All About the Grand Dogue de Bordeaux Breed

Learn about the majestic and loyal Dogue de Bordeaux breed, also known as the French Mastiff, from the dog's perspective.

History and Origin of Dogue de Bordeaux

Discover the fascinating history behind the Dogue de Bordeaux breed.

Early Use as a Fighting Dog

The early use of Dogue de Bordeaux breed as a fighting dog is a fact that is grimly acknowledged by historians. These courageous and muscular dogs were acclaimed for their tenacity, strength, and relentless spirits in bloody battles and when faced with feral animals. Tasked with serving as groups for hunters or providing security, the breed's ancestors were popular in the south of France and were even used by the Roman Empire for guarding flocks and gladiator arenas. This suggests that the Dogue de Bordeaux breed has a long and fascinating role in the world of dog breeding, with powerful jaws and an impressive physique that were honed over centuries for a variety of activities. Despite their ruthless appearance, these dogs make excellent companions and devoted protectors.

Role in French Society

Dogue de Bordeauxs have played an important role in French society since ancient times. Originally bred as fighting dogs, these muscular canines were used to intimidate and overpower opponents in battles. However, as society evolved, so too did the breed's role. As fewer battles were fought, the French Mastiff's noble temperament and strong loyalty shone through, making them increasingly popular as companions. Today, Dogue de Bordeauxs can be found working as police and military dogs, as well as serving as therapy animals due to their intuitive nature. Additionally, their massive size and presence make them formidable guard dogs, and they are often used to provide protection to estates and families. Dogue de Bordeauxs are a breed with a rich history and a versatile skill set, making them treasured members of French society.

Importation to Other Countries

The Dogue de Bordeaux breed began to expand beyond France in the early 20th century. It was originally used as a guardian, as well as for sporting activities such as bull-baiting and dogfighting. Despite being banned in some countries due to their perceived aggression, the breed began to gain popularity across Europe and North America in the 1960s. Since then, Dogue de Bordeaux have been imported to other countries such as Russia, Australia, and Canada. Imported for their impressive size and loyalty, they have become well loved by families around the world. Today, the Dogue de Bordeaux is recognized as a breed by various international kennel clubs, and continues to be appreciated for its beauty, strength, and courage.

Appearance and Characteristics

Get to know the distinctive physical traits and personality of the Dogue de Bordeaux breed.

Size and Weight

Size and Weight:
The Dogue de Bordeaux breed portrays a massive and robust appearance with a strikingly muscular body. Males grow up to 27 inches tall, and females become around 25 inches. The breed's weight ranges from 120 to 145 pounds for males and 100 to 120 pounds for females. These majestic creatures are undoubtedly imposing in physique, but their colossal size merely complements their gentle personality. Their massive heads and stocky legs make them appear incredibly intense, but they are genuinely affectionate giants who love their family deeply. The Dogue de Bordeaux's strong and sturdy build is visible in every step they take, and their massive paws are impressive to look at.

Head and Facial Features

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a powerful and imposing breed that is instantly recognizable by its head and facial features. Their large, square-shaped head is loaded with muscle and is supported by a thick, muscular neck. They possess a deeply wrinkled forehead and a powerful jawline with a broad, and blunt muzzle. The breed's ears are triangular in shape, ending in a rounded tip, and are set high on their head. Their expressive eyes are typically dark brown and set deep within the skull. The Dogue de Bordeaux's intimidating appearance is balanced by their affectionate and loyal character. They are known for their calm demeanor, but can become protective of their family if they sense a threat.

Color and Coat

The Dogue de Bordeaux's coat is a commanding feature of its appearance. It is thick and velvety to the touch, with a short length that sits close to the body. The breed is typically seen in shades of mahogany, ranging from light shades with a hint of orange to deep, rich browns. Some dogs may have white markings or spots on their chest or other areas, but they should not be prominent. The coat of the Dogue de Bordeaux requires moderate maintenance, with occasional brushing to keep it looking its best. Despite their fearsome appearance, these dogs are known to be gentle giants that exhibit great loyalty and affection towards their owners.


The Dogue de Bordeaux breed is known for its impressive physical traits, but what truly sets it apart is the reliable and loyal temperament. These dogs are incredibly affectionate and devoted to their families, and are naturally protective without being overly aggressive. They tend to be calm and gentle, but have a strong presence that can intimidate potential threats. They have a patient and tolerant nature, which makes them excellent with children, although they might not appreciate rough play. Their intelligence and determination can sometimes lead to stubbornness, but with consistent and loving training, they can be successful in various roles such as therapy dogs or competition sports. Overall, the Dogue de Bordeaux breed has a dignified temperament that demands respect and admiration, qualities that perfectly match its majestic appearance.

Training and Exercise

Learn how to properly train and exercise your Dogue de Bordeaux to ensure a happy and healthy life.


Socialization plays a crucial role in ensuring your Dogue de Bordeaux is well-rounded and able to adapt to various settings. For this majestic breed, socialization should involve not only exposure to different people and animals but also varied environments. Utilizing a diverse vocabulary when interacting with your dog can help them become more confident and less anxious in unfamiliar situations. Additionally, it's important to avoid repeatedly using the same verb in a sentence as it can reduce the clarity of the message you're trying to convey. By ensuring that your Dogue de Bordeaux is regularly exposed to new sights, sounds, and smells, you can help them develop into a well-adjusted and happy companion.

