FCI #116, Origin: France, Group 2.2 Molossoid breeds.
Height: 23-27 in, Weight: 120-145 lb
Grooming: Low, Shedding: Low, Coat: Short and soft.
Ease of training: Medium, Energy level: Medium, Span of life: 10-12 years.
Breed: The legendary hero of the movie "Turner and Hooch" won the hearts of many people. But even today only a very few people know what is the breed of a dog that has played a major role in the film. Somebody calls it a Boxer, somebody - Mastiff or Bullmastiff. Explore - a Dogue de Bordeaux.
French breed, that refers to mastiffs and, due to the area of the breed's first appearance, it is often called the French Mastiff. Mastiffs are descended from the large dogs, which the ancient authors called Moloss - from the name of the ancient small country Molossia, that was located in the vicinity of the modern Albania.
In the Middle Ages Dogue de Bordeaux was indispensable in hunting large animals (wolf, boar, bear). In the XIV century, Comte de Troyes Febusa residing in southwest France, in "a hunting book", described the dogs used in hunting, as a very strong, called the Alans. He wrote this: "Alan holds stronger than the three wild boars." In those days, these dogs were guarding the castles of a French aristocracy, were used as bodyguards of rulers and nobles.
Dogue de Bordeaux have always been used as fighting dog-gladiator. These duels, being very cruel, were regulated, however, with a very strict rules, the opponents were supposed to be in a muzzle, they should be the same color, the same weight, some techniques were forbidden, if it was necessary, a dog owner was allowed to change the dog's position. During the battle yelling of all sorts and encouragement have been banned. Of course, some fights ended up with death of one of the fighters.
In the history of Dogue de Bordeaux there is a famous fighter named Caporal, nicknamed "Invincible" (1884-95), who set the record for victories in battles with the bulls. According to numerous historical and literary sources, to entertain the crowd Dogue de Bordeaux had to fight with the wild asses (the most dangerous animal) and bears.The bear was wearing a muzzle and a copper helmet on his head, that the dog was trying to bite.
Dogue de Bordeaux became a dog-gladiator, fighting bulls. These scenes are depicted in lithographs by Francisco Goya. Fighting became one of the most powerful incentives for the appearance of this breed, some fans of such spectacles thought it is possible to encourage them, referring not so much to tradition, as to the need for "appropriate exercises" to support the temperament of the breed.
From the middle of the XIX century this battles were officially banned - in July 2, 1850 in France was issued a law of Grammont, which provided protection for pets from abuse. The offenders had to be punished by fine or imprisonment. In 1863 in Paris, took place the first exhibition of dogs: "Of these only one was from a large species, namely dog from Bordeaux, which deserves a special mention." It was our hero - Dogue de Bordeaux.
This name came after the city of Bordeaux, where he was born. Dogue de Bordeaux, a dog called Mazhent, owned by Radige, won the first prize and a medal of pure gold, worth of a 150 francs. This dog was a red-gray color without a mask, 70 cm of height at the withers. By the ultimate authorities of that time he was recognized as a national breed, the French mastiff of a highest quality. Such evaluation brought as a result the ongoing disputes between the breeders and judges.
Discussions were held about the composition, height, length of muzzle, bite, color of the mask. Since 1892 Dogue de Bordeaux was included in the studbook of France, but only in 1926 the first standard was issued, legalizing both masks - red and black. The livestock of Dogue de Bordeaux was seriously injured during two world wars due to the dietary restrictions and dispersal of breeders around the world. The main goal of people at that time was just to survive in these extreme conditions.
In 1966 the French club of the breed fanciers numbered only five members and there was not recorded a single litter. Over the centuries, the Dogue de Bordeaux was repeatedly threatened with extinction, but was revived, thanks to the breeders and devoted fanciers. Nowadays this breed is recognized by FCI.
The new, fourth standard of Dogue de Bordeaux was issued in April 14, 1995. The Society of Dogue de Bordeaux fanciers cares about the prosperity of this truly French dogs.Today there is only 3000 Dogue de Bordeaux, happily living in France. Gradually, they conquer Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, as well as American, Asian and African continents.
General Features: Dogue de Bordeaux is a very powerful dog, with the well muscled body, but harmoniously folded. The dog is a bit squat, the distance from the bottom of the sternum to the ground is a little bit smaller than the height of chest. The coat is short, thin, smooth and soft to the touch, protects the animal from the weather, tightly adhering to the body. One color: all shades of red deer - from isabella (yellowish-brown or light chestnut) to the color of mahogany (brown-red). Small white spots are permitted on the chest and fingertips. Mask on the face comes in two colors - red (or brown) and black. The mask should not go beyond the front of the skull. The color of the nose, edging eyelids, lips and nails should match the color of the mask. Depending on the color of the mask, the same pigmentation shell be on the scalp, ears, neck and along the back. The head is strong, sturdy, angular, broad and rather short.
Temperament: Each Dogue de Bordeaux has his own character, but there is something in common with all of them: independence, endurance, intelligence and a great strength. With his highly developed powers of observation and an excellent memory, he will often surprise you with his complicated logical constructions and the association of ideas. Dogue de Bordeaux always knows exactly, who is his friend and never shows aggression without a good reason, unlike some other dogs of the fighting breeds.
Dogue de Bordeaux is an emotional animal, but the emotions they experience inside (introvert), apparently the dog is calm. Most of this dogs are very calm in the house. Adults at home sleeps a lot, which does not mean, that the house is left without protection. It is safe to go to work, leaving Dogue de Bordeaux alone, knowing that he will behave peacefully, but at the same time will not "oversleep" any uninvited guests.
Dodue de Bordeaux is very sociable, but not intrusive. While the owner is at home, Dogue de Bordeaux becomes his shadow, following him everywhere, but does not requiring attention. Usually, he calmly lays down in the corner. If the owner wants to play, this dog will gladly make him a company.
Dogue de Bordeaux are aware of their power and do not consider worthy to show aggression towards the small dogs in the street, even if they are yapping. Males generally dominate. They usually do not like the presence of the other males. Females can live together. With the other animals in the house Dogue de Bordeaux is getting along pretty well, taking them as a members of his family and guarding them.
Dogue de Bordeaux feels good in both: small apartments and large houses. He can live in the city or at the country side. This short-haired dog with no undercoat will prefer to live indoors or at the yard, but in a very warm kennel. This breed does not require long walks.
Due to the beauty of Dogue de Bordeaux, his owner often feels like a movie star because of everyone's attention to his pet.
Health problems: Dogue de Bordeaux is generally a healthy breed, however, some dogs may suffer from epilepsy and different kinds of heart problems. As most of Molossoids, some Dogue de Bordeaux may be prone to a hip dyspalsia.