The Dogue de Bordeaux: Everything You Need to Know

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large and powerful dog breed that is known for its striking appearance and protective instincts. It is described as courageous, loyal, and affectionate. 

If you are considering getting a Dogue de Bordeaux or simply want to learn more about them, this article has everything you need to know about the breed – from history to health.  

History and Origins of the Dogue de Bordeaux

The Ancient Roots of the Breed

Experts believe that the Dogue de Bordeaux breed dates back to ancient times, with evidence of similar dogs found in art and literature from as far back as 300 BC. These dogs were used for a variety of purposes, including guarding livestock and property, hunting, and even in wars.

The Dogue de Bordeaux was a popular choice for guarding livestock due to their size and strength. They were able to take down predators such as wolves and bears, making them invaluable protectors for farmers and ranchers. In addition, their loyalty and protective nature made them trusted companions for soldiers during times of war.

Development in France

The Dogue de Bordeaux as we know it today first emerged in France, where they were primarily used as guard dogs for estates and vineyards and were also popular with butchers, who used them for controlling bulls and other large animals.

During this time, the Dogue de Bordeaux was also used for dog fighting. While this practice is now illegal and widely condemned, it was once a popular sport in France and other parts of Europe. The breed’s strength and tenacity made it a formidable opponent in the fighting ring.

Recognition by Kennel Clubs

The breed was first recognized by the French Kennel Club. The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed in 2008. Today, the Dogue de Bordeaux is primarily used as a loving and mellow family pet.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

Size and Weight

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large breed, with males typically weighing over 110 pounds and females weighing more than 99 pounds. Males typically stand 23 to 27 inches tall, and females around 23 to 26 inches tall at the shoulders.

Despite the large size, Dogue de Bordeaux is known for being a calm and gentle dog, which makes it a great family pet. Breed members are also loyal and very protective. 

Coat and Colors

The breed has a short, smooth coat that can come in a range of colors, including shades of fawn, red, Isabella, or mahogany. Some dogs may have white markings on their chest and feet.

The coat is easy to maintain and requires minimal grooming, making it a great choice for people who don’t have a lot of time to devote to grooming. Due to the short coat, this dog is sensitive to low temperatures. 

Distinctive Facial Features

One of the most distinctive features of the Dogue de Bordeaux is its large, wrinkled head and powerful jaws. The faces are often likened to that of a mastiff, and they have loose skin that can form deep wrinkles around their nose and eyes.

The powerful jaws make the breed an excellent guard dog, and the Dogue de Bordeaux is known for its ability to take down intruders. However, despite the intimidating appearance, it is gentle and affectionate. 

Temperament and Personality Traits

Affection and Loyalty

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a gentle giant. Breed members are loyal and affectionate towards their family members and are often described as “velcro dogs” as they attach to their humans and develop separation anxiety if left alone. 

The Dogue de Bordeaux is great with children. However, due to its size and strength, it is important to supervise interactions – they can accidentally knock over small children while playing, which can result in injuries.

Protective Instincts

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a natural guardian that has a strong protective instinct towards their family. They are naturally suspicious of strangers and will fiercely protect their families if they sense any danger.

However, it is important to note that their protective instincts can sometimes be a problem if not properly managed. They need to be extensively socialized and trained from a young age to ensure that they are not aggressive. 

Intelligence and Trainability

The Dogue de Bordeaux is an intelligent breed that responds well to positive reinforcement training methods. They are eager to please their owners and can be trained to do a variety of tasks, including obedience training and agility training.

However, they can be stubborn at times, which can make training a challenge. It is important to be patient and consistent with training and to use positive reinforcement methods to encourage good behavior.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

The Dogue de Bordeaux is prone to several health problems, including:

  • Orthopedic Conditions: The most common orthopedic issues in the breed include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and shoulder problems 
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome: Breed members suffer from brachycephalic syndrome, which results in impaired breathing and exercise intolerance 
  • Skin Allergies: Many members of the breed are hypersensitive to common allergens found in their dog food and the environment 

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventative care is an important part of keeping your Dogue de Bordeaux healthy. This includes proper exercise, mental stimulation, a healthy diet, and regular grooming. 

Regular vet checkups are also vital. During these checkups, the vet can perform a physical exam, check for any signs of illness or discomfort, and provide preventative treatments such as vaccinations and parasite control.

Expected Lifespan

The average lifespan for a Dogue de Bordeaux is around 5 to 8 years. However, with proper care and attention, some dogs may live for up to 10 years or more. 

In Conclusion

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a unique and fascinating breed with a distinctive appearance and protective nature that makes it an excellent guard dog and loyal family pet.

If you are considering getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, be sure to do your research and choose a reputable breeder who can provide you with a healthy and well-socialized puppy.

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