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Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux


Originally used for cattle-droving and guarding the vineyards in Bordeaux, this pugnacious, French warrior has survived within a hair of extinction through one national revolution, two World Wars and Hollywood adventure Turner and Hooch. Since the 1400s, the Dogue de Bordeaux has had many jobs: herding cattle, flock guarding, hunting ferocious game, animal baiting, dog fighting and movie star. The first recorded reference to this breed appeared in 1863 at an exhibition in Paris. Toward the end of the 19th century, the Dogue traveled to England for fighting and show competitions. The breed was eventually introduced to the US in the 1960s, and has gained popularity ever since, though still considered a rare breed in this country.


The Dogue de Bordeaux is an extremely intelligent and fearless giant. Powerful and surprisingly athletic, they are never intimidated and make excellent guardians of both person and property. They have strong nerves and are not easily excited. Their personality is balanced, quiet and calm. They are a charming breed that is warm and friendly to humans and small animals. They are wonderful with children, as they are very patient and tolerant of a child’s typical behavior. The Dogue can be stubborn and arrogant, yet very trainable with positive reinforcement. You will be surprised at how much your Dogue can learn and help with your everyday routine. By nature they are docile and kind-hearted and absolutely love human affection.

Breed Standards:

  • Working Group
  • Males are 23 – 27 inches at withers, minimum 110 pounds
  • Females are 22 – 26 inches at withers, minimum 99 pounds
  • Full body maturity is reached at 2 - 3 years
  • Average litter = 6 – 8 puppies
  • Average life span is 8 –10 years
  • The coat is short, fine and silky
  • Colors = Red, Fawn, and Deep Mahogany

Everyday Care:

  • Exercise: Young Dogues should not be over-exercised, as this could harm their growth. As an adult, the Dogue generally likes activity and needs a lot of exercise. Start off slowly and work your pace up to insure that your Dogue doesn’t strain their large frame and muscle structure. They should be walked at least twice a day and regular have extended run or play time.
  • Feeding: It is best to feed two or three meals a day instead of only feeding once. A Dogue should never be exercised one hour before feeding or for two hours afterwards. And they should never be allowed to gulp water.
  • Grooming: Dogue de Bordeaux should be brushed once a week and bathed as needed. Ears should be checked weekly and cleaned if needed. And nails should be trimmed when you can hear them clicking as the dog walks across the floor.
  • Attention: The Dogue de Bordeaux is highly intelligent and must be trained with praise, rather than negativity. When necessary, the best reprimand is to shake the scruff of the neck.

Health Considerations:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Heart Murmurs
  • Demodectic Mange
  • Gastric Torsion (Bloat)
  • Growing Pains as a puppy
  • Very sensitive to anesthesia

Am I Right for You?

  • I tend to drool and snore
  • If you are not willing to walk me at least once a day, don’t pick me.
  • I cannot exist in an apartment or condo
  • Because of my size, substance and strength, you will need to be the kind of person who can command my respect and always be in control.
  • You must be willing to be consistent with obedience training and socialization
  • Do you have other dogs? Male Dogues tend to be more dominant and will occasionally fight with other males to determine dominance. If you must have two males, it is highly recommended that you keep the age difference as great as possible.
  • Both sexes tend to be dog-aggressive and will not back down from a fight, although they rarely instigate one.