Dogue de Bordeaux Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Dogue de Bordeaux Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

The Dogue de Bordeaux has its roots in the Bordeaux region of France, and when referring to more than one, the plural is Dogues de Bordeaux. They are often called French Mastiffs, or DDBs for short, and other aliases for this somber-looking canine include Bordeaux Mastiff, Bordeauxdog, and Dogue. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large breed dog known for its intense wrinkles and intimidating appearance. A well-trained French Mastiff can make a fantastic companion dog and family pet.

The Dogue’s enormous appearance has intimidated intruders from ancient Roman times, and they have a long history in France. Suspicious of strangers, the profusely somber-looking Dogue de Bordeaux is calm and sweet among loved ones. They are majestic, powerful guardians of their owners and their property.

The U.S. Dogue de Bordeaux Club describes the DDB’s head as ‘astounding’ because, proportionately, it’s the largest head in the canine kingdom. Like its cousin, the Bordeauxdog Mastiff, the DDB’s maze of wrinkles, undershot jaw, expressive, sad eyes, and the deeply furrowed brow make Dogue de Bordeaux look like a wax mold left out in the sun to melt.  

The Dogue de Bordeaux falls in the large to giant breed category, with an average weight of 132 pounds and an average height of 26 inches at the withers. Female French Mastiffs have 4 to 6 puppies per litter once a year, and their lifespan is 5 to 8 years. 

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What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Dogues de Bordeaux?

The Dogue de Bordeaux isn’t a big, boisterous kind of dog but is relatively calm and relaxed. However, as a watchdog, the Bordeaux can surprise you and become quite active, showing agility for such a hulk. The Dogue can adapt to life in the city or the country. Still, even though he appears lazy, the DDB will need moderate daily exercise.

He loves his human family and wants to be constantly with them. He is stubborn but will do well with training and socialization. Calm and easy-going, and with his easy-to-maintain short, soft coat, be prepared for some drooling and snoring from this loving, devoted large pet of yours.

More of the DDB breed’s traits and characteristics are listed in the table below.

Dogue de Bordeaux Features

Dogue de Bordeaux information


Males: 23 to 27 inches

Females: 23 to 27 inches


Males: 119 to 144 pounds

Females: 119 to 144 pounds

Relation with family

Loyal, Affectionate, Guardian, Reserved, Mellow, Relaxed, Quiet, Strong-willed

Relation with children

Playful and lovable

Relation with other dogs

Not good, could be aggressive

Shedding level


Drooling level


Coat type 

Dense, smooth

Coat length

Short, no longer than 1”

Coat grooming frequency

Weekly Brushing

Relation with strangers


Playfulness level


Adaptability level


Openness to strangers


Trainability level


Energy level


Barking level


Mental stimulation needs level



4 to 8 years 

How Does the Dogue de Bordeaux Interact with Family?

Dogues de Bordeaux are very affectionate and protective of their family. Once you integrate the dog into your house, they will be loyal and loving. They’re also usually good with kids as long as they know they are part of the family.

With the DDB’s giant head, droopy look, excessive skin folds, and massive build, most people undoubtedly think the Dogue de Bordeaux is unsuitable as a family companion and pet. However, this judgment appears far from the truth as French Mastiffs have proved valuable and excellent family companions for several decades. 

The confident DDB is not just a gentle giant; it’s protective of its family and suspicious of strangers. The Dogue de Bordeaux needs an experienced and firm owner who can command his respect without being physically or verbally abusive. Dogues are sensitive, and even seeing family members argue could cause anxiety in your Dogue, often leaving long-term behavioral problems.

Dogues de Bordeaux are so endearing that some would tend to become clingy. They love to receive attention from their favorite humans. If they feel neglected, expect these canines to jump on the sofa or do anything quirky until they receive the attention they crave.

French Mastiffs form extraordinary bonds with their human families, showing affection that could become overwhelming. Don’t be surprised when the giant teddy bear-like dog wants to get onto your lap. However, before choosing a DDB as a canine companion, take note of the breed’s tendency to drool excessively and the owner’s need always to have a towel ready to wipe away drool.

How Does the Dogue de Bordeaux Interact with Other Dogs?

Dogues de Bordeaux are typically okay with other dogs and cats, but there is no guarantee. Like humans don’t get on with everybody, French Mastiffs may encounter other dogs that trigger aggressive reactions. Mastiff owners can play it safe and choose a second dog of the opposite sex, and there are more chances of aggressive reactions between two dogs of the same gender.

Early socialization can prevent dog fights and, at the same time, teach French Mastiffs to live peacefully with cats and other small pets. However, the best trainer may have difficulty training the DDB’s prey drive out of your canine companion. Even if they get on with other pets, scurrying small pets like rabbits or guinea pigs may trigger a chase that could have devastating consequences. Their loyalty and territorial traits could lead to jealousy when French Mastiffs have to share the attention of their human families with other dogs. 

Food guarding, also sometimes called resource guarding or possession aggression, is a relatively normal behavior in Dogues de Bordeaux. Animals developed this behavior because, in nature, if they weren’t born with a strong drive to protect their food, they likely wouldn’t survive.

How are Dogues de Bordeaux with Older People?

Dogues de Bordeaux are okay with older people; however, their size could put the senior people at risk. French Mastiffs remain puppies until they are about two years old, and romping around fragile seniors could put their humans at risk. Excited DDBs often underestimate their own size and would not hesitate to jump up against their owners, or even onto their laps, and other unruly behavior. 

How are Dogues de Bordeaux with Children?

