Bordeaux Mastiff / French Mastiff / Dogue de Bordeaux
Dogue de Bordeauxs are among a group of breeds classed as ‘Category Three’ by The Kennel Club. These are breeds of dog that have been highlighted as having visible conditions or conformational issues that can cause pain, discomfort or health issues due to exaggerations. This means that these breeds of dog have been bred over many years to look a certain way but that these changes to the way they look have started to cause them health problems.
Dogue de Bordeauxs are a member of the ‘Working’ breed group. Working breed dogs were bred to become guard and search and rescue dogs. Breeds in this group are specialists in their work.
Dogue de Bordeauxs are devoted, affectionate and playful. They’ll need early socialization and training to ensure they get along with dogs and other household pets, and they can be quite stubborn, so training can sometimes be a challenge. To find out more about socialization and training using reward-based techniques, take a look at our dog behavior page.
A weekly brush with the Deluxe high-Quality Pet Fur Shedder Master is usually enough to keep the coat in good condition, but their facial wrinkles and eyes should be bathed daily.
Breed-related health problems:
Although some of these health problems are manageable, it’s been identified that it’s in the best interests of the dog to try and selectively breed to decrease the characteristics which cause health problems. Some of the characteristics and associated health problems you’ll want to know more about in relation to Dogue de Bordeauxs include:
- Joint disorders – such as elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia – occur when joints don’t develop correctly and cause degenerative joint disease bone and joint problems can be managed but there are schemes to screen your dog and see how likely it is that they will suffer from these joint problems.
- Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) – occurs in large, deep-chested breeds such as Dogue de Bordeaux. The stomach fills with gas (bloat) and can twist around on itself. This most commonly occurs after they have eaten. If your dog shows any signs of bloating, vomiting unproductively (trying to be sick but nothing being produced) or if you are worried they could be bloated you should speak to your vet straight away – this condition requires urgent veterinary attention.
- Hypothyroidism – is generally caused by an autoimmune thyroiditis causing low circulating levels of thyroid hormone. Dogue de Bordeaux can be more prone to this condition but it can normally be managed with medication.
- Eyelid problems – such as entropion and ectropion – occur in Dogue de Bordeaux due to excessive skin over the face and eyes. This skin causes the eyelids to droop either downwards, or in towards the eye, where the skin rubs and irritates the eye, causing problems.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy – is a degeneration of the muscles of the heart meaning the heart wall becomes thinner and less effective at pumping blood around the body. The onset can be sudden so if your Dogue de Bordeaux shows any signs of respiratory distress or exercise intolerance you should contact your vet.
- Skin infections – Dogue de Bordeauxs have lots of extra skin, especially over their faces, which folds over and when bacteria build up in the folds it causes skin fold pyoderma.
For more information about these and other health problems, you can speak to your vet or visit the kennel club or the Northern DDB Club.
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
They’ll need up to an hour of exercise per day, but don’t tolerate heat well so this should always be considered when taking for walks in the summer months. During this time, we’d recommend early morning or late evening walks – before 8am or after 5pm is best.