Coen Semler was born in Eindhoven on 18th 1909.
In his free time he started to train dogs and his first dogs were Belgian Sheepdogs of the Laekense variety. Not until about the age opf 25 Coen became interested in the Bouvier des Flandres. His first bouvier was not pure bred but was used for KNPV (Royal Ducth Police Dog) training. At that time Coen was not interested in the breeding of pure bred dogs.
Almost every year Coen was able to finish a Bouvier for KNPV certification and he obtained a total of 22 KNPV certificates on Bouviers. Not only quantity but also quality was important, and this is apparent from the fact that three of his bouviers became National KNPV Champions of Holland. The first champion, a bouvier called Loef, subsequently was donated to Princess Juliano, who later became queen of the Netherlands.
Other champions of Holland trained by Coen Semler were Carthro and Sarbo. Other well known bouviers trained by Coen, such as Karzan, Nerodan and Duko van Mereveld are prominent in the pedigrees of the working bouviers in Holland and North America.
About 1960 Coen started a breeding kennel, called Dafzicht because the kennels faced the DAF factories. His early breeding and show dogs all were KNPV dogs with exclusively Dutch pedigrees, examples of which are Buco van Dafzicht and Kazan van Mereveld.
Coen's first Belgian import was Noup de la Thudenie, a dog he bought at the big Winnershow in Amsterdam in 1966 (price $ 250). The entire Bouvier world in Holland was quite upset about Coem buying this "wolbaal", the Dutch word for "bag of wool". Coen defended his purchase with the words: "This is how the bouviers in Holland will look in the future". Words that certainly have come true.
Coen was married April 11th 1936 and had five children. Only his second child, Annie, became interested in dogs and is the present owner of Dafzicht Kennels. Even in 1960, when Coen started showing in confirmation, he had problems with his heart. Coen would show the dogs standing still but Annie was called in to do the gaiting of the dogs.
Coen's first purely conformation dog was Oscy van Dafzicht, who became champion in 1975 followed by his brother Ringo van Dafzicht (1976), Aron Vedette van Dafzicht (1977) and Coen's favorite dog Hoscy Kata van Dafzicht. Coen died of a heart attack while showing Hoscy Kata. Attempts to resuscitate Coen by Mr. Kolvoort, than president of the Dutch Bouvierclub, were unsuccesful.
When Coen Semler was buried an honor guard of fifteen Bouviers and their owners were present. As if the dogs sensed the importance of this moment for the Bouvier breed none barked, even once.