal.

In general, they’re known to mature very late, both mentally and physically.

This breed is very loyal and devoted to its humans and can thrive in a family that is ready to offer the same level of dedication.

They’re great with kids but can sometimes be hostile towards other animals unless they were raised with them.

Despite their calm demeanor, Bouviers are very energetic, courageous, and love to work.

The most important thing for the owners is to channel this energy in a positive direction.

Due to their intelligence and eagerness to please, they’re fairly easy to train and never forget a command once they learn it,

Giant Schnauzer – Dog Breed Information

GiantSchnauzer by Paul Kounine (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The largest of the three Schnauzer breeds, Giant Schnauzer is an outstanding working dog that has gone way beyond its original purpose as a shepherd.

Hailing from the Bavaria region in Germany, they’re highly intelligent, tough, and loyal to a fault.

They’re faithful companions and can perform various tasks you put in front of them.


Giant Schnauzers are physically imposing with strong and muscular bodies. The height is about the same as length, giving the dog a compact, square look.

They have a thick and hard medium-length double coat which protects them from harsh weather.

There are two main color variants – black or salt and pepper. The dark facial mask harmonizes with the coat color.

Like its Miniature and Standard cousins, Standard Schnauzer features a characteristic beard and eyebrows giving its face a kind, almost human-like expression.

The V-shaped ears are set high and close to the head. The high-set tail is long when left undocked.

Male Giant Schnauzers can reach 26-28 inches (66-71 cm) in height and 60-105 pounds (27-48 kg) in weight.

Females’ height is at around 23-26 inches (58-66 cm) and their weight ranges from 55 to 75 pounds (25-34 kg).


Giant Schnauzers are stable and reliable dogs, but also rather strong-willed and independent.

They can sometimes be a lot to deal with, even for experienced owners, but with early socialization and proper training, they are wonderful family dogs.

They have an abundance of energy and need an owner who can keep up with them.

If they get bored, they can easily get destructive.

This breed is very protective of their family but rather untrustful towards strangers which makes them great watchdogs.

Properly trained Giant Schnauzer is capable of almost anything.

In the hands of the right owner, they excel not only as guard dogs but also as service dogs, herding, tracking, and carting.

This breed is among the most used dogs in law enforcement and the military.

They also have a gentle and loving side to them and are often successful as therapy dogs.

Bouvier des Flandres vs Giant Schnauzer – What’s the Difference?

Bouvier des FlandresGiant Schnauzer
Bouvier des Flandres Yorick39 (CC BY-SA 3.0)GiantSchnauzer by Paul Kounine (CC BY-SA 3.0)

As I already explained, these two breeds share a lot of common characteristics.

The similarities when comparing Bouvier des Flandres vs Giant Schnauzer are not surprising as the former was likely one of the breeds used in the development of the latter.

Still, there are some significant differences. Bouviers are more suited for family life as they’re more affectionate, more patient with children, and grow more attached to their owners.

On the other hand, due to their limitless energy, Schnauzers are more playful and better suited for more active owners.

Bouvier des Flandres is likely a better choice for first-time owners but the German breed is more trainable and can answer any task in the hands of the experienced and authoritative owner.

Neither breed is very apartment-friendly, but Bouviers are more adaptable to different living situations and are more content to spend their time in one place.


Both Bouvier des Flandres and Giant Schnauzer are wonderful breeds, intelligent, loyal, and hard-working.

For the right owner, they will be lifelong friends and fearless protectors of the family and property.

They can fit plenty of roles you plan for them and act as both hard workers and playtime companions.

Still, if you plan on getting one of them, make sure to do your research and know what you’re getting into.

Bouviers and Giant Schnauzers are fairly large dogs, occupy a lot of space, and require plenty of attention and engagement.

If you’re ready for this sort of commitment, owning either one of these breeds is incredibly rewarding.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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