Dogues de Bordeaux can be very loving towards children of all ages. Parents should ensure their Dogues de Bordeaux are socialized. Although Dogues are unlikely to hurt children intentionally, their sheer size puts small children at risk. Therefore, babies and toddlers must never share spaces with DDBs without adult supervision. 

Because of that, you should always supervise your dog when they’re around young kids. The dog can get to know your kids and learn that they are no threat. It also helps if you have kids when you get a young Dogue de Bordeaux so that the dog can grow up around kids. Children should learn what not to do, like interfere when the dog eats.

The earlier you socialize your Dogue de Bordeaux with kids, the better they will be around kids later. If you have no children and bring a Dogue de Bordeaux home, it would be good to ensure you socialize the pup early. That could avoid adverse incidents when you have visitors with small children. 

How are Dogues de Bordeaux with Neighbors or Guests?

Dogue de Bordeaux puppies must learn to distinguish between neighbors and strangers who might pose threats from a young age. It is essential to socialize your DDB with as many people as possible. It will help them grow up to be confident, friendly adult dogs. Enroll in a puppy socialization class if possible. 

Of course, if you’re present, your Dogue de Bordeaux will accept anyone you introduce. But they won’t be welcoming right away; instead, staying reserved with strangers until they feel the guests pose no threats.

What are the Physical Traits of the Dogue de Bordeaux?

Muscular, stocky, and immense, the Dogue de Bordeaux is no stranger to turning heads. And on a related note: Proportionally speaking, their broad, angular heads are the largest in the canine kingdom. DDBs are brachycephalic, which means they have short snouts that look like they’ve been pushed in.

Dogues’ thick, loose-fitting skin creates expressive wrinkles spanning their faces and jowls that hang down past their lower jaw, typically decorated with drool. Dogues de Bordeaux have soft coats of short, fine fur that come in all shades of fawn, needing no more grooming than a weekly brushing.

The Dogue de Bordeaux’s physical traits are summarized in the table below: 


Trait information




Males 23 to 27 inches

Females 23 to 27 inches


Male 119 to 144 inches

Female 119 to 144 inches

Skull/ Head

Skull – Large, slightly domed, and broad between the ears

Head – Essential breed characteristic.  In males, the circumference of the skull taken at the widest point is roughly equal to the dog’s height at the withers.


The eyes are large, oval, and set well apart. 

Color ranges from hazel to dark brown. 


The ears are pendant and relatively small.


The muzzle is broad, thick, and short with moderately obvious folds. There is almost no taper to the muzzle.


Black on black-masked dogs; brown on brown-masked dogs; or reddish-pink on unmasked dogs.


Undershot bite is characteristic of the breed with the inside of the lower incisors extending in front of the upper incisors between .2 inch and three-quarters inch

Exercise Needs



5 to 8 years


Dense, short

Coat color

Solid color in any shade of fawn, ranging from mahogany to isabelline (pale grey-yellow, pale fawn, pale cream-brown or parchment color.)


Uncut, very thick at the base, and tapering to the tip


Forelegs – are heavily boned and very muscular

Hindlegs – well-developed with thick, easily discerned muscles

How to Feed a Dogue de Bordeaux?

Your Dogue de Bordeaux’s adult size determines its dietary needs through all life stages. Thus, base your DDB’s diet on a large breed’s unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout its different life stages. Most dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large, giant, and even toy breeds. 

It is always good to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as your DDB grows. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your DDB from the table; all it does is add weight; instead, follow the advice below to ensure your furry friend’s optimal health.

Despite the DDB’s massive size, it is an agile, athletic breed that needs food containing animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. A dog of this size, activity level, and demeanor will thrive best on premium dry food because this food type contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

However, your Dogue de Bordeaux’s portion depends on life stage, health, metabolism, activity level, and of course, the brand and formula of food it eats. Feed your Dogue de Bordeaux food formulated for a large breed with recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors, or look for a brand developed for all life stages.

The Dogue de Bordeaux’s daily cups of food should be spread over 2 to 3 meals per day. Feeding French Mastiffs several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. However, fresh drinking water must always be available for your furry friend. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

An example of premium food specially formulated for French Mastiffs and its benefits are listed below:

The best dog food for Dogues de Bordeaux is VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula Dry Dog Food.

Keep your DDB going with VICTOR Purpose Performance Dry Dog Food. This food excludes questionable legume-based ingredients, but it includes all the goodness your dog needs for a happy, mobile, pain-free life. It’s high protein and gluten-free, so your immense canine companion can build lean muscle, not excess body fat. 

The chondroitin and glucosamine give your Dogue de Bordeaux’s joints the support they desperately need. Taurine is good for the heart, and amino acids and probiotics are excellent for digestion and immunity. VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula Dry Dog Food is ideal for large breeds with high physical demands.

Below is a list of the benefits offered by the various formulas in the VICTOR Purpose Performance Dry Dog Food range.

  • Ideal for active pups and those with high physical demands.
  • Nutrient-dense recipe with glucosamine and chondroitin for long-term joint health.
  • Fortified with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and amino acids.

Unique VPRO Blend promotes superior digestibility and immune system function.

  • Selenium Yeast – Supports essential metabolism, cellular regeneration, and good immune response.
  • Mineral Complexes – Promote efficient metabolic function, a strong immune system, and skin, coat, and paw pad health.
  • Prebiotics – Aid in healthy digestion and efficient immune response, which supports growth, activity, and overall well-being
  • Probiotics – Rich in metabolites that feed good digestive bacteria to support healthy digestion and strong immunity

When Dogues de Bordeaux are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why VICTOR Purpose Performance Dry Dog Food is crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should a Dogue de Bordeaux Puppy Eat? 

