Red Dogue De Bordeaux

Dogue De Bordeaux Dog Breed

Other names:
Bordeaux Mastiff
French Dosa Mastiff
French Mastiff

Pronunciation: "dohg duh boor-doh"

The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is a huge brachycephalic molosser breed. Contrary to their intimidating looks, they are quite calm, affectionate and companionable-- although they can make devoted, vigilant guard dogs if the situation necessitates it. They are usually very good with children and other pets, if well trained and socialized. They require little exercise or grooming maintenance and don't usually develop separation anxiety. The DdB should be housed indoors. Training may be easy or difficult depending upon how firm and consistent you are capable of being. They are, however, prone to many health issues and have a short average lifespan of 5-6 years.

Dogue De Bordeaux Breed Details

The Dogue de Bordeaux, as the name implies, hails from the Bordeaux region of France. She was shown there for the first time in 1863 but it took quite some time for the development of uniform specimens so she was not recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale until 1954, the Kennel Club until 1997, and the AKC in 2008! The breed is placed in the Working Dog group and has functioned mostly as a guardian of person and property. The modern Dogue de Bordeaux is not inherently dangerous and is very much able to distinguish a threat from a non threat and is almost always non aggressive. Dogue de Bordeaux attacks occur mostly as a result of threat to the owner, property or from a dog that has been raised improperly (specifically to be overprotective and fight). Consider these French Mastiff facts:

Affectionate, loyal, companionable
Eager to please, cooperative, and often easy to train
Protective, courageous, vigilant
Doesn't require much exercise
Indoor dog-- apartments ok
Easy grooming
Great with kids
Usually good with other pets
Can be left alone during school and work
Barks only as necessary
Insurance is recommended due to the high likelihood of health problems
Can be dog aggressive if not socialized early
Large sized necessitates supervision around kids
Not an exercise partner
May be restricted from certain rental properties
Drools quite a lot
Not hypoallergenic
May be stubborn to train
May chase critters if not leashed
5 - 8 yrs.
23 - 27 in.
110 - 0 lbs
OverallFamily FriendlyChild FriendlyPet FriendlyStranger Friendly
Easy to GroomEnergy LevelExercise NeedsHealthShedding Amount
Barks / HowlsEasy to TrainGuard DogPlayfulnessWatch Dog
Apartment DogCan be AloneGood for Busy OwnersGood for New OwnersIntelligence

Dogue De Bordeaux Breed Description

The modern Dogue de Bordeaux is an affectionate, laid back companion yet he still remains courageous, devoted, vigilant and protective. He is intuitive enough to know when to use the latter characteristics and makes a good guardian. Maintenance requires little effort for this breed in regards to grooming and exercising-- a weekly brushing and a few daily walks are all it takes to keep him in top shape. This breed may not be very active but has actually had quite a versatile resume including: fighting, protecting, guarding, and even cart pulling. Training your DdB can be a bit unpredictable as most owners report it to be very easy while others maintain they are quite stubborn. This page will give you the 101 on the Dogue de Bordeaux including information related to intelligence, exercise needs, and temperament.

Intelligence- This breed is pretty average on the intelligence scale and is known for being eager to please and cooperative. The catch is training must be started from puppy age and you need to be firm and consistent, while remaining positive and encouraging. Treats and praise go far with DdBs.

Kids, Strangers, Other Pets- Dogs that are trained and socialized early will be very loving, patient household companions that are great with kids and good with other pets. Some may be dog aggressive if not socialized. They are not usually aggressive towards strangers unless in a situation where they must protect you-- usually these dogs are excellent at distinguishing threat from non threat.

Exercise- French Mastiffs are known for being fairly inactive. A few daily walks will do just fine.

Dogue De Bordeaux Breed History

Although there is much debate about the origins of the breed and whether there were descendants of or progenitors off other Mastiff types, one thing is for certain-- they are one of France's oldest breeds. Traceable Dogue de Bordeaux history begins during the late 14th century as three separate types were developing in the Bordeaux, Toulouse and Paris regions. By the late 1800's there was still no uniform type but Dogues were being used for various tasks including: guarding, fighting, hunting, herding and cart pulling. In 1863 the first Dogue de Bordeaux was shown in Paris and by 1920 there was interest in standardizing the breed. Unfortunately, numbers diminished greatly during the two World Wars but was subsequently revived afterwards. The FCI recognized the French Mastiff as early as 1954 and many other Kennel Clubs followed suit; the AKC did not recognize the breed until 2008.

