The French colossus
Original Name : Dogue de Bordeaux
Type : Molossoid
Other Names : Bordeaux, Mastiff
Male size : 23½- 27 inches at the withers (lower tolerance 1/3 inch, upper tolerance 2/3 inch)
Male weight : At least 110 lbs
Female size : 23-26 inches at the withers (lower tolerance 1/3 inch, upper tolerance 2/3 inch)
Female weight : At least 99 lbs
Degree of grooming :
Countries of origin : France
As members of a typical brachycephalic molossoid breed, these are very powerful dogs with highly muscular, but properly proportioned bodies. They are quite close to the ground, as the height of the lowest point of the chest is slightly less than the depth of the chest. They are also very imposing, thanks to their stocky, athletic build.
In males, the perimeter of the skull at its greatest width is roughly equal to the height at the withers.
Measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks, longer than the height at the withers (ratio 11/10).
Self-colored, in all shades of fawn, from red to light.
Relatively small and falling, a little darker than the coat color.
Very thick at the root, preferably reaching to the hock but no farther.
Fine, short and soft to the touch.
The breed is one of the oldest in France, most likely descended from Alans, particularly the Alan vautre described by Gaston Phébus, Count of Foix in the 14th century, as holding “its bite more strongly than three sighthounds”.As late as the mid 19th century, these dogs were scarcely known outside of Aquitaine, where they were used for hunting large game (wild boar), fighting (often to rules) and guarding homes and livestock. They were also employed by butchers. The first dog show in France was held in Paris in 1863 and it featured dogs under the present name of Dogue de Bordeaux, although there have been various types named after the French cities Toulouse, Paris and Bordeaux. The present breed is descended from the Bordeaux.
Did you know ?
The breed suffered greatly during both world wars, to the point of almost dying out after World War II. Recovery did not occur until the 1960’s. Nowadays, there are three distinct varieties: the black mask, the brown (formerly red or bistre) mask and the no mask variety, with a fawn coat and reddish or pink nose.