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large breed whose puppies need high-quality puppy food formulated for a large breed dog like the Dogue de Bordeaux. It is essential not to feed puppies all their food at once, and they should have it spread over the day. When DDB puppies become three months old, owners can provide them with three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Dogue de Bordeaux puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for large-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Dogues de Bordeaux should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • The exceptions are Dogues de Bordeaux with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the Health Tests that a Dogue de Bordeaux Should Take?

Dogues de Bordeaux can be affected by several genetic health problems. Not all of these conditions are detectable in a growing puppy, and it can be hard to predict whether an animal will be free of these maladies, which is why you must find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible.

The Dogues de Bordeaux Society of America, which is the American Kennel Club parent organization for the breed in the United States, participates in the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) Program. Breeders must agree to have all test results, positive or negative, published in the CHIC database. You can check CHIC’s website to see if a breeder’s dogs have these certifications.

Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with independent certification that the parents of the dog (and grandparents, etc.) have been screened for genetic defects and deemed healthy for breeding. Having the dog’s vet checked is not a substitute for genetic health testing.

For potential Dogues de Bordeaux puppy buyers, CHIC certification is a good indicator the breeder responsibly factors good health into their selection criteria. The breed-specific list below represents the basic health screening recommendations. It is not all-encompassing. There may be other health screening tests appropriate for this breed. And, there may be other health concerns for which there is no commonly accepted screening protocol available.

The DDBSA recommends the following health screens

  • Elbows and shoulders OFA Xrays
  • Hips OFA Xrays or Penn HIP
  • Echo Cardiogram Exam by board-certified cardiologist

Optional –

  • OFA Patellar Luxation
  • OFA yearly evaluation from an approved laboratory for autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Regular eye examination by a board-certified ACVO Ophthalmologist

Additional General Health Check, including Heart, Vaccines, Musculoskeletal, Dental, Fleas, and Worms.

What are the common health problems of Dogues de Bordeaux?

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. The Dogue de Bordeaux has some health conditions that can be a concern. However, even healthy DDB should have regular veterinarian checkups. Owners should ensure the following list of health conditions are monitored throughout the dog’s life.

  • Bloat: Also known as gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), bloat is a significant concern in larger breeds with deep chests. It occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid. When the stomach becomes distended, it puts pressure on the organs and decreases blood flow. The stomach twists and obstructs blood supply to major organs in many cases. This can happen quickly and be life-threatening and requires surgery.
  • Orthopedic Issues: The size of the Dogue de Bordeaux can put a strain on bones, joints, and ligaments, resulting in dysplasia in the hips, elbows, and shoulders. Dysplasia occurs when the joint isn’t formed correctly and can be painful. This can be reduced by limiting steps, jumping, and strenuous exercise until your puppy is 18 months old. Joint dysplasia can be treated with medication and sometimes surgery.
  • Heart Disease: Dogues de Bordeaux are especially susceptible to a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM. It occurs when the heart becomes enlarged and weak and can no longer pump blood effectively. This condition can usually be managed with medication. Another heart concern is aortic stenosis, partial obstruction of blood flow as it moves out of the heart. It may require surgery to replace the blocked valve if this is serious enough.
  • Cancer: Lymphoma, or lymphosarcoma, occurs more often in the Dogue de Bordeaux than in other breeds. The disease causes the body to make abnormal lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, which can be found anywhere in the body. It’s one of the few cancers found through a blood test. Like in humans, the treatment is chemotherapy and has an excellent success rate in dogs, but it is costly.
  • Epilepsy: Seizure disorders in the Dogue de Bordeaux are typically genetic and occur between 6 months and three years of age. Though scary for a pet parent to watch, seizures can usually be managed with medication.

You can minimize the chances of serious health concerns in a Dogue de Bordeaux by purchasing a DDB from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices and screening for common diseases and conditions.

What is the Exercise Need of a Dogue de Bordeaux?

As a large breed, it’s easy to cause too much stress to the Dogue de Bordeaux’s bones, joints and ligaments. Intense exercise, like running up and down stairs or jumping off anything taller than their shoulder, should be limited until they are 18 months old.

As they get older, walking these pups for 30 to 45 minutes once a day is sufficient exercise. As full-grown adult dogs, the breed can handle more activity but never be runners. Many Dogues de Bordeaux love swimming, and hopping in the water with them is the perfect no-impact activity and a great way to keep them cool on hotter days.

What are the nutritional needs of Dogues de Bordeaux?

The nutritional needs of a Dogue de Bordeaux include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the DDB are listed below.

  • Protein: Dogues de Bordeaux need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids essential for DDB’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Dogue de Bordeaux’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Dogues de Bordeaux need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Dogue de Bordeaux sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, too many carbohydrates can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Dogue de Bordeaux puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging French Mastiffs by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of the Dogue de Bordeaux.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Dogues de Bordeaux are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for a Dogue de Bordeaux’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of French Mastiffs.

What is the Shedding Level of Dogues de Bordeaux?

Dogues de Bordeaux have soft coats of short, fine fur that come in all shades of fawn. They can also have black or brown masks and white patches on their chest and limbs. Thanks to year-round shedding, you’ll likely see the breed’s beautiful hair on your carpet, couch, and clothing, too, though weekly brushing can help curb this. 

What is the Coat Grooming Frequency of Dogues de Bordeaux?

Grooming Dogues de Bordeaux require daily brushings, or at least a few times a week, to remove any dead hair, so you don’t have short bristly fur stuck all over the house. It can be a nightmare to remove when a French Mastiff’s hair gets trapped inside the skin folds. Grooming a dog as big as the French Mastiff can be tiresome. There’s a lot of acreages to cover.

