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Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament: What’s a Dogue de Bordeaux’s Personality Like?

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on September 28, 2023

The Dogue de Bordeaux, also commonly known as the French Mastiff, is a powerful and imposing breed with a rich history dating back centuries in France. Despite their intimidating appearance, these dogs are often affectionate, loyal, and good-natured. Let’s delve into eight distinctive traits that encapsulate the temperament and personality of the Dogue de Bordeaux.

1. Loyal Guardians

The Dogue de Bordeaux’s roots lie in its historic role as a guardian and protector. Their innate sense of loyalty to their families ensures that they will always be on alert to protect their loved ones from any perceived threats. However, their protective nature isn’t about aggression; it’s about their deep sense of duty and love.

2. Gentle Affection

Contrary to what their imposing physique might suggest, the Dogue de Bordeaux is incredibly affectionate and often seeks out the companionship of its human family members. They form deep bonds, particularly with the primary caregivers in their lives, making them devoted companions.

3. Calm Demeanor

Despite their powerful build, Dogues de Bordeaux are known for their calm and even-tempered disposition. They aren’t overly reactive and tend to assess situations before reacting, making them suitable for families and various living conditions.

4. Stubborn Independence

Their independent streak is quite pronounced. While they are intelligent and can pick up on commands quickly, the Dogue de Bordeaux can sometimes decide they have a better idea, which can come across as stubbornness. Early, consistent training is essential to harness their intellect positively.

5. Gentleness with Children

One of the endearing qualities of the Dogue de Bordeaux is its patience and gentleness with children. Their protective nature extends to the youngest members of the family, and they often become the perfect gentle giant playmate for kids, although supervision during interactions is always advisable.

6. Wary of Strangers

While they are affectionate with family and familiar faces, the Dogue de Bordeaux can be reserved or even aloof with strangers. This characteristic is tied to their historical role as guardians. It’s crucial to socialize them early to ensure they can distinguish between friendly visitors and genuine threats.

7. Adaptable Companions

Dogue de Bordeaux can adapt to various living situations. Whether in a suburban home with a yard or a city apartment, they are content as long as they receive adequate exercise and, most importantly, quality time with their family.

8. Mild Playfulness

While not the most energetic breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux does have playful moments. They enjoy engaging in interactive games, and their idea of play is often more about companionship than high-energy antics. Their play style can be boisterous given their size, so ample space is recommended.

The Dogue de Bordeaux, with its captivating blend of strength and sweetness, is a breed that garners admiration and respect. Their loyalty, affection, and calm disposition make them a treasured member of the families they join. Potential owners should be prepared to invest time in early training and socialization to ensure their Dogue de Bordeaux matures into the gentle and well-mannered giant they are renowned for being. Above all, the most rewarding aspect of having a Dogue de Bordeaux in your life is the unwavering love and loyalty they bring, making every effort in raising them well worth it.

How Does a Male Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament Compare to a Female Dogue de Bordeaux?

Male Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament:

1. Size and Presence: Male Dogue de Bordeaux dogs are significantly larger than females. Their imposing size naturally commands presence and dominance, making them more effective as guard dogs. This noticeable size difference requires owners who can handle and manage large breeds confidently and responsibly.

2. Protective Nature: Males are usually more protective and territorial. Their protective instincts are particularly pronounced towards their immediate family members and the property they consider their territory. This vigilant guarding trait makes them excellent watchdogs, but it also necessitates early and consistent training and socialization to prevent overprotectiveness.

3. Consistency in Behavior: Once mature, male Dogue de Bordeaux dogs tend to have a consistent and predictable temperament. While they may be stubborn at times, their behavior does not fluctuate dramatically, making it easier for owners to anticipate and understand their actions and reactions.

4. Dominant Traits: Males often exhibit more dominance, which can be both an advantage and a challenge for owners. While their dominant nature can make them confident and assertive protectors, it also means that owners need to establish clear leadership and control from the start.

Female Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament:

1. Nurturing Instincts: Females tend to possess nurturing instincts, making them exceptionally affectionate and caring towards their families. Their maternal nature makes them protective but in a nurturing manner, providing comfort and security to family members, especially children.

2. Trainability: Female Dogue de Bordeaux dogs are often perceived as being easier to train. Their somewhat less dominant disposition makes them more receptive to commands and instructions during training sessions. However, they still require firm and consistent training approaches to foster obedience and good behavior.

3. Mood Variations: Females may experience mood fluctuations, particularly during their heat cycles. Owners should be aware of these behavioral changes and accommodate their needs and sensitivities during these periods.

4. Smaller Size: While still large, females are smaller than males, making them somewhat easier to handle and manage, particularly in public spaces or during walks. Their slightly smaller stature may be preferable for families with limited living space or those who prefer a slightly less imposing pet.

Choosing between a male and a female Dogue de Bordeaux ultimately depends on your personal preference, lifestyle, and what you are looking for in a pet. While males are larger and more dominant, females may offer a nurturing and slightly more manageable alternative. Both genders require early socialization and training, and both can provide immense love, loyalty, and protection to their families. Understanding the differences in temperament between male and female Dogue de Bordeaux dogs can help potential owners make informed decisions that lead to a harmonious and rewarding relationship with this remarkable breed.

