Dogue de Bordeaux – Meet The French Mastiff Dog

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Dogue de Bordeaux is originally from France. This giant dog is also known as Bordeaux Mastiff or French Mastiff. Furthermore, they are known for loving humans. They are calm and great guard dogs. But, are they the right dog breed for you? Read on and discover everything there is to know about this gentle giant.
Dog Breed Group:
Working Dogs
23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
Starts at 100 pounds
Life Span:
8 to 12 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Dogue de Bordeaux is a big and affectionate dog. They are originally from France, and that’s how they got its name. Dogue de Bordeaux literally means ‘Dog from Bordeaux.’

If you prefer big lap dogs, this just might be breed for you. This breed is super affectionate with their humans, including children. This big dog grows super fast also!

Learn more about this beautiful bread and discover what makes it so unique.

Quick Facts

Real name: Dogue de Bordeaux
Origin: France
Breed type: Mastiff-type
Weight: males 54-65 kg (119-143 pounds), females 54-65 kg (119-143 pounds)
Height: males 60-67 cm (23-26 inches), females 57-67 cm (22-26)
Lifespan: 5-8 years
Color: Red, Fawn, Mahogany
Coat: Short, smooth

Dogue de Bordeaux: History

There are founding that claim how Dogue de Bordeaux’s were hunting during the 1800s while they served as Ancient Roman war dogs. Thanks to their size they were able to fight with bears, wild boars, and guard livestock and homes.

It is believed that by 1982 there were only 600 Dogues in the world. Ever since they have rapidly grow in popularity. They become one of the most desired family dogs.

The Dogue de Bordeaux, at the breed name suggests, is a dog which originates from Bordeaux in the south of France.The French word ‘Dogue’, when translated into English, means ‘Mastiff.’ Therefore, Dogue de Bordeaux could be easily translated as ‘Bordeaux Mastiff.’

But, outside of France, this dog is commonly known as a ‘French Mastiff.’ Especially in the States. Nowadays, this giant is primarily just a family dog. Although they are extremely loyal to their family members, they can still make very good guard dogs.

There is much debate surrounding this breeds origin. One claim that this breed is a result of crossbreeding Aquataine guard dogs and English Mastiffs.

Others claim that these dogs for surely crossed with Spanish Mastiffs. Anyway, this breed definitely got its spirit, gameness, and toughness thanks to the crossbreeding.

This breed had a major setback during the first half of the 19th century when they were used in the long battles in World War I and II. By the time World War II was over, this breed was almost extinct.

But, thanks to passionate dog lovers and dedicated breeders, the breed slowly began to increase in numbers. Since 1970s there has been a constant resurgence in those who want to own and breed this fantastic breed.

Physical Appearance

When it comes to physical appearance, this breed is extremely similar to a Bullmastiff. Actually, the similarity between these two is what really confuses people when it comes to naming these breeds. It’s simply hard to tell them apart. However, there are a few indirect ways to distinguish these two.

For instance:

  • Dogue de Bordeaux has more wrinkles on its face.
  • Dogue de Bordeaux doesn’t come with a black mask.
  • Dogue de Bordeaux usually possesses a red and pinkish nose.
  • Dogue de Bordeaux has a short and smooth coat.
  • Bullmastiff has a denser and harsher short coat.

Dogue de Bordeaux is originally a stocky breed that comes with large and heavy bones, muscled neck, deep chest, and thick legs.

Thanks to these characteristics Dogue de Bordeaux has an athletic and powerful appearance, commonly seen in Pit bulls as well.

In general, these dogs come in one color, solid fawn. However, the shade of fawn can vary in shades, going from light to dark. They don’t shed a lot.

Their most eye-catching feature is their massive head. Males have a tendency of having a stronger head than females. In addition, they have a wide forehead with a thick muzzle and a broad short.

Their eyes are oval and set apart. On the other hand, their ears are relatively small and droop down. Their mouth are also interesting. They are not undershot, and they have wry jaw. Dogue de Bordeaux’s tail is twisted or knotted.

Overall, this breed gives an impression of a rock-solid dog when it comes to its strength and appearance.


This large dog is calm, relaxed, and quiet – until aroused. Don’t let the dog’s size full you. This dog can be extremely agile and athletic when needed. Also, these big dogs require even more love. Regardless of his size he will climb your lap easily and demand cuddling moments.

Furthermore, they will remains calm and quite if you socialize them from an early age. Also, this is a medium energy dog.

However, being a medium energy dog doesn’t mean that your dog doesn’t need a long walk or additional walk here and there, next to their daily walks.

Keep walks on a daily and steady level, just don’t go overboard with cardio. Activity will help this breed be around other dogs and it will boost socialization with other pups and adult dogs.

Dogue de Bordeaux comes in a range of personalities: comical, sweet, feisty, aloof, outgoing, and quick to learn. Every trait belongs to a different dog, it’s simply hard to find each trait in just one dog. At his best, the Dogue is gentle and calm. At his worst, the Dogue is extremely stubborn or aggressive toward other animals and people.

Stubbornness doesn’t go well with the dog this size. It’s hard to deal with a stubborn dog this size. If you truly want to live with this dog you need to learn how to be a real leader of a pack. Moreover, you need to learn to earn his respect, to control him, and to work with him.

House Dog

A Dogue is a type of dog that will be happy simply by spending its time in front of the TV, on sofa or couch, cuddling with its humans. As a medium energy dog, he loves spending time indoor, spending every minute with its family. Moving from corner to corner is a great way for this dog to keep an eye on his owners.

