Patrick & I got our first Bouvier in 1987. Pat had previously owned Bouviers when he lived in Michigan. When we met I had an Irish Wolfhound, but he always talked about the Bouviers, and how great they were. When the Wolfhound passed on, we ended up getting Hendel.
Hendel was a great dog, who taught us a lot about what to look for in our next Bouvier, and in particular in our next Bouvier breeder. The most amazing thing about him was the fact that in spite of many health problems, his Bouvier personality shown through bright enough to get me hooked on the breed! After meeting other Bouvier folks on line through various email lists, we started going to shows, meeting more folks and eventually got Scout.
When researching the breed, one thing that interested me was their working heritage. I believe the only way I could get an understanding of that working heritage, and correct Bouvier temperament that goes with it, was to start working my dogs myself. I started training in just obedience, but soon discovered French Ring Sport. I think Ring Sport is one of the sports that shows the correct Bouvier temperament. There are others – Schutzhund, KNPV, etc. – but Ring is my sport of choice.
We work all of our dogs in French Ring or other sport venues in an effort to understand their individual drives & temperament, and to be able to preserve the working heritage of the Bouvier in our breeding program. We also sometimes albeit rarely, show our dogs in the conformation Ring. We would like to see Bouviers that look and work like the Breed’s founders intended them to be.