Dogue de Bordeaux
|Other names||Bordeaux Mastiff, French Mastiff, Bordeauxdog|
|Country of origin||France|
|Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Dogue de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Mastiff or French Mastiff or Bordeauxdog is a French Mastiff breed. The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the most ancient French breeds. They are a typical brachycephalic molossoid type. Bordeaux are very powerful dogs, with a very muscular body. The breed has been utilized in many different forms, from using their brawn to pull carts or haul heavy objects, to guarding flocks and used to protect castles of the European elite.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2012)|
The Dogue de Bordeaux was known in France as early as the fourteenth century, particularly in southern France in the region around Bordeaux. Hence, the city lent its name to these large dogs.
A uniform breed type of the Bordeaux Dog did not exist before about 1920. The French placed emphasis on keeping the old breeding line pure. Black masks were considered an indication of the crossing in of the English Mastiff. As an important indication of purity of the breed, attention was paid to the self colored (pink) nose, lighter eye color (dark amber), and red mask. They were originally bred with huge heads; a pioneer for the breed in Germany, Werner Preugschat once wrote:
"What am I supposed to do with a dog that has a monstrous skull and is at most able to carry it from the food dish to its bed?"
The Dogue de Bordeaux was at one time known to come in two varieties, Dogues and Doguins, the former, the Dogue, being a considerably larger dog than the latter. The latter, the Doguin, has withered away to nothing more than a mention in breed history books, as it is no longer in existence.
The history of the breed is believed to predate the Bullmastiff and the Bulldog. It is said that the Dogue can be found in the background of the Bullmastiff, and others claim that the Dogue and Mastiff breeds were both being accomplished at the same time. Another theory is the Dogue de Bordeaux originates from the Tibetan Mastiff and it is also said that the Dogue is related to the Greco Roman molossoids used for war, as there was a breed similar to the Dogue de Bordeaux in Rome at the time of Julius Caesar's reign, possibly a cousin of the Neapolitan Mastiff. Others suggest that the Dogue de Bordeaux is a descendent of a breed which existed in ancient France, the Dogues de Bordeaux of Aquitaine. Which ever theory is true, it is obvious that the Dogue de Bordeaux shares the same common links as all modern molossers.
The Dogue de Bordeaux was once classified into three varieties, the Parisian, the Toulouse and the Bordeaux, types which were bred depending on the region of France and the jobs they were required to do. Ancestral Dogues de Bordeaux had various coat colors, such as brindle and majority of white markings that carried fully up the legs. They had scissor bites in some regions, undershot in others, big heads, small heads, large bodies and small bodies; very inconsistent in type. Another controversial aspect was the mask, red (brown), none or black. The Dogues de Bordeaux of Bordeaux of the time also sported cropped ears. Regardless, they all had a general type similar to today's Dogue de Bordeaux.
In 1863 the first canine exhibition was held at the "Jardin d'Acclimatation" in Paris, France. The winner of the Dogue de Bordeaux was a bitch named Magentas. The Dogue de Bordeaux was then given the name of the capital of their region of origin, today's Dogue de Bordeaux.
During the 1960s, a group of breeders of the Dogue de Bordeaux in France, headed by Raymond Triquet, worked on the rebuilding of the foundation of the breed. In 1970 a new standard was written for the breed, with the most recent update in 1995. This standard is the basis of the standard written for the AKC in 2005.