Be warned that the Dogue de Bordeaux requires a lot of attention to hygiene. So in case you opt for this friendly giant, be prepared to do the ‘dirty work’ to keep them clean. Take extra care when cleaning the folds to ensure you remove dirt build-up and bacteria, which are notorious for causing infections.

You’ll also need to regularly brush a Dogue de Bordeaux’s mouth if you don’t want their drool and breath to stink.

Coat grooming is essential for various reasons, as listed below.

  • Grooming gives your dog a healthy look and promotes hygiene. 
  • Proper grooming lowers the risks of skin infections.
  • Your Dogue de Bordeaux smells nice through grooming, thus raising the hygiene conditions.
  • Grooming promotes the growth and development of a lustrous and shiny coat.
  • Grooming allows you to check for fleas and take early preventive and treatment measures.
  • Proper grooming lowers the risks of ear infections since you can check the ears and wipe them dry after grooming regularly.
  • While grooming, you can check the skin folds for any skin problems and alert the vet before they worsen.
  • Grooming boosts the bond between you and your Dogue de Bordeaux.

Your dog should be calm during grooming. Short walks before the grooming session will calm your DDB, thus ensuring they remain still during the grooming process. You can also give your DDB their favorite treat to munch on while you groom them. Grooming must be enjoyable and a stress-free process for your Dogue de Bordeaux.

What is the Drooling Level of Dogues de Bordeaux?

As a French Mastiff owner, you should expect to find trails of drool everywhere your Mastiff goes. It’ll be most pronounced any time they eat, drink, get warm, get excited, or do pretty much anything. Basically, they drool all the time.

However, drooling is a natural process, and although DDBs drool all the time, the primary triggers of drooling are listed below, which, in French Mastiffs, will increase drooling levels.

Any unusual drooling might need a vet’s opinion.

  • The thought of delicious meals like a favorite treat or meat
  • Mouth and throat problems like fractures in the mouth, throat, or esophagus.
  • Plaque build-up can also irritate the mouth and cause excessive saliva.
  • A foreign object stuck in the throat prevents swallowing, thus causing drooling. 
  • Growth in the mouth also stimulates drooling.
  • Stomach upsets.
  • Excessive heat, especially during summer
  • The main symptom of diseases like kidney disease, liver problems, seizures, botulism, and rabies is drooling.
  • Motion sickness and anxiety. Dogs who do not like traveling will get anxious whenever they board a car. Stress makes a Dogue pant and breathe with an open mouth, causing drooling.
  • Excitement and agitation make dogs drool.
  • Sexual excitement, like when a male DDB spots a female DDB in heat, causes drooling. Likewise, a female in her heat cycle might drool if she picks up the scent of a male.

What is the Coat Type of the Dogue de Bordeaux?

Dogues de Bordeaux have a distinctive coat. The coat is dense and loose-fitting, especially the head and face.

What is the Coat Lenght of the Dogue de Bordeaux?  

The Dogue de Bordeaux’s short coat is fine and soft. The DDB’s skin is notably thick and loose-fitting. 

What is the Coat Color of Dogues de Bordeaux?

The coat colors are fawn, mahogany, red, and Isabella, which is a greyish/taupe mix. They may have markings, such as a black or brown mask, white markings, or white patches.

What are the Social Traits of the Dogue de Bordeaux Breed?

The social traits of the Dogue de Bordeaux are affection, playfulness, friendliness, and possessive nature. The Dogues de Bordeaux are intelligent and learn fast, but they can be bored with long training sessions. French Mastiffs are fun-loving and have the charm to lighten you up when you are not in a happy mood. Your furry giant will follow you around, lean against you, and use those soulful eyes to get you to smile and be happy, and when you react, your French Mastiff will cuddle and lick you, all accompanied by a lot of tail wagging.

 Other social traits of Dogues de Bordeaux include the following:

  • Elderly-friendly: Dogues de Bordeaux love playing with their family, from children to grandparents. However, they are highly energetic and may exhaust the seniors if playtime is long. In addition, French Mastiffs enjoy playing rough and can easily hurt the elderly hence constant supervision is vital.
  • Children-friendly: Dogues de Bordeaux enjoy running around or chasing after children. However, young children are too fragile to be part of the boisterous play when French Mastiffs are involved. DDBs could unintentionally hurt small children. Older children would be safer playmates for these massive dogs. Most importantly, regardless of whether there are small kids in the family, Dogues de Bordeaux should be properly socialized.
  • Family-friendly: Having this wonderful breed around will help improve your family’s overall health. His constant display of affection causes your body to release the hormone called “oxytocin, ” also known as the “good mood hormone.” Having your DDB around, the warm and fuzzy feelings you’ll feel are linked to decreasing stress and anxiety levels.
  • Pet-friendly: Dogues de Bordeaux can get along great with cats and other animals, especially if they’re raised with them. However, their massive size poses dangers to smaller pets because the French Mastiff could unintentionally hurt them even in play.
  • Cautious with strangers: Dogues de Bordeaux tend to be suspicious of strangers. They will show their suspicion by barking whenever they see an unfamiliar person. Their strong bond with family makes them aloof towards strangers, but you can reduce this through training on proper socialization behavior. Taking your DDB with you whenever you visit other people’s houses also helps in lowering their aggression towards strangers. Your DDB will learn to interact with new people and become less suspicious of strangers. 
  • Cautious with new dogs: Dogues de Bordeaux often show aggressive behavior towards other animals, especially those of the same sex. However, their aggression is seldom the reaction to feeling threatened but jealousy instead.

