The Dogue de Bordeaux is also known as the French Mastiff. This breed has abounded in France for centuries but is recently new to the United States, having only been introduced here in the 1960’s.
These dogs are heavy dogs with large, heavy heads. They are longer than they are tall. They have been used to pull heavy objects, watch flocks of sheep or even as guard dogs protecting castles in Europe.
Recently the Westminster Dog Show has agreed to allow this breed to enter into competition. It will compete in the working group. There are still qualifications that must be met for the dog to be accepted into the competition.
If the dog is a female, she must weigh at least 99 pounds and if the dog in question is a male, then he must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds.
Height is something that is strictly watched out for and if a dog’s height does not fall within the guidelines it will be disqualified. For a male the height should be between 22 ½ inches and 25 ½ inches. For females, the height should be between 23 ½ and 27 inches.
This breed of dog is made to be a massive and muscular, a well balanced animal that has a powerful build. For this breed, most of the bulk and weight should come not from the height but from the muscles and width of the dog.
This breed is nearer to the ground than its cousin the English Mastiff. To be presented in the show, the dog must still have the dewclaws, and the tail and ears must be intact.
Historically these dogs were used as hunters. They could fight jaguars, bears and bulls and they hunted boars. They protected the vineyards, butcher shops and even the homes of their masters. They were often found to be part of the household in the wealthier houses of France.
The dogs were so well known for their loyalty that as recently as world war II, Adolph Hitler ordered them killed because of their loyalty to their masters.
With loyalty such as what this breed shows, which other dog could have played Hooch in 1989’s Tom Hanks film Turner and Hooch? The dog’s oversized lips and constant drooling made for a comedy canine match to the witticism of the incomparable Tom Hanks.
Many of the representatives of this breed were sold or brought into new homes due to the popularity of this movie.