Obedience Training

Obedience training is crucial for the development and well-being of the Dogue de Bordeaux. These dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training, so be sure to utilize a diverse vocabulary of positive commands and rewards. When teaching your pup new tricks or commands, refrain from repeating the same verb more than twice in any given paragraph to ensure they don't become confused or disengaged. Remember to use different nouns as well, such as "treat" instead of "reward," to keep things interesting for your furry companion. By taking the time to properly train and educate your Dogue de Bordeaux, you'll have a happier and healthier pup that is a joy to be around.

Exercise Requirements

When it comes to exercise, the Dogue de Bordeaux requires moderate physical activity to maintain optimal health. While they are not as active as some other breeds, they still need regular exercise to prevent obesity and the associated health risks. Taking your Dogue de Bordeaux for a daily walk is a great way to keep them fit. Engage in fun outdoor activities with your furry friend such as playing frisbee or fetch, as this is an excellent way to work up a sweat. Additionally, consider training your Dogue de Bordeaux to participate in agility training, which is a fantastic way to increase their activity level while they learn new skills and build their confidence. Whatever form of exercise you choose, make sure to provide enough opportunities so your Dogue de Bordeaux can stay happy and healthy.

Health and Nutrition

Understand common health issues and dietary needs for the Dogue de Bordeaux breed.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common health issue among Dogue de Bordeaux breed, which may cause considerable discomfort and affect their mobility. This genetic condition occurs when the hip joint is not formed correctly, leading to abnormal wear and tear, inflammation and cartilage damage. Symptoms range from limping, stiffness, reluctance to move, and difficulty rising after rest. Fortunately, with early detection, there are various treatment options available, including weight management, exercise restrictions, medication and surgery, that can help alleviate the pain and improve their quality of life. Nevertheless, a well-balanced diet catering to the Dogue de Bordeaux breed nutritional needs is also crucial to ensure their joints receive the necessary nutrients for optimal health.

Gastric Torsion

Gastric torsion, also known as bloat, is a common health issue in large breeds such as the Dogue de Bordeaux. This condition occurs when the stomach fills with gas, food or fluids, causing it to expand and twist. Prompt medical attention is crucial if your Dogue de Bordeaux shows any signs of bloat, including difficulty breathing, retching, abdominal pain, or a swollen stomach. In severe cases, gastric torsion can quickly become life-threatening. Feeding your Dogue de Bordeaux smaller, frequent meals and avoiding exercise immediately before or after eating can help prevent this condition. Additionally, some owners have found success in utilizing slow-feed bowls or elevated feedings to minimize the risk of bloat.


Epilepsy is a neurological condition that can affect the Dogue de Bordeaux breed. Also known as seizures or convulsions, epilepsy can be caused by various factors such as genetics, infections, or head injuries. Symptoms may vary from mild, brief episodes of unresponsiveness to violent shaking and loss of consciousness. The frequency and severity of the seizures can also vary among dogs, with some experiencing several episodes a day. Managing epilepsy in Dogue de Bordeaux requires medication, regular vet check-ups, and a controlled diet. Ensuring that your dog gets enough exercise, rest, and a balanced diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates can help reduce the frequency of seizures. It is important to consult with a qualified veterinary professional to determine the best course of treatment for your dog.

Recommended Diet

The Dogue de Bordeaux breed needs a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain optimal health. High-quality dog food with adequate amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates is essential for this majestic breed. It is recommended to feed them twice a day in moderately-sized portions, depending on their age, weight, and activity level. It is best to avoid giving them table scraps as it may lead to obesity. The Dogue de Bordeaux is also prone to bloat, a life-threatening condition, and it is crucial to monitor their eating habits and avoid feeding them immediately after exercise or engaging in any activity. Always ensure that fresh, clean water is available at all times to help them stay hydrated and maintain their health.


Discover the best grooming practices to keep your Dogue de Bordeaux clean and comfortable.

Coat Care

Coat care for the Dogue de Bordeaux is essential to keep their fur healthy and shiny. These dogs have a short and smooth coat that only needs to be brushed once a week with a soft-bristled brush to remove dead hair and distribute natural oils. Bathing should only be done when necessary with mild dog shampoo to avoid irritating their sensitive skin. A monthly wipe with a damp cloth on their wrinkles and around their ears can help prevent bacteria buildup. Nail clipping is also important to prevent overgrowth and cracking. With proper grooming, the Dogue de Bordeaux can maintain their majestic appearance and stay comfortable all year round.

Ear Cleaning

Maintaining the cleanliness of your Dogue de Bordeaux's ears is vital to prevent infections and irritation. Begin by gathering the necessary supplies, including cotton balls and veterinarian-recommended ear cleaning solution. First, inspect your dog's ears for any signs of redness, discharge, or odor. If there are any abnormalities present, contact your veterinarian immediately. Next, hold your dog's ear gently and insert a cotton ball moistened with the cleaning solution. Rub the cotton ball gently and avoid inserting it deeply into the ear canal. Finally, use a dry cotton ball to remove any excess solution and repeat the process with the other ear. Consistent ear cleaning not only ensures the comfort of your Dogue de Bordeaux but also helps maintain their overall health and well-being.

Nail Trimming

Nail trimming is an essential task to ensure your Dogue de Bordeaux’s optimal health, but it should be executed carefully to avoid harming your beloved pet. Begin by selecting a sharp and high-quality nail clipper, which will make the process significantly easier. If your dog is not used to having its nails trimmed, it is vital to start slowly and positively. Try to associate the experience with treats and praise to encourage good behavior. Be cautious while trimming the nails, ensuring you do not cut into the quick, the area of the nail with nerves and blood vessels. It's best to cut smaller sections of the nail at once, rather than taking larger measures, to avoid any pain or discomfort to your pet.


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