Let's talk Dogues de Bordeaux

The unmistakable mug of the Dogue de Bordeaux is full of sweet folds of chestnut brown fur and a charming pushed-in snout. This mastiff-type breed is traced most to the 14th century and the French city of … Bordeaux! The Dogue de Bordeaux carries the best traits of their homeland: Swagger, nobility, confidence and, most of all, love of family. Their immensely powerful body is topped by a blocky head which produces a good amount of drool—just another part of them to love.

Official name: Dogue de Bordeaux

Other names: Bordeaux Mastiff, French Mastiff, Bordeaux dog, DDB

Origins: France

 Drooling tendencies

Very high

Warm weather? Low
 Shedding level Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Medium
 Energy level (high, low, medium) *: High Family pet? * 
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets Very low
Can stay alone? * Medium

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

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 Baby age:  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age:  2 to 8 months
 Adult age: 8 months to 2 years
 Mature age:  2 to 5 years
 Senior age:  From 5 years


Origins of the breed

For many enthusiasts, the Labrador Retriever remains one of the most popular all-round dogs worldwide. It’s thought that Labrador Retrievers originated from the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, where fishermen used dogs of this appearance to retrieve fish. The breed as we know it today, however, was established by the British in the early 1800’s.

The Labrador Retriever Club was founded in 1916 and the first standard followed soon after, predominantly tailored to working Labrador Retrievers who found early fame, having been originally introduced to the U.K. in the late 1800’s by Col Peter Hawker and the Earl of Malmesbury.


2 facts about Dogues de Bordeaux

1. Watch the back

Hulking, massive, bulky, brute. The body of the Dogue de Bordeaux is all this and more, so care must be taken when it comes to their exercise. They should not be allowed to jump off surfaces higher than their back. With their very large frame, they could suffer damage to their spine in the process.

2. That mug is more than cute 

The Dogue de Bordeaux has one alluring muzzle, but the flattened snout and nostrils – known as brachycephalic characteristic – can be problematic for the Dogue de Bordeaux. If the conditions aren’t optimum, breathing issues can arise. Shield your dog from extreme hot or cold weather and maintain proper ventilation and air conditioning where necessary.


History of the breed

The noble and affable Dogue de Bordeaux embodies superb canine characteristics: Strong yet softhearted, likable yet ready to defend. Although their chronology is sketchy, they are said to hail from earlier mastiffs in Gaul – ancient France circa 1st century B.C. – who had landed courtesy of Julius Caesar.

The dog we now know is a more direct descendant of those found in France 600 years ago, a junior version of which, the Doguin, existed until the 1700s. Early use as fighting dogs gave way to sport and guarding French chateaux. The Revolution curtailed that employ, the breed then used to guard livestock and, bien sur, as adored family pets.

Until the mid-19th century, the breed wasn’t known outside of France. Leave it to Hollywood to deliver celebrity with the 1989 movie Turner and Hooch, where Tom Hanks played a detective aside a brawny but sweet Dogue de Bordeaux.


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Dogues de Bordeaux

1. Ears

Medium-sized ears hanging down aside head.

2. Head

Massive blocky head framed by folds of fur, furrowed brow.

3. Body

Muscular, hulking body, large limbs and paws.

4. Tail

Tail is medium length, in line with body, fairly thin.

5. Coat

Short, fine coat with soft texture.


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Dogue de Bordeaux


Caring for your Dogue de Bordeaux

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The short coat of the Dogue de Bordeaux means ease of grooming for sure, and minimal shedding. Using a rubber grooming glove weekly to brush through the coat and keep it smooth is sufficient. What does need particular attention: Those cheeks. Encased in loose folds of fur, wiping them down quite often – along with the ears and face – will prevent infection. Watch for drool too (it will happen). One would think a dog of this size would require lots of exercise; not so for the Dogue de Bordeaux—they will benefit tremendously from two good daily walks. Their hulking size means they can tire quickly. As for training the Dogue de Bordeaux, the earlier and the more social, the better. This is a breed that needs a very firm, yet reassuring, hand and needs to trust you to build a solid relationship and, in turn, good behaviour.


All about Dogues de Bordeaux

With their legacy and purebred pedigree, the Dogue de Bordeaux is well-regarded by those who know the breed. Bring out the best in them by starting training early on and reinforcing good behaviour. A strong-minded breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux needs to have confidence in their owner in order to excel as they develop. Instill that trust from early on and they will grow to be an exceptional canine.

The Dogue de Bordeaux always welcomes a meal, therefore it’s best to keep food portions measured out and resist giving too many treats. Adult dogs should receive a nutritious, balanced, and complete dog food along with fresh water, which should be available at all times.


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/