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Meet the breed: Dogue de Bordeaux

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle is the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for a strong and excellent guard dog that does well in a family setting, learn everything you need to know about the Dogue de Bordeaux.

Breed at a glance

  • Smart
  • Courageous
  • Loyal
  • Great guard dog
  • Family oriented

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Famously known as the dog that played Hooch alongside Tom Hanks in the movie Turner and Hooch, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a French breed whose name means Mastiff of Bordeaux. Also referred to as the French Mastiff, this very tough dog was bred as a protector, hunter and fighter. Meant to fight animals such as bears, jaguars and bulls, the Dogue de Bordeaux makes for an excellent guard dog. Regardless of its tough exterior, this is an excellent dog for a family.

Photo gallery

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Working Group
  • UKC group: Guardian Dog Group
  • Average lifespan: 8 – 10 years
  • Average size: 120 – 145 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Short and fine
  • Coloration: Fawn or mahogany with black or red masking
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Powerful, muscular body with thick skin; wrinkled face; hazel to brown eyes; muscular legs; and thick tail
  • Possible alterations: May have white markings on the body.

Is this breed right for you?

Extremely family-friendly, the Dogue de Bordeaux has a much tougher exterior than it does demeanor. Calm and content, the dog will only be aggressive if its home feels threatened or if it is not socialized with other animals as a puppy. Requiring training and a good leader, this breed will become rough out of instinct if not taught how to behave properly. Relatively calm indoors, it will do OK with apartment life but will need regular exercise. A loud snorer and big drooler, the Dogue de Bordeaux is prone to many health problems, including epilepsy, heart problems and hip dysplasia.

breed characteristics

A dream day-in-the-life

This affectionate breed will likely wake up in one of its family member’s room, although it will probably spend most of the night ensuring the home is safe from any harm. Enjoying a long walk, it’ll settle in close to the ones that it loves. A calm and easygoing dog, the Dogue de Bordeaux will enjoy occasional rubdowns and play sessions while it keeps alert for anything out of the ordinary outside of the home.

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