Discover the Dogue de Bordeaux, a formidable and affectionate French Mastiff breed renowned for its muscular stature and unwavering loyalty.

douge de bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is a large and powerful dog breed originating from France. With its muscular build, massive head, and protective instincts, it makes for a loyal and affectionate family companion.

Explore comprehensive insights into their temperament, physical attributes, exercise requirements, and health considerations, ideal for potential owners seeking informed decisions.


The Dogue de Bordeaux, often referred to as the French Mastiff, has a rich and storied history tracing back to ancient times. Believed to have descended from ancient mastiff-type dogs brought to Europe by the Romans, the breed flourished in the Bordeaux region of France, where it was used for various purposes, including guarding estates, hunting large game, and even participating in bull-baiting and bear-baiting activities.

Throughout its history, this dog faced challenges such as wars, social changes, and declining popularity in its traditional roles. However, dedicated breed enthusiasts preserved its lineage, and by the early 20th century, efforts to standardize the breed began. The first breed standard was established in 1896, and the Dogue de Bordeaux was officially recognized by the French Kennel Club in 1928.

Despite its resilience, the breed faced further hardships during World Wars I and II, with populations dwindling. However, post-war efforts revitalized interest in the breed, leading to its resurgence both in France and internationally.

Today, this watch dog is valued as a loyal family companion, renowned for its protective nature, affectionate demeanor, and distinctive appearance. While its historical roles have evolved, its legacy as a steadfast guardian endures, making it a cherished breed among dog enthusiasts worldwide.


The Dogue de Bordeaux, with its imposing size and powerful presence, surprisingly possesses a gentle and affectionate personality. These dogs are known for their unwavering loyalty and deep devotion to their families. Despite their protective instincts, they are typically calm, patient, and affectionate companions, especially towards children.

While they may appear intimidating to strangers, they are often described as affectionate “Gentle Giants” within their own households. They thrive on human companionship and are happiest when close to their loved ones. Early socialization and training are essential to channel their natural protective instincts in a positive manner and ensure they become well-adjusted members of the family.

Although they are generally laid-back indoors, this breed still requires regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them healthy and content. With proper training and socialization, they can coexist peacefully with other pets and animals. Overall, its loving and loyal nature makes it a cherished companion for those who appreciate its unique blend of strength and affection.

Physical Characteristics


  • Male 23-37 inches
  • Female 23-26 inches


  • Male 110-145 pounds
  • Female 99-120 pounds


He has a short and fine coat.


The main colors are:

  • Fawn
  • Mahogany


He has dark brown, medium-sized, oval-shaped eyes.


This breed has large, pendant-shaped ears that hang down close to the cheeks.


This watch dog has a thick and tapered tail that hangs down with a slight curve, reaching to the hocks.

Life Span

The average life span is around 5-8 years.


He boasts a gentle and affectionate temperament, characterized by unwavering loyalty and devotion to its family. Despite its imposing size, it’s typically calm, patient, and affectionate, especially towards children.

This breed is known for its protective instincts, making it an excellent guardian, but early socialization and training are essential to channel these traits positively. With proper guidance, they thrive as loving companions, embodying the balance of strength and affection.


Grooming for the Dogue de Bordeaux is relatively straightforward but essential for maintaining their health and appearance. Their short, fine coat requires regular brushing with a soft bristle brush or grooming mitt to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Bathing should be done as needed, typically every few months or when they become dirty, using a mild dog shampoo to avoid stripping natural oils from their skin.

Pay special attention to cleaning the folds of their skin, especially around the face and neck, to prevent moisture buildup and potential infections. Additionally, regular dental care, nail trimming, and ear cleaning are essential parts of their grooming routine. Finally, check for any signs of skin issues, parasites, or other abnormalities during grooming sessions, and consult with a veterinarian if any concerns arise. With consistent grooming and care, he can maintain a healthy and handsome appearance.


Training involves consistent positive reinforcement techniques, starting from an early age to establish good behaviors and manners. Due to their protective nature and strong-willed temperament, it’s essential to use gentle but firm training methods. Focus on socialization to expose them to various people, animals, and environments to prevent shyness or aggression. Basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel are crucial for managing their size and strength.

