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Dogue de Bordeaux

Breed standard


 

Dogue de Bordeaux

General Appearance Powerful with muscular body. Has harmonious outline. Not appearing leggy in any way.

Characteristics Powerful, stocky, athletic, imposing. Distinctive head with forbidding expression.

Temperament

Natural guarding instincts, vigilant and courageous without aggression. A good companion and very affectionate.

Head and Skull

Very large with characteristic expression and appearance. The skull is broad and short with parallel sides. The upper region of the skull is slightly rounded from side to side. Pronounced stop forming a near right angle with the muzzle. Median groove is deep, lessening towards the back of the skull. The forehead dominates the face and is wider than high. The head is furrowed with symmetrical wrinkles on each side of the median groove. These are mobile when the dog is alert. Prominent cheeks due to very strong muscle development. The muzzle is powerful, short and slightly hollowed below the eyes with moderate folds, the width hardly decreasing towards the tip of the muzzle, when viewed from above looks square. Topline of muzzle is slightly turned up. Length from nose to stop between a quarter and one third of the length of the head. Broad, well-opened nostrils, well pigmented according to mask colour. Jaws very powerful and broad. Lower jaw curves upwards. The chin is well defined and must not overlap the upper flew excessively nor be covered by it. Upper flew thick, moderately pendulous in profile and shows a rounded lower line. In front, the edge of the upper lip meets with the lower lip then drops on each side, forming an inverted 'v'.

Eyes

Oval, set wide apart. Frank expression. Showing no haw. Colour hazel to dark brown for dog with black mask, lighter colour tolerated in dogs with brown mask or no mask.

Ears

Relatively small, of slightly darker colour than coat. The front of the base of the ear is slightly raised. They must fall forward and down but not hang limply, the front edge being close to the cheek when the dog is alert. The tip of the ear is slightly rounded, not reaching beyond the eye. Set rather high, at the level of the upper line of the skull, appearing to accentuate its width even more.

Mouth

Undershot, the back of the lower incisors not in contact with the front of the upper incisors. Strong teeth, particularly the canines. Lower canines set wide apart and slightly curved. Incisors, well aligned, especially in the lower jaw where they form an apparently straight line.

Neck

Strong, muscular and solid, skin supple and loose. Circumference almost equals that of head. The well defined dewlap starts at the level of the throat forming folds down to the forechest without exaggeration. Neck very broad at base merging smoothly into the shoulders.

Forequarters

Well laid shoulders, withers fairly high. The legs are strong, exceptionally muscled and as straight as is compatible with a broad-chested dog. Pasterns strong and slightly sloping.

Body

Chest broad, powerful and deep, let down below the elbows. The depth of the chest is more than half of the height of the dog at the withers. Ribs well sprung, but not barrel shaped. Back solid, broad and muscular. The length of the body is greater than the height at the withers as 11 is to 10 measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock. Underline slightly tucked up.

Hindquarters

Broad loin. Rather short and solid croup moderately sloping down to the root of the tail. Hind legs strong and muscular. Well angulated stifles. Well-developed second thigh. Low set hocks.

Feet

Strong. Toes tight. Nails strong and curved. Pads well developed and supple. Well up on his toes despite his weight. Hind feet slightly longer than front feet.

Tail

Very thick at the base. Tip preferably reaching the hock. Carried low. Raised when the dog is in action, but never curving over the back or curled.

Gait/Movement

Movement is free, quite supple for his size and weight and close to the ground. Good drive from hindquarters, good extension of the forelegs. At a faster gait, the head is carried lower.

Coat

Fine, short and soft to the touch. The skin is thick and loose fitting.

Colour

Self-coloured, in all shades of fawn, from mahogany to Isabella. Good pigmentation is desirable. Limited white patches are permissible on the chest and the extremities of the limbs. White patches on the head or body highly undesirable. Three mask colours allowed:

Black mask - mask must not extend above the eyes. Slight black shading allowed on ears, skull, neck and down the topline. Nose black.

Brown mask - nose and eye rims are brown

No mask - coat is fawn, skin appears red, nose is flesh coloured.

Size

Ideal height at the shoulder: dogs 60-68 cms (23½ - 26¾ ins); bitches 58-66 cms (22¾ - 26 ins). Weight: dogs at least 50 kgs (110 lbs); bitches at least 45 kgs (99 lbs).

Faults

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note

The male should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Last Updated - April 2001

Dogue de Bordeaux Standard to be used for the AKC, Reformulated from the FCI format inta format acceptable to the AKC. Approved by DDBSA Membership September 2005

General Appearance

The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the most ancient French breeds. He is a typical brachycephalic molossoid type.  He is a very powerful dog, with a very muscular body yet retaining a harmonious general outline. Built rather close to the ground, the distance from the deepest point of the chest to the ground is slightly less than the depth of the chest. A massive head with proper proportions and features is an important characteristic of the breed.  His serious expression, stocky and athletic build, and self assurance make him very imposing. Bitches have identical characteristics, but less prominent.

Size, Proportion, Substance

The length of the body, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock, is greater than the height at the withers, in the proportion of 11/10.  The depth of the chest is more than half the height at the withers.   Size:  Dogs: 23.5-27 inches at the withers – Bitches: 23-26 inches at the withers. Weight: Dogs: at least 110 lbs. – Bitches: at least 99 lbs. 

Head

The head is large, angular, broad, and rather short.It is trapezium shaped when viewed from above and in front.  Eyes: Oval and set wide apart. The space between the eyes is equal to about twice the length of the eye (eye opening).  Frank expression. The haw should not be visible.Color: hazel to dark brown for a dog with a black mask, lighter color tolerated but not sought after in dogs with either a brown mask or without a mask. Fault: Protruding eyes.  Ears: The ear is small in proportion to the skull and of a slightly darker color than the coat. The front of the ears base is slightly raised.  They should fall back, but not hang limply.  The front edge of the ear is close to the cheek when the dog is attentive. The tip is slightly rounded, and should not reach beyond the eye. Set rather high, at the level of the upper line of the skull, thus emphasizing the skull width even more.  Skull: Back Skull in the male: The perimeter of the skull measured at the point of its greatest width corresponds roughly to the height at the withers. In bitches: it may be slightly less.  Its volume and shape are the result of the spacing of the lower jaw bones, and the very well developed temporal area, upper-orbital area, and zygomatic arches.  The cheeks are prominent due to the very strong development of the muscles.  The skull is slightly rounded from one side to the other. The frontal groove is deep.  The forehead, characterised by well developed eyebrows, dominates the face. However the skull is still wider than high. The head is furrowed with symmetrical wrinkles on each side of the median groove. These deep ropes of wrinkle are mobile depending on whether the dog is attentive or not.  Stop: The stop is very pronounced, almost forming a right angle with the muzzle (95 to 100 degrees).  Fault: Bulldog characteristics such as a very short muzzle, flat skull and a swollen fold behind the nose.  Muzzle: Powerful, broad, thick, and rather short. Should not be fleshy below the eyes.  When viewed in profile, the foreface is very slightly concave with moderately obvious folds. Its width decreases only slightly from the root of the muzzle to the tip.  When viewed from above it has the general shape of a square. When viewed from the side, the top lines of the skull and muzzle form an angle that converges at, or near the end of the muzzle. When the head is held horizontally, the end of the muzzle, which is truncated, thick and broad at the base, is in front of a vertical tangent to the front of the nose (the nose is slightly set back from the front of the muzzle).  Its perimeter is almost two thirds of that of the head. Its length varies between one third and one quarter of the total length of the head, measured from the nose to the occipital crest..  The ideal length of the muzzle is between these two extremes.  Nose: Broad, with well opened nostrils.  Self colored according to the color of the mask.  Slightly upturned permissible.  Upper lip: Thick, moderately pendulous yet retractile.  When viewed in profile it shows a rounded lower line and covers the lower jaw on the sides.  When viewed from the front, the edge of the upper lip is in contact with the lower lip, and drops on either side thus forming an inverse, wide V. Jaws: Very powerful, and broad.  Undershot so that there is no contact between the upper and lower incisors.  The lower jaw curves upwards.  The chin is very pronounced and should neither overlap the upper lip exaggeratedly nor be covered by it.  Disqualifying Fault: Mouth not undershot, twisted jaw, or tongue constantly hanging out when the mouth is closed.  Bite: Undershot. Fault: Incisors constantly visible when the mouth is closed. Disqualifying Fault: Canines constantly visible when the mouth is closed.  Teeth: Strong, particularly the canines. Lower, canines set wide apart and slightly curved.  Incisors well aligned especially in the lower jaw where they form a straight line. 

Disqualifying Fault: Specimens that are seriously lacking in breed specific head characteristics should be disqualified.

AKC Breed standard 

Neck, Topline And Body

Neck: Very strong and muscular, almost cylindrical. The skin is supple, ample and loose. The average circumference almost equals that of the head.  There is a noticeable, slightly convex, furrow at the junction of the head and neck. The well-defined dewlap starts at the level of the throat forming folds down to the chest, without hanging exaggeratedly. The neck is very broad at its base, merging smoothly with the shoulders.  Topline: Solid with a broad and muscular back, withers well marked, broad loin, rather short and solid.  Chest: Powerful, long, deep, broad, and let down lower than the elbows. The forechest is broad and powerful with a lower line that is convex towards the bottom. The ribcage is deep and well sprung, but not barrel shaped.  The circumference of the chest should be between 10 and 12 inches greater than the height at the withers.  Underline: Curved, from the deep brisket to the firm abdomen. Slight to moderate tuck-up. Should be neither pendulous nor whippety.  Croup: Moderately sloping down to the root of the tail.  Tail:  Very thick at the base. The tip preferably reaches the hock but not below.Carried low, it is neither broken nor kinked but supple.Hanging when the dog is in repose; generally carried level with the back or slightly above the level of the back when the dog is in action, without curving over the back or being curled.  Fault: Fused vertebrae but not kinked.  Disqualifying Fault:  An atrophied tail or a tail that is knotted and laterally deviated or twisted. 

