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Dogue de Bordeaux Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

If you love big dogs but don’t want to be “that guy” that walks around the park with a huge “scary” dog on a chain, then there is a really good chance that a Dogue de Bordeaux dog could be “right” for you.

This is because…

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a “Massive” dog that just doesn’t “seem” to have a “threatening” look about him.  Instead, (at least in our opinion) these guys seem to have a “tired old man” look.  Which we find adorable!

But just because…

He may look like a “tired old man” doesn’t mean that he is going to “act” like one.  This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own a Dogue de Bordeaux so that if you ever get a chance to get your hands on one, you won’t be disappointed in the fact that you did!

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Dogue de Bordeaux Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  France

Original Purpose:  Guardian, hunting and dog fighting

Height:  23 to 27 inches

Weight:  Over 100 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Miscellaneous

Lifespan:  5 to 8 years

Origin of the Dogue de Bordeaux Dog Breed

The Dogue de Bordeaux is such an “ancient” dog breed, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact origins.  Now according to some experts, it is believed that the Dogue de Bordeaux is an indigenous French breed that developed over the centuries.

Others believe…

That the Dogue de Bordeaux is actually a descendant of either the Tibetan Mastiff, the Neapolitan Mastiff, or perhaps even Greek Mastiffs, which are all close relatives of the Dogue de Bordeaux which is why it’s difficult to know for certainty which dog breed came first.

What is known is…

That these dogs were originally used for all sorts of difficult tasks including:

  • Hunting large game animals such as wild boars and bears.
  • Bear and bull baiting.
  • As well as guarding livestock from wild animals earning him the nickname “butchers dog”.

So, needless to say, these dogs were breed to be tough!

They were also…

Revered as well.  Revered by both the nobility and working class in France throughout the centuries.  This is probably why the breed was able to survive during the time of the French Revolution because these animals were not just a “rich man’s” dog like so many other dog breeds during this time.


Despite the fact that the Dogue de Bordeaux breed has been around since even before France itself was considered a country, the dog breed itself wasn’t mentioned in an form or literature or art until the mid-1800’s which seems a bit “odd” but then again, this dog breed really didn’t get any attention “States side” until the early 1980’s when this dog breed played the starring role in the Tom  Hanks movie title Turner and Hooch.

And even with…

Hollywood finally taking notice of this “awesome” dog, the American Kennel Club (AKC) still didn’t “officially” recognize the breed until 2006!

Dogue de Bordeaux Physical Characteristics

At the risk of stating the obvious, we need to begin our discussion of what a Dogue de Bordeaux looks like by first mentioning that this is a MASSIVE dog.  A massive dog with a powerful and muscular body. After all, this breed has been tasked with pulling heavy objects, fighting bears and bulls and fighting off wild animals that would threaten a farmer’s livestock.

But that not all that is big….

They also have a giant head as well.  Which looks even bigger given the fact that these guys aren’t all that tall.  In fact, its fair to say that these guys just look “big boned”.

Big boned…

With a fine, short coat, that is very soft and comes in several shades of mahogany and fawn with either a brown, red, or black mask.  That said, however, it is the “red mask” that many “purists” prefer which is the same as the one portrayed in the Turner and Hooch movie.

You may also find…

Some mention of a “smaller” Dogue de Bordeaux version of this dog breed however this “version” no longer exists today so if you’re thinking about getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, you better be prepared to own a very large animal.

Dogue de Bordeaux’ Temperament

On the surface, you’ll find that most Dogue de Bordeaux’s are going to have a rather serious “no nonsense” attitude about them, however as you get to know one, you’ll begin to realize that underneath that stern exterior, many will actually have a pretty health sense of humor as well.

And while…

It’s true that all dogs will have their own “unique” personality, you never really want to “judge” a Bordeaux by his “cover” because you could be quite surprised by how “goofy” then can be at times.

That is of course…

When they aren’t on alert protecting the home.  You see, at their “core” the Dogue de Bordeaux breed is protector.  A protector that is going to be ever vigilant and extremely courageous regardless of what challenges he or she may face (remember these guys were bread to fight bears!).

This is why…

If you’re looking for a great companion animal that will risk life and limb to protect you, you really can’t go wrong with this particular dog breed.

And while…

The Dogue de Bordeaux can be a gentle and calm dog, he can also be quite stubborn. The dog likes to have his way and can be hard to deal with. So, a gentle yet firm training is important.  It’s also why we don’t generally recommend this breed to folks who have small children around the house.

Because while…

It’s certainly possible that he may do quite well in a home with children (in fact, Bordeaux’s are known to be great around kids), if not properly trained, what you’re going to have is a 100 pound plus wrecking ball of a dog jumping and running all over the place which certainly isn’t a good situation to have if you also have a small toddler in the room as well!

It should also be noted…

That this breed can also be a “bit” aggressive towards other people (strangers) as well as other dogs.  Particularly if the owner hasn’t “socialize” him while he is just a puppy.

Now you may be thinking…

“Wow, I thought IndulgeYourPet liked the Dogue de Bordeaux?”

To which we simply say… 

“Yes, they are great dogs when owned by “great” owners”. 

The problem is…

That because they are so BIG, when owned by “bad” owners, these dogs can be somewhat of a menace.  After all, having a poorly trained Dogue de Bordeaux is a much “bigger” issue than having a poorly trained Pug.  This is why, it may sound like we’re being “tough” on the Dogue de Bordeaux but that’s just because we like this breed so much and don’t want the “wrong” owner thinking that he or she should get one!

The Health Concerns of the Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux has an alarming number of health problems due to the limited gene pool, which makes the dog prone to getting a large number of inheritable diseases.

Diseases such as:

  • Breathing problems: The Dogue de Bordeaux has a brachycephalic head which leads to the dog having a number of breathing problems. Symptoms include raspy breathing, shortness of breath, etc.
  • Ectropion: This is also due to the brachycephalic head. In this condition, the lower eyelid rolls outwards which can cause conjunctivitis (the inflammation of the eye) or bacterial infections.
  • Aortic stenosis: In this disease, the heart valve which is in the opening of the aortic valve is narrowed. The symptoms of this include exertional syncope, intolerance to exercise, and sudden death.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy: In this condition, the heart becomes weak and gets enlarged which affects its efficiency to pump blood. Some dogs don’t show any signs or symptoms and die suddenly.

Which brings us to…

The last topic that we wanted to mention in our article about the Dogue de Bordeaux dog breed which is the importance of purchasing a pet insurance policy on your pet.

This way…

If your little buddy does get sick, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of his or her medical bills.

For more information about who we “feel” currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there be sure to check out our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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