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Date of publication of the valid original standard: 14/04/1995 Adopted in Australia : October 1995 Origin: France Utilization: Guard, defence and dissuasion FCI-classification: Group 2 (Pinscher and Schnauzer type, Molossian and Swiss mountain and cattledogs) Section 2.1. (Mastiff type) - Without working trial Australian Classification: Group 6 Utility

The above diagram is an exert from the magnificent book The Saga of the Dogue de Bordeaux by Raymond Triquet(father of the breed) and published by Bas Bosch Press. It is recommended that every breed enthusiast try to obtain a copy of this book as its content and full Breed Standard Commentary will be of great benefit to anyone wishing to improve their own Dogue de Bordeaux dogs and in particular their knowledge and education in the breed.

Feature Height [A]

Chest Body Head Head [B] [C] [D]

Important Proportions / Standards

Height at the withers. Males 60-68cm (Less for Bitches) 1cm under and 2 cm over accepted Circumference of the chest taken at the elbows = [A] Height at the withers + 25 to 30cm Length of the body = 11/10s of [A] Length of the head from occiput (back of the skull) to the nose leather = 3 x [F]

[E] Skull from occiput to stop = 2 x [F]

Muzzle Head Muzzle Head Chest

[F] Length of the muzzle = maximum 1/3 of [D], minimum 1/4 of [D] [G] Width of the skull seen from the front = greater base of a trapezium [H] Width at the end of the muzzle = smaller base of a trapezium In the male , circumference of the head = [A] Height at the withers Depth of chest = more than half of [A] Height at the withers Fawn to Mahogany


Fine, short, soft to the touch. Coloured from dark mahogany to red to light fawn & Isabella

FCI Breed Standard for the Dogue de Bordeaux

GENERAL APPEARANCE - Typical concave lined brachycephalic mollossoid [short-headed Mastiff type]. 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 to ground being slightly less than the depth of the chest. Stocky, athletic, imposing, he has a very dissuasive aspect.

Important Proportions: The length of the body, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock, is superior to [greater than] the height at the withers, in the proportion of 11:10. The depth of the chest is more than half the height at the withers. The maximum length of the muzzle is equal to one third of the length of the head. In the male, the perimeter [circumference] of the skull corresponds, more or less, to the height at the withers. CHARACTERISTICS - [See also under General Appearance and Temperament]. The undershot bite is characteristic of the breed. Bitches have identical charateristics as males but less pronouced. TEMPERAMENT - An ancient fighting dog, the Dogue de Bordeaux is gifted for guarding, which he assumes with vigilance and great courage, but without aggressiveness. and very affectionate. character. HEAD AND SKULL -Voluminous, angular, broad, rather short, trapezoid when viewed from above and in front [trapezoid means a four sided object with two sides parallel. See the diagram of the head, and, viewed from A good companion, very attached to his master The male normally has a dominant

Calm, balanced with a high stimulus threshold.

the front, it will be noted that the top and bottom surfaces are parallel whilst the two sides are not, being wider at the top than at the bottom]. Cranial Region [Skull]: In the male, the perimeter [circumference] of the skull measured at the level of its greatest width corresponds roughly to the height at the withers. In bitches, it may be slightly less.

Its volume and shape are the consequences of the very important development of the temporals [bones of the temple], supra-orbital arches [ over the eye sockets or eyebrows], zygomatic arches [bony ridges forming the

lower edges of the eye sockets] and the spacing of the branches of the lower jaw. skull is slightly convex [arched] from one side to the other.

The upper region of the

Fronto-nasal or stop is very pronounced, almost forming a right angle with the muzzle (95 to 100 degrees). The frontal groove is deep, diminishing towards the posterior end of the head. The forehead dominates the

face, however it is still wider than high.The head is furrowed with symmetrical wrinkles, each side of the median groove. These deep ropes of wrinkle are mobile depending on whether the dog is attentive or not.