How Do Dogues de Bordeaux Interact with Strangers?

Dogues de Bordeaux are not friendly toward strangers. The Bordeauxdog is wise enough to identify who is a threat and who isn’t. If your kids got home earlier than you did, you don’t have to be worried about their safety, more so if the dog has been intensively trained to guard. 

Is the Dogue de Bordeaux Playful?

Dogues de Bordeaux are very playful with older children, adults, and even senior citizens and make excellent family dogs. However, for the large French Mastiff, the size of very young children may seem like playthings instead of tiny humans, and Dogues de Bordeaux love to play with toys. Therefore, homes with young children and French Mastiffs should have separate areas to keep them isolated from each other until the children are older.

Are Dogues de Bordeaux Protective?

There is no breed quite as loyal as the DDB Mastiff. They are a loving and protective breed, and they become entirely devoted to their family and have strong protective instincts. It means that they will always be wary of strangers and may not be over the moon when meeting other dogs.

The Dogue de Bordeaux is known to have a strong history as a protector. He was widely used as a guard dog who would constantly patrol properties and estates in the past. The Dogue’s intimidating image can easily scare away anyone who would think about trespassing on the territory.

What is the Adaptability Level of Dogues de Bordeaux?

Dogues de Bordeaux are highly adaptable. Even if relocating from a farm or a ranch to an apartment in the city, they will quickly adapt if they are not separated from their human families. They would even live happily in an apartment; however, the apartment would have to be spacious enough for such a massive canine companion. DDBs don’t need a lot of exercise, and as long as they can go for a daily walk outdoors, apartment living would not be a problem.

What are the Personality Traits of Dogues de Bordeaux?

Dogues de Bordeaux are large dogs that can be stubborn when they feel like it. And they’ll feel like it quite often. Raising a DDB is equally frustrating and rewarding. Most of the time, their stubbornness will result in adorable antics that will make you laugh and cry. 

They are a bit more sensitive than other dog breeds, and even soft punishment affects them emotionally. Dogues de Bordeaux don’t tolerate irregular daily routines, noisy households, and frequent guest visits. They are receptive to their owner’s emotions and make excellent family companions.

Their enormous size means you aren’t going to be able to move them to where you want if they decide not to listen. And the DDBs’ tendency to be lazy means you could spend more time trying to command them to stand up and move than you will spend walking them. It’s not uncommon to see a Dogue de Bordeaux who refuses to sit or walk on command, and they’ll just as soon lay down instead.

DDBs is also a sensitive breed. Their feelings can get hurt, and they often respond much like a toddler. You can expect them to get disobedient and refuse to listen when they’re upset. Even worse, your DDB might decide to get destructive. 

Can Dogues de Bordeaux be Aggressive?

DDBs may seem like a calm and lazy breed, but they always know what’s going on around them, even if it doesn’t seem that way. They will be ready at a moment’s notice if they feel that you are under threat. They aren’t usually aggressive, as their large size and deep bark usually are enough to scare any sensible criminal away, but they will show aggression if the threat persists.

Can Dogues de Bordeaux be Dangerous?

The Dogue de Bordeaux’s love can manifest in several ways. One of these is his undying loyalty to guarantee that everyone is safe. Your French Mastiff won’t hesitate to protect you from intruders. Even though a DDB is not the fastest mover, it’s guaranteed that he’ll persist in being unmovable, especially when it comes to defending you, and that could be dangerous.

Do Dogues de Bordeaux Ever Attack?

Dogues de Bordeaux are more standoffish than aggressive with people they don’t know. If they weren’t properly socialized as pups, they could be aggressive towards other dogs. But for the most part, DDBs stand their ground and won’t go on the offensive unless clearly provoked or they sense immediate danger to themselves or their family.

Can Dogues de Bordeaux Kill Humans?

Yes, Dogues de Bordeaux can kill humans, although it is unlikely. DDBs are exceptionally protective of their human families, but certain circumstances could drive any dog to attack violently. Multiple reports are available about French Mastiffs attacking their own people; many of the attacks were fatal.

This underscores the importance of socializing a Dog de Bordeaux in puppyhood instead of when it is older. Furthermore, everybody, not only children, should learn how to respect dogs. Any breed dog could attack if it is provoked, maltreated or if its family, property, or food is at risk.

Do Dogues de Bordeaux cope with being left alone?

The French Mastiff does not do very well when left alone. The Dogue de Bordeaux breed feels happy to be around his family and would show great sadness if he’s left alone without anything to do. Interact with your DDB regularly, which usually happens around exercise, training, and leisure time. Generally, your Dogue shouldn’t be left alone for more than 4 hours. The length of time will vary depending on his age, health, and more. 

Can I leave my Dogue de Bordeaux at home?

Dogues de Bordeaux tend to be big babies who do not tolerate being left alone well. They prefer to be at home with one of their human companions present. Many DDBs tend to favor one family member, and when that person has to run an errand, the French Mastiff will be okay if the rest of the family is there, but that doesn’t mean your DDB’s face won’t be even more somber than usual.

Can Dogues de Bordeaux be left alone for 8 hours?

DDBs need company, and they do not enjoy spending time alone for many hours and may develop separation anxiety. Don’t get a Dogue de Bordeaux if you must leave him on his own for hours on end. You can, however, leave him alone for short periods, ideally crated with a favorite dog toy or a puzzle toy to keep him occupied. Leaving your DDB alone for more than four hours at a time is not recommended. If there is no other way, getting a dog walker or a sitter for a part of the day prevents separation anxiety.

