Breed Information Centre

Dogue de Bordeaux


Illustration of Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux was once known as the French Mastiff and, as with many breeds, several theories exist on its origins and development. It is likely that the original dog of this type existed in France as far back as the 14th Century and was used as a guard dog in vineyards and farms. With its traditionally cropped ears the Dogue was an intimidating sight. However, the breed was also used as a hunting dog and as a haulage dog. Sadly, like many of the Molosser breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux was used in the fighting pits, often against bull or bear. The breed suffered a setback in the French revolution in the 1780s when they were slaughtered alongside their aristocratic owners.

Documents exist which record the sale of English Bullmastiffs in the Bordeaux area in the late 19th century and it is likely that this blood played its part in the development of the breed. The first Breed Standard was written in 1910.

The first record of Dogue de Bordeaux in the UK can be seen in the Kennel Club Gazette in 1897 but they fell out of favour when ear cropping was banned and some of the dogs were exported and others died. The breed was not seen again in the UK until late in the 20th Century and sadly suffered from commercialisation, attracting many to the breed for its macho image and some of the stock was very poor and unsound. Today the breed has made headway with the dedication of serious breeders and was awarded championship status by the Kennel Club in 2016

Breed Group
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
Once a week
Supposedly sheds? *
Town or Country
Type of home
Large House
Minimum Garden Size
Over 10 Years

* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.

The Working Breed Group

Over the centuries these dogs were selectively bred to become guards and search and rescue dogs. Arguably, the working group consists of some of the most heroic canines in the world, aiding humans in many walks of life, including the Boxer, Great Dane and St. Bernard. This group consists of the real specialists in their field who excel in their line of work.

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