Facial Region - Muzzle: Nose: Broad, well opened nostrils, well pigmented according to the mask. Upturned nose (snubbed) permissible but not if it is set back towards the face. Muzzle: Powerful, broad, thick, but not fleshy below the eyes, rather short, upper profile very slightly concave, with moderately obvious folds. Its width hardly decreasing towards the tip of the muzzle, when viewed from above it has the general shape of a square. In relation to the upper region of the skull, the line of the muzzle forms a very obtuse [blunt] angle upwards. When the head is held horizontally, the tip of the muzzle, truncated, thick and broad at the base, is in front of a vertical tangent to the anterior face of the nose [the end of the muzzle is in front of the forward edge of the nose] Its perimeter [circumference] is almost two thirds of that of the head. Its length varies between one third and one quarter of the total length of the head, from the nose to the occipital crest. The limits stated (maximum one third and minimum one quarter of the total length of the head) are permissible but not sought after, the ideal length of the muzzle being between these two extremes. Jaws: Very powerful, broad. The lower jaw curves upwards. The chin is well marked and must neither overlap the upper lip exaggeratedly nor be covered by it. Upper lip: Thick, moderately pendulous, retractile. When viewed in profile it shows a rounded lower line. It covers the lower jaw on the sides. In front, the edge of the upper lip is in contact with the lower lip, then drops on either side, thus forming a reversed, wide V. Cheeks: Prominent, due to the very strong development of the muscles. EYES Oval, set wide apart. The space between the two inner angles of the eyelids is equal to about twice The haw must not be visible. Colour - hazel to dark

the length of the eye (eye opening). Frank expression

brown for a dog with a black mask, lighter colour tolerated but not sought after in dogs with either a brown mask or without a mask. EARS - Relatively small, of a slightly darker colour than the coat. At its set on, the front of the base of the ear is slightly raised. They must fall back, but not hang limply, the front edge being close to the cheek when the dog is attentive. The tip of the ear is slightly rounded; it must not reach beyond the eye. Set rather high, at

the level of the upper line of the skull, thus appearing to accentuate its width even more. MOUTH - Undershot (the undershot condition being a characteristic of the breed). incisors is in front of and not in contact with the front face of the upper incisors. Teeth: Strong, particularly the canines. Lower canines set wide apart and slightly curved. Incisors well The back of the lower

aligned, especially in the lower jaw where they form an apparently straight line. NECK - Very strong, muscular, almost cylindrical. The skin is supple, ample and loose. The average circumference almost equals that of the head. transversal [crosswise] furrow, slightly curved. It is separated from the head by a slightly accentuated Its upper edge is slightly convex [arched]. The well defined The

dewlap starts at the level of the throat, forming folds down to the chest, without hanging exaggeratedly. neck, very broad at its base, merges smoothly with the shoulders. FOREQUARTERS - Strong bone structure, legs very muscular.


Powerful, prominent muscles. Slant of shoulder-blades medium (about 45 degrees to the

horizontal), angle of the scapular-humeral articulation [point of shoulder] a little more than 90 degrees.

Arms [upper arms]:

Very muscular.

Elbows: In the axis of the body, neither too close to the thoracic wall nor turned out [turned neither in nor out]. Forearms: Viewed from the front, straight or inclining slightly inwards, thus getting closer to the median plane [centre line], especially in dogs with a very broad chest. Viewed in profile, vertical. Metacarpial region [Pasterns]: Powerful. Viewed in profile, slightly sloping. Viewed from the front, sometimes slightly outwards, thus compensating for the slight inclination of the forearm inwards. BODY Topline: Solid with a broad and muscular back, withers well marked, broad loin, rather short and solid, rump moderately sloping down to the root of the tail. Chest: Powerful, long, deep, broad, let down lower than the elbows. Broad and powerful breast whose lower line (inter-axillae) [between the armpits] is convex towards the bottom. Ribs well let down and well sprung but not barrel shaped. The circumference of the chest must be between 25 to 30 cms greater than the height at the withers. Underline: Curved, from the deep brisket to the rather tucked up, firm abdomen, being neither pendulous nor whippety. HINDQUARTERS - Robust legs with strong bone structure; well angulated. When viewed from behind, the hindquarters are parallel and vertical, thus giving an impression of power, even though the hindquarters are not quite as broad as the forequarters. Thigh [first or upper]: Very well developed and thick with visible muscles Stifle: In a parallel plane to the median [centre] plane or slightly out. Second Thigh: Relatively short, muscled, descending low. Hock: Short, sinewy, angle of the hock joint moderately open Metatarsus [Rear pastern]: FEET Forefeet: Strong. Toes tight, nails curved and strong, pads well developed and supple; the Dogue is well up on his toes despite his weight. Hindfeet: Slightly longer than the front feet, toes tight. TAIL - Very thick at the base. Its tip preferably reaching the hock and not below. Carried low, it is neither broken nor kinked but supple. Hanging when the dog is in repose, generally rising by 90 to 120 degrees from that position when the dog is in action, without curving over the back or being curled. GAIT/MOVEMENT - Quite supple for a mollossoid [mastiff type]. When walking, the movement is free, supple, close to the ground. Good drive from the hindquarters, good extension of the forelegs, especially when trotting, which is the preferred gait. When the trot quickens, the head tends to drop, the topline inclines Robust, no dewclaws.

