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Dogue De Bordeaux Lifespan – What to Expect & How to Help a Dogue De Bordeaux Live Longer

Written by: Ejay C.
| Published on February 15, 2024

The Dogue De Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is a breed that commands attention with its imposing stature, distinctive wrinkled face, and deep, expressive eyes. Renowned for its loyalty, affectionate nature, and protective instincts, this breed forms a deep bond with its family, serving as a loving companion and vigilant guardian. Originating from France, the Dogue De Bordeaux has a rich history as a working dog, excelling in roles such as guarding, hunting, and hauling. Despite their tough exterior, these dogs possess a gentle and patient demeanour, making them excellent family pets. However, like many large breeds, the Dogue De Bordeaux faces certain health challenges that can impact its lifespan, which typically ranges from 5 to 8 years. Understanding these health issues and how to address them is crucial for owners who wish to provide the best care for their gentle giants.

Lifespan Expectancy of a Dogue De Bordeaux

The Dogue De Bordeaux has a relatively short lifespan, with most dogs living between 5 to 8 years. Factors influencing their lifespan include genetics, diet, exercise, and the quality of veterinary care they receive. Providing a balanced lifestyle and proactive health management can help extend their lifespan and improve their quality of life.

Common Health Challenges in Dogue De Bordeaux

Several health challenges are more prevalent in Dogue De Bordeaux due to their size and genetic predispositions. Addressing these conditions early can help manage their impact on the dog’s life.

Hip Dysplasia

This genetic condition affects many large breeds and can lead to arthritis or mobility issues in Dogue De Bordeaux. Weight management, proper nutrition, and physical therapy can help alleviate symptoms, and in severe cases, surgical interventions may be considered.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

Also known as bloat, GDV is a life-threatening condition where the stomach twists and fills with gas. Preventive measures include feeding smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding vigorous exercise around feeding times.

Heart Conditions

Dogue De Bordeaux are prone to certain heart conditions, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, which can significantly impact their lifespan. Regular veterinary check-ups including cardiac evaluations, are essential for early detection and management.

Skin Issues

Their distinctive wrinkles can harbour bacteria and yeast, leading to skin infections. Regular cleaning and maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent these issues.


Like many breeds, Dogue De Bordeaux can be susceptible to various forms of cancer. Early detection through regular veterinary visits is crucial for treatment and management.

Joint Problems

Due to their large size, Dogue De Bordeaux can suffer from joint issues, including elbow dysplasia, which can affect their mobility and quality of life. Supplements and medications, along with weight management, can offer relief.

By understanding these health challenges and working closely with a veterinarian, Dogue De Bordeaux owners can take proactive steps to monitor and maintain their pet’s health. Regular check-ups, a balanced lifestyle, and immediate attention to any signs of illness are crucial components of caring for a Dogue De Bordeaux, ensuring they enjoy a full and happy life.


How Can I Extend the Lifespan of My Dogue De Bordeaux?

The Dogue De Bordeaux, known for its powerful build, distinctive appearance, and gentle temperament, is a breed that captures the hearts of those who welcome them into their homes. As one of the oldest French dog breeds, they have served various roles, from guardians of estates to beloved family companions. Despite their imposing presence, Dogues De Bordeaux are known for their loyalty, affection, and surprisingly sensitive nature. Owners of this noble breed often seek ways to ensure their dogs lead a long, healthy life. Understanding the breed’s specific health challenges and how to address them is crucial. This article aims to explore strategies for extending the lifespan of a Dogue De Bordeaux, focusing on nutrition, exercise, health care, and the management of common health issues.

Regular Veterinary Care

Consistent veterinary care is crucial for identifying and managing health issues early. Annual check-ups allow for routine health monitoring, vaccinations, and early detection of conditions common to the breed. Tailoring healthcare to the specific needs of Dogues De Bordeaux, including cardiac evaluations and joint monitoring, plays a crucial role in extending their lifespan.

Nutrition and Weight Management

Feeding your Dogue De Bordeaux a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs without leading to obesity is essential. Given their risk for joint issues and other weight-related health problems, maintaining an ideal weight through measured feeding and avoiding excessive treats is crucial. Consultation with a vet can guide the best diet plan, considering the dog’s age, weight, and activity level.