Although the Dogue de Bordeaux first came to the USA in the 1890s for the show ring, the first documented Dogues de Bordeaux of modern times was in 1959[clarification needed], Fidelle de Fenelon, and in 1968, Rugby de la Maison des Arbres. Between 1969 and 1980 imported Dogues de Bordeaux in the USA were scarce, limited to a few breeders who worked closely with the French Dogue de Bordeaux Club, the SADB. The breed was first "officially" introduced to American purebred enthusiasts in an article written in 1982 and by the American anthropologist, Dr. Carl Semencic for "Dog World" magazine. That article, entitled "Introducing the Dogue de Bordeaux", was followed by chapters dedicated to the Dogue in Semencic's books on dogs, published by T.F.H. Publications of Neptune, New Jersey. When Semencic's first article on the breed was published there were no Bordeaux Dogues in the United States, there were 600 examples left in the world, mostly in France, Holland and East Berlin, and the breed's numbers were on the decline. Much later, in 1989 the typical American family saw the Dogue de Bordeaux for the first time on the big screen in Touchstone's movie Turner & Hooch about a police man and his canine partner, although many people[who?] did not know that the massive slobbering animal was a Dogue de Bordeaux.
Since then the Dogue de Bordeaux has taken hold in the United States and can be found in greatly increasing numbers across the country. The Dogue de Bordeaux has been supported by multiple breed clubs throughout the years, and has finally found its way to full AKC recognition through the assistance of the Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America. Since 1997 the DDBSA has helped bring the breed to the point in which full AKC recognition could be achieved.
The Dogue de Bordeaux has begun to flourish is recent years, with the introduction of them into more movies and even television, as well as their full recognition status by the American Kennel Club, also known as the AKC (full AKC recognition began July 2008). Their numbers are climbing, but careful attention must be paid to health in the breed, if the increase in popularity is to progress this breed in a positive forward motion in years to come.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2012)|
The Dogue de Bordeaux is a well balanced, muscular and massive dog with a powerful build. The Dogue's size should come mostly from width and muscles, rather than height. The breed is set somewhat low to the ground and is not tall like the English Mastiff. The body of the Dogue de Bordeaux is thick-set, straight top-line and a gentle rounded croup. The front legs should be straight and heavy-boned, well up on pasterns, down to tight cat like feet. The straight tail begins thickly at the base and then tapers to a point at the end. It should not reach lower than the hocks. The tail is thick at the base and tapers to the tip and is set and carried low. The breed is to be presented in a completely natural condition with intact ears, tail, and natural dewclaws. It should be evaluated equally for correctness in conformation, temperament, movement, and overall structural soundness.
The breed standards by European FCI and the American Kennel Club specify a minimum weight of 100 pounds (45 kg) for a female and 115 pounds (52 kg) for a male. There is no formally stated maximum weight, but dogs must be balanced with regard to their overall type and the conformation standards of the breed.
The standard states that the desirable height, at maturity, should range between 23 to 27 inches (60 to 69 cm) for male dogs and from 1⁄222 to 1⁄225 inches (57 to 65 cm) for females. Deviation from these margins is considered a fault.[ 1⁄2citation needed]
The massive head is a crucial breed characteristic. The Dogue de Bordeaux is claimed to have the largest head in the canine world, in proportion to the rest of the body. For males the circumference of the head, measured at the widest point of the skull, is roughly equal to the dog's height at the withers (shoulders). For females the circumference may be slightly less. When viewed from the front or from above, the head of the Dogue forms a trapezoid shape with the longer top-line of the skull, and the shorter line of the underjaw, forming the parallel sides of the trapezoid. The jaw is undershot and powerful. The Dogue should always have a black or red mask that can be distinguished from the rest of the coat around and under the nose, including the lips and eye rims. The nose colour in red masked dogs should be brown, in black masked dogs this must be black. The muzzle should be at most a third of the total length of the head and no shorter than a quarter of the length of the head, the ideal being between the two extremes. The upper lips hang thickly down over the lower jaw. The skin on the neck is loose, forming a noticeable dewlap, but should not be excessive like that of a Neapolitan Mastiff. Small pendant ears top the head, but should not be long and houndy.
The standard specifies the coat to be 'short, fine, and soft to the touch'. Color varies from shades of fawn (light, coppery red) to mahogany (dark, brownish red) with a black, brown, or red mask, although the red mask is true to the breed. White markings are permitted on the tips of the toes and on the chest, but white on any other part of the body is considered a fault, and a disqualifying one if the pigmentation goes beyond the neck.
