Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a powerful, muscular French breed with an instinct for guarding. Though the breed’s appearance can be intimidating, he is a gentle companion with a patient, calm temperament. Fiercely loyal and devoted, he is an excellent guard dog. The Dogue de Bordeaux is known for drooling and snoring but is easy to care because he requires minimal grooming and moderate exercise.

DID YOU KNOW? A Dogue de Bordeaux named “Beasley” appeared as the slobbery but loveable “Hooch” in the 1989 film, “Turner and Hooch,” starring Tom Hanks. Throughout history, the Dogue de Bordeaux has been a guardian, hunter and fighter. He was trained to bait bulls, bears and jaguars, hunt boars, herd cattle, and guard homes.

ALSO KNOWN AS: Dogue de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Mastiff, French Mastiff, Bordeauxdog

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Giant dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Pet Card

  • Living Considerations: Good with children if properly trained, not hypoallergenic, suitable for apartment living with adequate exercise
  • Size: Large
  • Height: Males - 66 to 68 centimetres at the withers, Females - 58 to 66 centimetres at the withers
  • Weight: Males – at least 50 kilograms, Females – at least 45 kilograms
  • Coat: Short
  • Energy: Medium
  • Colour: Any colour or combination of colours
  • Fawn: Guarding, Police Work, Carting, Conformation
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor

Key Facts

Lifespan: 8–12 years
Weight: 45–50kg
Height: 58–68cm
Colours: The coat of the Dogue de Bordeaux is short and quite soft to the touch, and can be all shades of fawn
Size: Giant
Kennel Club group: Working


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 2/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 1/5
Energy level: 2/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 3/5


The Dogue de Bordeaux is a devoted companion that bonds closely with their family and will protect them and their territory if they feel it is threatened. Well-bred, socialised and trained, they are good with children and will accept other household pets if introduced to them when young. They may be aloof - or even positively discouraging - with strangers. They love to please and need to be trained in a consistent and calm manner as they can be surprisingly sensitive.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: France

The precise origin of this breed is unknown with some thinking that is it was originally an ancient Roman breed while others suggest it is descended from the Tibetan Mastiff and the Greek Molossus. Others say it has always been a French dog that has slowly been developed over 2000 years. Whatever their history, the Dogue de Bordeaux started their working life as a highly successful fighting dog and was pitted against bulls, bears and other dogs. As well as being a fighter, the Dogue turned their paws to other roles and over the years has been a war dog, a guard dog, a hunting dog and even a cattle driving dog. It was this latter role that saved the breed after the French Revolution when most noble dogs met the same fate as their noble masters. Those working as mere ‘butcher’s dogs’ (who may indeed have been the more peaceable individuals), survived and were later able to re-establish the breed. As part of this re-establishment, they were crossed with the Bulldog which reduced their size.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Dogue de Bordeauxs

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • The Dogue de Bordeaux found fame in Hollywood starring opposite Tom Hanks in Turner and Hooch. Tom Hanks spent a lot of time playing with the four different dogs who played Hooch so that they would be comfortable with him when they were filming - and apparently Tom Hanks even learnt how to use a clicker! Even then Tom later said it had been one of his most difficult parts because the dogs just did pretty much what they wanted to and it was up to Hollywood’s best loved actor to just react to whatever happened!
  • They’re also known as ‘French Mastiffs’ ‘Bordeaux Bulldogs’ and ‘Bordeaux Mastiffs’.

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