The breed
The Dogue de Bordeaux

The following breed standard is a summary of the standard as defined by the Federation Cynologique International in 1995.

01 02 03
A. Length of the body
B. Circumference of the chest at elbows is equal to C + 25 to 30 cm
C. Height at the withers is equal to the circumference of the head
D. Length of head from occiput to nose leather is equal to 3 x F
E. Scull from occiput to stop is equal to 2 x F
F. Length of the muzzle is equal to maximum D/3 and minimum D/4
The stop (fronto-nasal depression) should form an almost right angle (95 - 100°) with the bridge of the nose. Lower jaw must project 0,5 cm to 2,0 cm
G. The width of the skull seen from the front must be the greater base of a trapezium
H. Width at the end of the muzzle must be the smaller base of a trapezium


Originated from France. Used in ancient times as a fighting dog, and used today as a companion and guard dog.

The Dogue the Bodeaux is a massive, powerfully built dog, with a very muscular body which retains a harmonious general outline. In stature, somewhat low to the ground. Distance from sternum to ground is at most equal or inferior to the depth of the chest, seen in profile and measured behind the elbows. Has the appearance of an athlete, imposing and proud, demanding respect.

Assumes guard with vigilance and great courage, but without aggressiveness. Very attached to the master and very affectionate with children.

Weight for dogs is at least 50kg; for bitches, at least 45kg. Size should more or less correspond to head measurement. Males: 60 - 68cm at the withers; bitches 58 - 66cm at the withers.

Color ­ Solid color of mahogany (reddish brown), or in the range of the fawn shades. 600d pigmentation is desirable. Small white patches on the chest and feet are allowed. Coat ­ Fine hair, short and soft to the touch.

In the male, the perimeter of the skull measured at the level of its greatest width corresponds to the height at the withers. In the females, it may be slightly less. Its volume and its shape are the consequences of the very important development of the temporal, supraorbital ridges, zygomatic arches, and the spacing of the branches of the lower jaw. The upper region of the skull is slightly convex from side to side. Frontal­nasal depression of stop is very pronounced, almost at a right angle with the muzzle. The frontal groove is deep, diminishing towards the back of the head. The forehead dominates the face, yet is still wider than high.
Powerful, broad, thick, rather short, upper line very slightly concave, moderately obvious folds. Its width hardly decreases toward the end of the muzzle. When seen from above it has the shape of a square. In relation to the upper region of the skull, the line of the muzzle forms a obtuse angle upwards. When head is held horizontally, the front end of the muzzle is blunt, thick and broad at the base, is in front of a vertical tangent to the anterior face of the nose. Its perimeter is close to two thirds of that of the head. Its length varies between a quarter and a third of the total length of the head, from the nose to the occipital crest.
Broad, well opened nostrils, well pigmented black or brown according to the mask. Turned­up nose permitted.
Jaws are very powerful and broad. Undershot bite. Lower jaw must project O.5cm minimum to 2cm max. The incisors and canines must not be visible when mouth is closed. Teeth are very strong; strong canines; lower canines set wide apart and slightly curved. Incisors well aligned especially in lower jaw where they form an apparently straight line. Lips are thick, moderately pendulous, retractable, rounded over the lower jaw.
Oval and set well apart. The space between the two inner angles of the eyelids equals about twice the length of the eye (eye opening). Frank expression. Hazel to dark brown for a dog with a black mask; lighter color tolerated but not desirable in subjects with a red mask.
Relatively small, of a slightly darker color than the coat. At its set on the ear base is slightly raised in front, but must fall back, without limpness along the cheeks. The tip is slightly rounded, must not reach much beyond the eye. Quite high set, at level of the upper line of the skull, the width of which they seem to accentuate even more.
Very strong, muscular, almost cylindrical. Enormous neck with ample skin, loose and supple. Average circumference equals almost that of the head. It is separated from the head by a slight transversal furrow, slightly curved. Its upper profile is slightly convex. The dewlap, well defined, starts at the level of the throat and forms folds down to the chest.

Strong bone structure, legs very muscular. Elbows neither turned in nor out too much. Forearm is straight or slightly inclined inward in order to get closer to the medium plane, especially with very broad chests. Pasterns are powerful, slightly sloping, sometimes a little turned. Feet are strong and tight. Nails curved with a strong, preferable well pigmented. Pads well developed and supple.

Chest is powerful, well ribbed up, broad, let down deeper than the elbows. Powerful forechest. Sternal ribs rounded. Other ribs well sprung and well let down. The circumference of the chest must be 0.25m to 0.30m superior to the height at the withers. Shoulders are powerful, muscles prominent, obliqueness of the shoulder blade about 45 degrees to the horizontal. Angle of the scapular-humeral articulation a little more than 90 degrees. Topline is straight, with a broad, muscular back. Withers well defined. Loin broad, rathershort and solid. Rump moderately oblique down to the root of the tail. Underline is curved, from the long brisket to the tucked­up and fire abdomen.

Thighs are well developed and thick, muscles visible. Stifle in a parallel plane to the vertical median plane or slightly turned inward or outward. Lower thigh is relatively short, muscular and well let down. Hock is short sinewy, angle of the hock moderately open. When seen from behind, the parallel hind legs give the impression of power, although the hindquarters are slightly less broad than the forequarters.

Females: Identical characteristics, but less pronounced. Height is generally less than that of the males.

Not given.

Very thick at the base. The tip does not reach below the hock. Carried low, deeply set. Hanging when at rest, generally raised from 90 - 121 degrees in relation to this vertical position when dog is active.

Small head, not in proportion to the height at the withers, too long, narrow piped, round, oval, flat forehead. Absence of medial groove. Occipital protuberance too obvious. Naso­frontal angle too acute or too blunt.
Wrinkles too close together, not mobile. Muzzle which is too long, too short, narrow, shallow, pointed, snipy (nose in front of lips) Muzzle parallel with the upper line of the skull, down faced, fleshy below the eyes. Nose too narrow, tight nostrils, butterfly nose, dudley nose (flesh colored).
Jaws of equal length (pinscher bite), scissors bite, overshot, exaggerated or insufficient!: undershot mouth. Teeth which are weak or badly lined up. Lips which are excessively long and floppy (non retractable), too short. Underdeveloped cheeks, flabby, lean or gaunt.
Eyes which are small, round, too sunken, protruding, close together too light, staring expression, showing hew. Ears too flabby, too short, too long, cropped, inset or carriage too high, pricked, rose ears, laterally set far apa rt, too low set.
Slender, thin long, or flat neck. Skin too tight or an exaggerated hanging dewlap.
Narrow chest, not very long. Ribs too flat, or, on the contrary, barrel shaped. Brisket concave when seen from the front.
Insufficiently muscled shoulders, or being too straight.
Saddle back, humped back, weak loin, overbuilt rump, rump rounded or steeped. Tail which is carried sideways, truncated, broken twisted, docked, caudal vertebrate fused (knotted tail). Tail carried vertically or rolled up. Tufted tip. Absence of tail, even accidental, is always suspect. Pendulous abdomen, or too tucked up. Forequarters of light bone, insufficient muscle. In or out too much at the elbows. Forearm too bowed. Pastern turned in or out too much, down in the pasterns. Flat, hare feet or splayed toes. Flat or thin hindquarters. Stifle too much turned out or in. Hock which is over angulated of too straight, dewclaws.

Wall eyed or flesh colored spots on the eyelids.N.B . Male dogs should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Note: There are a number of further disqualifications not defined here.
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