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Dogue de Bordeaux

Bulldog Breeds

 

Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux is a breed of dog that is strong, powerful, and imposing, as it was originally bred for dog fighting and guarding. The Dogue has an even temperament and is extremely loyal and devoted to his master and family. However, it is wary of strangers and can display marked dominance towards other dogs. The Dogue must be socialized from an early age and owners must be conscious of the great strength and tenacity of this very large and athletic breed.

The Dogue de Bordeaux was known in France as early as the fourteenth century. Dog fighting was popular in the nineteenth century, particularly in southern France in the region around Bordeaux. Hence, the city lent its name to these large fighting dogs.

A uniform breed type of the Bordeaux Dog did not exist before about 1920. The French placed emphasis on keeping the old breeding line pure. Black masks were considered an indication of the crossing in of the Mastiff. As an important indication of purity of the breed, attention was paid to the leather-coloured nose, light eyes, and red mask. Originally bred with huge anatomically incorrect heads; a pioneer for the breed in Germany, Werner Preugschat once wrote:"What am I supposed to do with a dog that has a monstrous skull and is at most able to carry it from the food dish to its bed."

The Dogue de Bordeaux comes in two varieties, Dogues and Doguins, the former being a considerably larger dog than the latter. Breeding of the Doguins has been seriously neglected in recent years and the variety has dwindled to near nonexistence.

New initiatives will soon be required if the Bordeaux Dog can hope to flourish again both inside and outside of France. It is hoped that the few remaining survivors of this interesting old breed will be sufficient for its recovery.However as a show dog, he was viewed very badly, especially in Bordeaux. Where in 1893, he received his only 'honorable mention' and was beaten by the famous Rolland, Pietro and Duc. In actual fact, he was not even a DDB but a 'bouledogue bordelais', maybe even a Spanish bulldog, as Mr Rieux was well known for importing these bulldogs. He tried to sell Turc for 40 francs (which was a small amount) with no success. The French dogue enthusiasts would not touch him. In the end he managed to sell it to the english merchant Mr S. Woodiwiss with the help of an English judge. They brought Turc into England in 1895 and announced him as a true DDB. Pierre Megnin, editor of L'Eleveur (French equivalent of the Stock Keeper) who was very passionate about his national dogue and other french enthusiasts, on hearing this, were very angry. Megnin published in both L'Eleveur and his book 'Le Dogue de Bordeaux' (1896) an attack on 'Turc', announcing him as a bouledogue and not a dogue. Even though he was viewed badly by the nationalists, he was still used as a stud; some of his descendants becoming famous early 20th century dogues, such as Porthos of Mr. Jagourt. Pierre Megnin helped to guide Mr Brooke and Mr Woodiwiss to better dogues. One of these was Cora (M.Dominot), a bitch from Paris. Then came Dragonne, a beautiful red bitch later renamed Amazone de Bordeaux and Tristan , a red dogue with a black mask. That same year 1896, a class was made for Dogues de Bordeaux at the Chow Chow show held at the Aquarium. Mr H.C Brooke became very passionate and enthusiastic about the breed. So he then imported the champion Sans Peur, Diane, Bart, La Goulue and a fawn red masked dogue, whose head was large and full of wrinkles; he was sold to a Mr Haslam who showed him as Brutus. Mr Brooke imported one last dogue. Matador de Midi was from Bordeaux, he was a young fawn dogue with a famous fighting ancestry. A descendant of Caporal, Champion of the Pyrenees for seven years; Megere a bitch who had fought wolves, bears and even a hyena and Hercules who had died fighting a jaguar in San Francisco. Matador du Midi had been trained in fighting and baiting. At eighteen months, Mr Brooke tried him on a Russian bear who stood at six feet. He managed to throw the bear to the ground three times. By 1897, a Dogue de Bordeaux Club was formed, Mr S.Woodiwiss taking up the presidency. With the help of Megnin, Dr Wiart and Mr Brooke, a description of the breed was drawn up and appeared in Bylandt "Dogs of All Nations". The DDB began to have a success at English shows and was being well appreciated. That is, until the anti-cropping laws, banning the amputation of the ears. The DDB lost its popularity, it no longer had that gladiatorial look. By this time, Turc and Cora had died of old age. Dragonne died from blood poisoning caused by a wasp sting. The last few that remained were exported to Canada, where they were never heard of again. The Dogue de Bordeaux was not to return to Britain until the end of the twentieth century. Where it found a new, well deserved popularity.

 

Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is probably one of the most ancient French breeds, though it only became known by this name in the second part of the nineteenth century Gaston Phe'bus, the Count of Foix, whose book about gun dogs is famous, wrote in the 14th century about the "alans vautres" which were the ancestors of the Dogues de Bordeaux.

Typical concave lined brachycephalic molossoid. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a very powerful dog, with a very muscular body yet retaining a harmonious general outline. He is built rather close to the ground, the distance from sternum to ground being slightly less than the depth of the chest. Stocky, athletic, imposing, he has a very dissuasive aspect

Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux Club of Great Britain is the only breed club in the UK that is officially recognised by The Kennel Club.

This French Molosser, with its giant-sized head, is probably the closest relative of the Molossers of ancient Europe. Some consider this breed to be a direct descendant of the Alans/Alaunts of the Middle Ages. And the official history of the breed also refers to the Alan/Alaunt as the ancestor of the breed. Others believe that the Bull Mastiff or the Bulldog have been used in the creation of the Dogue De Bordeaux. The history of the Bordeaux dog is full of fighting. The breed has been used for hunting, guarding of his human family, house and property, and in the ring, pitted against all kinds of animals; bears, wolves, tigers and lions. In 1863, the first French dog show took place in Paris in the Jardin d'Acclimatiation. The Dogues De Bordeaux were entered under their present name. However, Perre Megnin did not write the first standard of the French Mastiff until 1869. There have been different types of Dogues in the past; the Toulouse type (Toulousain), the Paris type (Parisien) and the Bordeaux type (Bordelais). The latter being the ancestor of today's Dogue De Bordeaux. The Paris type had more wrinkles and was often a heavier built dog. The Toulouse type was a smaller and broader dog with a very heavy head. Professor Kunstler (the man who wrote the first standard for FCI in 1910) considered the Toulouse type to not be a Dogue, but rather a Bouledogue (Bulldog). The Toulouse type was probably closer related to the Spanish Bulldog, if any difference at all. There was also the Doguin, a smaller and lighter Dogue. It was believed to have been developed by crossings to the Bulldog. In the 1800's, the breed was hardly known outside of its native regions. But some exports took place to England as early as 1885. This breed, like most of the other Molosser breeds, had a very tough time at the beginning of the 1900's and was threatened with extinction after WWII. Considering the long war and the hard battles in France during, it is almost a wonder that the breed survived at all. The Dogue De Bordeaux popularity was limited a long time after WWII. It was not before the 1970's that the breed began to grow considerably in numbers. In 1886, the editor of 'Stock Keeper' Dr Frank, wrote an article comparing French and English Mastiffs as well as French and English Bulldogs. This article had a study on the Dogue de Bordeaux to the English Mastiff; saying how the former had kept more of the temperament and courage of the ancient celtic molosser. This was the first mention of the DDB written in the UK. Six years later, at the 'Exposition des Tuileries' in Paris (1892), a judge from the 'Stock Keeper' saw Sultane win the prix d'Honneur. She was viewed as the ideal DDB. That same year, a reproduction of the photo of Sultane at the Tuileries appeared in the 22 July issue of the Stock Keeper. Accompanying it was a detailed description and praise for the work of Mr Charles Eisler. Another Dogue de Bordeaux article appeared in the Stock Keeper by the judge John Proctor in 1895; he had been present at the Exposition of Bordeaux, where he had seen many examples. This article was to raise an interest in two bulldog men Mr Sam Woodiwiss and Mr H.C Brooke. The first known DDB to enter England was 'Turc' who belonged to a Mr Rieux; a young baker from Bordeaux, he was a 'combattant' (a man who likes dogs' fighting). Turc was well known in the arena, he had fought other dogs and baited bears, which had left him full of scars on his forequarters However as a show dog, he was viewed very badly, especially in Bordeaux. Where in 1893, he received his only 'honorable mention' and was beaten by the famous Rolland, Pietro and Duc. In actual fact, he was not even a DDB but a 'bouledogue bordelais', maybe even a Spanish bulldog, as Mr Rieux was well known for importing these bulldogs. He tried to sell Turc for 40 francs (which was a small amount) with no success. The French dogue enthusiasts would not touch him. In the end he managed to sell it to the english merchant Mr S. Woodiwiss with the help of an English judge. They brought Turc into England in 1895 and announced him as a true DDB. Pierre Megnin, editor of L'Eleveur (French equivalent of the Stock Keeper) who was very passionate about his national dogue and other french enthusiasts, on hearing this, were very angry. Megnin published in both L'Eleveur and his book 'Le Dogue de Bordeaux' (1896) an attack on 'Turc', announcing him as a bouledogue and not a dogue. Even though he was viewed badly by the nationalists, he was still used as a stud; some of his descendants becoming famous early 20th century dogues, such as Porthos of Mr. Jagourt. Pierre Megnin helped to guide Mr Brooke and Mr Woodiwiss to better dogues. One of these was Cora (M.Dominot), a bitch from Paris. Then came Dragonne, a beautiful red bitch later renamed Amazone de Bordeaux and Tristan , a red dogue with a black mask. That same year 1896, a class was made for Dogues de Bordeaux at the Chow Chow show held at the Aquarium. Mr H.C Brooke became very passionate and enthusiastic about the breed. So he then imported the champion Sans Peur, Diane, Bart, La Goulue and a fawn red masked dogue, whose head was large and full of wrinkles; he was sold to a Mr Haslam who showed him as Brutus. Mr Brooke imported one last dogue. Matador de Midi was from Bordeaux, he was a young fawn dogue with a famous fighting ancestry. A descendant of Caporal, Champion of the Pyrenees for seven years; Megere a bitch who had fought wolves, bears and even a hyena and Hercules who had died fighting a jaguar in San Francisco. Matador du Midi had been trained in fighting and baiting. At eighteen months, Mr Brooke tried him on a Russian bear who stood at six feet. He managed to throw the bear to the ground three times. By 1897, a Dogue de Bordeaux Club was formed, Mr S.Woodiwiss taking up the presidency. With the help of Megnin, Dr Wiart and Mr Brooke, a description of the breed was drawn up and appeared in Bylandt "Dogs of All Nations". The DDB began to have a success at English shows and was being well appreciated. That is, until the anti-cropping laws, banning the amputation of the ears. The DDB lost its popularity, it no longer had that gladiatorial look. By this time, Turc and Cora had died of old age. Dragonne died from blood poisoning caused by a wasp sting. The last few that remained were exported to Canada, where they were never heard of again. The Dogue de Bordeaux was not to return to Britain until the end of the twentieth century. Where it found a new, well deserved popularity.