Dogue de Bordeaux dog breed

Buying or Adopting a Dogue de Bordeaux

Also known as French Mastiff. By Michele Welton

Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog

Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs

Is a Dogue de Bordeaux the right breed for you?

Dogues de Bordeaux: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Dogue de Bordeaux Health Problems

Are YOU right for a Dogue de Bordeaux?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No other dogs in the household
  • No cats in the household
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Dogue de Bordeaux stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (tracking, schutzhund, carting, weight pulling); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Dogues de Bordeaux are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with lots of slobbering
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Dogue de Bordeaux to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior or aggression
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Dogue de Bordeaux, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Dogue de Bordeaux?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?

Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Dogue de Bordeaux be?

Where can you buy or adopt a Dogue de Bordeaux?

The Dogue de Bordeaux is moderately common in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, the Dogue de Bordeaux ranks 63rd.

Unfortunately, their popularity is largely based on their unusual appearance and perhaps the movie Turner and Hootch, which starred a Dogue de Bordeaux. That's a real shame, because most people who acquire this breed with unrealistic expectations find them very challenging to live with.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
You might find a Dogue de Bordeaux available from a Dog Rescue group. Dogues may be turned over to Rescue because they require so much space, so much food, and so much clean-up, not to mention the slobbering.

Other owners give up their Dogue de Bordeaux when it becomes apparent that the dog is too much for them to handle. There may be dominance issues, or aggression toward other animals. You would need to provide these dogs with the exercise, training, and socialization that they are lacking.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Dogues are sometimes found here. But Dogue rescue groups do keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country, and if a Dogue de Bordeaux turns up at a shelter, the rescue group does try to move the dog into their rescue network.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Dogue de Bordeaux from a show breeder, who breeds Dogues to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy a Dogue de Bordeaux from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal elbows
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or a report from a veterinary cardiologist – dated within the past year – certifying that the dog has had an Advanced Cardiac Exam and has a normal heart

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Dogue de Bordeaux ends up with hip dysplasia and heart disease.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
The Dogue de Bordeaux is sometimes found in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!

Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Dogue de Bordeaux Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Dogue de Bordeaux puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.

Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Dogue de Bordeaux puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book cover My dog training book for adult dogs is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do what you say.

book cover Do the 11 Things in my dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, and your dog will live a longer, healthier life and seldom need to visit the vet.

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 good-tempered, healthy family companion.