Also referred to as the French Mastiff or Bordeaux Bulldog, the Dogue de Bordeaux (pronounced "dohg day bor-doe") is a powerful mastiff-type breed that originated in the Bordeaux region of France and was bred to be used as a hunter, dogfighter, and guardian of family property. It is believed that they descended from the Roman Molossus, an ancient dog from Southern Europe, in the 14th century and are related to the Bullmastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, and other similar breeds. Originally, the Dogue de Bordeaux came in several colors, but from the result of French countrymen attempting to "purify" the breed, these massive dogs are only seen in shades of fawn. As a result of the French Revolution and a decreased need for the French Mastiff, they almost went extinct but due to the efforts of Professor Raymond Triquet, they were revived and saw work as livestock drivers, earning the name "Butcher's Dog." After being imported to the United States in 1959, the Bordeaux gained widespread recognition for an appearance in the 1989 film Turner and Hooch starring Tom Hanks and Beasley, a male Dogue de Bordeaux.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is a very large, powerful, well-balanced breed that can weigh up to 110 pounds. Characterized by their massive head, wrinkly face, and muscular body, these mastiffs look very imposing, a great trait to have as a guardian. The breed has a short and soft coat that can be seen in all shades of fawn, ranging from dark red fawn to light fawn. French Mastiffs have a large, broad head that features a Bulldog-like undershot jaw, wrinkly appearance, hazel to dark brown colored eyes, and ears that are small in proportion to the size of the head. The Dogue de Bordeaux's tail is thick at the base and carried low.
Known for their courage, Dogue de Bordeaux are great at being a family guardian and an equally great companion. Even though these mastiffs are known for being protectors, they can be quite even-tempered and relaxed in the home. These dogs love human companionship and are not to be kept outside and forgotten, so expect them to cuddle up to you on the bed or couch. Everyone can appreciate the loyalty of the Dogue de Bordeaux but they can be stubborn, dominant, and not an easy dog to live with if strong leadership is not expressed. Without proper training and extensive socialization, they can become impossible to handle by an inexperienced owner and intolerant of other animals. Remember, the Bordeaux is commonly seen as a companion and show dog nowadays, but they do have a fighting history and can be aggressive towards dogs of the same sex, especially between two males. These giants are not very active and are completely satisfied laying around the house but short walks and long romps in the yard are enjoyed. Toward children, French Mastiffs are tolerant, patient, and unlike many larger breeds, they are not considered to be overly rambunctious but small children should always be supervised. Even though the Dogue de Bordeaux can seem imposing, their calm and gentle temperament has made headway into people's hearts and homes.