Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff) Dog Breed Traits & Facts

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the oldest dog breeds to have come from France. Sometimes they are called the French Mastiff because “Dogue” is French for “Mastiff”. The French Mastiff giant breed is a giant-dog breed that is easily apparent just by looking at them. Their large heads and tendency to slobber can make them very endearing.

The French Mastiff, like most Mastiffs has excellent protective instincts and can protect your home like a champion. These dogs can be very friendly and can be quite gentle. if socialized well. They are very loyal to their families. They are happy to snuggle up with you and protect your home. It would be difficult to find a more loyal dog anywhere else.

Are you looking for additional information about the Dogue de Bordeaux This is the place for you! This guide will explain everything you need to know more about this stunning canine. This guide will cover the history, temperament, as well as appearance of this breed. We will also discuss the various areas they will require in their lives. Let’s get started!

Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff)

Breed History

Although much of the history of the Dogue has been lost to time, it is difficult to trace their true origins from their rich past. It’s interesting to note that this breed was not known as the Dogue de Bordeaux until the 20th Century. Even still, this breed’s history goes back as early as the 14th Century, around the French region of Bordeaux- where they got their name. This goes back so far that France wasn’t even France yet. This makes it the oldest French breed.

Some sources suggest that the DDB was developed over thousands of years with French native dogs. Others suggest that the Tibetan Mastiff, along with Spanish dogs contributed to the breed’s development. Still, it is believed that DDBs come from the lineage of Bulldogs, Bullmastiffs, and Mastiffs. “Dogue” means “Mastiff”, as mentioned previously.

For many centuries, this breed of dog was available in two sizes : the larger “Dogue”, and the smaller “Doguin”. The latter breed disappears from history in the 18th Century, leaving us with the French Mastiff we know today.

Breed Uses

This breed has worn many hats over its colorful history. They are presumed to have guarded vineyards and farms. They were used to hunt bears, wolves, and boar. This breed is part of the molosser group of dogs, characterized by intimidating size, intimidating looks, and great strength.

Unfortunately, the breed was not able to fight bulls or bears. The DDB served as a guard dog for the estates of the aristocratic. They experienced a decline in popularity during the French Revolution.

Many of these dogs were lost when their owners brought them to the guillotine. The resilient breed was able to resurrect itself thanks to butchers useful in driving cattle. They were nicknamed “The Butcher’s Dog” because of this. They also found work guarding flocks and pulling carts.

Early Years

In 1863, they first appeared at a French dog show. They were then re-bred until they stabilized in numbers. The Dogue’s development continued until finally, in 1910, a standard was written for the breed.

While peril would again strike them due to the two World Wars. The French Mastiff was preserved through the efforts of enthusiasts who wanted the breed to be kept alive.

Present Day

The first dogs were brought to America towards the end of the 1950s. However, they wouldn’t receive widespread popularity until 1989 with the movie Turner & Hooch, starring Tom Hanks and a very lovable French Mastiff named Beasley.

In 2008, the breed received recognition from the AKC, in the working breed category. As of 2020, Dogue de Bordeaux is the 71st most popular dog in America. Their popularity continues to grow. Register your dog with AKC if you want to increase the popularity of this incredible dog!


The breed’s personality is very strong with their attentive vigilance, deep love for their families and their caring nature. They are described by the AKC as loyal, affectionate, courageous, and [and] courageous. This is a great description of the breed! Although they may appear intimidating with their huge bodies, the Dogue is very gentle.

The French Mastiff is gentler than other Mastiffs and is rarely aggressive. They are happy to be around their families and will always smile for them. The Dogue can be stubborn, so it is difficult to train.

These pups need structure in their lives and will need a confident and firm master. They are a great choice for families with children, and they will be happy to keep up with their drool!

In the Home

French mastiffs make excellent pets. They are great with children and can be patient around them if they are properly socialized from a young age. This is true for all pets.

It is important to monitor interactions between the dog and other family members, especially children. It is easy for them to overthrow anyone, especially given their size. It is important to train them early so that they can behave properly.

This breed is very affectionate. They will take punishment if left alone, so don’t leave them alone for too long. This helps curb destructive behavior caused by separation anxiety.

This breed is a good guard dog and a great protector of your home. Although they do not bark as frequently as some other breeds, it is a good guard dog.

When given enough time, the Dogue is polite but friendly. They love to meet new people. They are a good candidate for employment because of their eagerness to please owners. They’re happy to send you postcards or take care of livestock if you live in a rural area. These adorable dogs also make surprisingly good therapy dogs!

