What to Know About Dogue de Bordeaux

Medically Reviewed by Vanesa Farmer, DVM on April 28, 2022
6 min read

The dogue de Bordeaux is also referred to as the Bordeauxdog, French Mastiff, and the Bordeaux Mastiff. This breed is the most ancient one in France. It’s a large, strong dog that was used to do things like pulling carts, moving heavy objects, and guarding castles and sheep.

Dogue de Bordeaux dogs have the biggest heads of all dogs. They have a short, attractive coat that has a rich color. Their coat can either be red, fawn, isabella, or mahogany in color. They may have white patches, a black or brown mask, or a black mask with white markings. The dogue de Bordeaux has a jaw that looks like that of a bulldog. Their eyes are expressive, and their brow has deep furrows (folds). These dogs have a sturdy body that’s set quite close to the ground.

Dogue de Bordeaux size, shape, and lifespan

Dogue de Bordeaux grow to different sizes depending on their gender. Males grow up to between 23 and 27 inches tall and have a weight of 110 pounds or more. Females grow to become 23 to 26 inches tall and over 100 pounds. The dogue de Bordeaux typically lives between five and eight years.

Dogue de Bordeaux personality and temperament

Dogue de Bordeaux dogs are known to be courageous, affectionate, and non-aggressive. They become very attached to their human owner, making this breed a great choice for companionship. A male dogue de Bordeaux may show dominant behavior sometimes, but they are generally calm and balanced dogs.


Dogue de Bordeauxs are known to drool a lot. Their facial folds need special care every week or even daily to keep the area clean and dry. Consider checking their ears regularly as well to detect signs of infection or foreign matter. Cleaning the ears at least once a week may be enough. 

You should give your dog a bath at least once every four weeks. Consider wiping them with a damp cloth or towel in between full baths to ensure they smell good and stay clean.

The coat of the Dogue de Bordeaux sheds all year round, so you need to groom them regularly to get rid of loose fur and avoid littering your floor. Try using a shedding blade or rubber curry comb to take care of the shedding hairs. Also, try brushing their coats every week and their teeth every day.

Before cleaning your dog’s ears, talk to your vet about how to do it and what to use. Cleaning your dog’s ears too often or excessively can cause health issues. Always remember to check up on the facial folds, though, so that bacteria or yeast doesn’t accumulate due to excess moisture. Know how to deal with drool as well before you get a Dogue de Bordeaux.


You should only feed your dogue de Bordeaux high-quality dog food that’s appropriate for their age. Never feed adult dog food to puppies or vice versa. 

Always watch your dog’s calorie intake because this breed is prone to getting obese. Be careful when feeding your dog human food, especially cooked bones or something with a high fat content. 

Also, before you give your dog any human food, always find out if it’s harmful to your dog or not. Consider talking to your vet first for advice about diet if you feel your dog has a weight or diet issue.

Always watch the amount of food you feed your dog in the form of treats since treats also contribute to calorie intake. Make sure that the treats don’t contribute over 10 percent of your dog's daily calories. If it goes over that percentage, your dog’s diet may become unbalanced and predispose your dog to weight gain. 

Feed your dogue de Bordeaux a complete, balanced diet to ensure they stay slim and healthy. Also, always try to maintain your dog's daily feeding routine. That means feeding them the same amount of food every day and at the same time. 

Never forget to provide your dog with fresh, clean drinking water. 

Another thing to remember is to give your dog some time between feeding and exercising to keep their stomach from bloating or twisting.


The dogue de Bordeaux breed is prone to getting issues with bone development in their early stages of life. Because of this, try to avoid strenuous exercise activities until they are about 18 months old. You should never let your Dogue de Bordeaux run up or down the stairs or jump from surfaces higher than they are. 

One of the best physical activities a dog can engage in is swimming. Swimming is a healthy exercise for dogs of any age. Mature dogs, meanwhile, are more tolerant of strenuous activities and can handle jobs like pulling carts and moving heavy objects.


Early training and socialization are key to getting an obedient dogue de Bordeaux. Training this dog breed requires the trainer to establish trust between them and the dog. You should never use rough training with this breed. The trainer should offer obedience training and discipline consistently without using harsh methods. Don’t consider getting a dogue de Bordeaux if you are easily intimidated by their size or are too busy to train them.

The Dogue de Bordeaux breed can be affected by a number of genetic conditions. This is partly because their gene pool is small. Examples of conditions common within this breed include:

This dog breed has been bred to maintain its traits for so long that it predisposes them to certain health issues. 

Breeders should conduct screenings of their dogs to detect, for instance, any genetic issues. You should also take your dog in for regular checkups to check for infections. Examples of tests you should arrange for your Dogue de Bordeaux include:

  • Cardiac exam
  • Hip evaluation
  • Elbow evaluation
  • Shoulder evaluation

Like other dogs, Dogue de Bordeaux are susceptible to infestations by fleas, ticks, and heartworms. Regular grooming and year-round heartworm medication can help you to avoid such infestations.

Dogue de Bordeaux and children

With the right training and socialization, the dogue de Bordeaux is gentle and will do well around children. However, because of their huge size, it may not be a good idea to have them around smaller children. Smaller children are at risk of getting knocked over or hurt accidentally by the much larger Dogue de Bordeaux. 

To avoid such occurrences, try teaching your kid how to handle and play with your dog. Teach them how to be kind and caring to dogs.

If you are a first-time owner of a Bordeaux dog, be careful of how you handle this large dog. If kids or new adults start interacting or playing with your dogue de Bordeaux, always supervise them to avoid any instances of anxiety or aggression. Make sure that you know how your dog acts when they are anxious or unhappy.

Dogue de Bordeaux and other pets

Dogue de Bordeaux dogs generally get along with other dogs if they are socialized from when they are pups. This dog breed has a tendency, though, to chase other smaller animals (a high prey drive), including smaller pets like cats. 

Your dog may be fine living with a smaller pet if they grew up together, but try not to leave them together without supervision.

Dogue de Bordeaux faults

The following characteristics are considered serious health symptoms and may affect the health and welfare of your dog. These characteristics may be considered to be detrimental to Dogue de Bordeaux dogs. Watch out for:

  • Back arching
  • Excessive wheezing and breathing issues
  • Hyper-aggressive or timid behavior
  • A round, short, head with eyes that are protruded
  • Forefeet that have twisted inwards
  • Lower jaw deviation
  • Visible incisors even with a closed mouth

As its name suggests, the dogue de Bordeaux got its name from the city of Bordeaux. This dog can be traced back to the fourteenth century in the areas around Bordeaux in France. However, a uniform breed of the Bordeaux dog was not seen until 1920. This was when the French decided to try and keep the line of the old breed pure.

A dogue de Bordeaux with a black mask was not considered a pure breed since it inherited that trait from the English Mastiff. The traits that defined a pure breed were the pink nose, a red mask, and dark amber eyes. 

This breed formerly had two varieties, the doguin and the dogue. The much smaller doguin is now extinct.