towards the front, and the front feet get closer to the median plane [move closer together] while striding out with a long reaching movement of the front legs. Short gallop with vertical movement rather

important. Capable of great speed over short distances by bolting along close to the ground. COAT Skin: Thick and sufficiently loose fitting. Hair: Fine, short and soft to the touch. Self-coloured, in all shades of fawn, from mahogany to Isabella [lightish fawn]. A good


pigmentation is desirable. Limited white patches are permissible on the chest and the extremities of the limbs.


1. Black mask: The mask is often only slightly spread out and must not invade the cranial [skull] region. There may be slight black shading on the skull, ears, neck and top of body. The nose is then black.

2. Brown mask: (Used to be called red or bistre [darkened or swarthy]). The nose is then brown; the eyerims are also brown.

3. No mask: The coat is fawn; the skin appears red (also formerly called "red mask"). The nose is then reddish or pink. SIZE Height: Should more or less correspond to the perimeter of the skull.

Dogs: 60-68 cm at the withers. Bitches: 58-66 cm at the withers. 1cm under and 2 cm over will be tolerated. Weight: Dogs: at least 50 kg. Bitches at least 45 kg FAULTS - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree. Serious Faults: Hyper-aggressive, timid Head short and round with protruding eyes Hypertypical [excessively] bulldoggy; flat skull, muzzle measuring less than a quarter of the total length of the head Important lateral deviation of the lower jaw [wry mouth] Incisors constantly visible when the mouth is closed Arched [roach] back Fused but not deviated vertebrae of the tail Forefeet turning inwards (even slightly) Forefeet turning outwards too much Flat thighs Angle of hock too open (straight angulation) Angle of the hock too closed, dog standing under himself behind Cow hocks or barrel hocks Stilted movement or serious rolling of the rear Excessive shortness of breath, rasping White on tip of tail or on the front part of the forelegs, above the carpus [wrist] and the tarsus [hock joint] Disqualifying Faults: Long, narrow head with insufficiently pronounced stop, with a muzzle measuring more than a third of the total length of the head (lack of type in head) Muzzle parallel to the top of the skull [parallel planes], or downfaced, Roman nosed Twisted jaw Mouth not undershot Canines constantly visible when the mouth is closed Tongue constantly hanging out when the mouth is closed Tail knotted and laterally deviated or twisted (screw tail, kink tail) Atrophied tail Fiddle front with splay feet Angle of the hock open towards the rear (tarsal deviated towards the front) [reverse angle of hock] White on the head or body, any other colour of the coat than fawn Identifiable disabling defect NOTE - Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum

General Overview
This page will be dedicated to communicating the correct standard for the Dogue de Bordeaux and explaining how it differs to other breeds. Aimed as an education tool for: Judges Breeders Owners and Lovers of the breed

The information will be updated with new and updated information as points of interest, varying concerns and even questions or queries are raised by our members and visitors.

