Many of you may have seen the the sloppy star of an American film named Turner and Hooch, which had Tom Hanks in it. Well, I can tell you that not until this film came out, did this breed attain much recognition outside of France where it originated from many centuries ago (hence its other name, French Mastiff and the region it’s from, Bordeaux). The below information is a guide to help you make an informed decision if seriously contemplating owning this breed.
Who is suited to this breed?
This breed was first used guarding and believe it or not, game hunting, dog fighting and animal baiting. Today this breed is still used for guarding, but more so companionship as is extremely loyal, patient and devoted to those that are close. It does not need so much exercise (A daily walk and a bit of light play is usually sufficient as it’s a heavy breed) and not so athletic, but its messy eating manners, drooling and large size make it a difficult, but not impossible dog to keep inside a home. Ideally a small yard is better suited to it and non-extreme hot and cold weather conditions. A Dogue de Bordeaux can posses formidable traits, such as relentless strength, wariness of strangers and an inclination to intimidate unknown people. This makes it a first class watchdog and has natural instinct from a young age. It is suited to an owner that is prepared to spend plenty of quality time, and has a real enthusiasm for this large, fast learning and impressive looking breed. It is often said for good reason, that this breed is best in the hands of an experienced owner.
Male or female?
This breed can be aggressive to other dogs especially males. A dominant alpha male can be a hard nut to crack. Neutering can settle it down somewhat but may not solve all problems. The French Mastiff needs early socialization and obedience training is recommended whether male or female to alleviate future problems. This is very important! A shy or reserved Mastiff due to lack of socialization could be a big mistake. Many owners will find a female DDB cleaner (not marking its territory on every available occasion) and easier to handle with a more relaxed/submissive disposition. This would make for a possible better family choice, while the male as a courageous guardian. The male being noticeably bigger as a rule, highlights better the true DDB traits, which is a big draw card for some. Some males may even get up to 75kg (165 lbs) as big, lion-hearted and looking Carlo below!