Dogue de Bordeaux – Facts & Breed Information

dog da bordo

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large-size French dog, which is known to be one of the most ancient dogs in the French breed.

Although it has gained popularity in the United States, it is still one of the rarest French dogs. Bordeaux means mastiff in French, hence this dog is also commonly known as the French mastiff.

The Dogue de Bordeaux has a muscular build with a wide face and head that is almost too big for its body. Despite its appearance and the way it looks, this dog is a very gentle, calm, and affectionate family dog.

It can also be used as a watchdog, although it was initially used as a farm dog and a hunting dog.

For families with children, the Dogue de Bordeaux can prove to be an ideal pet, given its loyal and protective nature.

About the Breed

dogue de bordeaux

What you will find most interesting about the Dogue de Bordeaux is that it possesses various contrasting characteristics. It is a strong brave dog, but it is also very calm and gentle.

You will find it spending most of its time lazing around the house, but it is the most alert and vigilant dog that you can have. This is especially true for adult Dogue de Bordeaux.

It likes to mark its territory, but it is also loving. It can be stubborn and obstinate, but at the same time, it is a huge people pleaser as well.

You will find much to love in a Bordeaux, dog which is why they make beautiful pets. They form an almost instant loyalty towards their families and are very protective of them.

While all of this is true, it takes an experienced person to own a Dogue de Bordeaux. If you are a first-time dog owner, this dog may not be the best option for you to have. You will need to dedicate a lot of time and resources to provide the dog with the special care and attention that it needs.

History of the Dogue De Bord

dog debordo

The Dogue De Bordeaux is an ancient breed of dog, which is why it is hard to pinpoint its exact origin. The earliest reference to the Dogue de Bordeaux was found in a dog show hosted in Paris in the year 1863.

This dog is claimed to exist in France for a period of a minimum of 600 years. A standard for the dog was drafted and established in 1896.

The Dogue de Bordeaux earned its name from the place in France where it first originated, called the Bordeaux region of France. There are other common names of the breed as well, including the French Mastiff, Bordeaux dog, or simply DDB in short.

When it comes to its ancestors and relatives, the Dogue de Bordeaux is known to be affiliated with the Bullmastiff, Tibetan Mastiff, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, and other giant dog breeds.

They were initially used as hunting dogs and, given their mass and size, they hunted big animals such as the boar. They were also great watchdogs or guard dogs because they are highly vigilant in nature. 

During the French Revolution, most of the Dogue de Bordeaux dogs lost their lives because they were connected to the aristocracy. The ones that survived mostly became farm dogs or the dogs of butchers.

In the year 1959, the Dogue de Bordeaux found its way into the United States and thirty years after it was imported to the country, it became well-known among the general population. This was primarily because it was featured in a famous 1989 film called ‘Turner and Hooch.’

The American Kennel Club recognized this indigenous French breed in 2008, which is also when it was officially registered by the club. Today, it stands at the 68th position in terms of popularity ranking.

Dogue De Bordeaux Facts

Let’s take a look at some fun facts that you should know about the Dogue de Bordeaux and that you will find most interesting.

mastiff bordeaux
  1. The Dogue de Bordeaux that featured in the famous film ‘Turner and Hooch’ was at a remarkable age of 14 years old. This is surprising for a dog with an average lifespan of 5 to 8 years.
  2. In the 1960s, the number of Dogue de Bordeaux dogs was declining in Europe. This was when Professor Raymond Triquet took it upon himself to become their ambassador. He created his own dog, named it Mowgli de la Maison des Arbes, and traveled with it all around Europe.He wanted people to know about the dog, increase its awareness, and develop a certain interest in this breed. In continuation of his efforts, he also wrote a book called ‘the Saga of the Dogue de Bordeaux.’ All of this earned him the title of the ‘father of the Dogue de Bordeaux’ in honor of his work.
  3. Given the reason for which the Dogue de Bordeaux was initially bred, they have a strong instinct to prey. They might go in the search of other pets, including cats and dogs, if not properly and adequately trained.

Dogue De Bordeaux Appearance

dog de bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux dogs are beautiful creatures. They are large and heavy dogs with huge heads set on muscular bodies. Their face features a nose that appears to have been squished inside. This is what makes them brachycephalic.

When you look at their eyes, you will notice that they are brown in color and are a set of oval-shaped and wide eyes. Their ears appear to be short when compared to the big size of their heads.

Their skin is loosely-fit all over their body, which gives them a lot of wrinkles on their face. You will find some skin hanging loosely on the lower side of their jaws.

Size

dogue de bordeaux size

In terms of their size, Dogue de Bordeaux dogs are huge with a muscular build and a wide body. They have a huge head that is probably too big for their body and are very sturdy.