Exercise and Physical Activity

While Dogues De Bordeaux may not require the same level of exercise as more energetic breeds, regular, moderate exercise is vital to keep them healthy and prevent obesity. Tailor activities to their size and physical capabilities, including walks and play sessions that do not overstrain their joints.

Joint Care

Joint health is a concern for Dogues De Bordeaux, prone to conditions like hip dysplasia. Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, weight management, and providing a comfortable resting area can help manage discomfort and mobility issues.

Heart Health Monitoring

Heart health is critical for Dogues De Bordeaux, who are at risk for certain cardiac conditions. Regular veterinary screenings for heart health, along with a diet and exercise regimen that supports cardiovascular wellness, are key components of care.

Preventing Bloat

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) or bloat is a life-threatening condition particularly relevant to large breeds like Dogues De Bordeaux. Preventive measures include feeding smaller, more frequent meals, using elevated feeding dishes, and avoiding vigorous exercise around feeding times.

Mental Well-being

The mental health of Dogues De Bordeaux, deeply bonded with their families, is as important as their physical health. Providing emotional support, engagement, and companionship can help prevent stress and anxiety, contributing positively to their overall health and extending their lifespan.

Dental Health Maintenance

Good oral hygiene plays a critical role in the overall health of a Dogue De Bordeaux. Regular dental care, including daily brushing and annual professional cleanings, can prevent periodontal disease, which is linked to more severe health issues like heart disease and kidney infections. Starting dental hygiene practices early in your dog’s life will acclimate them to the routine, making it easier to maintain throughout their lifespan. Utilizing dental chews and toys can also help reduce plaque buildup, complementing regular brushing and professional care.

Skin and Coat Care

The distinctive skin folds and coat of a Dogue De Bordeaux require special attention to prevent skin infections and parasites. Regular grooming, including brushing to remove dead hair and bathing with a gentle, breed-appropriate shampoo, can maintain skin health and coat condition. It’s important to dry thoroughly any skin folds to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to bacterial and fungal infections. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into their diet can also support skin and coat health, contributing to overall well-being.

Environmental Enrichment

Providing a stimulating environment is essential for the mental health and well-being of a Dogue De Bordeaux. Environmental enrichment can include interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and regular playtime, which not only exercises their bodies but also their minds. Training sessions and obedience classes offer mental stimulation while strengthening the bond between you and your dog. A well-stimulated Dogue is less likely to exhibit destructive behaviours or suffer from anxiety, supporting a healthier and more balanced life.

Socialization and Training

Proper socialization from a young age is vital for a Dogue De Bordeaux, exposing them to various people, animals, and situations to develop a well-rounded and confident adult dog. Continuous socialization and positive reinforcement training throughout their life can help manage their protective instincts and ensure they’re well-behaved and adaptable. Training that focuses on social skills, obedience, and gentle handling can mitigate potential aggression and fearfulness, enhancing their sociability and quality of life.

Preventative Medications

Staying up-to-date with preventative medications for fleas, ticks, heartworms, and other parasites is crucial for Dogue De Bordeaux’s health. These parasites can cause a range of health issues, from minor irritations to life-threatening diseases. Regular veterinary consultations will ensure your Dogue De Bordeaux receives the appropriate preventative treatments tailored to your area’s specific risks, helping to keep them parasite-free and healthy.

Regular Health Screenings

As Dogues De Bordeaux ages, regular health screenings become increasingly important to catch and address age-related conditions early. These screenings should include blood tests, X-rays, and other diagnostic tests to monitor for signs of arthritis, heart conditions, cancer, and other diseases prevalent in the breed. Early detection and intervention can significantly improve the management of these conditions, enhancing your Dogue De Bordeaux’s quality of life and potentially extending their lifespan.

By adopting a holistic approach to their care, focusing on preventive health measures, and addressing the breed-specific needs of Dogues De Bordeaux, owners can significantly impact their pets’ health and lifespan. A combination of proper nutrition, regular veterinary care, appropriate exercise, and attentive management of potential health issues lays the foundation for a long, joyful life together with these gentle giants.


