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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” who walks around the park with a vast “scary” dog on a chain, then there is a perfect chance that a Dogue de Bordeaux dog could be “right” for you. This is because the Dogue de Bordeaux is a “Massive” dog that 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” peek, which we find adorable!

But just because…

He may look like a “tired old man,” but that doesn’t mean he will “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 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 challenging to pinpoint the exact origins. According to some experts, the Dogue de Bordeaux is believed to be an indigenous French breed that developed over the centuries. Others believe that the Dogue de Bordeaux is 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 isn’t easy to know for certainty which dog breed came first.

What is known is…

These dogs were initially used for all sorts of complex tasks, including:

  • Hunting large game animals such as wild boars and bears.
  • Bear and bull baiting.
  • As well as guarding livestock against wild animals, earning him the nickname “butcher’s dog.”

So, these dogs were bred to be tough!

They were also…

They were also revered by the nobility and working class in France throughout the centuries. This is probably why the breed survived during the French Revolution because these animals were not just “rich man’s” dogs like so many other dog breeds during this time.

Ironically, even though the Dogue de Bordeaux breed has been around since France was considered a country, the dog breed itself wasn’t mentioned in any form of literature or art until the mid-1800s, which seems a bit “odd.” Still, this dog breed didn’t get any attention in “States Side” until the early 1980s 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!

Physical Characteristics

At the risk of stating the obvious, we need to begin discussing 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 is not all…

That is big. They also have a giant head; this looks even more significant, given that these guys aren’t all that tall. It’s fair to say that these guys 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. 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 considering getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, you better be prepared to own a huge animal.

Personality and Temperament

On the surface, you’ll find that most Dogue de Bordeaux’s are going to have a rather severe “no nonsense” attitude about them; as you get to know one, you’ll begin to realize that underneath that stern exterior, many will 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 pretty surprised by how “goofy” he 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 a protector. A protector that will be ever vigilant and incredibly courageous regardless of what challenges they may face (remember, these guys were born 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 can’t go wrong with this 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, soft yet firm training is essential. It’s also why we don’t recommend this breed to folks with small children around the house.

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…

This breed can also be a “bit” aggressive towards other people (strangers) and other dogs. If the owner hasn’t “socialized” him while he is just a puppy, now you may be thinking…

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

To which we say…

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

The problem is that these dogs can be somewhat of a menace because they are so BIG when owned by “bad” owners. 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 they should get one!

Potential Health Concerns

The Dogue de Bordeaux has an alarming number of health problems due to the limited gene pool, which makes the dog prone to many inheritable diseases. Diseases such as:

  • Breathing problems: The Dogue de Bordeaux has a brachycephalic head, which leads to the dog having several 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, 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 enlarges, affecting its efficiency in pumping blood. Some dogs don’t show any signs or symptoms and die suddenly.

This brings us to the last topic we wanted to mention in our article about the Dogue de Bordeaux dog breed: the importance of purchasing a pet insurance policy. If your little buddy gets sick, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of their medical bills.

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

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