The most ancient of French dog breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux (“Mastiff of Bordeaux”) was around even before France was France. The ancient history of the Dogue de Bordeaux is shrouded in mystery. Some believe the dog breed to be an ancestor to the Bullmastiff; others believe the breed predates the Bullmastiff and the Bulldog; there are even some that believe that the Bulldog was a foundation stock to the Dogue. However, what the American Kennel Club (AKC) says is undisputable is the fact that the Dogue de Bordeaux shares the same common links as all modern molossers, descendants of the Molossus, a dog that lived around the time of 700 BC.
The Dogue de Bordeaux was once classified into three varieties: the Parisian, Toulouse and Bordeaux. This classification was based on region of France and their primary jobs, including a guard dog, hunting dog or a fighter. The breed was especially prized as a guard dog, protecting the homes of France’s wealthy people. However, this was also a setback for the breed as many perished with their wealthy masters during the French Revolution. The dog breed also encountered another setback when Adolph Hitler was said to have demanded that all Dogues de Bordeaux be executed during World War II because out their devout loyalty to their owners.
A group of Dogue de Bordeaux breeders in France, headed by Raymond Triquet, worked on rebuilding the foundation of the dog breed during the 19602. In 1970 a breed standard was written for the breed, which was later updated in 1995. This standard was the basis for the AKC standard written in 2005. The Dogue de Bordeax today is formally recognized by the United Kennel Club, Fédération Cynologique Internationale, Canadian Kennel Club, and various other dog breed organizations.
HEALTH & LONGEVITY
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
Like any giant breed with a short muzzle, the Dogue de Bordeaux has its fair share of health problems. The limited gene pool for the breed creates a dog susceptible to temperature extremes, heart diseases such as dilated cardiomyopathy, Gastric Dilation & Volvulus (BLOAT), hip dysplasia, and skin allergies.
Not all of these conditions are detectable in a growing puppy, and it is impossible to predict whether an animal will be free of these maladies, which is why you must find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible. They should be able to produce independent certification that the parents of the dog (and grandparents, etc.) have been screened for common defects and deemed healthy for breeding. Our standards are set high. No one can guarantee a perfectly healthy dog. Genetics are very tricky and flukes happen.
The lifespan of the Dogue de Bordeaux is on average 8-10 years old. When you do your due diligence and select a breeder who has invested the time in researching pedigrees, health testing breeding stock, and following guidelines to breed for a better future of the ddb you have the best advantage of keeping your fur baby with you for years to come.