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Dogue de Bordeaux Breed Profile

Dogue de Bordeaux fact file

KC Group: Working
Size: Large
Height: Dogs: 60 - 68cm; bitches: 58 -66cm
Weight: Dogs: at least 50kg; bitches: at least 45kg
Average lifespan: 12 years
Temperament: Vigilant and courageous without aggression; affectionate and loyal
Good with children?: Seek breeder advice
Exercise requirement: Moderate
Good guard dogs?: Yes
Moulting level: Low
Grooming: Little
Colours: All shades of fawn. Limited white patches are permissible on the chest and the extremities of the limbs - not on the head or body. Three mask variations allowed: black (mask must not extend above the eyes, slight black shading allowed on ears, skull, neck, and down the top line, black nose); brown (brown nose and eye rims); and no mask (fawn coat, skin appears red, nose may be reddish)
Jogging partner: Short runs

Health

Due to his size, the Dogue de Bordeauxis prone to a number of health issues that are typical in large breeds, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and bone cancer. In particular, he may be affected by:

  • Bloat.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Elbow dysplasia.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Entropion.
  • Cruciate ligament rupture.
  • Panosteitis.

Bloat normally occurs when there is an abnormal accumulation of air, fluid, or foam in the stomach. As the stomach swells it can rotate, trapping air, food, and water. The condition can be caused by stress, rapid eating, and exercising immediately before or after a meal. Bloat is a life-threatening condition and must be caught early. Signs of bloat include restlessness, a ‘hunched-up’ appearance, retching, and a bloated abdomen.

Hip and elbow dysplasia affect the stability of the hip and elbow joints.

Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is a painful condition where the cartilage in moveable joints deteriorates, leading to pain, stiffness, and a reduction in flexibility.

Entropion is a disorder of the eyelid, causing it to roll inwards and rub against the cornea, resulting in great discomfort. If untreated, it can lead to more serious eye problems and, in severe cases, blindness.

Panosteitis (long bone disease) is caused by excessive bone production in the long bones. It is most commonly seen between the ages of five to 12 months. The condition is painful, but affected dogs normally grow out of it.

Health tests

There are no compulsory tests in place for the breed, but it is strongly recommended that you ensure that the parent dogs of any puppies you view have been hip scored. The Dogue de Bordeaux is listed under the Kennel Club/British Veterinary Association hip dysplasia scheme. The average hip score in the Dogue de Bordeaux is 22 (each hip is scored individually and the two figures added together to give the dog’s final hip score). 

Breeders are advised to use only breeding stock with scores well below this figure. A breeder should be able to provide documentation proving that this has been done. It is advised that you do not buy from a breeder who can’t do this.

Temperament

  • Sweet and even tempered.
  • Very affectionate — a people’s dog.
  • Playful.
  • Can be stubborn.
  • Calm, but has a territorial nature.

Lifestyle

  • The Dogue is incredibly versatile and will take part in activities with gusto.
  • Due to his size he is best suited to a large house with a spacious garden.
  • Good with children if introduced to them early.
  • He loves his family and is completely devoted to them.
  • Socialisation must start from an early age and be consistent, or the Dogue may be aggressive towards other dogs and wary of people he doesn’t know.
  • He has a strong guarding instinct.
  • These dogs aren’t for the faint-hearted and owners must be unfazed by slobber!

Trainability

  • Right from the start, training is a must for the Dogue and should be ongoing.
  • He is incredibly intelligent, but can be stubborn so you will need to be persistent — once he learns a lesson he never forgets.

General care

  • The Dogue has a short coat so doesn’t require a lot of grooming, but be warned — he sheds, so a regular brush over is advised to keep this under control.
  • Ensure the folds of skin on his face are kept clean and dry so that they don’t become smelly and sore.
  • His eyes will require wiping several times a day.
  • Be strict with portion sizes — the breed is prone to obesity.
  • High quality food will keep your Dogue in the best condition.
  • The Dogue is fast growing and great care must be taken with exercise while he is a puppy. Once fully developed, the Dogue requires substantial exercise to prevent his muscles from deteriorating.

Pros

  • Good temperament.
  • Minimal grooming.
  • Versatile.

Cons

  • Some health issues.
  • Needs a great deal of exercise.
  • Extra care must be taken with puppies to ensure healthy bone development.
  • A large breed which needs a spacious home.