Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Courageous
- Height: 23.27 inches (male), 23-26 inches (female)
- Weight: 110 pounds & up (male), 99 pounds & up (female)
- Life Expectancy: 5-8 years
- Group: Working Group
The most ancient of French dog breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux (“Mastiff of Bordeaux”) was around even before France was France. These brawny fawn-coated guardians of considerable courage are famously loyal, affectionate, and protective.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the most ancient French breeds. He is a typical brachycephalic molossoid type. He is a very powerful dog, with a very muscular body yet retaining a harmonious general outline. Built rather close to the ground, the distance from the deepest point of the chest to the ground is slightly less than the depth of the chest. A massive head with proper proportions and features is an important characteristic of the breed. His serious expression, stocky and athletic build, and self assurance make him very imposing. Bitches have identical characteristics, but less prominent.
About the Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux is an immensely powerful mastiff-type guardian. Males can go 27 inches high and 110 pounds. The short, eye-catching coat is a richly coloured fawn. The massive head features a Bulldog-like undershot jaw, expressive eyes, and a deeply furrowed brow. It is, proportionately, the largest head in the canine kingdom. The body is stocky and close to the ground, but Dogues can move like lions when duty calls.
DDBs of proper temperament are sweet and sensitive souls. Owners appreciate their breed’s loyalty to loved ones of all ages, but also say DDBs can be stubborn and will dominate those who fail to apply firm training in puppy-hood. When acquiring such a strapping super-dog, finding a responsible breeder is key.
NUTRITION The Dogue de Bordeaux should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
GROOMING The breed is well-known for how much they drool, and the wrinkles on their facial area need special attention at least weekly, sometimes daily, to see that they are kept clean and dry. At least once a week it’s also important to clean the ears and check for debris or signs of infection. nails should be trimmed monthly. The Dogue de Bordeaux should get a full bath every four weeks or so. In between baths, wiping him down with a damp towel can keep him looking and smelling great. The breed’s short coat will shed year ‘round; using a rubber curry or a shedding blade can keep the loose hair that falls to the floor to a minimum.
EXERCISE To avoid strain on developing bones and joints, the young Bordeaux should be limited to low-impact exercise until at least 18 months of age. They should not be overexerted and should not be allowed to run up and down stairs or jump off of surfaces higher than their back. Swimming is an excellent exercise for Bordeaux of any age. An older Bordeaux can work more strenuously, including doing jobs such as pulling carts.
TRAINING Socialisation and early obedience training are an absolute must. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a sensitive breed who requires trust, and a rough trainer or heavy-handed approach should be avoided. Discipline should be firm and consistent without being harsh; ownership of the breed is not for the timid or the very busy person.
HEALTH Bloat, or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), is a serious concern in the Dogue de Bordeaux. Owners should educate themselves to recognise the signs that bloat could be happening, and know what actions to take if so. Heart disease, cancer, orthopaedic issues (such as hips and elbows), and epilepsy are also issues of concern in the breed. Responsible breeders will screen their stock for conditions the breed can be prone to. As with all breeds, a Dogue de Bordeaux’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Elbow Evaluation
- Shoulder Evaluation
- Cardiac Exam