Size Appearance

This breed is huge! This breed is often referred to as a giant dog. Males stand at 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder, while females are smaller at 23 to 26 inches tall. These dogs are very heavy, with males weighing anywhere from 120 to 145 pounds, while females weigh 99 to 130 pounds.

These dogs have large heads, which are angular and broad. They can also be quite short in height. Their faces are covered with wrinkles and excessive skin, giving them their grumpy look. Their eyes are round and wide apart. They have a serious expression. If the dog wears a black mask, they can be colored hazel or dark brown. Dogs with brown masks are allowed to have lighter eyes.

Their muzzles are strong and wide, but they are short in length. They have broad noses with large nostrils and can be self-colored depending on the mask. Their upper lips are thick and droopy, with strong jaws and a sharp bite. Their jowls give them their drooling abilities.

This breed is large and muscular. Their muscular necks are nearly cylindrical in shape and have strong muscles. They are wide at the base and flow seamlessly into the shoulders. The withers are clearly marked and the topline is nearly level with the rest of the body, with a slight dip just before the withers.

Their chests are large and deep, with their elbows hanging lower than their elbows. Their tails are thick at the base, tapering down to the hocks. Their shoulders are muscular, and their arms are .strong. They have strong shoulders and forelegs that are muscular. AKC standard describes the Dogue’s gait as being “free and supple“.

Coats and Colors

Although it may not be obvious from looking at it, the French Mastiff has a very soft and silky coat. It is both fine and short throughout the body. These pups can shed quite a bit, making them unsuitable for allergy sufferers.

The Dogue is self-colored, which means they only have one uniform color all throughout. There are a variety of shades to choose from, including a light yellowish-tan color. According to the AKC standard, the coat can be either a dark red or light fawn.

Occasionally, you may see a Dogue with small, white patches at their feet, forechest, patterns, and toes. However, the AKC does not prefer this. A mask is a darker colored face that can be either brown or black. This mask isn’t widespread and does not reach very far across the skull.

Exercise Needs

These gentle giants don’t need much exercise which is great for busy families. However, they should not be overlooked as they need some type of exercise .. Because they are large dogs, this is even more important. Giving them a daily walk of 30 minutes to an hour each day will be more than enough for them to feel content.

To prevent destructive tendencies from boredom, give your dog something to do. You can help your Dogue to stay content. by playing games and giving them toys.

It’s worth noting that this dog is prone to orthopedic problems, and as such should not be vigorously exercised until after they are 18 months old. Dogue puppies should only be allowed to do low impact exercise.

Swimming is a low-impact activity that can be enjoyed by these dogs at any age. Your dog’s short noses can cause breathing difficulties. If it is not too hot or cold outside, they can still run around in a secure yard. Your yard must be well fenced as they have a prey drive. They may chase smaller animals and get lost.

Living Requirements

Due to the Dogue’s size, it is not possible for them to live in smaller apartments or homes. The Dogue may end up knocking over if they don’t have enough space. The Dogue can be adapted to urban environments if the home is large enough. You will have no problems with neighbors as they don’t bark often.

This breed is not able to tolerate more than mild conditions. They cannot be in extreme heat or cold, and even something slightly above mild may be uncomfortable to them. Always keep your dog inside no matter what the weather is. It’s a good idea for your dog to wear a sweater if it is cold out.

This can be adorable, considering the Dogue’s rugged exterior. Make sure your heater is functioning properly indoors. To prevent your dog from overheating in the summer, keep them in a well-shaded area ,. Your dog will benefit from fans and air conditioners during these times.


Training your Dogue de Bordeaux should start as soon as they arrive home. Start with obedience training and leash-training. This will prevent stubbornness from developing.

This breed can be stubborn and headstrong but they are also very sensitive. You should have a gentle approach when training. You should be firm, confident, and kind but not harsh. If they aren’t treated well, these pups will take your bad behavior seriously and become resentful towards you.

The best way to train your dog is to give them good treatment. Giving them positive reinforcement is the best way to go about training them, as this provides an incentive. Your dog may be able to understand your needs by giving them treats, praise, or even praise.

Training is essential. This dog is very large and strong. It is important to teach your dog how to walk on a leash. The same applies to socialization. These dogs can easily topple people, so it is important that they are taught how to behave in social situations.

