The Dogue de Bordeaux is a magnificent and gentle breed, known for its massive head, powerful physique, and affectionate nature. Originating from France, this breed has a rich history as a loyal companion, guardian, and working dog. With their gentle and patient temperament, they make excellent family pets and are known for their devotion to their loved ones. Although they may be reserved with strangers, they are deeply loyal to their families and will protect them with unwavering dedication. With proper training, socialization, and care, the Dogue de Bordeaux will thrive as a loving and cherished member of the family. Their striking appearance, coupled with their gentle disposition, continues to capture the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide.
The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the Bordeaux Mastiff or French Mastiff, is a large and powerful breed with a rich history dating back to ancient times. The breed’s origin can be traced to the Aquitaine region of France, specifically the city of Bordeaux, from which it gets its name. The exact lineage of the Dogue de Bordeaux is not well-documented, but it is believed to be a descendant of ancient Molossian dogs brought to France by Phoenician traders.
In the past, the Dogue de Bordeaux was used for a variety of tasks, including guarding, hunting, and pulling heavy carts. They were popular among butchers and were used to protect their shops and accompany them on their daily rounds. The breed’s strong and protective nature made them formidable guard dogs, capable of deterring intruders and predators.
Despite their historical significance, the Dogue de Bordeaux faced a decline in numbers during the 19th century due to changing societal needs and the impact of wars. However, dedicated breed enthusiasts worked to preserve and revive the breed, leading to its recognition by the French Kennel Club in 1897. Today, the Dogue de Bordeaux is admired for its loyalty, strength, and gentle nature, making it a beloved family companion and a symbol of pride for the French people.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large and muscular breed, characterized by its massive head, powerful body, and loose, wrinkled skin. Males typically weigh between 110 to 145 pounds (50–66 kg), while females are slightly smaller, ranging from 99 to 120 pounds (45-54 kg). They stand at an average height of 23 to 27 inches (58-69 cm) at the shoulder.
One of the most striking features of the Dogue de Bordeaux is its distinctive head, which is large and square-shaped with a prominent forehead. Their muzzle is short and broad, with a well-defined stop, and their jaw is strong and powerful. The breed’s eyes are medium-sized, usually dark brown in color, and set wide apart, giving them an alert and attentive expression. The Dogue de Bordeaux has a black mask around its eyes and nose, which further adds to its striking appearance.
Their body is robust and well-muscled, with a deep chest, broad shoulders, and a straight back. The breed’s neck is thick and powerful, blending smoothly into their shoulders. The Dogue de Bordeaux has a well-sprung ribcage, providing ample space for their lungs and heart. Their legs are sturdy and straight, ending in large, compact feet.
The coat of the Dogue de Bordeaux is short and soft, with a fine texture. They come in various shades of fawn, ranging from light to dark, and may have white markings on their chest and toes. Their coat is low-maintenance and requires only occasional brushing to remove loose hairs.
Temperament of the Dogues de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux is known for its gentle and affectionate nature, making it an excellent family companion. Despite their imposing size, they are remarkably gentle and patient with children and other pets. They are often described as “gentle giants” due to their calm and patient demeanor.
This breed is highly loyal and devoted to its family, often forming strong bonds with its owners. They are protective of their loved ones and will instinctively guard their home and property. Early socialization and proper training are essential for the Dogue de Bordeaux to ensure they develop into well-mannered and well-adjusted dogs.
While they are generally docile and easygoing, the Dogue de Bordeaux can be stubborn at times. They require consistent and patient training to establish their role in the family hierarchy and prevent any undesirable behaviors from developing.
Although they have a gentle and affectionate side, the Dogue de Bordeaux has a strong protective instinct that makes them excellent guard dogs. They are naturally wary of strangers and may be reserved or aloof with people they don’t know. Proper socialization from a young age is crucial to help them become more accepting of new people and situations.
The Dogue de Bordeaux has a short and smooth coat that requires minimal grooming. Weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush will help remove loose hairs and keep their coat looking clean and shiny. During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing may be necessary to manage the shedding.
Regular maintenance of their ears and nails is essential for the Dogue de Bordeaux. Checking and cleaning their ears regularly will help prevent ear infections, which can be common in dogs with floppy ears. Trimming their nails regularly will keep them at a manageable length and prevent overgrowth.
The breed’s facial wrinkles should also be kept clean and dry to prevent any skin issues. Gently wiping the wrinkles with a damp cloth can help remove any dirt or debris.
Like all breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux is prone to certain health conditions. One of the most significant health concerns in this breed is hip and elbow dysplasia, a genetic condition that affects the joints. Responsible breeders will screen their breeding dogs for these conditions to minimize the risk of passing them on to their offspring.
Another health issue that can affect the Dogue de Bordeaux is heart problems, specifically dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Regular veterinary check-ups and monitoring can help detect and manage heart conditions in the breed.
Due to their large size, the Dogue de Bordeaux can be prone to obesity, which can lead to various health problems. A balanced diet, portion control, and regular exercise are essential to maintain a healthy weight.
Other health issues that can occur in the breed include skin allergies, eye problems, and bloat (gastric torsion). Early detection and proper management of these conditions are essential for the well-being of the Dogue de Bordeaux.
Responsible breeding practices, regular veterinary check-ups, and a healthy lifestyle can help ensure the Dogue de Bordeaux leads a long and healthy life.