Dogue de Bordeaux

Type: Guardian Dog

Height: Males: 23.5 - 27.5 in. (60 - 68 cm), Females: 22 3/4 - 26 in. (58 - 66 cm). Some have been known to grow up to 30 inches.

Weight: Males at least 110 lbs. (50 kg); Females at least 99 lbs (45 kg). Some have been known to weigh up to 150 lbs.

Life Span: 8 - 10 years.

Litter Size: 6 - 8 puppies.

Country of Origin: France

Activity: Medium

Watch-dog: Medium.

Guard-dog: High.

Description: The Dogue de Bordeaux is a very powerful dog, with a very muscular body that retains a harmonious general outline. Stocky, athletic, imposing, they have a very dissuasive aspect. Dogue de Bordeaux are massive dogs, capable of great power, and should be trained early on in life. They are devoted, playful, and even tempered. They are affectionate to their family. Some can be aggressive with other dogs if they aren't socialized early on. Dogue de Bordeaux are sweet with their master and with children. They are wary with strangers. Although calm and loving, they are powerful. If not trained from an early age, the Dogue de Bordeaux can overpower their masters, as they possess relentless strength. Sometimes they have an inclination to intimidate newcomers. An excellent family pet, they guard what is theirs, even their owner. They will bond strongly to their family; they feel separation is a form of punishment. Dogue de Bordeaux are stubborn, and arrogant, yet once they learn a command or task, they rarely forget it.

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Other Names: French Mastiff, Dogue de Burgos (Spain), Mastino Napolitano (Italy).

Colors: Self-colored, in all shades of fawn, from Mahogany to Isabella (lightest fawn). A good pigmentation is required. Limited white patches are permissible on the chest and extremities of the limbs. They are available in three mask colors: 1., No mask or red mask; 2., Brown mask; 3., Black mask.

Coat: Skin is very thick and sufficiently loose fitting. Hair remains fine, short and soft to the touch.

Temperament: They are calm, balanced and affectionate. Dogue de Bordeaux are playful, even tempered and loving with their family and with children. They can be rather stubborn, and training is necessary. Some are not good with other dogs. They can be reserved, but not aggressive, with strangers. They are good guardians, courageous and eager. Dogue de Bordeaux are very kind with children and their masters. They are fearless and patient. They are very powerful animals and should be handled by an experienced owner.

With Children: Get along well, very patient. They are very sweet with children.

With Pets: Usually gets along with everyone, but some may not get along with other dogs. Dogue de Bordeaux are dog aggressive if not trained early on.

Special Skills: Lover of the family and guard dog.

Care and Training: Easy care, moderate exercise. The Dogue de Bordeaux loves nothing better than to go for a walk or swim. They only require weekly brushing, and bathing every two or three weeks to keep them smelling fresh. Very powerful animal and it is highly recommended that you provide your Dogue de Bordeaux with some basic obedience training. Consistent training in a fair and calm manner. Dogue de Bordeaux should be trained from puppyhood.

Learning Rate: High. Do not let the face fool you, they are highly intelligent and learn quickly, although they can be quite stubborn. Once they learn a command they rarely forget it. Obedience - Medium.

Special Needs: Training and socialization.

Living Environment: Thrive on family contact so the closer they are to you the happier they are. Will live inside or outside, but do require a fair sized yard, as they are a large dog. The best owner for this breed would be a dominant, active dog-experienced family living in the country or suburbs.

History: The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the oldest French Breeds. The name comes from southern France, in the Bordeaux region where it was thought to have originated. Its actual origins are obscure, but it probably descended from one of the strains of Mastiff type dogs that accompanied Macedonian and Roman armies through Asia, Europe and Britain. They were thought to have been a mix of the Tibetan Mastiff, Roman Mollussus or Spanish Alano. They were used as guardian dogs for protecting homes, butcher shops and vineyards, as well as pack hunting dogs that baited bulls and pursued boars, bears and jaguars. Often they were thrown in the ring with jaguars, bears and boars, fighting to the death. The attitude of the time was made known through dog fights in a comment by Gaston Phoebus of the 1300s when he described the Dogue: "But they are heavy and ugly and, if a wild boar were to kill them, it would be no great loss." During the French Revolution, Dogue de Bordeaux were considered the dogs of royalty, and many a Bordeaux was killed defending its master. The breed almost died out, but fortunately caught the eye of cynologists at the time, who took the breed and revived it enough to where it now exists in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Africa and the United States. The breed narrowly missed extinction, again, during the two world wars but enjoyed resurgence in the 1960s. Sometime in the early 1980s the first Dogue was imported to the United States. The breed is now used today almost exclusively as a family companion and guardian.

First Registered by the AKC: 1996 (Miscellaneous, for breeds working towards full AKC recognition)

Class: Miscellaneous

Registries: FCI (Group 6), AKC (1/2004), ANKC, KC (UK), NZKC, UKC