How to Train a Dogue de Bordeaux?

Dogues de Bordeaux are not the fastest learners, but they can be trained after some time. French Mastiffs will need a firm but fair leader for training. They can be very stubborn in wanting to be the boss, which can make it hard to train a Dogue de Bordeaux, and it can take more time for them to learn from you and do what you want.

The earlier you start training the Dogue de Bordeaux, the better. When you start young, they won’t have as much time to become stubborn so that you can teach them like any other puppy. You may still need to be strict with them, but you shouldn’t be mean.

When training, offer praise and treats when the dog does something good. And if others in your family are training, you all need to be consistent with how and when you train the dog. That way, your Dogue de Bordeaux will learn what is okay.

Socialization and obedience training are two areas you can’t compromise on when dealing with French Mastiffs. Therefore, be prepared to expose them to as many people and pets as possible immediately after bringing them home. While it’s essential to train your dog to socialize with other people and household pets, try your best to do it gradually, since overdoing it can overwhelm your little pup, making them rebellious and unresponsive.

Are Dogues de Bordeaux Dogs Good Guard Dogs?

These descendants of war dogs make excellent guard dogs. They are stout and strong and will go on the offense if needed. Although their imposing size and structure may intimidate some, Dogues de Bordeaux can make a gentle and devoted companion if adequately socialized. They have a natural tendency to guard but tend towards less aggression than many other hunting and guarding breeds. They typically do well with other pets. Dogues do best if they are fully integrated into the family.

How Frequently does a Dogue de Bordeaux Bark?

Dogues de Bordeaux dogs are calm, naturally protective, intelligent, and loving. And although a French Mastiff isn’t known to bark incessantly, they can get quite loud and aggressive if they detect impending danger. 

However, the frequency of your French Mastiffs bark will not be enough to upset your neighbors. Most dogs have different-sounding barks for different purposes, and after all, that is the only way canines can have their say.

Below is a list of bark types that owners will learn to recognize. 

  • Dogues de Bordeaux hate being left alone, and one way of coping with loneliness is barking. 
  • A lack of exercise and anxiety can also trigger barking.
  • Alarm barking is when your DDB is barking as a way of alerting you of approaching danger. Alarm barking can save you from danger; however, French Mastiffs may bark before ascertaining that there is a real danger.  
  • Another type of barking is demand barking, where a DDB feels entitled to something or your attention and would bark as a way of demanding their rights. This type can be lowered through proper training and ignoring the barking.
  • The Dogue de Bordeaux uses arousal barking to show their frustrations.
  • Boredom barking signals that your Dogue de Bordeaux is tired or bored due to being left alone or infrequent exercises. 
  • Frequent barking can be a nuisance to both the owner and neighbors. Some types of barking tend to be monotonous and continuous. 

What is the need for Mental Stimulation of a Dogue de Bordeaux?

The need for mental stimulation of a Dogue de Bordeaux is essential as it lowers the risks of destructive behaviors resulting from boredom. French Mastiffs are reasonably intelligent and learn fast, and they need regular mental stimulation. The playful and intelligent nature of French Mastiffs further calls for frequent mental activity. There are different ways of mentally stimulating your DDB, and some of them are listed below.

  • Playing with interactive games or toys, including dog puzzles and canine board games.
  • Encourage sniffing during regular evening walks.
  • Provide healthy chews like dehydrated sweet potato strips. Chewing for more extended periods calms the brain, thus lowering stress levels.
  • Hide and seek games
  • Drop and fetch games
  • Regular walks

These mental stimulation techniques should start at an early stage. Dogues de Bordeaux who are Six years and older tend to have problems with their thinking ability. The primary signs of mental disorientation are listed below.

  • Excessive anxiety.
  • Frequent accidents.
  • Failure to recall previously learned commands.
  • Changes in sleep and wake patterns.
  • Low interest in physical activities.
  • Poor social skills.

What are the Breed Standards of Dogue de Bordeaux?

The Dogue de Bordeaux has the flat muzzle typical of brachycephalic breeds, and it has a colossal head. An abundance of charming wrinkles surrounds their intelligent, observant eyes. They give the appearance of great power, with their stocky build, defined muscles, thick neck, and broad chest.

Despite their bulk, Dogues are surprisingly fast over short distances and have a measure of grace in their stride. Dogues de Bordeaux have a self-possessed demeanor, though males can be dominating. The breed makes an amiable companion, loyal to his family.

Some of the breed standards of Dogues de Bordeaux are given in the table below.

Breed Standards 

Dogue de Bordeaux Breed Information 


Solid color in any shade of fawn, ranging from mahogany to isabelline (pale grey-yellow, pale fawn, pale cream-brown or parchment color.)


Dogues de Bordeaux are very large, classified as a large breed

Eye Color 

Color ranges from hazel to dark brown. 

Average Weight 

132 pounds 

Average Height

26 inches

Average lifespan 

Dogue de Bordeaux Dogs have a lifespan of 4 to 8 years

What is the General Information about Dogue de Bordeaux?

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a “molossoid type breed.” According to the Canadian Mastiff Club, the term molosser refers to a group of working dogs that includes breeds like the boxer, bull terrier, Great Dane, and mastiff. These dogs share a related ancient ancestry and history of working as property and livestock guards.

Concerned by the dwindling number of DDBs in Europe in the 1960s, Professor Raymond Triquet became an ambassador for the breed. He bred a Dogue named Mowgli de la Maison des Arbes. He took Mowgli throughout the continent to raise awareness of and interest in the breed and wrote: “the definitive book” on the DDB: The Saga of the Dogue de Bordeaux. His work earned him the honorary title of the “father” of the breed.