Additionally, leash training is vital to prevent pulling during walks. Positive reinforcement, such as treats, praise, and play, should be utilized to motivate and encourage desired behaviors. Patience, consistency, and regular training sessions will help build a strong bond and ensure well-behaved and happy Dogue de Bordeaux. Professional obedience classes or working with a certified dog trainer may also be beneficial, especially for first-time owners or if dealing with specific behavioral issues.


These dogs benefit from regular, moderate exercise to maintain their physical health and mental well-being. Daily walks, play sessions, and interactive games are essential to prevent obesity and promote muscle tone. However, due to their large size and tendency toward joint issues, it’s crucial to avoid excessive high-impact activities, particularly during their growth stages.

Swimming can be an excellent low-impact exercise option for them. Additionally, mental stimulation through obedience training, puzzle toys, and scent games helps satisfy their intelligent and curious nature. Understanding and catering to their individual exercise needs based on age, health, and energy level ensure a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle for Dogue de Bordeaux companions.


Nutrition involves providing a balanced diet tailored to their size, age, activity level, and health status. High-quality commercial dog food formulated for large breeds is generally recommended, ensuring it contains essential nutrients like protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Consideration should be given to the Dogue de Bordeaux’s potential for joint issues, so foods with added glucosamine and chondroitin may be beneficial for joint health.

Additionally, feeding appropriate portion sizes and monitoring weight is crucial to prevent obesity, which can exacerbate orthopedic problems common in large breeds. Fresh water should always be available, and treats should be given in moderation to prevent excessive calorie intake. Consulting with a veterinarian for personalized dietary recommendations is advisable to meet the specific needs of your dog.

Health Concerns

Dogue de Bordeaux dogs are generally robust, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Some common health concerns in the breed include:

Hip Dysplasia

A condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and mobility issues.

Elbow Dysplasia

Similar to hip dysplasia but affecting the elbow joints, causing lameness and pain.

Heart Problems

It includes dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart becomes enlarged and weakened.

Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus)

Bloat is a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with air and twists, cutting off blood supply.

Skin Allergies

Dogue de Bordeaux can be prone to various skin allergies and irritations, including pyoderma and allergic dermatitis.

Joint Issues

Joint issues include such as arthritis and osteoarthritis, which can be exacerbated by the breed’s size and weight.

Eye Problems

Includes entropion (eyelids rolling inward) and ectropion (eyelids rolling outward), which can cause irritation and discomfort.

Bottom Line

The Dogue de Bordeaux, while a robust breed, is susceptible to various health concerns like hip dysplasia, heart problems, bloat, skin allergies, joint issues, and eye problems. Responsible ownership, including regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, exercise, and weight management, can help mitigate these risks and ensure a long, happy life for your beloved companion.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. Are Dogue de Bordeaux dogs prone to separation anxiety?

Yes, they thrive on human companionship and may experience anxiety if left alone for long periods.

Q. Where can I find Dogue de Bordeaux puppies for adoption?

You can check with local animal shelters, rescue organizations, or breed-specific rescues, as well as reputable breeders.

Q. Do Dogue de Bordeaux dogs need a lot of space?

They don’t require a large living space but do need room to move due to their size.

Q. Are Dogue de Bordeaux dogs good with other pets?

With proper socialization, they can coexist peacefully with other pets, although supervision is recommended.

Q. Do Dogue de Bordeaux dogs drool a lot?

Yes, they are known for their drooling, especially after eating or drinking.

Q. Are Dogue de Bordeaux dogs good guard dogs?

Yes, they have a natural instinct to protect their family and home, making them effective guard dogs.

Q. Are Dogue de Bordeaux dogs aggressive?

They can be protective of their family and territory, but with proper training and socialization, they are generally not aggressive.

Q. Are Dogue de Bordeaux good family pets?

Yes, they are known for their loyalty, affection, and protective instincts, making them excellent family companions.

Q. Do Dogue de Bordeaux dogs get along with children?

Yes, they are typically gentle and patient with children, although supervision is recommended due to their size.

Q. Are Dogue de Bordeaux good family pets?

Yes, they are known for their loyalty, affection, and protective instincts, making them excellent family companions.

Q. Do Dogue de Bordeaux dogs get along with children?

Yes, they are typically gentle and patient with children, although supervision is recommended due to their size.

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