The Breed Overall

The words form and function are often used in the purebred dog world and usually in conjunction with the question, is the dog still able to perform the original function it was bred for. When looking at the Dogue de Bordeaux, its original function was varied. The breed has been used for dog fighting, for bull and bear bating, for guarding and as a draught animal. Given the range of uses, it is obvious that the breed must be athletic but with a muscular body that can produce considerable strength. The first few sentences of the Breed Standard for the Dogue de Bordeaux (DDB) actually captures very well the form and function of the DDB. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a very powerful dog, with a very muscular body yet retaining a harmonious general outline. He is build rather close to the ground.stocky, athletic, imposing, he has a very dissuasive aspect. Like in many breeds, there is a tendency to be drawn to those dogs displaying excess the biggest dog, the biggest bone, the biggest head, the most wrinkle, the flashiest movement. At this point, you must stop and ask yourself, is the example of the breed in front of me a stocky, athletic, harmonious medium sized mastiff with a dissuasive look that displays the various correct breed characteristics? The tendency to excess in the breed has caused some concern in recent times. It has led the Society Amateurs Dogue de Bordeaux (SADB) or the French Breed Club to remind breeders to breed for moderation, not excess, and for sound healthy athletic dogs. Given the form and function of the DDB you as judges must also look for dogs of sound structure and conformation. The saying a dog cannot run on its face is very true with the DDB. There is no point

in having a dog with a stunning head if it cannot manage to trot around the show ring. How would a Dogue manage to pull a heavy cart or chase an intruder if it does not have the correct structure to even enable it to trot once around the ring? In concluding this section, I would also like to ask you as judges to remember this is a European breed that does not like the heat of the Australian summer or even spring. Often this breed will not want to show in the heat. At times they will not want to move in the heat. Their preferred time of the day and year is around 8pm on a winters evening. The cool of the evening is when you will see them at their best. So please judges do not keep our Dogues standing out in the sun any more than necessary.

Highlighting the Standard

The Standard is reproduced under the heading Breed Information and it includes the diagrams and list of important proportions that were omitted from The Standard published by the ANKC. These diagrams are essential for any judge to fully understand the measurements of the Dogue de Bordeaux referred to in The Standard. Below you will find some areas of The Standard highlighted as they are key aspects of breed type that distinguish the Dogue de Bordeaux from other molosser breeds. Photographs have also been used to illustrate both correct and incorrect examples of the breed.

The Head
Much of The Standard for the Dogue de Bordeaux is taken up with describing the head. The most important points to note are: * Trapezoid shaped head * Stop, brows and forehead * Wrinkle * Muzzle * Rapandous jaw, chin mark and undershot * Eye placement and colour Trapezoid shaped head The skull is angular with a trapezoid shape. (A trapezoid shape is a four sided object where only two sides are parallel. The two sides that are parallel are called the bases of the trapezium.) If you look at the diagram below, you will see that line G is the greater base of the trapezium and line H is the smaller base of the trapezium.

The two sides are angled, but are not parallel. The trapezoid shape should be apparent from both above and in front of the Dogue. The back skull should be broad and slightly convex from one side to the other with ears set on high at this level to accentuate the width. The pictures below show Dogues with excellent trapezoid shaped heads.

If the head shape is incorrect, it is more likely to resemble either a rectangle or a soccer ball. In comparison with the correct shape above, you can clearly see the incorrect round shape of the head pictured below.

To note the importance of skull shape and profile square with parallel planes belongs to the Bullmastiff, the Neapolitan and the Mastiff with the Mastiff having a quite curved longitudinal axis, the Neapolitan requiring flatness. All three of these breeds require a muzzle to skull ratio of 1:2 making the Dogue slightly shorter and the Dogue is the only Mastiff breed requiring somewhat closed angles in profile. The trapezoid shaped head is one of the most important aspects of breed type and it is one that the Breed Club in France is putting much emphasis on. Stop, brows and forehead The stop is very pronounced, brows are well developed and the frontal groove is deep, diminishing towards the back of the skull. The forehead dominates the face but is never higher than it is wide. Wrinkle The forehead has a distinct symmetrical wrinkle pattern evident, but these wrinkles while deep, must remain mobile. If they are immobile, then the head appears too wet. The muzzle has moderate folds, we do not want to see thick, deep fleshy folds on the muzzle as seen on the Bulldog. There should not be fleshy wrinkle filling up under the eye (some chiselling under the eye is desirable). Also to be avoided is the deep wrinkle running from the outside of the eye down the cheek and to the flew. (This is a characteristic of the Neapolitan Mastiff.) There is a movement towards a somewhat lesser wrinkled, cleaner head at this time to avoid the comparison with the Mastino. The Muzzle

