A quick reference to
Judging the Dogue de Bordeaux
The general appearance of the Dogue de Bordeaux is of a very powerful dog, with a very muscular body yet retaining a harmonious general outline. Built rather close to the ground, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a concave dog. 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.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the most ancient French breeds. He is a guardian by nature, yet calm & balanced. Males typically have a dominant character.
Important Proportions & Measurements
- Length of body is greater than height at withers, in the proportion of 11/10.
- The depth of chest is more than half the height at the withers.
- The circumference of head equals the height at withers for males, bitches may be slightly less.
- Dogs: 23.5” - 27” at the withers, at least 110 lbs.
- Bitches: 23” - 26” at the withers, at least 99 lbs.
- The DDB is a slow maturing breed. It can take some dogs 3-5 years to fully develop.
- Muzzle should be between 1/4 & 1/3 of the total length of the head.
- Stop should form almost 90 degree angle.
- Well pronounced chin
Outline is concave (bulldog characteristics)
Any shade of fawn from Isabella - Mahogany. Black, Brown or No Mask.
Limited white on chest and extremities.
The DDBSA has developed an acronym that defines the major points of the breed, it is HEARTS. Which stands for
Trots like a Lion and
It is our hope that this will aid judges in remembering the most important aspects of the breed. HEARTS was chosen not only for the significance in color, but it can be said that the DDB has the heart of a lion and are equally as brave. We believe that the following descriptions and photos will help in determining what to look for in a Dogue de Bordeaux.
HEAD - A massive head with proper proportions and features is an important characteristic of the breed. Large, angular, broad and rather short, almost out of proportion to the body. When viewed from above and in front it is trapezium shaped. It should be wide, with prominent cheeks, a high forehead and a prominent stop.
EXPRESSION- The expression in the Dogue de Bordeaux is a culmination of the head attributes, ear set, eye set - shape and color, muzzle length and width, chin mark and wrinkle, creating the "sour mug" or dissuasive look of the DDB. All of these make up a proper expression in the Dogue de Bordeaux, if one or more of them is off it changes the expression.
ATHLETIC- Although the Dogue de Bordeaux is heavy, low and lumbering - it should be an athletic dog. Well muscled and easily moving, with power. It is able to cover a lot of ground quickly.
WRINKLE - The wrinkle in the Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the characteristics that sets it apart from the other mastiff breeds. The DDB should have "mobile ropes of wrinkle", meaning they change intensity and proportion as the face expressions change. Any adult DDB lacking in wrinkle should be faulted. Take into consideration puppies and youth go through a period where the head is changing and wrinkle may be absent.
TROTS LIKE A LION - The Dogue de Bordeaux has movement similar to that of a lion. It is heavy and powerful, the head and shoulders drop low to the ground. There should be good reach and drive. As the trot quickens the front feet get closer to the median plane. The DDB should not be faulted for moving with its head held low.
SUBSTANCE- The Dogue de Bordeaux is a massive and low to the ground dog. It should have strong and heavy bone in the skull and limbs, as well as ample muscling in the shoulders and hindquarters. Even the males and females at the lower end of the standard in height and weight appear very intimidating and impressive due to their substance.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about this magnificent breed, we hope this pamphlet, along with the breed standard will aid in your judgment of the Dogue de Bordeaux. For further information, please visit...
Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America
All contents Copyright 1998-2011 by the Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America, Inc. (DDBSA) No part of this document may be reproduced in whole or in part in any means, electronic or paper, without express written permission by the DDBSA. Print out and reproduction of the page in whole with http: address visible is permitted.