ABOUT THE BREED


Appearance

Also called the "French Mastiff"; the Dogue de Bordeaux is a short and stocky mastiff-type dog with a wrinkled, massive, broad and heavy head. Your pet is very muscular and powerful, but stocky and with relatively short legs based on size, standing close to the ground. What's notable about the Dogue de Bordeaux is its massive head. Serious, stocky and athletically built, the Dogue de Bordeaux is naturally assured and can be imposing. These dogs have short, soft coats with loose-fitting skin, and can include various shades of fawn to mahogany, sometimes with a dark red or black mask surrounding the nose, lips and rims of the eyes. There may be white markings on the tips of the toes and the chest. These dogs stand anywhere between 23 and 27 inches tall at the shoulder, weight can start at 99 lbs and according to the breed standard there is no upper weight limit.

Temperament
These wonderful, calm dogs make excellent guard dogs and family pets. The massive size of this large dog belies their gentle nature – unless those they love are in danger. Despite their imposing appearance, though, Dogues de Bordeaux make excellent family pets. The Dogue de Bordeaux is extremely loving and protective. Although gentle and calm with those he or she knows and loves, your pet will come to your aid in an instant, courageous and fearless; he or she will be confrontational if necessary for your protection. A properly bred Dogue de Bordeaux who receives adequate socialization and training will generally get along fine with children, but tolerance will vary from dog to dog. He must be taught early on what is acceptable behavior and what is not, as should the child. Because of their large size a Dogue de Bordeaux should always be supervised around children. A minor "bump" can cause serious injury to a small child. Also, some Dogue de Bordeaux have a high degree of "prey" drive (the instinct to chase moving objects), therefore should never be left alone with children, who naturally will want to run and play.

Proper Environment
The Dogue de Bordeaux's calm and placid temperament makes your pet perfect for just about any environment, including apartment living; even though your pet is a very large dog, he or she will be very inactive indoors, although it's imperative that you give him or her lots of exercise. A long daily walk is necessary, and you should also give your pet plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Life with a single devoted owner who can spend a lot of time with the equally devoted Dogue de Bordeaux is perfectly suitable, but so is life with a large family.

It's worth noting that although the Dogue de Bordeaux is exceedingly obedient to owners he or she knows and loves with the proper training and boundaries, it's also imperative that you address your pet's need for "pack animal" leadership. That is, you have to take charge as the owner. Dogue de Bordeaux's are very obedient as long as their owners are firm and consistent with boundaries and (gentle, nonphysical) discipline. Because the Dogue de Bordeaux is such a large animal, though, you could conceivably put yourself in danger if you don't take a calm and firm stance as pet owner, simply because temperamental and misbehaving Dogue de Bordeaux can also be a dangerous one.

Health
One thing you will notice about your pet is that he or she is a drooler, as are many mastiff-type dogs, but do they slobber as much as they were portrayed to on the movie "Turner & Hooch"?  The answer is no. The dog on Turner & Hooch was fed a mixture of beaten egg whites to produce the massive amount of slime you saw running out of his mouth in the movie! The breed will drool a bit after eating or drinking or if it's hot and muggy outside, but they don't just walk around & drool like the movie led people to believe. Dried drool on the walls and trim, and occasionally on your clothes, is a hazard of owning the breed. This does not speak to any health problem and is simply a characteristic of the breed. Endearingly, the Dogue de Bordeaux is also prone to snoring. Therefore, although you will have to be perfectly content to put up with some decidedly untidy slobbering, this is small consideration as compared to the love and affection your pet will give you. Even though they are decidedly large dogs, the Dogues' de Bordeaux lifespan is quite long for such a large breed, a lifespan to be about 8 to 12 years. They do have some problems with hip dysplasia, as do many large breeds, and very occasionally have problems with osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), epilepsy, entropion, ectropion, acute gastric dilation (BLOAT), cancer, and cardiac issues.

The issues above are found in most breeds. It is possible for a breeder to have proven stock "free of problems" which then may produce a puppy with some of these problems. This is not the fault of the breeder as unfortunately these issues may and do occur.

Grooming
This is another area where you'll find the Dogue de Bordeaux to be exceedingly accommodating. They need very little grooming and are only average shedders. Daily brushing and occasional bathing only if needed should be sufficient to take care of your pet in this area.