The Dogue de Bordeaux

Everything you need to know about its origin, character and morphology.


The Bordeaux Mastiff is a strong nerved and yet quiet breed of dog. This can, however, change in an instant, if its owner or home is threatened. It has a very sensitive to such situations and can quickly differentiate between a game and danger. The Bordeaux Mastiff loves to be with people, especially with children. It is a patient and generous dog, always ready for fun. You can see that from the many photographs on the internet – they allow themselves to be dressed up etc.

This has nothing to do with simple-mindedness as the so-called experts often believe, but rather to do with the wonderful character of the Bordeaux Mastiff. By nature the Bordeaux Mastiff is reserved and mistrusting of strangers. It will greet people it knows with such joy that they will never be able to forget. (Note: if your acquaintances or friends should own such a dog, always make sure you wear old clothes when you visit them!).

Particularly with young Bordeaux Mastiffs it can occur that they do not yet know how to control their own strength, and for sheer joy can impetuously jump on your visitors. (Note for the visitors: there must be a rugby club near your home, 2 to 3 hours training, practicing the scrum and then you will be ready for a Bordeaux Mastiff).

The Bordeaux Mastiff and blind obedience could be defined as „worlds apart“. A Bordeaux Mastiff can hear well enough, if it wants, but….it is much too intelligent to blindly obey orders!! If you tell it to do something, it will understand immediately what it should do, but before it follows the order, a Bordeaux Mastiff will reflect, did I like the tone in which that was said or was it said too sharply? Yes, you are reading correctly! A Bordeaux Mastiff likes to be dealt with politely, you will get absolutely nowhere by shouting at it. And why should I follow orders – perhaps because I may be missing something interesting if I don’t obey, or I could continue to just lie here comfortably, so why should I now come to you?

The Bordeaux Mastiff is also a great actor. If it could talk, Gerard Depardieu would have a real rival. It is able to pull the right expression for every occasion. Happy or sad, arrogant or humble: It has the right gesture or expression. For example it climbs onto the sofa and wrongly believes that it will soon be able to fall into a deep sleep and stay on there. If you have the cheek to move the dog off the sofa, you will have to reckon with having a Bordeaux Mastiff lying on the floor sulking for hours. You will see from the resulting expression that it is the hardest done by dog in the whole wide world. And with those large, sad eyes it can unblinkingly stare at you. This unbroken staring is a specificity of the Bordeaux Mastiff. For most other breeds of dog direct eye contact is a provocation or attempt at dominance. If a dog has done something wrong and you catch them, it will always avert its gaze, but not the Bordeaux Mastiff. It will look at you with a look of innocence and act as if it has no idea why you are scolding it.

Every Bordeaux Mastiff has its own character. Whilst one will love to play with a stick (beware, this stick can be as large as a small tree!) another will look on bored. Or if one Bordeaux Mastiff loves water, another will not put one paw in even if you put a favorite treat on a piece of wood and place it 2 meter away from the dog.

In one respect the Bordeaux Mastiff is like any other dog. If you lovingly look after your dog you will have a true and loyal companion, with whom you will have a lot of fun.

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