Height at the withers: Males 60 – 69 cm, Females 58 – 66 cm
Average weight: Males 68 kg, Females 57 kg
The Dogue de Bordeaux is a powerful looking dog that boasts a muscular body. Although quite heavy, they are athletic dogs capable of covering a lot of ground when needed. Their most distinguishing feature is their large, broad head and quite serious and ferocious expression. The top of their head is slightly rounded and boasts having a pronounced stop as well as a distinct median groove. They have quite prominent foreheads which adds to their forbidding appearance.
Dogues have furrows and wrinkles on their faces and quite prominent, well-muscled cheeks. Muzzles are powerful and short being slightly hollowed under a dog’s eyes and having a moderate amount of folds. The topline of a dog’s muzzle is ever so slightly turned up and their nostrils are broad and nicely opened being pigmented to match a dog’s mask.
Their jaws are extremely powerful and broad with their lower jaw curving upwards. Chins are well defined with dogs having a thick upper flew that’s quite pendulous when seen in profile. Viewed from the front they have a distinct V where their upper lips meet their lower ones. Eyes are oval-shaped and set wide apart on a dog’s face. They have a frank expression about them and eye colour can be anything from hazel to dark brown according to a dog’s coat colour.
Ears are quite small and slightly darker than a dog’s coat colour. Their ears fall forward with the front edge touching a dog’s cheek when they are alert or excited. Tips are slightly rounded and ears are set high on a dog’s head. They have undershot jaws, but their teeth cannot be seen when a dog’s mouth is closed.
Necks are well-muscled and strong with the skin around it being supple, firm and loose. A well-defined dewlap starts at a dog’s throat and forms folds down their forechest adding to the appearance of strength and power. Their neck is a lot broader at the base but merges smoothly to a dog’s well laid-back shoulders. Withers are well defined with front legs being straight, strong and extremely well-muscled.
They boast very broad, deep and powerful chests which are well let down to a dog’s elbows. Ribs are well sprung and their back is broad and muscular with a straight topline and bellies that are slightly tucked up. Loins are broad, solid and a little short with dogs having a moderately sloping croup to where the tail is set.
Back legs are muscular and extremely strong with well-developed second thighs. Their feet are strong with tight toes and strong, curved nails. Pads are supple and well-developed with dogs standing well up on their toes. Their back feet are slightly longer than their front ones. Their tails are thicker at the root and dogs carry them low although when excited or alert, they carry them raised.
When it comes to their coat, the Dogue de Bordeaux boasts having a short, fine coat that’s soft to the touch. Their skin is loose fitting and thick but without too many folds or wrinkles. Their coats are self-coloured being shades of fawn that range from Isabella right through to mahogany. The only colour which is highly undesirable in the breed is chocolate. Dogues should have a lot of pigmentation and a small amount of white is allowed on their chests as well the extremities of a dog’s legs whereas any white on a dog’s head or on their body is highly undesirable under their Kennel Club breed standard.
The Dogue de Bordeaux can have 3 mask types which are as follows:
- Black mask with the mask not extending above a dog’s eyes, but a small amount of black shading is permissable on their ears, skulls, necks and down a dog’s topline. Their noses must be black.
- Brown mask where both eye rims and noses are brown
- No mask which fawn coloured Dogues have where they skin looks reddish and their noses too may be reddish in colour
The accepted coat colours for the breed under the Kennel Club standard is as follows:
- Red & White
- Red with Black Mask
- Red with Brown Mask
When a Dogue de Bordeaux moves, they do so with a free and athletic gait considering their size. They have a lot of power in their hindquarters covering a good amount of ground with their front legs. When they move at a faster pace, the Dogue de Bordeaux has a lower head carriage.
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and any faults would be judged on how much they affect a dog’s overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform.
Male Dogues should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums.
It is also worth noting that a Dogue de Bordeaux may be a little bigger or smaller and they may weight slightly less or a bit more than stated in their Kennel Club breed standard which is to be used as a guide only.