Bring them into contact with people, animals and places to help them develop a sense of empathy. This will reduce shyness, anxiety, aggression, and other undesirable behaviors. Socialization and obedience training willhelp avoid mishaps . It is a smart idea to enroll puppies in puppy kindergarten classes so that they can learn how to behave around other dogs.


Since they are a giant breed of dog, the French Mastiff, unfortunately, has a shorter lifespan than many other dogs. You should also ask your breeder about any health problems they have.

Responsible breeders can perform cardiac and orthopedic screenings on this breed as they are more susceptible to conditions in these areas. The life expectancy of this breed is 5 to 8 years .. You can prolong their life span by looking after them and giving them the best quality possible of life.

Your dog will be at risk of illness. It’s important to have the right knowledge to help you prepare. Here are three common diseases that this breed is most susceptible to. While they might not get any of these diseases, it is important to be informed. You will be able to report to your vet as soon as possible to start treatment.

Hip Dysplasia

Due to their size, it may be possible that your Dogue de Bordeaux develops hip dysplasia. Responsible breeders will screen their dogs for hip dysplasia. Ask your breeder about your chances of this happening.

Hip Dysplasia refers to a condition in which a dog’s hip socket does not properly fit into its thigh bone. This condition can cause degenerative arthritis and even lameness. This can be very painful for your dog and must be immediately treated. Hip dysplasia can be seen in limping, abnormal posture, and unusual walking patterns. If your dog is overweight, veterinary treatment may include physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Heart Disease

There are a few different heart diseases that your Dogue may be prone to. Dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM is one of these. Dilated cardiomyopathy is when the dog’s heart becomes extremely large , and weak. The heart cannot pump blood properly to the body anymore. This disease can cause tiredness, collapsed or fainting, coughing, labored breathing, and fatigue. You can treat this disease with medication or dietary supplementation.

Aortic Stenosis is another condition that causes blood to clot and cause the heart to work harder. These will have similar symptoms as DCM. Make sure you bring your dog to the veterinarian to discuss possible treatment options. Your Dogue can live a normal existence with the right care.

Gastric Torsion

Dogue de Bordeaux have deep chests which makes them more susceptible to gastric torsion or bloat. This is a serious medical condition and should be treated immediately by a veterinarian.

Gastric twist is when gas causes the stomach and intestines to become distended and twist. Because the dog cannot vomit, their blood pressure drops and they go into shock. Gastric torsion can be seen in a dog’s retching, vomiting, and restlessness.

Bloat is something you can avoid. Bloat is when your dog eats and drinks too fast, eats too often, or exercises soon after eating. Bloat can be prevented by providing your dog with adequate food and water. You should not allow your dog to exercise after an hour since they last ate.


A healthy diet is the first step to ensuring your dog’s good health. Your dog’s health is dependent on good nutrition. Proper nutrition will give your dog the power to grow and develop a healthy body during their puppyhood.

Puppyhood is the most important stage in a dog’s development. When it comes to nutrition, seniors and adults will have different focus. Instead of focusing on growth, we now focus on maintaining our health and overall vitality. It is important to nourish the body that they spent so much time growing as puppies.

Shopping can be confusing because there are so many types of food on the market. The best food for your dog is the easiest. It is easy to feed your dog all-natural dry kibble.

It’s not hard to see that this breed is big. Big dogs eat more food than smaller dogs and these pups can devour 50 pounds of food in a month! It is important to keep track of their portions. This decision will be influenced by a number of factors, including age, size, activity level, and gender.

If your dog is active more than other dogs their age, they will need more food to compensate. DDB puppies need giant breed nutritionally dense kibble to help them grow up healthily. As they grow up, their portion sizes will drastically change.

An adult dog needs more food to live than their puppy counterparts. However, it does not need to be as high in calories. Seniors require a lot of protein to maintain their muscles strength. You should make sure they have enough, even if they eat less than at other stages in life.


It is unfortunate that the breed is not hypoallergenic. This Mastiff breed sheds a lot like other Mastiffs. A rubber curry brush or a shedding knife can help to keep your Mastiff’s shedding under control. Brush them at least once a week. This will keep your Dogue’s coat shiny and healthy.

It is a good idea for your dog to have a bath every four weeks. If your dog is muddy, you can increase the frequency. Use a mild shampoo and warm water. Rinse well to remove any soap residue.

Dogs should be thoroughly dried. This is especially important. You will see their drool quite often so it is important to keep them clean. You will need to pay special attention to their wrinkles each day. Clean and dry them regularly so that bacteria don’t grow and cause infection. Wiping your dog with a towel between washes can make them feel fresher.

