Dogue de Bordeaux with little girl

Dogue de Bordeaux At-a-Glance

The Dogue de Bordeaux, sometimes called simply a Bordeaux or a French Mastiff, originated back in the 14th century in the Bordeaux region of southern France. This muscular, fearless dog was a result of cross-breeding English Bulldogs and Mastiffs, plus some breeds native to France.

They were used as hunting dogs, draft dogs, and most of all as property guardians. If you’ve seen the  1989 Tom Hanks movie Turner and Hooch, the canine star was a Dogue de Bordeaux.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 110-150
Female: 100-135
Height (inches)
Male: 23-27
Female: 23-26
Lifespan (years)

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Kid Friendly
  • Protective Nature
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Easy to Train
  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments

Neutral Rated

  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • Likes to Play
  • High Energy Level
  • Low Amount of Barking
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • High Intelligence

Lowest Rated

  • Low Shedding
  • Low Drooling
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone
  • Tolerates Hot Climate
  • Good General Health

General Overview

If you’re looking for family protection, the Bordeaux is the breed for you. They have a naturally protective nature and need no training in this regard. Their intimidating looks and massive size are enough to deter any intruder.

That said, the Bordeaux is actually a quiet, friendly, gentle, and extremely devoted family dog. They are excellent with children, although, like all giant breeds, they need to be supervised around small children to avoid accidental injuries.

They generally do well with other pets and dogs in the household if they’ve been properly socialized, but they are a poor choice for the dog park. They do not react well to any signs of assertiveness from other dogs and may interpret rowdy playfulness as aggressive behavior and react accordingly.

They do well around strangers, so long as their protective instincts don’t detect a threat.

If you’re looking for a gentle and affectionate breed that is also a superb watchdog, the Bordeaux is an excellent choice.

Since they are so devoted to their families and like nothing more than being with them, French Mastiffs don’t do well when left alone and can become quite destructive due to their size and strength.

They can also be a bit stubborn and strong-willed. They require an experienced trainer to overcome this, which means they are a poor choice for first-time dog owners.

From a grooming standpoint, it’s good and bad news. Their coats are easy to take care of with just a daily brushing, but they do shed a lot. And they are heavy droolers, so you can expect to clean up slobber – a lot!

Also, it’s important to clean their wrinkles frequently to prevent skin problems that can result from being clogged with dirt or food.

They have a fairly low energy level and do not need a great deal of exercise. A couple of 30-minute walks daily is enough to keep them healthy and satisfied, although due to their hunting background they are actually very athletic and can run quite fast if necessary.

When it comes to training, French Mastiffs are fairly intelligent and respond well to training if that training is properly done. These are very large and powerful dogs with an independent and strong-willed streak. As such, they require an experienced owner who knows how to use positive reinforcement and who can assume the alpha role.

When it comes to health, this breed unfortunately is at the bottom of the scale.

The French Mastiff is what is called a brachycephalic, which means they have a flat, snub-nosed face. Because of this, they are susceptible to overheating and breathing problems.

In addition, they fall prey to many other potentially severe illnesses such as heart conditions, cardiomyopathy, aortic stenosis, as well as hip and elbow dysplasia. Despite their tremendous size and strength, this loyal and affectionate breed has many potential health issues and you are likely to spend a lot of time at the vet.

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