Dogue de Bordeaux

Home > Dog Breeds > Dogue de Bordeaux
99-130 lbs
French Mastiff, Bordeaux Bulldog, Bordeaux Mastiff

The Dogue de Bordeaux breed is a giant breed also commonly referred to as a French Mastiff, and it has a muddled and mysterious ancestry. They stand around two feet tall at the shoulder and weigh upwards of 99 pounds, with an exceptionally large head and a short muzzle. These dogs can have several health problems, including heart trouble, cancers, and hip and elbow dysplasia, and a shortened lifespan of just five to eight years, however, there are outliers. The 1989 movie Turner and Hooch a nine-year-old Dogue de Bordeaux named Beasley played opposite Tom Hanks and went on to live another three years after the movie came out. Without proper socialization, these canines can become headstrong and stubborn, like Hooch in the movie, but under the right circumstances, these dogs can be loyal, tolerant and affectionate family members.

war dog, flock guarding , fighting, hunting
Date of Origin
middle ages

Dogue de Bordeaux Health

Average Size
Height: 23-27 inches Weight: 120-145 lbs
Height: 23-26 inches Weight: 99-130 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome
Minor Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Eye Problems
  • Ichthyosis
Occasional Tests
  • Elbow
  • Blood Test
  • Heart
  • Hips
  • Skin Scraping
  • X-Rays
  • Respiratory Tests

Dogue de Bordeaux Breed History

This giant breed is known as a molosser, a group characterized by their strength and by their solidly built bodies. All members of the molosser group, including Mastiff breeds, Saint Bernards, and even Pugs, are believed to be descended from one common ancestor, the Molossus, an ancient breed that still exists in some mountainous regions Albania. From there, the ancestry of these dogs gets a little bit muddled.  Some claim that the Dogues were descended from an extinct Spanish dog known as the Alano, others claim they are descended from the Tibetan Mastiff, and still others claim that they existed as an ancient French breed known as the Dogues de Bordeaux of Aquitaine. Many sources indicate that the Dogue de Bordeaux breed may have predated Bullmastiffs and Bulldogs and may even have contributed to their lines: however, there are also indications that these breeds may have contributed to the Dogue de Bordeaux breed during its formation. In the early days of the breed, there was a great deal of variation among the dogs classified as Dogues de Bordeaux, including differences in coat colors, jaw formation, and even differing head sizes. In the 1800’s these dogs were employed extensively throughout France and were trained to bait bulls and jaguars, to hunt boar, to protect property, and even to herd cattle. Dogues were utilized in developing the Argentine Dogo to increase the size and strength of the head and jaw, and in the 1930’s they were imported to Japan to do the same for the Tosa breed, but it wasn’t until 1970 that a more cohesive breed standard was written. Despite their ancient heritage, these dogs were virtually unheard of in the United States until 1982, when an article in “Dog world” was written by Dr. Carl Semencic, and they didn’t gain recognition by the American Kennel Club until 2008. 

Dogue de Bordeaux Breed Appearance

The first thing you notice about this breed of dog is their size. They are a massive canine, standing around two feet tall at the shoulder, with exceptionally large heads with somewhat shortened muzzles. Their skin is loose around the face and neck, forming deep wrinkles and large jowls that extend down, framing their powerful undershot jaws. Their fur is short and surprisingly soft, and during early breeding, these dogs came in all colors, with numerous different types of marking. Today, Dogues mainly come in different shades of fawn. The most commonly seen is the coloration known as red, a darker, more coppery color than the classic golden fawn color. The mahogany color is a slightly deeper, darker shade than the red, and the Isabella is a very light fawn, sometimes light  enough to be described as a creamy or parchment-like color. They can have patches of white anywhere on their body, but fault is found in the show ring if that white is on the tip of the tail, the head, or the main part of the body. Masks are a common marking on these dogs as well and may come in black or brown. 

