Breed Group: Working Group
Shoulder Height: 23-27 in.
Weight: 125-150 lb.
Life Span: 5-6 years
Colors: Fawn, Isabella, mahogany, red
- The Dogue de Bordeaux is the oldest French breed, and is thought to have been developed sometime during the Middle Ages.
- Historically, they were a multipurpose breed. They were in charge of guarding flocks and castles of the European elite and were also employed by the peasantry to pull carts.
- The current breed standard was recognized in the United States in 2008.
- They are thought to share the same lineage as other Molosser type breeds, which include the English Mastiff and the Neapolitan Mastiff.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is an old breed with a long history. Primarily employed as a guard and working dog in southern France, this continental equivalent of the Mastiff possesses many of the same qualities their English counterpart does.
They are very loyal to their people and maintain a quiet dignity around the house. The Dogue de Bordeaux possesses a deep booming bark that is sure to alert you of any intruders, and Dogues will not hesitate to attack those they deem threats to you or your home. For this reason, they need to be socialized well from a young age.
The Dogue is quite patient and calm, but prone to drooling. It is important when training that you take your time and use positive reinforcement and commence training early. They can be stubborn, so training from puppyhood will start your relationship with your dog on the right foot. Like any large dog, they take up a fair amount of space and they need regular physical exercise to stay healthy. The Dogue de Bordeaux does not need a lot of activity, however, as the breed is perfectly happy with a daily walk, then they will keep you company when the sun goes down.
Grooming is quite simple because of the breed's short coat. Shedding is also not a problem.
Unfortunately, the Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the shortest-living dog breeds in the world and is prone to a number of problems that can affect their health.
- They are brachycephalic dogs just like the Bulldog, so they are susceptible to overheating as well as breathing problems. Some dogs are have narrow nostrils, making breathing even more difficult.
- Aortic stenosis is a common genetic problem in the breed, affects the valves of the heart. This condition results in intolerance to exercise and sudden death.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy is another heart condition found in the Dogue de Bordeaux that can go undetected before causing a dog to pass away without any indication that something is wrong.
- Hip dysplasia, typical with most large breeds, is also a problem in the Dogue de Bordeaux.
- It is said that in World War 2, Adolf Hitler became so enraged at the Dogues' devout loyalty to their French pet aprents that he ordered the execution of all Dogues de Bordeaux.
- Beasley was the Dogue de Bordeaux who played Tom Hanks' messy canine companion, Hooch, in the 1989 film Turner and Hooch.
- A male Dogue named Foster appeared in the long-running soap opera General Hospital and a pedigree female named Kalusha De El Siscar was featured in an episode of Sex and the City with Sarah Jessica Parker.
- Dutch Premiership footballer Andy van der Meyde was distraught after Mac, his Dogue puppy, was stolen from his home in 2006. The Dogue was later returned unharmed. Another footballer, Englishman Frank Lampard, keeps a number of Dogues de Bordeaux, and has offered Dogue puppies to fans of the Chelsea Football Club.
Photos by DJT at Dutch Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons, Ann (originally posted to Flickr as Gia) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons