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The Dogue de Bordeaux is an ancient breed that hails from France. Standing 58–69 centimetres and weighing 125–150 pounds, it is a giant breed with a serious and intimidating expression. However, it is a sweet and loyal breed that can be protective of its family, but it is less aggressive than other guard dogs.
Are you thinking of getting a Dogue de Bordeaux? Here is a brief background of this intimidating yet sweet giant dog.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the ancient breeds that originated in France. There is much speculation when it comes to its ancestry, but one theory is that it is a descendant of the bulldog and mastiff-type dogs that were crossed with local cattle dogs and hounds. Some say that the bull mastiff and the Dogue were developed around the same time.
In 1863, the breed joined the first French dog show in Paris under the name Dogue de Bordeaux. The first breed standard was created in France in 1896. The Dogue almost became extinct between the two World Wars as it is said that Adolf Hitler did his best to eradicate the breed. In fact, after World War II, less than ten breeding pairs were left worldwide. Breed enthusiasts started reviving the breed in the 1960s. From being a breed that had similarities with the cane corso, it learned to adapt as a family companion that got along with other animals. It was recognised by the Kennel Club in 1997 under the Working Group and its numbers are growing.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is a giant dog that stands 58–69 centimetres at the withers and weighs 125–150 pounds. It has a powerful and muscular look, and although it is heavy, it is quite athletic and agile when necessary. This massive dog has an exceptionally large head with a short muzzle. Its skin around the face and neck is loose, which forms deep wrinkles. It has a moderately prominent forehead, small ears that are a bit darker than its coat, small oval eyes, and powerful undershot jaws. It has a serious, imposing, and intimidating expression.
The Dogue has a short, fine coat that is soft to the touch. It has a loose-fitting and thick skin without excessive wrinkles. It has a self-coloured coat, which according to KC standards should be in all shades of fawn, from mahogany to Isabella. Chocolate is considered undesirable, so are the white patches on the head or body. In addition, the breed can have any of the three masks: no mask, black mask, and brown mask.
Thanks to its short coat, it does not have overly demanding grooming needs. It requires weekly brushing to keep shedding under control. It also needs regular wiping of its facial wrinkles to avoid bacteria build-up, as well as its mouth because it drools a lot. Its ears need to be cleaned at least twice a month to avoid wax build-up. Completing its grooming routine are regular tooth brushing, nail trimming, as well as skin inspection for spots and ticks/fleas.
The Dogue de Bordeaux may have an intimidating appearance because of its size and expression, but it is actually a sweet family dog. It is loyal and gentle toward its family, and friendly and warm to everyone it meets. It can be a naturally protective breed, but it is less aggressive compared to other guard dogs. Early socialisation and training are needed for this dog to curb unwanted behavior.
Whilst it is gentle towards family members, this breed is not recommended for families with toddlers because of its giant size. However, interactions with older children still need supervision. The Dogue generally does well with other family pets especially those it grew up with. Its high prey drive will compel it to chase small pets it does not know.
It is a better fit with experienced dog owners that can be the alpha in the household and consistently provide guidance, so it won’t become wilful and uncontrollable. The Dogue is intelligent, but it can have a stubborn streak. This means that whilst it can learn a lot of good things, it can also catch some bad habits.
A typical serving for an adult Dogue de Bordeaux is 4–5 cups of excellent-quality dry dog food per day. Whilst feeding your dog, you have to remember that the amount of food depends on its age, size, build, activity level, and other factors. It can be challenging to feed a giant dog, so to avoid over- or underfeeding it, ask a trusted vet for advice.
Typical calorie needs of an adult Dogue de Bordeaux per day:
Make sure that you choose trusted brands and variants for giant-size dogs designed to support the needs of the Dogue breed. Stay away from food brands that are sold at mass retailers and grocery stores as they are the cheap kinds containing by-products not suitable for human consumption and packed with artificial colourings and flavourings. Since large breeds are prone to bone and joint issues, their food should contain calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin. Highly digestible proteins are also important as this breed is prone to digestive problems.
Large and giant dogs tend to have a shorter life expectancy. A well-cared for Dogue de Bordeaux can live up to ten years. Some of the hereditary health problems that the breed is known to suffer from are bloat, heart problems, skin issues, breathing problems, hip and elbow dysplasia, and hyperthyroidism.
The Dogue may be massive and would thrive on being busy, but it does not have high exercise needs. At least an hour of exercise composed of a few walks and free time at a fenced yard will keep it happy and healthy. Considering its giant size and agility, make sure that the fencing is secure and high enough or you will find yourself chasing after or looking for your Dogue because it has escaped.
Getting a well-bred Dogue de Bordeaux pedigree puppy can cost you at least £700. Since giant breeds have a bigger appetite and require more calories, the Dogue is more expensive to feed, costing about £80 a month. You would also need to buy it some treats and basic dog accessories and equipment such as a lead collar, bed, bowls, and toys. The initial cost for these things can go up to £300.
Just like other animals, your dog may suddenly fall ill or get into an accident. Insuring this large dog costs around £80 to £180 for basic and a lifetime cover, respectively. It may get more expensive if you choose a more comprehensive pet insurance premium.
Veterinary consultation is another expense that you may to factor in. The estimated annual fee for routine checks, vaccinations, annual booster, and spaying or neutering is £1200. On average, the cost to care for a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy is £100 £150 per month depending on the pet insurance cover and premium you choose.
Are you sure the Dogue De Bordeaux is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
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