Frequently Asked Questions About The Lifespans of Dogues De Bordeaux

1. What is the average lifespan of a Dogue De Bordeaux?

The Dogue De Bordeaux, a magnificent and robust breed, typically enjoys a lifespan ranging from 5 to 8 years. This relatively short lifespan, common among giant dog breeds, is influenced by various factors including genetics, health conditions, and the level of care provided by the owner. To support their health, it’s crucial to provide a balanced diet, regular veterinary care, adequate exercise, and attention to their specific needs. Preventive care for common health issues like heart conditions, joint dysplasia, and maintaining a healthy weight can also contribute to extending their lifespan. Engaging in regular health screenings and monitoring for signs of common ailments can enable early intervention, potentially improving their quality of life and longevity.

2. Are there hereditary health conditions that affect Dogue De Bordeaux?

Yes, the Dogue De Bordeaux is predisposed to several hereditary health conditions that can impact their lifespan. These include hip dysplasia, a condition affecting the hip joints that can lead to arthritis and mobility issues; elbow dysplasia, similar to hip dysplasia but affecting the elbows; heart diseases like aortic stenosis; and gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), commonly known as bloat, which is a life-threatening emergency. Early detection and management of these conditions are crucial. Regular veterinary check-ups, including specific screenings for heart and joint health, can help identify issues before they become severe. Owners should also be educated about the signs of bloat and seek immediate veterinary care if they suspect their dog is affected. Responsible breeding practices, including health screening and genetic testing, are essential to reduce the prevalence of these hereditary conditions in future generations.

3. How can I extend the lifespan of my Dogue De Bordeaux?

Extending the lifespan of a Dogue De Bordeaux involves a comprehensive approach focusing on optimal nutrition, regular exercise, early detection, and management of health conditions, and mental well-being. Feeding a high-quality diet tailored to their specific needs and maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce the risk of joint issues and heart disease. Moderate, regular exercise helps maintain muscle tone and cardiovascular health without overstraining the joints. Preventive veterinary care, including routine check-ups and vaccinations, plays a vital role in catching and managing health issues early. Additionally, fostering a stress-free environment and providing plenty of social interaction and mental stimulation can enhance their overall well-being. By addressing these key areas, owners can help their Dogue De Bordeaux enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling life.

4. What diet is best for a Dogue De Bordeaux to ensure a long life?

The best diet for a Dogue De Bordeaux to ensure a long life is one that’s balanced and specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of large breeds. This diet should have an appropriate balance of high-quality proteins to support muscle maintenance, fats for energy, and carbohydrates for digestive health, along with essential vitamins and minerals to support overall well-being. Given their risk for bloat, it’s crucial to divide their daily food intake into two or more smaller meals rather than one large meal and to encourage slow eating. Also, avoiding exercise right before and after meals can help minimize the risk of this condition. Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin can support joint health, while omega-3 fatty acids can promote a healthy coat and skin. Always ensure fresh water is available, and consult with a veterinarian to tailor the diet to your Dogue De Bordeaux’s specific age, health status, and activity level to support their longevity.

5. How much exercise does a Dogue De Bordeaux need?

A Dogue De Bordeaux requires moderate exercise to maintain their health and well-being. Despite their large size, they do not need extensive physical activity but benefit from regular, moderate exercises such as daily walks and play sessions in a secure, fenced area. Swimming is also a great low-impact exercise for them, helping to keep them fit without putting undue stress on their joints. It’s essential to tailor exercise to the individual dog’s health, age, and energy levels, avoiding overexertion, especially in hot weather, to prevent heatstroke. Exercise not only helps in maintaining a healthy weight but also aids in preventing boredom and behavioural issues, contributing to their overall quality of life. Integrating mental stimulation into their routine, through training exercises and interactive toys, can also provide comprehensive well-being benefits.

6. What are the signs of ageing in Dogue De Bordeaux I should watch for?

Signs of ageing in a Dogue De Bordeaux include reduced activity levels, increased need for rest, difficulty in standing up or lying down, and less enthusiasm for play or walks. You may also notice greying around the muzzle and face, a decrease in muscle mass, and possibly a duller coat. Other signs might include increased stiffness, especially after resting, potential hearing or vision loss, and changes in behaviour, such as confusion or disorientation, which could indicate a cognitive decline. Regular veterinary check-ups can help manage age-related conditions and maintain quality of life in their senior years. Adjustments to their diet, exercise routine, and living environment, such as softer bedding and more accessible food and water dishes, can help accommodate their changing needs.

