Dogue de Bordeaux

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Typically a concavilinear brachycephalic molossoid. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a very powerful dog, with a very muscular body, but keeping a harmonious whole. It is built closer to the ground; the height from the sternum to the ground is slightly less than the depth of the chest. Mischievous, athletic and imposing, he has a very deterring appearance.

Personality:  Powerful and muscular.

Energy Level : Moderately active.

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Seasonal.


Life Expectancy : 5 - 8  years old.

Bark level:  Bark when necessary.


The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the oldest French dogs, probably descended from the Alans and, in particular, from the boar hunting dogue about which Gaston Phébus (or Fébus) Count of Foix said, in the 14th century, in his “Book Hunting", which: "he has the stronger bite than three hares put together". The word “dogue” appears at the end of the 14th century. In the mid-19th century, these ancient dane were not recognized anywhere other than Aquitaine. They were used in hunting large animals (wild boar), in combat (often coded), in guarding houses and livestock, and in the service of butchers. In 1863, the first French dog show took place in Paris at the “Jardin d'Acclimatation”. The Dogues de Bordeaux participated under their current name. There were different types: Toulouse type, Paris type and Bordeaux type, which is the origin of the current Dogue. The breed that had suffered greatly during the two world wars, to the point of being threatened with extinction after the second war, resumed its development in the 1960s.

Country of Origin: France.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  An old fighting dog, the Dogue de Bordeaux, cut out for guarding, who takes on with attention and great courage, but without aggression. Good companion, very attached to its owner and very affectionate. Calm, balanced, with high stimulus threshold. The male usually has a dominant character.

HEAD:  Seen from the front or from above, it is quite voluminous, angular, wide, rather short, with a trapezoidal appearance. The upper lines of the skull and the one that comes out of the nasal bridge are converging (forward). The head is furrowed with symmetrical wrinkles on either side of the median sulcus. These deep, symmetrical wrinkles are mobile depending on whether the dog is attentive or not. The wrinkle that runs from the inner corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth is typical. If present, the wrinkle that runs from the outer corner of the eye to each corner of the mouth or dewlap should be discreet.


• In males: The cranial circumference, taken at the point of greatest width, corresponds approximately to the height at the withers.

• In females: May be slightly smaller.


The volume and shape are the consequences of the important development of the temporal bones, the supraorbital and zygomatic arcades and the spacing of the sides of the mandible. The upper region of the skull is slightly convex from side to side. The deep frontal sulcus attenuates towards the posterior end of the head. The forehead dominates the face, but does not stand out from it. However, it is still wider than it is tall.




Nose: Large, with well-opened nostrils, well pigmented according to the color of the mask. Upturned nose is allowed, but not turned backwards, towards the eyes.


Muzzle: Powerful, broad, voluminous, but not pasty (fleshy) under the eyes; rather short, topline slightly concave, with finely marked wrinkles.  The width decreases slightly towards the tip of the snout which, seen from above, has a general square shape. In relation to the upper region of the skull, the line of the muzzle forms a very obtuse angle upwards. When the head is horizontal, the tip of the muzzle, broad at the root, voluminous and truncated, is in front of a vertical, tangent to the anterior line of the nose. The perimeter of the muzzle is almost two-thirds of that of the head. Its length varies between a third and a minimum of a quarter of the total length of the head, from the nose to the occipital protuberance. The established limits (maximum of one third and minimum of one quarter of the total length of the head) are allowed, but not sought, with the ideal length of the muzzle being between these two extremes.


Jaws and Teeth: Powerful and wide. The dog is undershot (undershot is a characteristic of the breed). The posterior surface of the mandibular incisors is forward and out of contact with the anterior surface of the maxillary incisors. The jaw curves upwards. The chin is well defined and should not go too far beyond the upper lip, nor be covered by it. Strong teeth, particularly the canines. The lower canines are spaced apart and slightly curved. Well-aligned incisors, especially the lower ones, which are arranged in an apparently straight line.

Lips: The upper lips are thick, moderately pendulous and retractable. Viewed in profile, they have a rounded bottom line. Laterally cover the mandible. In front, the edge of the upper lip remains in contact with the lower lip, then descends on each side forming an inverted, open “V”.


Cheeks: Protruding, due to a very strong muscular development.

Eyes: Oval, widely spaced, at a distance between the medial corners equivalent to twice the distance between the inner and outer edges of the same eye (palpebral opening). Frank look. The conjunctiva should not be apparent. Color, from hazelnut to dark brown, for specimens with a dark mask. In those with a red or no mask, a lighter shade is tolerated, but not sought.


Ears: Relatively small, slightly darker in color than the coat color. On the whole, the front of the base of the ear is slightly raised. They should fall, but not hang and limp. The anterior edge is close to the cheek when the dog is attentive. The end is slightly rounded; its size cannot exceed the eye. Set on quite high, so that, seen from the front, the crease line appears to continue the contour line of the skull, giving it the impression of being even wider.


NECK: Very strong, muscular, almost cylindrical. Throat with plenty of skin, loose and elastic. The average circumference is almost equal to that of the skull. the neck is  separated from the head by a transverse groove, slightly accentuated and curved. Its upper edge is slightly convex. It is very wide at the base, merging at the insertion with the shoulders. Well-defined dewlap starts at the throat, making folds that go up to the chest, without hanging too much.




Top row: Well supported


Withers: Well marked. Back: Broad and muscular.


Loin: Long. Quite short and compact.


Croup: Moderately sloping towards the root of the tail.


Chest: Powerful, broad, long, deep, reaching below the elbows. Chest equally broad and powerful and, viewed from the front, its underline (between the armpits) is convex down to the body. Deep, well-rounded ribs, not barrel-shaped. The thoracic perimeter is 25 to 30 cm greater than the height at the withers.


Bottom line: Curved from deep chest to retracted belly; firm abdomen, neither drooping nor too tucked up.


TAIL: Very thick at the root. The point preferably reaching the level of the hocks, without exceeding them. Carried low, not broken, or knotty, but flexible. Hanging tail when at rest, generally rising from 90° to 120° from this position when the dog is in action, without bending over the back or curling up.




FOREQUARTERS: Strong bone. Very muscular limbs.


Shoulders: Powerful, with evident muscular relief. Average inclination of the scapula (around 45° with the horizontal). Scapulohumeral angulation slightly greater than 90°.


Arms: Very muscular.  


Elbows: Working, well fitted, not too close to the chest and properly directed forward.


Forearms: Seen from the front, straight or slightly inclined inwards to approach the medium plane, especially in specimens whose chest is very broad. Profile views, vertical.


Metacarpals: Powerful. In profile, slightly inclined. Viewed from the front, sometimes turned slightly outward to compensate for the slight inward bend of the forearm.


Feet: Strong, compact, curved and strong nails, well-developed and flexible plantar pads; the dague is well positioned on its toes despite its weight.


HINDQUARTERS: Robust limbs, well angulated with robust bone. Viewed from behind, the limbs are parallel and vertical, revealing power, despite the hindquarters being less wide than the forelegs.


Thigh: Very developed and thick, with visible muscles.


Knees: Working in a vertical plane, parallel to the median plane or very slightly turned out.


Legs: Relatively short, muscular, close to the ground.

Hocks: Short, strong, moderately angulated. Legs: A little longer than the previous ones, compact digits.


  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Quite springy for a molossus. When walking, it has wide and flexible movement close to the ground. Good propulsion of the hindquarters, good amplitude of the forequarters, especially in the trot, which is the preferred gait. With the acceleration of the trot, the head tends to go down; the topline tends to ascend towards the croup; the forefeet tend to approach the midplane, reaching for the ground well ahead. The short canter (“canter”) with very important vertical movement. Capable of great speed over short distances, running low to the ground.


SKIN: Thick and sufficiently loose, without excessive wrinkles.


  • COAT


Hair: Short, fine and soft to the touch.


COLOR: Unicolor, in all fawn ranges, from cashew to isabela. Good pigmentation should be sought. Small white patches are admitted on the chest and on the extremities of the limbs.


  • MASK


Black Mask: The mask is not very extensive and should not invade the cranial region. There may be slight shading on the skull, ears, neck and upper body. The truffle is black.

Brown Mask: (formerly known as red or bistre): The nose is brown, as is the rim of the eyelids and the edge of the lips. There may be a non-invasive brown shading; each hair showing a tawny or sandy part, and a brown part. In this case, the leaning parts of the body have a paler color.
No Mask: The fur is fawn; the skin appears red (formerly known as a “red mask”). In this case, the truffle can then be reddish or pink.


SIZE:  The height should correspond approximately to the circumference of the head. Height at the withers: Males: 60 cm to 68 cm. Females: 58 cm to 66 cm. 1cm down and 2cm up will be tolerated.


WEIGHT:  Males: minimum of 50 kilos. Females: minimum of 45 kilos, with characteristics identical to males, but less pronounced.

Snout:  The length from the stop to the nose should be slightly shorter than the length from the stop to the occiput.  

Truffle:  black.

Jaws and Teeth:  Scissor bite with strong jaws and teeth.

Lips: Close-fitting.


Eyes: Dark and small, almond-shaped, and the eyelids should be close. They must not be prominent.  

Ears : Dropped or in buttons.

NECK :  Long neck, strong and without bardelas.


Top Row: Level.

Straight  and well developed.

Chest:  Deeper than wide, with good ground clearance, allowing the tip of the sternum to be located midway between the ground and the withers. Ribs well sprung from the spine, flattening at the sides so that the girth behind the elbows can be measured by two hands.

  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well being of the dog.  



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.