A Brief History

The Dogue de Bordeaux, as the name suggests, is a dog which originates from Bordeaux in the south of France. The French word ‘Dogue’, when translated into English, means Mastiff and, therefore, Dogue de Bordeaux could be translated as ‘Bordeaux Mastiff. However, outside of France, particularly in America, this dog is commonly known as a French Mastiff. This breed of dog is an ancient one which can be traced all the way back to the 13th Century Bordeaux (the time when English kings were ruling Aquataine (1203-1453)). The dog was originally used for hunting, for guarding the family home and livestock, and as a fighting dog. However, nowadays it is mostly just a family dog; although due to their unadulterated loyalty to their family, they can still make very good guard dogs.

Although there is much debate surrounding the Dogue de Bordeaux’s origin, one theory is that they came about as a result of crossbreeding English Mastiffs with Aquataine guard dogs. At some point later on, these dogs were crossed with Spanish Mastiffs in order to add some more spirit, toughness, and gameness to the breed.

The Dogue de Bordeaux suffered a major setback during the first half of the 19th Century as they were used in the long battles that occurred throughout World War I and II. After the Second World War ended in 1945, these dogs were close to extinction. However, thanks to the effort of some dedicated breeders, the breed began to slowly increase in numbers. Over time, the popularity of the Dogue de Bordeaux increased as well, and since the 1970s, there has been a steady resurgence in those who want to own and breed the Dogue de Bordeaux.


When it comes to its appearance, the Dogue de Bordeaux looks quite similar to a Bullmastiff. In fact, their likeness means that the two are often confused. To the uninitiated, it will always be difficult to tell the two apart, but there are a few subtle ways that you can distinguish between the two. For example, the Dogue de Bordeaux has more wrinkles on its face, does not usually come with a black mask, and usually possesses a pinkish red nose. To add to this, the coats of the two are different; the Dogue de Bordeaux has a short coat which is fine and soft whilst the Bullmastiff has a harsher and denser short coat.

Dogue de Bordeaux is a stocky breed which comes equipped with heavy bones, thick legs, a muscled neck, and a deep chest. These characteristics give it its powerful and athletic appearance. These dogs have only one colour and that is solid fawn. The shade of the fawn can vary from dark to light though.

Their most prominent feature is their massive head; the males can have a head with a circumference of 27-30 inches. These dogs have a wide and prominent forehead with a broad short and thick muzzle. The eyes are oval and set apart whilst the ears are relatively small and droop down.

Dogues de Bordeaux are heavy dogs with males weighing between 52-70 kilograms and females weighing between 45-60 kilograms. The shoulder height of the males ranges from 23-27 inches whilst the females have a shoulder height of 22-26 inches.

Other Useful Information

  • Life expectancy – 7-9 years on average
  • Exercise – requires daily long walks
  • Temperament – Calm and friendly and will show complete loyalty to his family. They are good around children and other pets.
  • Litter size – 4-6 puppies
  • Grooming – no grooming is needed as it does not shed much