There is not much difference in height between the male and female Dogue de Bordeaux. The males commonly stand at an average height of 27 inches, whereas, the females are known to be 26 inches tall on average.

Contrary to the common conception, these dogs can run and break into a sprint despite their mass and size.

Weight

When it comes to the weight of the Dogue de Bordeaux, they are generally heavy dogs, given their huge size. For a large-size animal, this breed is still considered to be on the heavier side.

A male Dogue de Bordeaux has an average weight of 110 pounds, while a female dog can have a weight of not more than 99 pounds.

Coat 

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The coat of the Dogue de Bordeaux is very short and soft with fine fur that covers the entire body. Despite the thin coat, they shed profusely all around the year and, you will find their hair spread throughout the house in several places.

What helps control their shedding is brushing their coat at least once a week. Even then, before deciding to buy a Dogue de Bordeaux you should keep in mind that there will be a lot of dog hair inside your house, and sometimes even on your clothes.

Color

bordeaux dogs

The Dogue de Bordeaux has the most unique fawn color of their coat. You can find this breed in different shades of fawn, ranging from a deep red mahogany color to a light fawn color.

These dogs will also commonly have white-colored markings on the limbs or under the chest area.

Dogue De Bordeaux Temperament and Personality

dog de bordeaux cross mastiff

The best thing about a Dogue de Bordeaux is that it has multiple personality traits that you can love. You will find that this dog is self-confident and solemn, but it can have a subtle yet predominant sense of humor as well.

If you are looking for a companion in a dog that is brave and watchful, then the Dogue de Bordeaux is the perfect pet to have. 

Easy-to-train, extrovert, affectionate, standoffish, gutsy, and amusing, these are all traits of a Dogue de Bordeaux that you can find in different dogs or all in the same one. 

When the Dogue de Bordeaux is at its best behavior, you will find it to be very composed and docile. However, most often than not, it can prove to be very stubborn. Given the size and mass of this dog, it can be challenging to deal with a stubborn Dogue de Bordeaux.

As a pet owner, you need a lot of restraint and willpower if you want to live with this dog. This means taking the time out to learn your pet’s behavior, training him, providing him with opportunities for early socialization, being a strong leader, and controlling him to eventually gain the respect of your Dogue de Bordeaux.

In case you do not invest enough time, your dog can be hostile in the company of other dogs, pets, and even humans.

The Dogue de Bordeaux can prove to be really affectionate family dogs once they have learned to respect their owners. The thing that they love the most is lazing around on the sofa or the bed. This is of course when they are not having fun with the family.

Like most heavy dogs, the Dogue de Bordeaux is not very energetic and playful and is content with staying inside the home. It is very protective of its family and likes to keep checking that they are secure.

When it comes to their physical well-being and exercise, the Dogue de Bordeaux can easily be satisfied with a short walk around the block or in the park. During their playtime, they like to participate in dog activities that match their speed and agility.

However, if a Dogue de Bordeaux finds a stranger approaching the house, it would be the first one out the door to stand in the way of any harm.  

What makes them an ideal pet for families with children is that they are very affectionate, calm, and protective towards them. They are especially tolerant of harsh behavior, which makes them great to be around the younger lot.

bordo dog

Although the Dogue de Bordeaux is a large-sized dog, it is not unruly or boisterous in the company of children. Even then, you should not consider them as babysitters as their behavior can be uncertain. It is best to supervise your large dog’s interaction with children.

In certain instances, you will find the Dogue de Bordeaux displaying unwanted behaviors. These dogs can have unbelievably prolonged barking and can be found digging, scratching furniture, or hopping on kitchen counters in search of food.

However, it is important to note that this only happens if these dogs are left to hang out on their own for an extended period of time and end up getting bored.

It will also happen if you do not train your dog properly and leave them unsupervised when they are still learning. An untrained Dogue de Bordeaux can prove to be really tiresome for the owner.

Dogue De Bordeaux Health and Care

douge de bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is generally a very healthy breed, but it comes with a few medical concerns attached to it. The Dogue de Bordeaux Rescue, Inc. provides a list of potential health issues that your dog can develop over the span of its life.

It is always wise to be aware of these issues if you are planning to get a Dogue de Bordeaux as your pet because it will help you to better take care of your dog.

The first and most common health issue for a Dogue de Bordeaux is that concerning the heart. Heart diseases are the most prevalent among this breed. There are two forms in which they may occur: subaortic stenosis or dilated cardiomyopathy.

Subaortic stenosis is a condition where the pathway near the aortic valve narrows down and hinders the flow of blood. This causes a strain on the heart as it works harder than the normal level.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart muscles no longer work at their maximum. There is a weakening of the muscles leading to the enlargement of the heart chambers. This leads to heart failure, congestion, and leaking of the heart valves. Both these diseases, in most cases, lead to the death of a Dogue de Bordeaux.

