The Dogue de Bordeaux, or French Mastiff, is most recognized as the Turner & Hooch Dog
The Dogue de Bordeaux breed definitely owes it’s huge popularity to Beasley, the co-star in the 1989 movie, Turner and Hooch. This was the introduction of the breed to most of America, myself included, long before Bulldog Pros existed.
Like many, after seeing the movie for the first time as a child, I had no idea what breed starred in the movie…I just knew that I wanted one! Many years later, flipping through the channels, we came to the movie Turner and Hooch, and my children reacted the same way I had years before, they had to have one.
Now, at that time we already had what felt to be a house full of English Bulldogs (although there were really just 4), so I wasn’t looking to add another member to the family just yet. But, by the very next day, I was online ‘browsing’ the Dogue de Bordeaux listings and the puppies that were available…and we added a Bordeaux to our home less than a week later!
Now with three (and yes, we still live with English Bulldogs too), we have learned a great deal about this amazing breed…a huge motivator in our decision to begin breeding.
About The Breed:
The Most Desirable Physical Appearance
Bordeaux preferably have a brilliant red coat with a full red mask. Females ideally weigh between 100 and 115 pounds, and males between 120-140, depending on height.
A shorter, athletic build is the most desired look for these dogs, with noticeable wrinkles on their muzzle, cheeks and forehead. However, their skin should not be loose throughout the rest of their head and body, as seen in other mastiff breeds.
With three adult Bordeaux in our home, we have had the great experience of learning first-hand the true nature of the breed, which is just as impressive as their appearance. From the fact that they make exceptional companions, being naturally loyal and unusually obedient; to their incredibly high level of intelligence, proven with the use of a single Dogue in the Turner and Hooch movie (other than a small number of times, in which a few other Dogues may have been used to perform dangerous stunts).
They can be protective, but in most situations, take a non-aggressive approach. When visitors arrive, they tend to sit very close to members of their family, keeping a watchful eye on those they do not know or trust.
Early Socializing Is A Must
Socializing a Bordeaux as a puppies is very important. As adults, without proper socialization, they can become naturally untrusting of strangers of any kind, including children and other dogs. This can cause them to become skittish and react nervously when introduced to new people and animals.
The more interaction they have at a young age, the more relaxed they will be and come to enjoy each new experience. It is also important that you remain calm in any and all situations, especially introductions, as they will respond according to your reactions and body language. Staying relaxed will help them react correctly with each new meeting and experience.
Training Is Recommended
Obedience training, especially with male Bordeaux, should be seriously considered. They can become aggressive with other males, even with regular encounters. They tend to be dominant dogs, creating a potentially dangerous situation with other dominant males.
Exercise Needs Limitations
Exercise is an important part of their day, but it should also be understood that they do have their limitations. As with most large breeds, they can be prone to hip and joint problems. Please read Exercise & Activity For Dogue de Bordeaux (and English Bulldogs) for detailed information regarding exercise and activity.
It is also important to understand that, with intelligence and loyalty, comes emotion….and a lot of it! Dogue de Bordeaux adults and puppies can be incredibly emotional and do not do well as outside dogs, or in any type of isolation. They really should be considered an ‘inside dog’, requiring regular attention and playful interaction to maintain a healthy body and mind.
They are fairly low maintenance, requiring only occasional bathing and regular brushing to keep shedding to a minimum. They do tend to shed, as in most smooth coat breeds, so the more you brush them, the less mess you will have.
Before Adopting A Puppy
If you are considering adopting a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy as your next family member, you’ll want to pay close attention to the color and build of the mother and father. This will be a very good indicator as to how your puppy will look as an adult, as well to what to expect with their size.