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DOGUE DE BORDEAUX

As the name suggests, there are records of this breed being known in southern France which date back to the 14th century. Such is the strength of these powerful dogs that they were once used for pulling carts to transport heavy materials, and also for protecting livestock and property. Despite their intimidating size, they are, when trained, gentle giants and this breed is particularly known for being affectionate and gentle with their owners and their families and exhibit great loyalty.

Lifespan

5 to 8 years.

Temperament

Generally quiet, calm and relaxed. Loyal and faithful.

Head and Skull

Skull is wider at the ears than at the eyes, with the upper area of the skull showing slight rounding from side to side. A pronounced stop forms almost a right angle with the muzzle. A noticeable median groove begins to lessen towards the back of the skull. Fine wrinkles on each side of the median groove. Strong muscle development exhibits prominent cheeks.

 

Eyes

Dogs with a black mask will have hazel to darker brown eyes, although dogs with a lighter mask or no mask may have lighter colouration of the eyes. The eyes are oval, show no haw and are set wide apart.

 

Muzzle

The breed shows a powerful, short muzzle with moderate folds. The width will decrease only very slightly towards the tip and when viewed from above will look square. The typical length from nose to stop will be between a quarter and a third of the head length. Nostrils should be well opened and broad with mask colour matching pigmentation. The chin should have good definition without overlapping the upper flew too much. Upper flew is thick and pendulous with a rounded lower line.

 

Ears

Ears are rather small and carry darker colouring than the coat. The ears should fall forward but not be seen to hang limply. When the dog is alert, the front edge of the ear stays close to the cheek. Slight rounding to the tips, not going beyond the eyes. High set matching the level of the skull’s upper line, and the base of the ear is slightly raised.

 

Neck

The skin on the neck should be loose and supple, with the neck itself being solid, strong and well-muscled. A well-defined dewlap starts at the throat with folds to the forechest. The broad base of the neck should merge smoothly into the shoulder.  

 

Forequarters

Forelegs should be very well muscled and straight in accordance to the wide chest. Shoulders are well laid and withers showing good definition. Pasterns strong with a slight slope.

 

Hindquarters

The loin should broad, solid and short. With back legs noticeably strong and well-muscled. Stifles well angulated. Low set hocks and a broad loin.

 

Body

The chest should be powerful, deep and broad, let down below the elbows. Chest depth is slightly more than half of the dog’s height at the withers. Broad and muscular back, straight topline. Body length exceeds the height at the withers. Underline tucked up slightly.

 

Feet

The hind feet are slightly more elongated than the forefeet, all feet will be strong with well developed pads and tight toes.

 

Tail

The tip is preferred to reach the hock and is noticeably thick at the base. When the dog is moving it will be raised without curving over the back or curling. Preferably no kinks.

 

Gait

Despite their size, the movement should be free and supple. Good momentum from the hindquarters matched by good extension of the forelegs. When moving faster, the head will be carried lower.

 

Coat

Although the skin is naturally thick and loose, there should not be excessive wrinkling. The coat is soft to the touch with fine, short hair.

 

Colour

All shades of fawn ranging from Isabella to mahogany, with good pigmentation. White patches on chest and limbs, preferably not on head or body.

 

Mask colours are black with the mask not extending above the eyes. Ears, neck and skull may have slight black shading. Nose is black. When mask is brown the nose and eye rims are brown. If no mask then coat is fawn, skin appears red and nose may be similar.

 

Size

For males the ideal shoulder height is between 60 and 68 centimetres (24 inches to 27 inches), and for females 58 to 66cm (23 to 35 inches). Weight for males is minimum 50 kilos, females minimum 45 kilos.

Faults

The foregoing is a description of the ideal Dogue de Bordeaux. Any deviation can be penalized in direct proportion to the extent of that deviation. Extreme deviation in any part can be penalized to the extent that the dog is effectively eliminated from a competition.

Disqualifications

  • Mouth should not be undershot; wry jaw.

  • A tail that is atrophied or knotted, and laterally deviated or twisted.

  • White in any other location other than what is listed above or any coat colour other than shades of fawn on the head or body, or any coat colour other than shades of fawn.