Regular cleaning of your dog’s ears is important to prevent infection. Use a cotton pad with a veterinary ear cleaner to clean your dog’s ears. This will get rid of any excess wax and debris.

Regular brushing of your dog’s teeth can prevent heart disease and dental problems. You can brush your dog’s teeth with a toothpaste and toothbrush made for dogs. To prevent injury, splitting, and cracking, make sure you trim your dog’s nails once per month.

Grooming can cause stress for both the dog and the human. However, it doesn’t have to be. You and your DDB should have a great bonding experience. You should take care to calm your dog and enjoy the grooming process. This can be made as simple as possible with basic obedience commands and gentle touches.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

Adopting a Dogue de Bordeaux from an established breeder is a smart idea. But, it is important to do extensive research before choosing a breeder.

There are many untrustworthy breeders who operate puppy mills that do not take into account the welfare of the dogs. Profit is the only thing they are concerned about. These places are unsafe and unclean, with limited access to water, fresh air, and food. Do your research and avoid these breeders!

There are breeders who have the utmost respect and love for the animals that they raise. These breeders will not only be enthusiastic about the breed but will also be eager to show you the homes of the puppies.

Good breeders will insist that you get to know your puppy over the course of several weeks before you bring them home. It will make your transition from puppy to dog life much easier. A good breeder will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your puppy and tell you all the important information you need about raising your dog. The vet will give you a certification of any screenings for illness and vaccinations.

We recommend looking online for forums and social media sites that allow dog lovers to connect with DDB breeders. The AKC also has a great resource for breeder referrals, so be sure to check there. Purebred puppies cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,750, with show-quality dogs even more costly than that.

Rescues & Shelters

We always encourage responsible sourcing of pets. All About Dogs suggests that you adopt before buying from a breeder. You may find a French Mastiff amongst the shelter dogs. Many of these dogs are elderly or have special needs and will require extra care to ensure they live a happy life. They are less likely to be adopted than other pets and end up staying longer in shelters.

Ask staff about your dog before you decide to rescue it. You will be able to provide the best possible life for your new furry friend by learning everything about them, including their temperament and special needs.

Dogs adopted from shelters will be more sensitive than any other dog. You may find your new rescue dog frightened. Be gentle and patient with them. This is temporary and you will be able to show your dog the love they deserve.

Introduce them slowly to the other members of your family. This will make them feel secure and allow them to meet everyone at their own pace. They will be able to return to their unique selves quickly if they are able to accommodate their needs.

As Family Pets

  • Dogue de Bordeaux are very large dogs.
  • They require plenty of space in the home.
  • DDB’s will not be comfortable in cramped places.
  • The breed needs a lot of structure in their lives.
  • They benefit best from an owner who is firm, confident, and can take leadership.
  • French Mastiffs do not do well in extreme weather.
  • This means they shouldn’t be left in the heat or the cold.
  • French Mastiffs are not hypoallergenic.
  • However, giving them a thorough brushing a few times a week will help with shedding.
  • They are affectionate and sweet.
  • Their love for human companionship can make them prone to separation anxiety.
  • They are good with children.
  • They can also do well with pets as long as they are socialized early on.
  • French Mastiffs will need to be trained as soon as they get home for the first time.
  • They can be stubborn, so early training can mitigate willfulness.
  • They drool excessively, so you’ll need to wipe them frequently.
  • You’ll need to accept that your furniture and clothes will be caught in the slobber.
  • French Mastiffs have plenty of wrinkles that must be cleaned and dried in order to prevent infection.
  • They may topple people over when they are excited, due to their size.
  • They do not need a lot of exercise.
  • Young dogs should not engage in strenuous exercise until they are 18 months old.

Final Thoughts

We trust this article has provided enough information about the majestic, regal Dogue de Bordeaux .. Since their days as pets of the aristocracy, these dogs have evolved a lot. These dogs are excellent companions and colleagues, despite their rich and distinguished past.

While raising a dog is not easy, it’s worth it !. This breed is known for its devotion. You should show your love and affection to this dog with all you have.

Dogue De Bordeaux are incredibly brave, sweet, and intelligent dogs that will happily accompany you on your adventures. Help them live the best life to make every journey worthwhile. This guide will help you to fulfill all your dog’s needs and wants. You will quickly notice your Dogue smiling at you with a beautiful, wrinkled face.

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