In Which Movie did the Dogue de Bordeaux Appear?

The breed was exported to the United States of America relatively late, during the 1950s. Later, during the 1980s, there were only 600 registered specimens in the whole country. This, however, changed in 1989, when the film Turner and Hooch premiered. 

The film starred Tom Hanks as one of the titular characters, Turner. Hooch, the other character, was played by a Dogue de Bordeaux named Beasley. Coming off of two Oscar wins, Tom Hanks rode his wave of popularity heading into this movie, and it definitely succeeded.

When the well-known blockbuster movie, Turner and Hooch, came to the theatres, the interest in the breed skyrocketed all across the world. In the film, Tom Hanks plays a police detective investigating a murder. The only witness was the victim’s dog, Hooch. Turner decides to adopt the orphaned Dogue de Bordeaux to help identify the murdered. Hooch became his adorable, always drooling, and stubborn assistant, Hooch.

During one of the fights between Turner and the suspect, Hooch ambushes the suspect but gets shot during the encounter. Despite Turner rushing to bring Hooch to Emily’s clinic, the pup ultimately dies. The film ends with Turner being promoted to chief officer and him being with Emily and her dog, Camille, who was the love of Hooch’s life. As the film ends, Camille gives birth to a litter of puppies.

 In the United States, the Dogue de Bordeaux is sometimes jokingly referred to as “the Hooch dog.”

Where to Buy or Adopt a Dogue de Bordeaux?

A purebred Dogue de Bordeaux’s price can range between $1,000 and $3,500. Lower prices are generally available within shelters and rescues, but puppies can cost as much as $6,000 from top breeders. 

If you want to bring a Dogue de Bordeaux home, you should not rush. The only “purebreds” available upon request are not the real thing and are likely bred on puppy farms. The more realistic way is to put your name on a waiting list, and while you’re waiting, learn as much as you can about this giant dog in the cutest little dog body.

Finding a reputable breeder or rescue facility is crucial. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. They are more interested in placing pups in suitable homes than making big bucks. 

Be wary of breeders who only tell you the good things about the breed or make irrational promises to promote the dogs. Be especially suspicious when you are offered a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. 

Dogue de Bordeaux puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they are so popular. Cute puppies sell, making the DDB a favorite of puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. Do your homework before buying one of these little dogs, and you’ll be well rewarded with a beautiful companion dog.

The best way to ensure you get a healthy Dogue de Bordeaux puppy from a breeder or a rescue organization is to reach out to the registered organizations for the specific breed. The Dogue de Bordeaux is recognized by the AKC, UKC and FIC, listed below, along with other registered kennel clubs that might put potential DDB owners in touch with reputable breeders. 

  • Fédération Cynologique Internationale (International)
  • United Kennel Club (International)
  • The Kennel Club (United Kingdom)
  • The Dogue de Bordeaux Club of Great Britain
  • American Kennel Club Market Place
  • Canadian Kennel Club
  • Canadian Mastiff Club
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • United All Breed Registry

If you manage to track down Dogue de Bordeaux breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Dogue de Bordeaux puppies are often peppy and playful—all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes. 

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

You might find a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy or a rescued adult to adopt or buy from abroad, but not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries will enable the importation of Dogues de Bordeaux may find the logistics challenging. 

Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Dogue de Bordeaux is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel. Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified Buy or Adopt a Dogue de Bordeaux?

What are the Rescue Clubs for Dogues de Bordeaux?

There are millions of homeless dogs worldwide; many are purebreds needing homes. Adopting a Dogue de Bordeaux can be life-changing, not only for the dog but also for the adopter. If you prefer adoption over purchasing a pup from a breeder, then your first stop should be the National Dogue de Bordeaux Rescue website. A Dogue de Bordeaux rescue group is an excellent idea if you want to adopt an older dog or even a Dogue de Bordeaux mix.

The adoption fee for a DDB from a rescue group or animal shelter will probably be between $150 and $200. Most dogs from rescue groups and shelters will be vaccinated, microchipped, spayed/neutered, and vetted before adoption

You can also reach out to your local rescue organization or animal shelter and ask if they have any Dogues de Bordeaux or related mixes available for adoption. If not, you can always put your name on a list so that when one comes in, you’re the first one they call.

Below is a list of registered rescue centers and kennel clubs to reach out to for guidance.

  • Canada Guide To Dogs (National Dogue de Bordeaux Rescue, Inc.)
  • Canada Dogue de Bordeaux Dog Rescue Group
  •  US Dogue de Bordeaux Club’s rescue network
  • Dogue De Bordeaux Society of America Rescue Marlton, NJ
  • Dogues de Bordeaux Rescue INC Welch, MN
  • Commanderie De Bordeaux A Houston Houston, TX
  • Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions, Inc. CA
  • American Dogue de Bordeaux Rescue Alliance

Facebook is another resource for pet adoption. You can search for Dogue de Bordeaux rescue groups in your region.

You can also search for adoptable Dogues de Bordeaux online through reliable websites such as


Dogue de Bordeaux mixes may be available for adoption in shelters and rescues. If you want to adopt an AKC registered or a mixed breed Dogue de Bordeaux, the best first step is to contact shelters and breed-specific rescues to let them know you’re interested

Below is a list of several Dogue de Bordeaux mixes.

  • Dogue de Bordeaux-Bull Mastiff mix (Bully Bordeaux)
  • Dogue de Bordeaux-Pitbull mix (Bordeaux Pitbull)
  • Dogue de Bordeaux-Rottweiler mix (Rottie Bordeaux)
  • Dogue de Bordeaux-Boxer mix (Dogue de Boxer)
  • Dogue de Bordeaux-Cane Corso mix (Bordeaux Corso)

Dogue de Bordeaux mixes adopted from a shelter may share physical characteristics of the breed, but their temperament may not match the breed standard. Shelters and rescues attempt to determine each dog’s personality through a series of evaluations; even if the dog’s temperament does not follow the breed standard, you can get the dog that suits your home. 

What is the History of the Dogue de Bordeaux?

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a relative of the Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff and similar breeds. He is thought to have existed in France for at least 600 years. The dogs guarded estates and hunted big game such as boar. They led the good life until the French Revolution, when their association with the aristocracy probably cost many of them their lives. Others found new lives as butchers’ dogs or farm dogs.

The first recorded appearance of a Dogue at a dog show was in Paris in 1863, but a standard was not written for the breed until 1896. Because Dogues originated in the Bordeaux region of France, that was the name they gave the breed. People today call him the DDB for short. Other names for the breed are the French Mastiff or Bordeaux Dog.

In the United States, the first Dogue was imported in 1959. Still, it wasn’t until 30 years later that the DDB gained widespread recognition, thanks to his scene-stealing role in the Tom Hanks comedy “Turner and Hooch.” The breed was admitted to American Kennel Club registration in 2008 and currently ranks 68th in popularity.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Dogues de Bordeaux?

The prices of Dogues de Bordeaux range between $1.000 and $3,500. The cost of a puppy from a registered breeder could vary, depending on the breeder you select, the location, the sex of the puppy, and, of course, the demand for the breed at the time. 

The bloodline of the puppy and its parents could also affect the price. You will be hard-pressed to find this breed in a shelter, but if you do, the price could be $300 to $500, based on the cost of care provided while keeping the Dogue de Bordeaux and extras like vaccinations and sterilizations. 

It is always best to consider annual expenses related to maintaining your Dogue de Bordeaux and its wellbeing before making the purchase. The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, sterilization, licensing, etc. You can expect to spend about $6,900 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $2,100 a year.  

Food and medical only, excluding toys, food and water bowls, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc., could cost an average of $850. The most regular annual expenses for dogs similar to the Dogue de Bordeaux are listed below.

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. Grooming would likely not affect the maintenance costs of Dogues de Bordeaux because they don’t need professional grooming about once per month to trim and bathe the DDB.

How to Name a Dogue de Bordeaux?

Choosing a name for your Dogue de Bordeaux involves essential building blocks, including the significance of the sound. The DDB’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but for your canine companion, only the sound matters. Dogues de Bordeaux respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

It is always a good idea not to rush into choosing a name. Spend a week or so with your new DDB pup, and its character traits might be all the inspiration you need. Call out any name ideas, using different tones and sounds for the two syllables, and watch your puppy’s reaction to the sound. Remember, you must compose a sound that your DDB will recognize from a distance, among many other sounds. 

Choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction and yelling or calling your Dogue de Bordeaux. Below is a list of suggestions of names for your DDB puppy.

Dogue de Bordeaux Breed Names

Inspired by their fame, roots, and characters

Dogue de Bordeaux Boy Names

Dogue de Bordeaux Girl Names


In honor of the 1989 movie Turner and Hooch. Tom Hanks played Turner – the detective investigating a murder of which the only witness was Hooch. Hooch, a DDB, became Turner’s assistant. The name of the Dogue that played Hooch, was Beasly.


In honor of the 1989 movie Turner and Hooch. Dr. Emily Carson was the vet that cared for Hooch after he was shot. The love of Hooch’s life was Camille. As the film ends turner and Dr.Emily is together, and Camille gives birth to a litter of puppies. Dr. Emily was played by Mare Winningham






French name meaning “noble”


Means “red” in French; good for a red Dogue de Bordeaux


French name meaning “bold and brave”


The capital city of France


French name meaning “one who is gifted”


Derived from the French phrase “Bon ami”, which means “good friend”

What are the Different Types of Dogues de Bordeaux?

Some people view the mastiff as one breed, but in reality, there are over 14 different individual breeds within the mastiff family. When most people think of a mastiff, they think of a very large, overpowering dog or a guard dog. While this is true as a rule, there are many individual differences between the breeds. 

Below is a list of some of the Mastiff varieties:  

  • English Mastiff.
  • Bullmastiff.
  • Tibetan Mastiff.
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Cane Corso.
  • Dogo Argentino.
  • Anatolian Mastiff.
  • American Mastiff

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Dogue de Bordeaux?

Dogues de Bordeaux may not be too difficult to find, but purebreds are expensive and involve long waiting lists. Finding a DDB at a rescue center might be equally challenging because they are so popular. However, As wonderful of a dog as the Dogue de Bordeaux may be, they aren’t for everyone. Here are some dogs that are similar to the Dogues de Bordeaux:

Below is a list of similar breeds that might be a good match for your family.

  • Mastiff – Also known as the English Mastiff, is similar in size, personality, and energy level to the Dogue de Bordeaux but gets along better with other pets and has a slightly longer lifespan of 6 to 12 years.
  • Bordeauxdog Mastiff – Nicknamed the Mastino, is similar in size and energy level to the Dogue de Bordeaux but has fewer health concerns, allowing them a slightly longer lifespan of 7 to 9 years. They are also more suited for living alongside other pets than the Dogue de Bordeaux.
  • Bullmastiff – Similar in size and personality to the Dogue de Bordeaux but has a higher energy level, making this breed a better fit for an owner with an active lifestyle. They also have a longer lifespan of 8 to 10 years.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.