Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Dogues de Bordeaux: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Dogue de Bordeaux temperament, personality, and behavior.

dogue de bordeaux topics

Dogue de Bordeaux dog breed

Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013

The Dogue de Bordeaux is quiet, calm, and relaxed -- until aroused. Don't be lulled by his bulk. He can be surprisingly athletic and agile when necessary.

This is not an apartment dog. To stay fit, he needs some space and moderate daily exercise. But more than anything else, he requires personal interaction.

Picture that massive body trying to settle itself onto your lap and an enormous tongue swiping across your face. Dogues love to be an integral part of your family.

Dogue de Bordeaux puppies should be friendly and trusting, and with proper socialization, become reserved and discriminating as they mature. As with all mastiffs, socialization is an absolute requirement to avoid either aggression or shyness.

Animal aggression can be a problem; most Dogues will not start fights, but they will surely finish them.

This stubborn breed is inclined to do things his own way, but he will respond to early, consistent training that includes firm leadership, cheerful praise, and food rewards.

The Dogue de Bordeaux has an astonishing talent for snoring, sliming, and drooling. Slobber towels should be high on your list of canine accessories.


If you want a dog who...

  • Is massive and powerful
  • Has a sleek easy-care coat
  • Is calm and quiet indoors (as an adult)
  • Needs only moderate exercise
  • Makes an imposing watchdog, being serious and self-assured with strangers, yet generally mild-mannered unless aroused

A Dogue de Bordeaux may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • A huge dog who takes up a lot of space in your house and car
  • A heavy dog who wants to sit on your feet and lean against your leg
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping when young
  • Destructiveness when bored or left alone too much
  • Aggression or fearfulness toward people in some lines, or when not socialized enough
  • Aggression toward other animals
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Snuffling, wheezing, grunting, loud snoring
  • Slobbering and drooling
  • Gassiness (flatulence)
  • Serious health problems and a short lifespan
  • Legal liabilities (public perception, future breed bans, insurance problems, increased chance of lawsuits)

A Dogue de Bordeaux may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy


More traits and characteristics of the Dogue de Bordeaux

If I was considering a Dogue de Bordeaux, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Providing the proper balance of exercise. Young Dogues need enough exercise to keep them lean and healthy, but not so much that their soft growing bones, joints, and ligaments become over-stressed and damaged. Adult Dogues need more exercise to keep them in shape, but not in hot or humid weather for fear of overheating. The proper amount of exercise can be difficult to regulate in giant breeds.

    Since you have to minimize their exercise, young Dogues can be very rambunctious. They will romp with uncoordinated gawkiness all over your house. You need to substitute extra quantities of companionship and supervision. Otherwise, left alone, young Dogues de Bordeaux become bored and destructive -- and their powerful jaws can literally destroy your living room.

  2. Providing enough socialization. Most Dogues have protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone, which could lead to biting. Some Dogues go in the opposite direction -- without enough socialization, they become fearful of strangers, which can lead to defensive biting.

  3. Animal aggression. Many Dogues will not tolerate another dog of the same sex, and some won't tolerate the opposite sex either. Some Dogues have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling, or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or killing other animals.

  4. The strong temperament. Dogues de Bordeaux are not Golden Retrievers. They have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. Some Dogues are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    To teach your mastiff to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Dogue de Bordeaux Training Page discusses the program you need.

  5. Dogue de Bordeaux sounds. Because of the short face, the Dogue de Bordeaux grunts and snuffles, and snores loudly. The sounds are endearing to some people; nerve-wracking to others.

  6. Slobbering. Most people are not prepared for how much the Dogue de Bordeaux slobbers and drools, especially after eating or drinking. When they shake their heads, you will be toweling saliva and slime off your clothes, furniture, and walls.

  7. Gassiness (flatulence) that can send you running for cover. Fortunately, Dogues who are fed a natural diet of real meat and other fresh foods have much less trouble with gassiness. See my Dogue de Bordeaux Health Page for more information.

  8. Serious health problems. The lifespan of a Dogue de Bordeaux is short and an alarming number are crippled by bone and joint diseases and/or succumb to cancer in middle age.

    To keep this breed healthy, I strongly recommend following all of the advice on my Dogue de Bordeaux Health Page.

  9. Legal liabilities. The Dogue de Bordeaux may be targeted for "banning" in certain areas, or refusal of homeowner insurance policies. Your friends and neighbors may be uncomfortable around this breed. In this day and age, the legal liabilities of owning any breed that looks intimidating and has a history as a guard dog should be seriously considered. People are quicker to sue if such a dog does anything even remotely questionable.



book cover To learn more about training Dogues de Bordeaux to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Dogue de Bordeaux the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.



book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Dogue de Bordeaux. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.


If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Dogue de Bordeaux might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.


book cover Once you have your Dogue de Bordeaux home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.



Please consider adopting an ADULT Dogue de Bordeaux...

When you're acquiring a Dogue de Bordeaux PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Dogues de Bordeaux who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter

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