7. Can Dogue De Bordeaux handle hot weather?

Dogue De Bordeaux, like many large and brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, can struggle in hot weather due to their difficulty dissipating heat efficiently. Their heavy build and shorter airways make them more susceptible to overheating and heatstroke, even in moderately warm temperatures or during brief periods of intense activity. To ensure their well-being in hot weather, provide them with a cool, shaded place to rest, and access to fresh water at all times, and consider using fans or air conditioning to help them stay comfortable. Exercise should be limited during cooler parts of the day, such as the early morning or late evening, and always watch for signs of overheating, including excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, or disorientation. If your Dogue De Bordeaux shows any signs of heatstroke, it’s crucial to cool them down gradually with room-temperature water (not cold, as it may shock their system) and seek veterinary care immediately. Taking proactive steps to manage their exposure to heat can help prevent serious health issues and ensure their comfort during warmer months.

8. What regular health screenings should my Dogue De Bordeaux have?

Regular health screenings are vital for early detection and management of conditions that commonly affect the Dogue De Bordeaux, potentially extending their lifespan. Annual veterinary check-ups should include a comprehensive physical examination, blood tests to screen for signs of infection or disease, and specific screenings based on the dog’s age and health history. Given their susceptibility to heart conditions, regular cardiac evaluations, such as echocardiograms, may be recommended. Hip and elbow dysplasia screenings through X-rays can help identify joint issues early, allowing for prompt management. For those breeds prone to certain cancers, periodic ultrasound examinations and blood tests can aid in early detection. Additionally, thyroid function tests can screen for hypothyroidism, a condition not uncommon in the breed. Discussing your Dogue De Bordeaux’s specific risk factors with your veterinarian can help tailor a screening schedule to their needs, ensuring that any health issues are identified and addressed as early as possible.

9. How can I improve my Dogue De Bordeaux’s coat health?

Improving your Dogue De Bordeaux’s coat health involves a combination of proper nutrition, regular grooming, and attention to their overall health. A diet rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can promote a shiny, healthy coat by nourishing the skin and hair follicles. Look for dog foods that list these fatty acids among their ingredients or consider supplementing their diet with fish oil, under veterinary guidance. Regular brushing helps distribute natural skin oils throughout the coat, preventing dryness and promoting shine while removing dirt and loose fur. Bathing your Dogue De Bordeaux with a mild, dog-specific shampoo as needed can keep their coat clean without stripping essential oils. Additionally, addressing underlying health issues, such as allergies or skin infections, through veterinary care can prevent problems that negatively affect coat health. Keeping your Dogue De Bordeaux healthy and well-groomed not only enhances their appearance but also contributes to their overall well-being.

10. What is the best way to socialize a Dogue De Bordeaux?

Socializing a Dogue De Bordeaux is crucial for developing a well-adjusted and confident dog. The best way to socialize them involves gradually exposing them to a variety of experiences, environments, people, and other animals from an early age, ideally during the puppy phase between 3 to 14 weeks. Start with short, positive experiences that are controlled and safe, gradually increasing exposure as they show readiness and comfort. Socialization classes can be beneficial, offering structured environments where your Dogue De Bordeaux can interact with other dogs and people under the guidance of professionals. Incorporate positive reinforcement, like treats and praise, to associate new experiences with positive outcomes. It’s also important to continue socialization throughout their life to maintain their social skills. Remember, socialization should never be forced. Pay attention to your dog’s body language and signs of stress, and proceed at a pace they’re comfortable with. Proper socialization reduces fear and anxiety, leading to a more sociable, well-behaved dog, and enhancing their overall well-being.

