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DOGUE DE BORDEAUX

Life span: 5-8 Years

Height: 24 inches (male), 23 – 26 inches (female)

Weight: 110 lbs. and up (male), 99 lbs.and up (female)

Also known as a French Mastiff or Bordeaux Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the oldest French dog breeds on record. The breed was made popular by the movie Turner and Hooch, in which a Dogue de Bordeaux had a starring role alongside Tom Hanks. And while the breed is noted for its strong, muscular body and short yellowish-brown hair, the French Mastiff enjoys a low-activity lifestyle.

Physical Characteristics

This large dog has loose skin around its face and neck, with small ears that bend downwards and a long tail with a slight curve that is down when resting. Its eyes are hazel with a brown or isabelline nose. Their coat is short, dense and soft to the touch, as well as always straight. Coat colors are any shade of brown, red, and isabelline.

History

This breed is considered a “molosser”, which is a group of strong dogs with solid bodies that are thought to descend from a common ancestor, the Molossus, a breed that still exists in the mountainous regions of Albania. After that, however, its ancestors are unknown, although many believe their ancestors include the Alano, others debate it’s descended from the Tibetan Mastiff, and others believed it is an ancient breed that was previously called Dogue de Bordeaux Aquitaine. They were used in Europe baiting bulls and jaguars, hunting boars, protecting properties and herding cattle. They were used to create the Argentine Dogo and in the 1930s to create the Tosa in Japan. Their breed standard was not established until 1970, and were known in the United States until 1982, although they were not accepted into the American Kennel Club until 2008.

Personality

Despite what its appearance might make you believe, this loving dog is gentle and protective of its family without being aggressive. It gets along well with other household pets and children, but due to its size must be supervised around them, as it might unintentionally harm them. They are usually quiet and laid back dogs that love children, but can be stubborn at times. The owners must establish themselves as the leaders and provide firm yet kind training. This breed must have early socialization.

Health

This breed tends to suffer from many diseases and breathing problems. Some of these are:

Aortic Stenosis/Subaortic Stenosis, which is an inherited heart disease in which the aorta narrows below the aortic valve, causing the heart to work harder, leading fainting and even sudden death.

Ectropion, a rolling out of the eyelid that exposes the eye to infections and can be corrected through surgery.

Cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscles become thin and weak through an enlargement of the heart chambers, causing an abnormally big heart and eventually leading to heart failure. It can be treated.

Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.

Hyperkeratosis, which is a thickening of the footpads, and sometimes the nose.

Care

Despite its short hair, this breed needs quite a lot of maintenance due to the folds on its skin. They need monthly bathing, and their nails trimmed weekly, as well as their ears cleaned and teeth brushed. When not bathed, they should be wiped with a moist towel now and then to keep it clean, and their folds must be regularly checked for any infections. Their joints take time to fully mature, so don’t allow your dog to jump off of high places or run on hard surfaces until it is at least 18 months old. Training should begin early and be done with a firm yet kinds voice and with plenty of positive reinforcement, since they are sensitive dogs. Early socialization is a must with this breed.

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