Forequarters

Strong bone structure, legs very muscular.  Shoulders: Powerful, prominent muscles.  Slant of shoulder-blade is medium (about 45 degrees to the horizontal), with the angle of the scapular-humeral articulation being a little more than 90 degrees.  Arms: Very muscular.  Elbows: In line with the body.  Should be neither too close to the chest nor turned out.  Forearms:  When viewed from the front, straight or inclining slightly inwards, especially in dogs with a very broad chest. When viewed in profile, vertical. Pasterns: Powerful. Slightly sloping when viewed in profile. When viewed from the front, may bend slightly outwards, thus compensating for the slight inclination of the forearm inwards.  Feet:  Strong.  Toes should be tight, nails curved and strong, and pads well developed and supple; the dogue is well up on his toes despite his weight.  A fiddle front with splay feet should be so severely penalized as to eliminate from competition.

Hindquarters

Powerful legs with strong bone structure; well angulated.  When viewed from behind, the hindquarters are parallel and vertical thus giving an impression of power.  The hindquarters are not quite as broad as the forequarters.  Thigh: Well developed and thick with visible muscles.  Stifle: In a parallel plane to the median plane or slightly out.  Second Thigh: Relatively short, well muscled.  Hock Joint: Short and sinewy, with the angle of the hock joint moderately open.  Hock: Strong, no dewclaws.  Hind feet: Slightly longer than the front feet, toes should be tight.

Coat

Fine, short and soft to the touch.  Skin: Thick and sufficiently loose fitting. 

Color

Coat: Self-colored, in all shades of fawn, from a dark red fawn to a light fawn.  A rich coat color is considered desirable. Limited white patches are permissible on the chest and the extremities of the limbs.  Fault: White on the tip of the tail, or on the front part of the forelegs above the carpus and the tarsus.  Disqualifying Fault: White on the head or body, or any coat color other than shades of fawn.

Black Mask: The mask is often only slightly spread out and should not invade the cranial region.  There may be slight black shading on the skull, ears, neck and back. Pigmentation of the nose will be black.

Brown Mask: Pigmentation of the nose and eye rims will also be brown.

No Mask: The coat is fawn: the skin appears red (also formerly called “red mask”).  The nose is then reddish or pink. 

Gait

The gait is quite supple for a molossoid.  In open walking the movement is free, supple, close to the ground. Good drive from the hindquarters, good extension of the forelegs, especially at the trot, which is the preferred gait.  As the trot quickens, the head tends to drop, the top-line inclines towards the front, and the front feet get closer to the median plane while striding out with a long reaching movement. Vertical movement while in a short gallop is rather important.  He is capable of great speed over short distances by bolting along close to the ground.  

Temperament

Dogue de Bordeaux is gifted for guarding, which he assumes with vigilance and great courage but without aggressiveness.  He is a very good companion, being attached to and affectionate toward his master.  He is calm and balanced with a high stimulus threshold. The male normally has a dominant character. 

The foregoing is a description of the ideal Dogue de Bordeaux. Any deviation should be penalized in direct proportion to the extent of that deviation. Extreme deviation in any part should be penalized to the extent that the dog is effectively eliminated from competition.

Disqualifying Faults

- Mouth not undershot, twisted jaw, or tongue constantly hanging out when the mouth is closed.

- Canines constantly visible when the mouth is closed. 

- An atrophied tail or a tail that is knotted and laterally deviated or twisted.

- White on the head or body, or any coat color other than shades of fawn.

- Specimens that are seriously lacking in breed specific head characteristics

Federation Cynologique Internationale

Country of Origin: France

Origin and Purpose

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

General Appearance

The Bordeaux Mastiff is a massive, powerfully build 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.

Temperament

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

Size

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

Head

Skull — 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. Frontal-nasal 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.

Muzzle — 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.

Nose — Broad, well opened nostrils, well pigmented black or brown according to the mask. Turned-up nose permitted.

Mouth — Jaws are very powerful and broad. Undershot bite. Lower jaw must project 0.5 cm minimum to 2 cm 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.

Eyes — 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.

Ears — 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.

Neck

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.

Forequarters

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 and strong. Preferably well pigmented. Pads well developed and supple.

Body

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, rather than short and solid. Rump moderately oblique down to the root of the tail. Underline is curved, from the long brisket to the tucked-up abdomen.

Hindquarters

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.

Gait

None given.

Tail

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.

Faults

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. Naso-frontal angle too acute or too blunt. Wrinkles too close together, not mobile. Muzzle which is too long, too short, narrow, shallow, pointed, snippy (nose in front of the 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. Jaws of equal legth (pinscher bite). Scissor 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 apart, 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 or too straight.

Disqualifications

Wall eyed or flesh colored spots on the eyelids.

Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.