This giant-sized dog has a large, broad, round head with lots of wrinkles. They have a strong, muscular neck and body with a deep, broad chest. The coat of the Dogue de Bordeaux is short and quite soft to the touch, and can be all shades of fawn. Adult males are about 60-68cm and weigh at least 50kg; adult females are 58-66cm and at least 45kg.
The Dogue de Bordeaux dog breed is an ancient breed of France, thought to be a direct descendent of the Molossus of Rome. They were used on the French estates in the 12th century, hunting pigs, boar, wolves and bears. During the Middle Ages they were used to drive cattle. They were even used in wars and to guard the flocks, and have also been used for animal baiting and dog fighting. The breed declined in its popularity during the 20th century but today seems to rising in its numbers.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is a dog that bonds closely with his family and dislikes being separated for long periods. They will protect their family and territory if threatened. Well-bred, socialised and trained, they are very good with children and will accept other household pets if introduced to them when young. They love to please and need to be trained in a consistent and calm manner.
As with many breeds, the Bordeaux breed can suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. They are also prone to skin infections in the excessive skin folds.
They do not require as much exercise as may be expected – about an hour daily should be sufficient for an adult. Several walks throughout the day should be sufficient, allowing short periods for free running and playing. Too much exercise too young can lead to bone and joint problems in later life.
Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. The Dogue de Bordeaux is prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.
Grooming is relatively easy. A rubber grooming mitt over the short coat once a week, to remove any loose or dead hair is all that is needed. The skin folds on the face should be cleaned regularly to stop any skin infections from starting.