Lying around and being at purpose – sounds perfect for this breed. Although they are great with children, as a big dog shouldn’t leave him alone with children, especially small children without supervision.

Even when you get a dog from a well-known breeder it doesn’t mean that you got a fully trained dog with desirable behaviors. Any dog can develop annoying levels of digging, barking or any other non-desirable behaviors.

So, the best thing that you can do is to start training your dog as a puppy. Or, as soon as you bring him home.

If you are getting a Dogue as a puppy, that’s the best period when your dog can soak up everything. Therefore, its the best time for an appropriate puppy training.

If you are looking for a Dogue de Bordeaux with specific traits the best would be to talk with a breeder and tell him your preferences. After all, they are the ones who see the puppies every day and can make a perfect dog-human match based on your preferences and lifestyle.

Quick tip: The best thing that you can do about this dog personality is to: socialize, socialize, socialize.


This is one of those breeds that won’t consume your time when it comes to grooming. This is more of a wash-and-go type of dogs. Thanks to its short and silky coat it’s easy to groom this canine. Simply brush him once a week with a soft brush or a rubber brush to remove dead hairs, and your canine is ready to go.

However, you should always bear in mind that your furry friend has wrinkles. It means that your dog needs special care in those areas as you don’t want them to become infected.

The easiest way to take care of wrinkles is to wipe them out by simply using a dog’s wipe, then dry the folds in order to prevent skin infections.

Also, you will a hand full of towels. Wipe his wrinkled face after every meal or drink of water. Otherwise, you will find gobs of drool everywhere when he shakes that big head of his.

The rest is basic-dog care. Check the ears weekly (daily in a spring and summer session), and clean them if necessary.

Also, brush teeth as often as possible or provide your canine with adequate dental treats on a daily level. Make sure that you keep a regular track if your dog’s gums are white or pink, and know the difference and what it means for your dog’s health.

Every few weeks, trim your dogs nails. This can be done by a veterinarian or you can do it following these simple steps.


The most effective way to get your dog to respect you and to see a true pack leader in you is to train him properly. You need to show that you are the full-time pack leader. In general, this breed is easy to train. But, you need to start early.

Start training your Dogue as soon as you bring him home. Bear in mind that these dogs are capable of following instructions as soon as they turn 8 weeks. But the best time to start training actively your puppy is between 10 to 12 weeks old. Moreover, that’s the best time to start socializing. Socialize, socialize, and socialize.

Good to know: You dog won’t be allowed to attend any puppy school until he is done with his vaccines

However, you can start training your puppy at home and socializing him with your friends and family. That is, until vaccines have been completed. Overall, this is a smart move, because you want to avoid any signs of rabies, parvovirus, or distemper.

The most proficient and safe way to get a dog that you want and which you will be able to train is to talk with dog breeder and tell him what you are looking exactly in a dog and how you can train him properly. Furthermore, you can ask for assistance in selecting a puppy.

Also, serious breeders can introduce you to the puppies parents or at least with their breed and health history. Therefore, you can see this way personalities of your future best-furry-friend.


The first thing that you should take into consideration before you get a dog is to know that all dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems.

Basically, it goes the same as with the people. But the main difference between canine’s and humans health lies in a fact that you can get your dog full medical analyses as soon as you get the dog.

That way you will know already what to expect. Moreover, you will know what you will have to deal with. However, there is no health guarantee on puppies, but an honest breeder will tell you everything about your dog’s health and health-related problems.

Like any giant breed, the Dogue comes with some health problems. Bear in mind that gene pool is limited when it comes to this breed. Therefore, it creates a dog prone to temperature extremes, heart diseases, and even ectropion.

Moreover, the Dogue de Bordeaux is also keen on footpad hyperkeratosis.

Not every condition is detectable in a puppy, and it’s not possible to predict whether an animal will be or not free of these disorders. That’s why it’s crucial to find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest dogs possible.

In addition, they should be able to produce independent certification that the parents or the dog, even grandparents, etc. are healthy, or that they have been screened for health issues. That’s where health registries come in.

The Dogue’s are known for suffering from a frequent joint issue in larger dogs. They may indicate heart problems and breathing issues. They can even suffer from epilepsy.

Bear in mind that as a responsible pet owner you have the power to protect your puppy as soon as you take him home, from one of the most common health problems in dogs: obesity.

Keeping your dogs on a proper weight scale is one of the best, and easiest, ways to extend your’s puppy life.

Dogue de Bordeaux: Key Takeaways

If you’re about to get the Dogue you need to take all stated above and think hard if your lifestyle fits the needs of this breed. Dogue de Bordeaux is definitely your type of dog if you want:

  • A powerful dog
  • A massive dog
  • A dog who is calm and quite
  • A dog with moderate exercise needs
  • A dog who loves being indoor
  • A guard dog
  • A seriuos dog who is self-assured with strangers

However, you should think twice about getting this breed if you don’t want to deal with a:

  • A big dog who takes up your space and couch
  • A heavy dog who wants to sit in your lap
  • Destructive dog once he gets bored
  • A dog who may be aggressive toward other animals if not trained properly
  • Strong-willed dog
  • A dog who drools
  • A dog who snores

But more than anything else, you should think twice about getting a dog who lives for this short period of time. And if you do, make sure that use every second with this powerful canine.

After all, they are affectionate and loving dogs who will build easily a strong bond with you and your family.

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