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Dogue De Bordeaux

The traditional mastiff breed of France

The Dogue de Bordeaux was once known as the French Mastiff and, as with many breeds, several theories exist on its origins and development. It is likely that the original dog of this type existed in France as far back as the 14th Century and was used as a guard dog in vineyards and farms. With its traditionally cropped ears the Dogue was an intimidating sight. However, the breed was also used as a hunting dog and as a haulage dog. Sadly, like many of the Molosser breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux was used in the fighting pits, often against bull or bear. The breed suffered a setback in the French revolution in the 1780’s when they were slaughtered alongside their aristocratic owners.

The Dogue De Bordeaux is an excellent companion, deeply devoted to their family. They’re calm, affectionate, docile and steady, they also has a protective instinct and guards their family with courage. Along with that calm temperament comes stubbornness, self-confidence and a tendency to dominate. Socialisation and patient positive training are a must. Start early – it’s easier to train a puppy than a Dogue De Bordeaux who may be bigger (and certainly stronger) than you are! Discipline should be firm and consistent without being harsh; ownership of the breed is not for the timid or the very busy person. The breed is well-known for how much they drool, and the wrinkles on their facial area need special attention at least weekly, sometimes daily, to see that they are kept clean and dry. Dogue De Bordeaux do best if they are fully integrated into the family; however, these dogs are extremely powerful, and all interactions with toddlers and younger children should be carefully supervised, as they could easily knock a small child over. That being said, they are generally less boisterous than most canines and tend to be laid-back, gentle, and loving towards children.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKWorking
Bred ForGuarding, Hunting, Fighting
Rare BreedNo
Country of OriginFrance
TemperamentCourageous, Affectionate,Vigilant
Exercise NeededUp to 1 hour a day
Size of Home NeededLarge
Height at Withers – Females58 – 66 cm / 22¾ – 26 in
Height at Withers – Males60 – 68 cm / 23½ – 26¾ in
GroomingOnce a week
CoatShort and fine
ColourVarious – see photos
Life Span10 – 12 years
  • They are claimed to have the largest heads in the canine world (even compared to their large bodies!).
  • Many Dogue de Bordeaux have a very high prey drive so it’s not recommended keeping them with other cats or other small pets, but they may be able to live with another smaller pet they have grown up with.
  • Owners need to have a very secure garden and keep an eye on their Dogue if it’s in the garden as they can jump surprisingly high.
  • They drool. No, they really, really drool! Anyone who lives with a Dogue de Bordeaux quickly becomes familiar with strings of drool covering furniture, floors and walls.
  • In modern times, the breed was virtually unknown outside of France until the 1989 release of the movie ‘Turner & Hooch’. The comedy, starring Tom Hanks as a police detective assisted by a drooling, stubborn, but lovable Dogue, introduced the breed to audiences around the world.


Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about the Dogue De Bordeaux.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about the Dogue De Bordeaux, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Dogue De Bordeaux breed. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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