History of the Dogue de Bordeaux Breed
While theories abound regarding the ancestry of the Dogue de Bordeaux, many sources claim that this breed is a descendent of the mastiff, such as the Greek or Roman Molossus. Whatever its origin, this breed has enjoyed several different roles throughout history, including serving in war and guarding flocks. It also participated as a fighter in gladiator-type events where it fought against other dogs as well as bears and bulls. It is said that the Dogue de Bordeaux was used as both a human bodyguard and cattle driver towards the end of the middle ages. History suggests that this breed was used to defend noblemen's estates during the French Revolution, and many were killed during this time. A Frenchman by the name of Raymond Triquet is accredited with saving the breed from extinction when he founded the French Dogue de Bordeaux Club. While still a rather rare breed in America with only about 3,000 dogs, the Dogue de Bordeaux is more popular in France and has gained popularity in other countries as well.
Size and Appearance of the Dogue de Bordeaux Breed
A short, stocky breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux features straight front legs composed of heavy bone. The body is thick, and the back is short. This breed has a huge, heavy head that is quite wrinkled. The jaw of this breed is very powerful and distinctively undershot. This dog has very wide nostrils, the ears hang downward, and upper lips hang down over the lower jaw. The thick skin hangs loosely around the neck. The tail is thick at the base but tapers at the end. The coat is soft and short, and it comes in a variety of shades from mahogany to fawn. The face normally has a red or black mask. Sometimes white markings are found on the chest or the tips of the toes.
Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament
Thanks to dedicated breeders, the temperament of the Dogue de Bordeaux has been softened over time. Today this breed usually has a calm, good demeanor, and it is very loyal to its family. It is known to be confrontational and fearless with those it doesn't know, but patient and devoted to members of its family. This breed is excellent for those looking for a pet that can act as a watch dog and guard dog. It is very often dog aggressive, and it is important to begin socialization from the start with other animals. Most dogs of this breed will drool and snore. Note that male dogs of the breed often will not tolerate other males. Even though the dog's looks are somewhat ferocious, it is gentle with children. However, the Dogue de Bordeaux is not a very good choice for the dog owner with little or no experience.
Dogue de Bordeaux Recommended Maintenance
Grooming is not an issue with this breed. An occasional brushing is all that should be needed. The Dogue de Bordeaux is considered to be an average shedder. In order to maintain good mental and physical well being, this breed needs to have plenty of daily exercise. It will do fine living in an apartment as long as enough activity is provided. It is considered to be fairly inactive when indoors.
Dogue de Bordeaux Health
Life span: 10 - 12 years
Major concerns: difficulty in breeding
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: none