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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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French Mastiff


French Mastiff Facts

  • Group
  • Working
  • Affiliations
  • AKC, UKC
  • Height
  • 22.5" - 26.5"
  • Weight
  • 90-100+ lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 10 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Fawn
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Can be trained for defense
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Should sleep indoors
    • Tendency to bite

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Dogue de Bordeaux


This breed was developing in southern France around the city Bordeaux.

Date Of Origin

This breed has existed for hundreds of years, however there weren't set breed standards until 1863.


For centuries, the Bordeaux region of France was ruled by English kings. The large guard dogs of that region were most certainly crossed with mastiff, together with similar dogs from Spain, resulting in this powerful, and at one time ferocious breed. Another theory on how this breed was developed is that it developed from Roman mastiffs. The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of France's oldest dogs and was originally considered three distinct breeds: the Bordeaux, Paris, and Toulouse. It was used by butchers and vintners to protect property, as well as for blood sport entertainment, fighting large animals such as bear, jaguars, and wild boar. The breed came close to extinction after WW1. The breed was reinvigorated in the 1960's and 1970's and it continues to be used as a guard dog and companion today.The breed was first imported to the U.S. in the 1981's.
In the 1989 the typical American family saw the Dogue de Bordeaux for the first time on the big screen in Touchstone?s movie "Turner and Hooch" about a police man and his canine partner, although many people did not know that the massive slobbering animal was a Dogue de Bordeaux.

Since then the Dogue de Bordeaux has taken hold in the United States and can be found in numbers across the country. The Dogue de Bordeaux has been supported by multiple breed clubs throughout the years, and has finally found security in being assisted by the Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America. Since 1997 the DDBSA has taken the breed?s welfare in its arms, nurtured it and allowed it to flourish and take its deserved place beside the many noble breeds of the AKC.


This is a massively built dog, longer than it is tall, heave boned, and broad. The head is large and broad with a short muzzle and undershot jaw. It has large brown eyes and small drop ears. The forehead is heavily wrinkled and there is a long, tapering tail. The short smooth coat is fawn, with a black or self colored mask.


The French mastiff is affectionate and friendly with family but wary with strangers and often dog aggressive. It is good with children if well socialized.


In the past, it has been employed in wild boar and bear hunts and in circus combat with bulls. Because of its power and courage, it has been trained by the police in the pursuit of criminals. In this role, however, it has shown itself to be excessively ferocious. Today it makes a wonderful family dog and companion.

Health Concerns

Bloat, breathing problems, hip dysplasia, mange, thyroid problems.

Additional Information

Be sure to socialize this breed form a young age and continue socialization throughout its lifetime. This will insure a well balanced, healthy dog.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle


Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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