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 sternum-ground
being slightly less than the depth of the chest. Stocky, athletic, imposing,
he has a very dissuasive aspect.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the most
ancient French breeds, probably a descendant of the Alans and, in particular,
the alan vautre of which Gaston PHEBUS (or FEBUS), Count of Foix, said
in the 14th century, in his Livre de Chasse that " he holds his bite
stronger than three sight-hounds ". The word " dogue " first appeared
at the end of the 14th century. In the middle of the 19th century these
ancient dogues were hardly renowned outside the region of Aquitaine.
They were used for hunting large animals such as boar, for fighting
(often codified), for the guarding of houses and cattle and in the service
of butchers. In 1863 the first French dog show took place in Paris in
the Jardin d'Acclimatation. The Dogues de Bordeaux were entered under
their present name.
There have been different types : the
Toulouse type, the Paris type and the Bordeaux type, which is the origin
of today's dogue. The breed, which had suffered greatly during the two
world wars, to the point of being threatened with extinction after the
second world war, got off to a fresh start in the 60's.