BREED 101 DOUGE DE BORDEAUX! Everything You Need To Know About The Douge De Bordeaux
By William Atherton / February 17, 2021
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Where does the Dogue de Bordeaux come from? The Bordeaux Mastiff is the oldest French dog breed, and was developed in – you guessed it – the Bordeaux region in Southern France. Its history can be traced all the way back to the 14th century. Without a doubt, the breed was developed over many centuries, But when it comes to its exact origin, no one seems to know exactly how these glorious dogs came into being. We can only guess that ancient Mastiff breeds (like the now extinct Alaunt and the Tibetan Mastiff) have lent their genes to the Bordeaux Mastiff. Over time, these bulky dogs served their owners as drafting dogs, hunting assistants and, of course, property guardians. Many of the French aristocrats had their estates guarded by a couple of imposing Bordeaux Mastiffs. After the French revolution, the Mastiffs have been mainly employed as guardians and drover dogs for cattle. But it took the famous comedy “Turner & Hooch” – a movie from 1989 with Tom Hanks - to make the Dogue de Bordeaux known all around the world. Appearance The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large, heavy dog that comes with the deep facial folds typical for Mastiffs. With their short, snub-nosed faces and their characteristic red, fawn or mahogany coats, they are quite easy to distinguish from other Mastiff breeds. Adult males can grow up to 67 cm at the wither and weigh 65 kilos. This amounts to a height of 26 inches and a weight of 143 pounds. What is their temperament like? This beautiful Mastiff breed is known to be extremely loyal, friendly and devoted to its family. Bordeaux Mastiffs are very gentle and patient with children, and make superb family guardians. Unlike some of the other, more reserved, guardian breeds “out there”, French Mastiffs need no training: They are naturally protective, confident and courageous in the face of danger. Being immensely sweet and loving to their favourite humans, they form close emotional bonds with their family - and they strongly prefer being allowed to live in the house. Laid-back and confident, French Mastiffs usually are tolerant of pets and other dogs. However, they will not tolerate rowdy behaviour from other canines: These powerful Mastiffs are not the ideal breed for trips to the dog park. How intelligent and trainable is the Dogue de Bordeaux? Like many Mastiff breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux comes with an independent and, at times, stubborn nature. But despite their strong will, these affectionate dogs are quite intelligent and respond well to a training approach based on positive reinforcement: French Mastiffs usually work well with food-rewards, play and praise. Using heavy-handed approaches is not recommended with this breed: Despite their stubbornness and their fearsome appearance, French Mastiffs are extremely sensitive! They do best with an experienced owner who knows how to earn the dog’s trust and respect – by being aa calm, consistent canine leader. Is the Dogue de Bordeaux a healthy breed? Unfortunately, French Mastiffs have an extremely short life expectancy of only 5 to 6 years. Like most other Mastiff breeds, they are brachycephalic (which essentially means “snub-nosed”). This in itself can cause the dog to overheat and to have trouble breathing. However, there are various more severe conditions that this loveable breed is up against: For example, the uncurable heart conditions dilated cardiomyopathy and Aortic stenosis. Over 50% of Dogues de Bordeaux are said to be affected by hip dysplasia, and another 21% by elbow dysplasia. In fact, this breed is so unhealthy that the Kennel Club of the UK has classed it as UK Kennel Club's Breed Watch system, the Dogue de Bordeaux is classed as a “Category 3 breed”, which basically means dogs have conditions or exaggerations likely to cause them pain or discomfort. Exercise and Grooming Needs of the Dogue de Bordeaux French Mastiffs are not built for agility, speed or endurance. And they definitely do not feel the need for speed. With their low energy levels, these sedentary giants do not need several hours of vigorous exercise. Whilst they do like outings with their owners, two leisurely, medium-sized walks a day (30 minutes each) are more than enough. To stimulate their minds as well as their bodies, I would recommend you implement some obedience drills into those walks – and into your play sessions with your Dogue de Bordeaux. As French Mastiffs come with a short and tight coat, they are low-maintenance on the brushing front: One thorough once-over a week with a soft bristle brush is sufficient most of the time. During grooming season, however, you want to brush them daily to minimize shedding. What takes much more time than brushing a Dogue de Bordeaux is cleaning their deep facial wrinkles. It is best to make this a daily habit whilst your Mastiff is still a puppy. And when it comes to keeping the amount of drool they dispense to a minimum – the best way to deal with this is always having a small towel ready. When going out in public, put a washable dog scarf around their neck! This will ensure you always have something ready to remove excess drool. Overview And this brings us to the end of our video about this glorious French guardian breed. The Dogue de Bordeaux is an incredible dog – loyal to a fault, calm and gentle towards the family. At the same time, these are very strong (and strong-willed!) dogs who will try to make their own decisions. For these reasons, they are ideal for an experienced owner who can be the French Mastiff’s firm, but loving leader.
Tags: Dog Facts