This is Jasper. He’s a Bouvier des Flandres and he was chilling on the E train, calm as ever. His owner told me he weighs 120 pounds and is a service dog, which is why a crowded train did not bother him in the least.
About the breed via Your Pure Bred Puppy:
The Bouvier des Flandres is sober and thoughtful, rather than light-hearted or whimsical.
The AKC Standard calls him “equable, steady, resolute, and rugged.”
Though they can be athletic and agile, Bouviers are often a bit lazy unless deliberately taken out and encouraged to move. Brisk walks are a must to keep them in hard condition.
Mental stimulation in the form of advanced obedience, agility, tracking, herding, carting, or Schutzhund is even more important to this highly intelligent breed.
Though he is not overly demonstrative — he shows his loyalty in deeper, more subtle ways — the Bouvier des Flandres must live indoors and close to his family, his “flock.” When his needs are met, he is laid-back and serene.
Matching his stern appearance, he is often aloof with strangers and assertive when challenged. His air of calm appraisal can be intimidating, and he may use his big body to control people, rather than biting. Socialization must be early and frequent so that he learns to discriminate between friend and foe.
Most Bouvers des Flandres are dominant with other dogs, especially of the same sex, and those with a high prey drive are not reliable with cats and other creatures that run or flutter.
He may poke or nudge people and other animals in an attempt to gather them or move them along.
Make no mistake about it, the Bouvier des Flandres can be a pushy, strong-willed dog who requires a confident owner, especially during the challenging adolescent period. This is not a breed for first-time or passive owners.