The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is a large and powerful breed with a history steeped in the French culture. Known in France as early as the 14th century, particularly around Bordeaux, this breed has a rich lineage, first gaining prominence when exhibited in France in 1863. The Dogue de Bordeaux was originally bred for war, then used for hunting and guarding estates, and is one of the oldest French dog breeds
Physically, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a well-balanced, muscular, and massive dog, exuding a powerful build. It stands low to the ground and is not as tall as some other mastiff breeds like the English Mastiff. Males typically range in height from 24 to 27 inches and must weigh at least 110 pounds, while females range from 23 to 26 inches with a minimum weight of 99 pounds. The breed’s most striking feature is its massive head, proportionally the largest in the canine world, and a powerful jaw that forms a trapezoid shape when viewed from above or front. The Dogue’s coat is short, fine, and soft to the touch, commonly found in shades of fawn, from light coppery red to mahogany, often accompanied by a black, brown, or red mask
Temperamentally, the Dogue de Bordeaux is known as a “gentle giant.” Despite their strong and imposing exterior, they have a loving and sweet personality. They are typically laid-back, happiest when lounging around the house and spending time with the family. This breed is known for its devotion to its owners and protective nature, making them good guard dogs. However, like other mastiff breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux can be quite stubborn, necessitating strict training and proper socialization from a young age to prevent potential aggression towards other dogs or strangers. They are also known to be quite lazy, enjoying leisurely walks and time spent lounging with their loved ones
Throughout history, the Dogue de Bordeaux has evolved considerably. Originally, there were two varieties of the breed: the larger Dogue and the smaller Doguin, with the latter now extinct. The breed was once classified into three regional varieties: Parisian, Toulouse, and Bordeaux, each bred for specific tasks and exhibiting varied physical characteristics. Today, the breed has been unified into the type known as the Dogue de Bordeaux, with variations in size and appearance now much less pronounced
In recent years, the Dogue de Bordeaux has gained popularity in the United States, supported by multiple breed clubs. The breed achieved full recognition by the American Kennel Club with the help of the Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America, which has been instrumental in promoting and preserving the breed since 1997
In conclusion, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a magnificent breed that embodies both physical prowess and a gentle, loving nature. Its imposing appearance belies a sweet and affectionate temperament, making it a beloved companion for families. With a history that mirrors the rich tapestry of French culture, the Dogue de Bordeaux continues to be a symbol of strength and elegance in the dog world.