Dogue De Bordeaux Appearance

French Mastiff dogs appear large, muscular and very strong. Interestingly, they don't get this look from their height, since they are fairly low to the ground compared to other dogs of their weight; these dogs build the profile from width and muscle. They are very broad with a short, thick neck complete with dewlap and folds from the loose skin, and a very deep chest. The brachycephalic (broad and short) head is the characteristic hallmark of the breed. In addition to plenty of wrinkles, it sports a pair of wide set eyes that should be hazel to dark brown; lighter is tolerated and blue eyes for the Dogue de Bordeaux are not specifically disqualified via the AKC standard. The ears are small and triangular and the nose will be brown, black or even pinkish depending upon coat color. Dogue de Bordeaux coats are short and soft to the touch, and are seen in varying shades of fawn to rich red and mahogany. The legs are strong, thick-boned and straight. DdBs have thick, medium-long tails that usually hang low.

Dogue De Bordeaux Colors

The images below represent the coat colors and patterns associated with Dogues De Bordeaux.


Dogue De Bordeaux Variations

There is not much variation among members of this breed. There are no alternate size Dogue de Bordeaux breeds such as Miniature, Toy, etc. The main difference will be whether yours is big or huge! The biggest Dogue de Bordeauxs are easily over 150 pounds; there is currently one rumored to top the scales at 206 pounds!

Dogue De Bordeaux Temperament

The Dogue de Bordeaux temperament is noted for being affectionate, loyal and protective. Contrary to what you may think when taking in their imposing size--including huge wrinkly head and powerful jaws-- these dogs are not aggressive. They form close bonds with the owner or family and want nothing more than affection and companionship. With early socialization and training they are loving and tolerant with children, although supervision is still necessary due to sheer size. The same goes for other pets-- most get along well with other pets, early socialization is imperative to keep them from becoming aggressive towards other dogs that are introduced to them after they are fully matured.

Big dogs are a lot to handle. Even though the Dogue de Bordeaux personality is eager to please and generally cooperative, we still recommend firm consistent training as early as possible; treats and praise will make your pet very happy. Although they are known for only barking when necessary, they are courageous and vigilant. He/She can make a very devoted guardian but will only show these traits if absolutely necessary-- you don't have to worry about your DdB around visitors or benign strangers.

Living Requirements

Owning a Dogue de Bordeaux will provide you with a devoted, affectionate companion but there are certain things you should know about living with one. First, the Dogue de Bordeaux is not hypoallergenic; they are seasonal shedders and drool quite a bit!

This is an indoor breed due to their fondness for their human companions. They will be fine while you are away at school or work but shouldn't be made to live outdoors. While enough indoor space is necessary a yard is not; this is not a very active breed so a few daily walks should keep them happy.

This French Bordeaux dog also makes a good watchdog, barking only when necessary at the approach of a stranger or animal. They can be very protective if the situation calls for it but are not aggressive dogs that you will have be concerned about in average daily interactions. They do have a tendency to want to chase, however, to leashes are required when not in enclosed areas.

Dogue De Bordeaux Health

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a considerably large dog with considerable health problems. Some authorities recommend having pet health insurance for the breed. Like most very large breeds, they have a short lifespan but the DdB may have an even shorter lifespan. The average member of this breed lives 5 or 6 years but it's not unheard of for them to live to 7; the oldest survived to the ripe old age of 12. Some loud breathing, snoring and snorting is to be expected with this brachycephalic breed. This list may seem extensive but that doesn't mean your dog will have many (or even 1) of these conditions. The following is a list of the most common issues for the Dogue de Bordeaux:

  • Joint Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Pano
  • Allergies: Food, environmental
  • Hyperkeratosis
  • Eye infections
  • Ectropion
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer: Bone, Lymp System, Blood
  • Heart Disease: Aortic Stenosis, Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Taking your pet to regular veterinary visits from the start can help detect some of these conditions early. Remember, never buy a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy from a breeder who cannot answer your questions. Ask for certifications of health for the parents as some genetic testing can be done to pre-screen for some conditions like hip and eye.

Dogue De Bordeaux Health Concerns

Below are potential health concerns associated with Dogues De Bordeaux.

Von willebrand's disease
Aortic stenosis
Dilated cardiomyopathy
Eye infections
Joint problems

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:January 10, 2018