Appearance of dogue-de-bordeaux
Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Dogue de Bordeaux Breed Maintenance

This breed’s short coat is quite manageable, requiring regular brushing with a curry comb or soft bristle brush to control the shedding, and monthly baths are usually adequate for these dogs. Medicated shampoo may be required if any skin disorders such as Ichthyosis are affecting the dog, and care should be taken to ensure that the folds of skin have not trapped any moisture as it can cause skin irritation and a foul odor may develop. The face and muzzle area should be examined and wiped down on a weekly basis to prevent the formation of red yeast and other fungal or bacterial infestations, particularly as dogs of this breed tends to drool rather heavily. The paw pads for these giant dogs should also get some special attention to prevent drying and cracking, including the use of a good dog-safe moisturizer. Dogues generally don’t require a great deal of exercise, and exercise during hotter weather should be minimized to protect your dog from overheating. This breed should never be left outside alone for very long in anything but the mildest of weather due to their shortened snouts and reduced ability to compensate for either heat or cold temperatures.

Brushes for Dogue de Bordeaux
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament

Although their imposing size and structure may intimidate some, if properly socialized, Dogues de Bordeaux can make a gentle and devoted companion. They have a natural tendency to guard but tend towards less aggression than many other hunting and guarding breeds, and they typically do well with other pets. Dogues 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. That being said, they are generally less boisterous than most canines and tend to be laid-back, gentle, and loving towards children. They do tend towards being head strong and can become downright stubborn without adequate attention and training. Training with any dog this size should be started at an early age, and calm leadership and firm boundaries are crucial to ensuring that your Dogue doesn’t develop aggressive behaviors or excessive shyness. If not properly socialized, these animals can become aggressive towards not only other dogs and animals, but also towards people, and may require professional behavioral training to change these tendencies. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Dogue de Bordeaux Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4 cups
Daily Cost
$2.8 - $3
Monthly Cost
$80 - $90

Dogue de Bordeaux Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 67 lbs
Height: 19 inches Weight: 60 lbs
12 Months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 90 lbs
Height: 24 inches Weight: 82 lbs
18 Months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 132 lbs
Height: 24 inches Weight: 112 lbs

Top Dogue de Bordeaux Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Dogue de Bordeaux breeders of 2018.
PuppyCreek Publishing
Huntsville, Arkansas
Heartstrings Dogue de Bordeaux
Akron, Ohio
Columbia, Tennessee
Windlanville Bordeauxs
Silver Spring, Maryland
Caulfield, Missouri
Kindorochampioni Bordeaux
Puyallup, Washington
Doghouse Classifieds
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Stolenhearts Bordeaux
Sorento, Illinois
Royal Guard Bordeaux
Hudson, Ohio
GingerHaus DDB
Vine Grove, Kentucky

Dogue de Bordeaux Owner Experiences

4 Years
Eating Snacks
The Dogue de Bordeaux I walk is the biggest dog I have ever walked. He is a very strong, powerful dog that isn't neutered. This causes issues, as he views most other male dogs, especially those who are also not neutered, as threats. As a result, I have to make sure to cross the street every time another dog is coming towards us, as it will lead to an altercation. With his size and power, it is better to avoid the possible confrontation, as he can pull more than any dog I have walked. That said, he is a very good boy and loves his walks. In the apartment and outside he is very sweet, just not around other dogs. He also pees on anything and everything. I have never seen one dog pee so much, to the point that it seems like he has a never ending supply. With a dog of such great size, make sure to bring a couple poop bags, as he can make a sizable mess. Being such a large breed, a lot of people notice him while we are out. Many want to pet him and take photos with him, many times just coming right up without asking if it is okay. This Dogue de Bordeaux likes most people, but doesn't like to be surprised, so keep an eye out for any dog fans making their way towards you, as the Dogue de Bordeaux can also be very protective.
1 month, 3 weeks ago
Book me a walkiee?