11. How can I address separation anxiety in my Dogue De Bordeaux?

Separation anxiety in Dogue De Bordeaux can manifest as destructive behaviour, excessive barking, or distress when left alone. Addressing this issue requires patience, understanding, and a consistent approach. Begin by gradually acclimatizing your dog to being alone for short periods, slowly increasing the duration as they become more comfortable. Create a safe, comforting environment for them when you’re away, such as a quiet space with their bed and favourite toys. Consider leaving a piece of clothing that smells like you to offer comfort. Using puzzle toys filled with treats can keep them occupied and reduce anxiety. Implementing a calm goodbye and greeting routine can also help minimize the stress associated with departures and arrivals. In severe cases, professional help from a dog trainer or behaviourist experienced in separation anxiety may be necessary. Sometimes, medication prescribed by a veterinarian could be part of the management strategy. Consistently addressing separation anxiety not only improves your dog’s quality of life but can also prevent behaviour problems that might shorten their lifespan.

12. What preventive care should Dogue De Bordeaux receive?

Preventive care is essential to maintaining the health and extending the lifespan of a Dogue De Bordeaux. This includes regular veterinary check-ups for early detection and management of potential health issues. Vaccinations are crucial to protect them from infectious diseases, and parasite control against fleas, ticks, and worms helps prevent various ailments. A balanced diet tailored to their specific nutritional needs supports overall health, and managing their weight can prevent obesity-related problems. Dental care, including regular brushing and veterinary cleanings, prevents periodontal disease, which can affect their overall health. Joint care, through supplements like glucosamine and regular, low-impact exercise, helps maintain mobility and prevent arthritis. Additionally, heart health should be monitored with regular veterinary screenings, especially for breeds prone to cardiac issues. Implementing these preventive care measures, tailored to the unique needs of your Dogue De Bordeaux, can significantly enhance their quality of life and longevity.

13. Can Dogue De Bordeaux live comfortably in an apartment?

Living comfortably in an apartment with a Dogue De Bordeaux is possible, provided their specific needs are met. Despite their large size, Dogues De Bordeaux can adapt to apartment living due to their relatively low energy levels. However, it’s crucial to ensure they receive adequate daily exercise to maintain their health and prevent boredom or behavioural issues. This means regular walks, opportunities for off-leash play in a secure area, and mental stimulation through interactive toys and training exercises. Space within the apartment should be sufficient for them to move around comfortably, with a cosy area for sleeping. Owners should also be mindful of their dog’s temperament and the potential for noise, ensuring they are well-socialized and trained to minimize barking or distress when left alone. Consideration of neighbours and the building’s pet policy is essential. With proper care, attention to exercise and mental stimulation, and regular outings, a Dogue De Bordeaux can enjoy a happy and healthy life in an apartment setting.

14. What grooming needs does a Dogue De Bordeaux have?

Dogue De Bordeaux has specific grooming needs that are essential for their health and well-being. Their short coat requires regular brushing, at least once a week, to remove loose fur and distribute skin oils, which keeps their coat healthy and reduces shedding. Bathing should be done as needed, using a dog-specific shampoo to avoid drying out their skin. Due to their wrinkles and folds, particularly around the face, it’s important to regularly clean these areas to prevent infection; a damp cloth can be used to gently wipe them down, followed by drying to keep the skin healthy. Nail trimming is also crucial to avoid overgrowth that can cause discomfort and affect their gait. Ear cleaning should be part of their routine to prevent wax buildup and infections, especially given their floppy ears. Dental care, including regular brushing and professional cleanings, helps prevent periodontal disease. Addressing these grooming needs not only keeps your Dogue De Bordeaux looking their best but also plays a critical role in their overall health maintenance.

15. How to properly train a Dogue De Bordeaux?

Training a Dogue De Bordeaux requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement techniques. Start training early, as puppies are more receptive to learning new behaviours and commands. Basic obedience training, including commands like sit, stay, come, and heel, is essential for their safety and socialization. Due to their size and strength, leash training is particularly important to ensure they are manageable on walks. Socialization should be part of their training regime, exposing them to different people, animals, and environments to foster a well-adjusted and confident demeanour. Use treats, praise, and toys as rewards for positive behaviour to reinforce learning. Avoid negative reinforcement or punishment, which can lead to fear and aggression. Setting clear boundaries and rules from the start helps them understand their place within the family. Given their intelligent and sometimes stubborn nature, Dogue De Bordeaux may require firm but gentle guidance. Consistency in training and socialization efforts will yield a well-behaved, loyal, and loving companion.

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