Dogue de Bordeaux

  • Overview

    Despite their squat carriage, Dogues de Bordeaux are actually larger than they appear. Their massive heads tend to dwarf their bodies and make them seem smaller in comparison, but really, these dogs should stand between 23 and 27 inches and weigh at least 99 pounds. The majority of their girth should come from their width. In fact, the width of their head at the widest point is just about equal to their height at the shoulder. Their muscular body and sinewy legs make them strong, effective working dogs.

    Dogues de Bordeaux are a rare breed with an unmistakable appearance. They are not always ideal family dogs — they require quite a bit of dominance and consistence in training and some of their protective instincts are impossible to suppress.

  • Personality

    Dogues de Bordeaux are protective by nature. Even though they were bred to bait and fight other dogs, they should be relatively even-tempered without displaying aggression. Their serious, frowning faces make them look much more menacing than they actually are. Their jaws are undershot and their faces are flat, which means they are slightly brachycephalic.

    Dogues de Bordeaux are sweet and docile with their family, to whom they are extremely loyal. Most of their original ferociousness has been bred out of them. These powerful dogs were bred to be fearless protectors, and some territorial tendencies persist, especially around other dogs. They walk with their noses up, so it's no surprise that they can be a little arrogant, especially in training. These proud pooches might choose not to respond to commands with which they don't agree, so their owners will quickly need to establish themselves as the dominant force in the household if they want to help their Dogue de Bordeaux reach his potential.

  • Coat Care

    Their coats are short and fine. Dogues de Bordeaux should always be seen in shades of fawn ranging from auburn to a solid mahogany. Most dogs have a red or brown mask around their face, and some have small white patches on their chests. The skin on the neck is loose and the face folds into the Dogue's characteristic wrinkles, which gives him his sour puss expression.

Dogue de Bordeaux
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Lightly brushing the coat with a rubber brush or grooming mitt every few days will help keep shedding to a minimum.

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Dogues de Bordeaux can develop a dog odor if they are not bathed about once every two weeks. Make sure to pay special attention to the wrinkles on their face and their ears, because these areas are especially prone to infection.

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Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with smooth coats generally only require trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth using a trimmer or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove any tangles and mats. Don't forget to trim around the paws, pads, tail, chest and sanitary areas, as needed. The coat should lay flat and smooth against the body when finished.

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Dogues de Bordeaux need to have their toenails clipped routinely to avoid developmental problems and discomfort while walking.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some smooth-coated dogs, like Basenjis and Boxers, and dogs with large ears, like Weimaraners and Great Danes, have sensitive ears that should be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Italian Greyhound, take special care to clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, should have their faces wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.