As with other large breeds of canine, the life expectancy of the Dogue is fairly short. According to data collected by the Dogue De Bordeaux Society of America the average lifespan of the breed is 5 to 6 years. The oldest dog in the record was 12 years old. The Society is actively recording dogs that are 7 years old or older to celebrate the longer-lived dogs.
Because of their brachycephalic head, they can be affected by breathing problems. Some may be heat- and exercise-intolerant as a result. The FCI standard considers excessive shortness of breath and raspy breathing in the Dogue a severe fault. The brachycephalic head shape can also encourage ectropion—an outward rolling of the lower eyelid— which can lead to conjunctivitis (eye inflammation) and bacterial infections.
Aortic stenosis is a disease of the heart valve in which the opening of the aortic valve is narrowed. Symptoms include exercise intolerance, exertional syncope (fainting from physical exertion) and sudden death. One study suggests a high predisposition in the breed. No severe cases were found in adult dogs, and most moderate to severely affected dogs died before one year of age, leading the authors to speculate that the disease is more severe in the Dogue than in other breeds.
Another heart problem in the breed is dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently. Some affected dogs may die suddenly without showing any signs of problems. Others may die from congestive heart failure after several weeks or months. Affected dogs are often euthanized at an early stage to avoid suffering.
X-rays submitted voluntarily to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals shows that more than 50% of Dogues in the database are affected by hip dysplasia. A small number of dogs may be affected by footpad hyperkeratosis, a thickening of the footpad and sometimes nose.
The Dogue has a mean litter size of 8.1 puppies (range 2-17[clarification needed]). The breed has a high stillborn and early neonatal mortality rate. Data from the Norwegian Kennel Club shows a stillborn rate of 14.2% and early neonatal mortality (death within 1 week from birth) of 10.4%. The average across all breeds in the study were 4.3% stillbirth and 3.7% early neonatal mortality. Excluding stillborn and early deaths, the mean litter size is 6[clarification needed]. UK Kennel Club data shows that 27.8% (5 of 18) of Dogue litters were delivered by caesarean sections.
- Review AKC breed standard for verification: http://www.akc.org/breeds/dogue_de_bordeaux/
- "DDBS Causes of Death in the Dogue de Bordeaux Survey Results: Results from 2004-2011". Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America. October 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-27. "((60 * 6.2) + (58 * 5.45) + (32 * 6) + (24 * 4.45) + (10 * 3.2) + (6 * 6) + (3 * 5.6)) / 193 = 5.55284974"
- "Let's Celebrate Our Old Timers!". Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America. December 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
- The Rasping Dogue (126 ed.). AKC gazette. 2009. "Through the years I have seen many Dogue de Bordeaux that make a rasping breathing sound when hot or when they've had moderate exercise [...] many owners attribute this heat- and exercise-intolerance to the DDB being a brachycephalic breed."
- "FCI-Standard N° 116 / 23.01.2009 / GB DOGUE DE BORDEAUX". Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "Ectropion: Dogue de Bordeau". Genetic welfare problems of companion animals. Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- Höllmer, M.; Willesen, J. L.; Jensen, A. T.; Koch, J. (2008). "Aortic stenosis in the Dogue de Bordeaux". Journal of Small Animal Practice 49 (9): 432–437. doi:10.1111/j.1748-5827.2008.00569.x. PMID 18684150.
- "Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Dogue de Bordeaux". Genetic welfare problems of companion animals. Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Hip dysplasia statistics". Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Reasearch(sic) programe on Footpad hyperkeratosis in Dogue de Bordeaux". Antagene. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- Borge, K. S.; Tønnessen, R.; Nødtvedt, A.; Indrebø, A. (2011). "Litter size at birth in purebred dogs—A retrospective study of 224 breeds". