AKC Group: Working
Also known as a French Mastiff or Bordeaux Bulldog, this breed is a result of England’s brief occupation of Aquitane, a province in France. English Mastiffs were bred with the local French guard dogs. “Dogue” is derived from the Latin word “canis” and simply means (you got it) dog. Since the 1200s, Dogues have been used for many activities. They have protected livestock, hunted fox and bear and hauled heavy loads (including wounded soldiers during wartimes). Disgustingly, they have also been used in dogfighting circles. Dogue aficionados are experiencing a resurgence in population in France and around the world.
Size: 23 to 30 inches high; 100 to 150 pounds
Color: Solid red-brown, fawn or mahogany. May have white patches on the chest or extremities.
Life span: 10 to 12 years
Health problems: Hip dysplasia and cancer have been noted. A breed-specific ailment happens during birthing as Dogues have very high litter sizes. If you have a female Dogue who becomes pregnant, secure some veterinary assistance.
These massive dogs are muscular with a well-balanced, powerful build. Though they are large, they don’t have long legs. They are set much lower than English Mastiffs. Though Dogues look frightening, they are actually a calm, affectionate canines that make excellent companions. A Dogue is a loyal dog, so much so that long periods of time spent alone make him feel like he’s been abandoned. His size makes him an effective watchdog. His past work as a herder make him great with kids and other pets, provided they’re smaller than him (other pets that is, not children). A larger dog companion may call up his hunting instincts (did you miss the part where he was once used to hunt bear?)
The Dogue is a low energy breed and extremely intelligent. Keep training sessions under an hour. You do need to be assertive when training because Dogues have little to fear (this does not mean to be violent!) Deep down, a Dogue is an obedient, eager to please breed that excel in obedience courses. Brush him with a firm bristle brush to remove excess hairs. Mostly though, all you’ll need to do is wipe him down with a dry towel or damp washcloth.