The Dogue de Bordeaux is a Mastiff from France. Descendant of the most ancient mastiffs, the Molloser dogs of Rome, the Dogue presents a large and forbidding appearance. He has a massive head with a bracocyphalic muzzle, super big paws and an abundance of wrinkles.
The head of the Dogue is the largest in the canine world. The brow is pronounced, giving him a perpetually worried look. He has deep flews on the lips, which hold an abundance of slobber or drool. His face often has a black or red mask, which also gives him a rather pompous appearance. The dog’s chest is deep and powerful and let down well beneath the elbows, while his neck is thick and equally powerful.
His color is fawn, gold, or speckled and the texture of the coat is soft and sleek. The Dogue de Bordeaux presents altogether a formidable appearance. The Dogue de Bordeaux is highly regarded not only for his protective instinct but also for his balanced temperament, being a dog that not only is fearless and powerful but also known and cherished by the people who own one as a devoted family dog who is extremely affectionate. This is a dog that throughout the centuries has proven himself in nearly every endeavor, from being a hunting dog to a guarding dog, a fighting dog and a drover.
The Dogue served many a master of the estates in France as a protector of the property. For sport, they were used in the fighting pits and were pitted against each other and also formidable creatures of the forest such as the wild pig and the bear. They were used to hunt boar, bears and wolves. And they served the shepherds as cattle drovers and the peasants as the dog that pulled the cart.
Today the Dogue has gained acceptance as a generally happy and affectionate family dog and is gaining popularity in such versatile areas as Carting, Obedience, Conformation, Weight Pulling and Search and Rescue. Dogues thrive on human companionship and do not make good outdoor dogs unless allowed inside of an evening to be part of the household.
The Dogue in general is actually not nearly as fierce as his appearance leads one to believe, however this is a dog that must be trained early to accept strangers and to be obedient. He can be a large and quite destructive puppy and needs a tolerant owner. The Dogue made his appearance in Hollywood with Tom Hanks in the movie “Turner and Hooch” as the irrepressible and slobbery mastiff “Hooch”, becoming an overnight sensation and boosting his popularity in the United States and elsewhere.
The Dogue de Bordeaux has just been recently accepted into the registry of the American Kennel club as a member of the Miscellaneous Class (not yet eligible to attain a Championship) and the next step is usually full acceptance into one of the groups. It is expected that the Dogue de Bordeaux would fall into the Working Group, after a period of time in the Miscellaneous Classification.