Frequently Asked Questions about a Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament and Personality

1. Is the Dogue de Bordeaux a good family dog?

Absolutely. The Dogue de Bordeaux is known for its deep loyalty and affection towards its family, making it an excellent family companion. Their patient and gentle nature with family members make them suitable for households with children as well.

2. Are they aggressive towards strangers?

The breed tends to be reserved and cautious around unfamiliar people. Early socialization is crucial to help them become more comfortable around strangers and prevent aggressive tendencies rooted in protection and fear.

3. How do they fare with other pets?

With proper socialization, the Dogue de Bordeaux can coexist peacefully with other pets. Introducing them to various animals at a young age helps in developing their tolerance and acceptance of other pets in the household.

4. Is the Dogue de Bordeaux easy to train?

Training a Dogue de Bordeaux can be challenging due to their stubborn and independent nature. However, with consistent, patient, and positive reinforcement training methods, they can be effectively trained.

5. Do they need a lot of exercise?

While they are not hyperactive, Dogue de Bordeaux dogs require regular moderate exercise to maintain their health and happiness. Daily walks and play sessions are typically sufficient.

6. Are they good for first-time dog owners?

Due to their size and temperament, they might be challenging for first-time dog owners. They require a handler who can assert leadership and provide consistent training and socialization.

7. Do Dogue de Bordeaux dogs bark a lot?

They are not excessive barkers. Dogue de Bordeaux dogs usually bark when necessary, serving as effective guard dogs without creating unnecessary noise.

8. Are they prone to any health issues?

Like many large breeds, they are prone to certain health problems, including hip dysplasia and heart issues. Regular veterinary checkups and a healthy lifestyle are crucial.

9. Do they require a lot of grooming?

Their short coat requires minimal grooming. Regular brushing, bathing, and nail trimming are usually sufficient to keep them clean and healthy.

10. Can they live in apartments?

While possible, a spacious living environment is preferable. They are large dogs and need adequate space to move and live comfortably.

11. How are they with children?

Dogue de Bordeaux dogs are generally patient and gentle with children. However, due to their size, interactions between the dogs and small children should always be supervised.

12. Do they have separation anxiety?

They form strong bonds with their families, and prolonged separation can lead to anxiety. It’s essential to gradually acclimate them to short periods alone to mitigate separation anxiety issues.

13. What is their life expectancy?

Their average life expectancy ranges between 5 to 8 years, though some may live longer with proper care and attention to their health.

14. How much do they eat?

Being a large breed, their dietary needs are substantial. The exact amount depends on their age, weight, metabolism, and activity level, so consulting with a vet for dietary recommendations is advisable.

15. Are they good in cold or hot weather?

Dogue de Bordeaux dogs can adapt to various climates, but due to their short coat, they might need protection in extremely cold weather, and like all breeds, they should be kept cool and hydrated in hot conditions.


What Kind of Person Is a Good Fit for a Dogue de Bordeaux?

1. Experienced Dog Handler

Individuals with prior experience handling large breeds are typically better suited for owning a Dogue de Bordeaux. Experience is crucial because this breed can be assertive and needs a handler who can establish and maintain leadership while managing their strength and size with confidence.

2. Patient Trainer

Dogue de Bordeaux can sometimes exhibit stubbornness and independence during training sessions. Individuals who are patient and committed to providing consistent, positive reinforcement-based training from puppyhood will likely find the most success with this breed.

3. Active Individuals or Families

While they are not the most energetic breed, Dogue de Bordeaux requires regular exercise to maintain optimal health. Owners should be prepared to engage in daily activities such as walks and playtime to keep their Dogue de Bordeaux physically and mentally stimulated.

4. Those Seeking a Guardian

If you’re looking for a loyal and protective companion, the Dogue de Bordeaux fits the bill. They are naturally vigilant and have strong protective instincts, making them excellent guardians of their home and family.

5. Individuals With Ample Living Space

Due to their significant size, Dogue de Bordeaux thrives in environments where they have enough space to move and live comfortably. Individuals with spacious homes, preferably with a secure yard, would provide an ideal setting for this breed.

6. Families with Older Children

While they are known for being gentle with children, the breed’s size and strength may pose challenges with very young kids. Families with older children who understand how to interact with large dogs responsibly and respectfully would be a better match.

7. Committed Groomers

Although they don’t require intensive grooming, owners should be prepared to invest time in regular maintenance routines, including brushing, bathing, nail trimming, and dental care, to keep their Dogue de Bordeaux healthy and comfortable.

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a magnificent breed known for its loyalty, strength, and gentle nature. Individuals or families considering adding a Dogue de Bordeaux to their household should assess whether they can meet the breed’s specific needs and requirements. With the right owner, a Dogue de Bordeaux can be not only a loyal protector but also a loving and cherished member of the family. This breed thrives in an environment of love, respect, and consistent leadership, providing their owners with unconditional love and steadfast protection in return. Understanding and respecting the breed’s traits and needs is the key to a successful and rewarding relationship with the Dogue de Bordeaux.

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