The Standard says ideal length is somewhere between 1/3 and 1/4 of the total length of the head, from the nose to the occipital crest. In reality, 1/3 is too long and is too short, so as mentioned, the ideal is somewhere in between. It is powerful and broad, approximately 2/3 the perimeter of the skull, with its width hardly decreasing towards the tip of the muzzle. There should be a great deal of strength to the muzzle. When viewed from above it has the shape of a square. The upper profile is very slightly concave (dished), although this may be obscured by the wrinkle on mature dogs. The nose is set back (or the end of the muzzle is in front of the forward edge of the nose). Nostrils should be well opened and pigment is in accordance with the colour of the mask. With regard to the pictures below, you can clearly see the strength of muzzle in the dog on the left. Similarly, you can clearly see the setback of the nose and the concave upper profile of the dog on the right.

Repandous jaw, undershot mouth and chin mark The lower jaw of a Dogue de Bordeaux shows a distinct curve upwards (a repandous jaw). The Dogue must be undershot but the standard gives little measure as to the desired amount. In reality, it can be from 1mm to 2.5cm or more. The undershot coupled with the upwards curve of the jaw has an important role in the appearance of the chin so those dogs with more apparent chins will generally be more undershot. The chin mark is a very important aspect of type and one that is quickly diminishing in the breed. If the undershot is not coupled with the repandous (the jaw is flat) then often you have the undesirable situation where canines will show. A large degree of undershot is perfectly acceptable as long as the canines do not show.

Be aware that dogs with a straighter jaw and lesser undershot often have the mouths which appeal to the All-breeds Judge but it is far from the ideal. The lower lip should be visible at the peak of the reversed, wide V formed by the upper lip. On the left is a puppy with an good repandous jaw and chin. Whereas on the right is a dog has a flat jaw with insufficient chin.

Teeth Teeth should be strong . The lower canines are set wide apart and curved slightly. Incisors should be in a straight line and should not resemble grains of rice. However in reality, the corner incisors often display a tendency to sideways displacement, sometimes at an angel. The best way to assess correct prognathism in the Dogue de Bordeaux is to look at the positioning of the upper and lower premolars. In the Dogue, with the shortened upper jaw (undershot), the fourth lower premolar is almost opposite, or even fully opposite, the third upper premolar. Eye Placement and Colour The oval shaped eyes are set forward and wide apart, separated by at least two eye spaces. They should be on or above the level of the root of the muzzle, although the correct expression of the Dogue with the slightly higher set nose may give the appearance of the eyes being lower set as it looks over or through the top of the muzzle. This coupled with the chin mark give a defiant and almost arrogant look.

Although the haw should not be visible, reality is sometimes different. Very often the lower lid folds slightly in the middle but isnt serious in a dog with loose skin. The eye colour should tone with that of the coat and will be slightly darker in Black mask dogs. Black masked dogs have hazel eyes but at best Dogues with a brown mask have amber coloured eyes. Lighter coloured eyes tend to detract from the overall expression of the dog. Ear set Ears are relatively small, triangular, dropping but firm and reaching to the corner of the eye. (In the Bullmastiff we note the bottom of the ear is level with the eye.) They are set high, at the level of the upper line of the skull and therefore accentuate the width of the skull even more. In recent times, a number of dogs with ears that are far too high set, sticking up above the skull, are being noticed. The photo of the Dogue below is an example of this.

The ears are usually a slightly darker colour than the coat. The Head in Summary The trapezoid skull shape, the amount of wrinkle and the degree to which the other aforementioned characteristics are present give rise to the perfectly allowable variation in type seen within the breed. However, it should be noted that the above characteristics relating to the head need to be present for there to be true breed type.

The Body