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A willing worker who is happy to be around people and fairly cooperative, the Dogue de Bordeaux makes a wonderful addition to a happy home. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a powerful, muscular dog that makes an excellent guard of both person and property. A compact, strongly built athlete, the Dogue possesses size that belies its agility and speed. These qualities were originally developed for working, protecting property, and hunting. The jaws are prominent due to strong development of the chewing muscle. This was necessary characteristic for bull-baiting. The chest is very broad and the distance between the floor and the chest should be equal to or smaller than the back to the chest. The Dogue de Bordeaux should not look like an oversized Bulldog. The coat is short, fine and silky, colored in all shades of red and blonde, to deep red mahogany. Good pigmentation of the skin is favored. White markings on chest and feet are tolerated. The Dogue De Bordeaux should have well-marked red or black facial mask. The colour of the nose corresponds to the mask.




Like all molossus-type dogs, the Dogue de Bordeaux has strong nerves and is not easily excited. Its personality is balanced, quiet and calm. Not very rowdy, it is rare to hear the Dogue de Bordeaux bark loudly without sufficient reason (ie: an intruder entering the home). It is a very confident breed that does not need to prove itself to other dogs unless it is challenged. The Dogue de Bordeaux is charming breed that is very warm and friendly to humans and small animals. It is a very good dog with children for two reasons. First, the Dogue de Bordeaux loves to be around human, so a family cannot be big enough. Second, the Dogue de Bordeaux has plenty of patience and will deal with the typical teasing, tail pulling, and other annoyances in which undisciplined children tend to engage. Dogues are happy to comply with the silliest of children's games, such as wearing hats and 'clothes.' The Dogue de Bordeaux is intelligent, docile, and usually not inclined to fight. Male dogs tend to be more dominant and will occasionally fight with other males to determine dominance. Dominance is an inherent trait of the Dogue de Bordeaux and must be accepted and dealt with by the Dogue owner. Keep in mind that one of the original purposes of the Dogue de Bordeaux was to protect, which in many cases meant to fight. As a result, the Dogue de bordeaux is aggressive by nature, will not back down from a fight (though it unlikely to instigate one), and will protect what is his own (and his owners). Proper socialization of your Dogue is of the highest importance, and even well-socialized Dogues de Bordeaux must be monitored when in the presence of other dogs. The Dogue de Bordeaux tends to be a very stubborn and arrogant breed, yet it is very trainable. Once the Dogue learns a command, he will never forget it. Because of his high intelligence, it is necessary to continue beyond basic obedience training. If you will not be using your Dogue de Bordeaux for hunting, trials, Schutzhund or other competition, then engage him n special tasks and jobs around the home. You will be surprised at how much your Dogue can learn and help with your everyday routine, and your pet will never be bored. When training your Dogue de Bordeaux, always keep in mind this is a very self-confident, arrogant, independent and stubborn breed. Thus, it makes no sense to scream, scold and shout like a drill sergeant. A willing worker who is happy to be around people and fairly cooperative, the Dogue de Bordeaux makes a wonderful addition to a happy home. Dogues get along with other family pets, and if introduced early, can make friends with cats, birds and other dogs-depending on the compatibility of the collective personalities. There could be problems with having two male dogs with dominant personalities, and it is generally recommended to have dogs of opposite sex sharing a home. If you must have two males in the home, try to keep the age difference as large as possible. Few young puppies will try to challenge the authority of a full grown male and they will be quick to learn under the old dog's guidance and stature.



The Dogue lives on an average of 12yrs. Like most large-boned dogs, hip dysphasia is the most common problem of the breed. Good breeders have their Dogues screened for hip dysphasia. Unfortunately, the popularity of the breed has resulted in many incompetent breeders who have bred unsound, inferior Dogues with bad hips. Eliminating this condition is a constant battle.  Heart murmurs and skin diseases are also problems with the Dogue. Heart murmurs can attributed to the small gene pool that composes our Dogues today. Démodé mange is a skin problem rarely discussed amongst breeders, yet seems to be a problem for the Dogue de Bordeaux. This irritation is the result of a mite that lives on the dog and compromises the dog when the immune system is low. These mites feed faster than the body can reproduce cells, and they take over. Often this is mistaken for staff infection unless skin scrapings are done. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a fast-growing dog. Puppies can gain 1-2kgs a week on average and may experience Eosinphilic panosteitis (pano), better known as 'growing pains' or wandering lameness. Pano is an acute lameness unrelated to trauma. It shifts from one location to another and is accompanied by a fever. Dogues de Bordeaux are also prone to bloat, a twisting of the stomach that could lead to death. Although the experts are not in agreement as to the exact causes, excessive exercise and excitement after eating and drinking can cause bloat. Bloat is most commonly traced to the dog's gulping of air that gets caught in its stomach. To prevent this, avoid feeding your Dogue de Bordeaux immediately before or after exercise, and feed several small portions throughout the day. Do not fill a huge dish with food and leave it there all day. Rather, keep feeding times consistent, and remove the food bowl from the dog's reach when he has finished eating. Leave water available during the day but not at feeding time. Many breeders recommend the use of a bowl stand to avoid the Dogue's craning its neck to reach its food bowls. The Dogue needs a lot of exercise to develop its muscle structure. As with all large and heavy breeds, problems with tendons and ligaments can occur during the periods of quick growth. During these t es the Dogue de Bordeaux puppy should not be strained. Young pups get much of their exercise from regular play rather than from strenuous exercise, but as the Dogue gets older, it is very important that he receive the proper amount of exercise. Your Dogue de Bordeaux will get the exercise he needs if you include him your daily routine and take him on special jaunts such as hikes, hunts, jogs, etc. You hould walk your Dogue at least twice a day and try to find time for an extended run or playtime a few times a week. Special note: The Dogue de Bordeaux is very sensitive to anesthesia's 'normal' dose can be lethal. Take extra special care in choosing a veterinarian who is familiar with the breed and its idiosyncrasies-it could save your Dogue de Bordeaux's life!


The Dogue de Bordeaux falls into a group of dogs classified as molosser, descendants of the molossus, a dog that lived approximately 700 BC. Based on ancient carvings and paintings, it appears the molossus were kept as guard and hunting dogs by the Assyrians. The first record of a molosser-type dog is in a letter dated 326 BC that mentions large, strong dogs with short, broad teeth. Bones of these big dogs have been found amongst other artifacts in archaeological expeditions throughout the world in places such as Tibet, China and India. These dogs were included in the army of Alexander the Great, and journeyed from Mesopotamia to Epirus in various wars. In Epirus there was a mythical king ruling over the area of Molossus who took care of the dogs. From there they journeyed to Rome, Gaule and other lands including Spain and France.  There are contrasting reports that this large dog first existed in Spain as the Alano, an extinct dog whose description resembles today's Dogue de Bordeaux. The Alano was supposedly brought to Europe by the Alans, an Oriental tribe. The Alan vautre was described in the fourteenth century by Gaston Phoebus (or Febus), Count of Foix, in his Livre de Chasse. 'He holds his bite stronger than three sight hounds'. There are also accounts that the molosser developed from the molossids, a Greco-Roman canine that existed during Julius Caesar's time and was used in war.
The word 'Dogue' first appeared at the end of the fourteenth century. Before the nineteenth century, these dogs did not have a standard but were very similar in looks and usage. There were guardian dogs used to protect homes, butcher shops, and vineyards; pack hunting dogs that baited bulls and pursued boars, bears, jaguars and other game; and herding dogs that took care of farm animals such as sheep and cattle.



This site was last updated 01/09/09