Ten things you need to know about the Dogue de Bordeaux before you buy one
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Ten things you need to know about the Dogue de Bordeaux before you buy one

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a breed that first came to prominence in the UK as a result of the 1980s film Turner and Hooch, in which the titular Hooch was a dog of the breed. Up until this point, the breed (also sometimes known as the French Mastiff) was virtually unheard of in the UK, but they are a relatively common sight today in the dog parks and on the streets up and down the country.

The Dogue de Bordeaux’s sulky-looking face, stocky build and loyal temperament appeals to a great many different types of dog lovers, and as the 36th most popular dog type in the UK overall, thousands of people every year choose a Dogue de Bordeaux as their new companion.

However, this is something of a complex breed that isn’t a good fit for everyone, and if you are considering buying a Dogue de Bordeaux, it is vital to do plenty of research first so that you know what you’re getting in to.

With this in mind, this article will tell you ten things you need to know about the Doue de Bordeaux dog breed, before you buy one of your own. Read on to learn more.

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a giant breed

First of all, mastiffs of all types are very big dogs in virtually all regards, and the Dogue de Bordeaux is no exception. This is in fact one of the biggest dog breeds of all and they fall firmly within the giant size spectrum, with average weights of up to around 70kg and heights up to around 70cm tall at the withers.

They’re also very heavily muscled dogs and very distinctive looking, with their bright burnished orange coats and sulky-looking faces.

They’re hugely strong, and can be dominant

As you might expect from a giant and very muscular dog breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux is very physically strong, and could easily pull a person off their feet on the lead or knock them over without breaking stride.

Dogs of the breed can also be rather dominant if incorrectly trained or managed, and so it is vitally important to take the right approach to controlling the dog, channelling their energies in positive directions, and teaching them to be respectful and well mannered.

They’re not the smartest of breeds

The Dogue de Bordeaux isn’t at the top of the canine intelligence list, and it can take quite some time for them to learn new commands and for things they learn to sink in.

They cannot learn and retain a huge range of commands and so you should choose the ones that you do teach them carefully to ensure that they’re appropriately useful, and prepare to be patient and consistent over training.

Their lifespans are shorter than average

One particular point to note about the Dogue de Bordeaux breed is that they have one of the shortest average lifespans of any breed, being just 5-8 years. Whilst Dogue de Bordeaux breeders and breed clubs are working hard to improve the breed’s health and increase their average longevity, prospective Dogue buyers should be prepared for the fact that their dog probably won’t live for as long as you would normally expect.

They are excellent and vigilant guard dogs

One area in which the Dogue de Bordeaux excels is as a guard dog; they are naturally very territorial and protective over their homes and gardens, and will soon bark and make a lot of fuss to alert you of something wrong, something new, or someone that shouldn’t be around!

Their boldness, bravery and physical appearance also means that they serve as a very highly effective deterrent to anyone who might be up to no good, but you must be very careful to ensure that anyone who comes to your door on legitimate business like the postman or a visitor is safe and not at risk from an overenthusiastic Dogue on guard!

They’re hugely loyal and protective of their families

Dogues are also highly protective over their human families, and when they have bonded with you, they will trust you and look to you for direction. They have unshakeable loyalty to the people that care for them and earn their respect; but if the dog doesn’t respect you, you will get absolutely nowhere with them!

They can be unpredictable with children they don’t know

The Dogue’s loyalty, affectionate nature and natural protectiveness extends to family children that they have accepted, but they are not one of the best breeds to choose if you have young children as a general rule.

They won’t tolerate any teasing or a lot of noise and messing around, and can be unpredictable with children, and almost always dominant over them.

They take a long time to warm up to people in general

Dogues tend to be lukewarm at best about newcomers, and often, highly suspicious of them. It takes them a long time to warm up to people that they don’t know, and you need to remain consistent and make an effort to get the dog on your side.

However, managing to do so is naturally very rewarding!

They’re very costly to keep

The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the most costly dog breeds to keep in virtually all respects. They tend to cost around £1,000 per dog to buy for pedigree specimens, and as a giant breed, they require the biggest versions of everything, from beds to flea treatments! They also eat a lot of food, and their size and complex health makes them expensive to insure too.

They’re not generally a good choice for first time dog owners

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a giant, strong, dominant and complex dog breed and as such, requires a confident and very experienced owner to get the best out of them and keep them under control.

This means that they’re not generally a good fit for the average first-time dog owner, or someone who is inexperienced with the breed or mastiff types as a whole.

If you've still got your heart set on adopting or buying a Dogue de Bordeaux, then visit our Dogue de Bordeaux puppies for sale section.

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