All About the Dogue de Bordeaux

French Mastiff Information

Dogue De Bordeaux dog breed French Mastiff
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The Dogue de Bordeaux (sometimes called the French Mastiff) is an immense, muscular, stocky and well-balanced dog with a massive head. Despite its powerful appearance, the Dogue is quite gentle in demeanor. On the other hand, its intense loyalty makes the breed a highly effective guard dog.

Dogue de Bordeaux Details

Group: Working

Size: Weight: 99-150 pounds; Height: 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder

Colors: Various shades of fawn, ranging from light to dark red; small patches of white may be present

Dogue de Bordeaux History

Though the Dogue de Bordeaux did not become eligible for AKC registration until 2007, it is considered one of the oldest breeds in France. While its true origins are not completely clear, the Dogue is likely a relative of the Bulldog and Bullmastiff.

The Dogue was classically used to protect, herd cattle, hunt and bull bait. The breed was historically found in wealthy French homes, but it endured many hardships throughout time.

In the 1960s, enthusiasts further developed the breed, leading to increased popularity. The Dogue de Bordeaux is perhaps best known for its lovable role in the 1989 film Turner & Hooch.

Caring for Your Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux has a very short, soft hair coat that requires little attention. Occasional use of a grooming mitt or glove should be sufficient for coat care. However, the numerous skin folds on the Dogue's face do require routine cleaning to avoid irritation and infection.

Because of its giant size, a grooming routine routine should be established early on so your dog gets used to it. Although the Dogue's nails may wear down naturally, check them periodically and trim the nails as needed.

By nature, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a vigilant and fearless protector, but is by no means considered an aggressive breed.

This giant dog breed will do what it takes to defend its family, but is generally quite gentle and docile (and even goofy at times). That being said, a rigorous training program should be established as soon as possible after getting a Dogue. Socialization is equally important. This is, in part, due to the massive size of the breed. An untrained Dogue can become utterly uncontrollable.

The Dogue de Bordeaux is quite energetic for its size and needs a proper outlet. Along with training, adequate exercise is very important. However, remember not to overdue it. This is a large-breed dog that may be prone to orthopedic problems. Additionally, this is a brachycephalic (short-nosed) breed that can possibly overheat or develop breathing issues. Make sure you have a firm understanding of your Dogue's endurance level. You won't be able to carry this dog home from a walk if he cannot make it on his own!

Dogue de Bordeaux Health Problems

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

Is the Dogue de Bordeaux Right for You?

The Dogue de Bordeax is an excellent dog for most households. They can get along quite well with kids, but make sure to be careful around small children. Giant dogs are not always aware of their size. Overall, the Dogue de Bordeaux is an excellent choice if you want a large dog that makes a wonderful protector and companion. If you are interested in this breed, there is one important fact: this dog is a slobbery one! You'll probably want to carry a "drool rag" and duck for cover if he shakes his head! 

If you think the Dogue de Bordeau is the right breed for you, do plenty of research before you get one. Ask for advice from veterinarians, Dogue owners, breeders, and giant dog rescue groups.