The second most common disease is gastric dilatation volvulus or GDV in short. It is more commonly known as bloating. In this condition, the stomach of the dog expands to abnormal levels – sometimes even to the size of a basketball – because there is solid or liquid food or gas trapped inside the stomach.

The GDV can cause issues inside the body of the dog that is not just restricted to the digestive system. It leads to difficulty in breathing because of a strain on the lungs.

In some extreme cases, the stomach gets internally twisted, which stops the flow of blood to important bodily organs. In this situation, a. emergency surgery will need to be performed on the dog.

Cancer can also affect the Dogue de Bordeaux.  The most common forms of cancer that are known to occur in this breed are bone cancer known as osteosarcoma, lymphatic system cancer known as lymphoma, blood vessels cancer known as hemangiosarcoma, mammary cancer, and mast cell tumors.

Hip and elbow dysplasia are other medical conditions that the Dogue de Bordeaux is prone to develop. Hip dysplasia is when the hip joint is loosely attached. This can lead to extreme pain and, in extreme cases, limping, paralysis, or arthritis.

Elbow dysplasia is a condition in which there is an improper fitting of the elbow joint. This can also lead to limping or arthritis. Both of these conditions are genetic, hence it is recommended to get health clearance from the breeder for the parents.

A few less common health issue attached to the Dogue de Bordeaux is the brachycephalic syndrome. Because this dog is a brachycephalic breed, it can develop this condition in which the upper airway is blocked because of numerous anatomic abnormalities.

Another thing that you should be mindful of is that these dogs can be highly obese. This is because the Dogue de Bordeaux is generally not very active and can gain a few extra pounds leading to multiple health concerns. So it’s advisable to give them high quality dog food in order to maintain a healthy weight.

According to Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America, the average lifespan of this breed is from 5 to 8 years. However, if you take special care and regularly consult with your vet, they can live a healthy and happy life.

Care

french bullmastiff puppies

When it comes to grooming and care, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a very low-maintenance pet. It has a short fur coat that you need to brush only once a week. Because they shed their fur a lot, it is a good idea to use a rubber curry for brushing. Bathing, too, is required at a low frequency with baths only once a month.

The most distinctive feature of this breed is the set of wrinkles on their face. They tend to collect food, water, and dirt particles between these wrinkles. Hence, special care should be taken towards wiping their face with a clean cloth on a regular basis.

This might mean several times during the day to ensure they are clean and dry. Doing so helps in preventing any infections. The Dogue de Bordeaux is known for drooling a lot throughout the day. As pet owners, it helps to keep a clean cloth handy to keep wiping their face and keep it dry and clean.

Dogue De Bordeaux Training

french bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux can develop unruly and undesirable behaviors if left untrained. It is therefore vital that you start the training process of the dog even when they are just puppies.

Most pet owners choose to start training their dogs as soon as they are home, and this is ideal. Even a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy as young as 8 weeks old can undergo extensive training. It has the ability to learn and adopt everything that is taught from a very young age.

If you wait for the dog to grow as old as the ripe age of 6 months, the best time to train them has already passed. They have learned behaviors and have developed their personality, and what you have now is a stubborn and obstinate dog that might not be too willing to train.

It is also recommended to enroll your Dogue de Bordeaux puppy into a kindergarten class when it is 10 to 12 weeks of age. This will help him develop the necessary socialization skills that he needs to be a gentle and calm dog.

However, please note that you should have your puppy vaccinated with all the important vaccines before exposing them to other dogs and open public spots. Even outside class, it is vital to keep the training process going.

When your dog is meeting new people, including friends and family, it should be able to interact with them and put on its best possible behavior.  

When training the dog at home, you should be aware that the Dogue de Bordeaux does not respond well to harsh commands and a firm hand. If you want the dog to respond to your instructions, it is wise to use the method of positive reinforcement. Praising your dog or providing it with dog treats is the best approach.

dog d bordo

Conclusion

The Dogue de Bordeaux earned its name from the place in France where it first originated, called the Bordeaux region of France. There are other common names of the breed as well, including the French Mastiff, Bordeaux dog, or simply DDB in short.

The Dogue de Bordeaux has multiple personality traits that you can love. You will find that this dog is self-confident and solemn, but it can have a subtle yet predominant sense of humor as well.

If you are looking for a companion in a dog that is brave and watchful, then the Dogue de Bordeaux is the perfect pet to have.

The Dogue de Bordeaux is generally a very healthy breed, but it comes with a few medical concerns including heart disease, gastric dilatation volvulus, cancer, hip and elbow dysplasia, and brachycephalic syndrome.

The average lifespan of the Dogue de Bordeaux is from 5 to 8 years. However, if you take special care and regularly consult with your vet, they can live a healthy and happy life.

Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

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