Dogue de Bordeaux Dog Breed Profile

by Dr. Chris

AKC Group: Working Group

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large powerful French dog. Used to protect castles and pull carts, they were once feared. Now however they have a great temperament and would make a great family dog.


The Dogue de Bordeaux has existed since the 14th century in Bordeaux - an area in Southern France. The Dogue is available in 2 types, the Dogues and Doguins. Dogues are much larger than Doguins, and they are exclusively bred to get used in donkey or bull baiting. Sadly, Doguins don't exist anymore.

There are numerous studies on the source of Dogue de Bordeaux. Many people believe that the French Mastiff is a predecessor. The French Mastiff is considered to be the oldest mastiff that originated from Molloser dogs in Rome. Dogue de Bordeaux as French Molloser acquired a huge head. At the time of Julius Caesar's leadership a dog exactly like this Dogue was utilized in war. Another explanation is Dogue de Bordeaux descends from the canines of Aquitaine. This goes back to the years 1203 to 1453 when Aquitaine was seized from France & dominated by English kings.

The most famous dog of this breed was "Houch" from the movie Turner and Hooch, which featured Tom Hanks.

Physical Features

This is a huge dog; it stands 23 to 27 inches tall. Females are required to weigh at least 100 pounds, and males are required to weigh at least 115 pounds.

The Dogue de Bordeaux's head is the main distinguishing characteristic. This dog also has a strong body and is well muscled. The neck is nearly perfectly round and coated with elastic loose skin. Vast chest is strong and deep. The tail is dense at the base and tapers to a point. The somewhat short hair is sleek soft to touch. All shades of fawn color are acceptable for the coat.


This is a superb watchdog. Could be intense toward pets. Temperamental, this dog requires a solid hand and should be socialized as a puppy. Its security instincts are powerful.

Common Health Problems

Like other huge dogs it is likely susceptible to joint problems of the hips and elbows.

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