Dogue de Bordeaux

"The Guardian"

Photo of Dogue de Bordeaux


The history of this breed is a topic of general disagreement, with different theories linking them to different origins from the Bullmastiff, Bulldog, Tibetan Mastiff and maybe even the Neapolitan Mastiff. The name is from the French “dogue” meaning Mastiff. The story goes that the first canine exhibition in the “Jardin d’Acclimatation” in Paris in 1863 was won by a dogue from Bordeaux, earning the breed the name Dogue de Bordeaux. They first came to the USA in the 1890s but were rare until the breed took off in popularity after a Dogue de Bordeaux starred as Tom Hanks’s partner in “Turner and Hooch” in 1989.


Dogues de Bordeaux are calm, patient and extremely loyal. They are vigilant guardians who are fearless and confrontational, yet non-aggressive with strangers. They are gentle with children and family members, but they are big and strong, so owners must be confident and consistent. Dogues de Bordeaux will get very attached to their owners, and being left alone for long periods will break their hearts.


Dogues de Bordeaux are well known for their enormous, very wrinkly heads, with short muzzles, large lips and wide-set eyes. They have short, soft coats in fawn or mahogany, sometimes with white markings on the chest and toes.


The breed is stubborn, and may think long and hard before doing as asked. Training takes a lot of time, patience, calm authority, firmness and consistency. They don’t handle harshness well though - scolding and yelling may hurt their feelings and eventually lead to defiance.

Grooming & Care

Their short, soft coats do shed, so you might find hair stuck in your furniture, carpets and clothing. Brushing once or twice a week can really help cut down on the hair around the house.

Health Concerns

They are a mostly healthy breed, but can be prone to hip dysplasia, luxating patella (dislocated kneecap), epilepsy, heart problems, and a few eye problems.

Famous Dogue de Bordeaux

Hooch of "Turner and Hooch” fame; Carrie encounters one in a café in Paris in an episode of “Sex and the City.”

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 4
Schedule 33
Home 44
Children 50
Experience 51
Quick Facts
Grooming 13
Exercise 60
Challenges The drool! And a heartbreakingly short life expectancy.
Height 23 to 27 inches
Weight 100 to 145 pounds
Life 5 to 7 years
Home Alone 82
With Kids 21
With Strangers 91
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.