Dogue de Bordeaux

Lifestyle Needs

Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a big Mastiff-type dog with a very large head.  In his past he was used for hunting and fighting, so it is not surprising that he is an exceptionally strong and quite dominant dog.  His owner would need to be experienced in handling and training a dog of this size and type.  He does not make the ideal family pet.  He will need regular grooming and plenty of exercise.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 6.5% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • Facial skinfolds may be prone to infection
  • Drooling
  • Poor eyelid conformation leads to ocular tissue exposure causing damage and infection.
  • Unsound movement due to the size and weight of this dog
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) (Bloat) (dilation and twisting of the stomach which can be fatal if not given emergency veterinary treatment)

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia (malformation of the hip joints causing pain and disability): breed mean score 21.3 (parents should be much lower)
  • Elbow dysplasia (malformation of the elbow joint causing pain and disability): ideally O:O
  • The Dogue is one of the 15 high profile breeds designated by the Kennel Club as requiring particular monitoring by reason of visible conditions which may cause health and welfare concerns.

Identified by the UK Kennel Club as part of their Breed Health and Conservation Plan

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:

DNA Tests Available

Canine Multi-focal Retinopathy (CMR)

Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes

None known

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (degeneration of heart muscles)
  • Aortic stenosis (the flow of blood from the heart to the aorta is obstructed)
  • Ectropion (outward turning eyelids exposing soft part of the eye which can cause pain and irritation)
  • Cruciate disease (damage to hind leg ligaments causing pain and lameness)
  • Footpad hyperkeratosis (thickened and tough skin on footpads)
  • Immunodeficiency syndrome (susceptibility to respiratory and bacterial disease)
  • Juvenile Glomerulonephropathy (kidney failure)
  • Epilepsy

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds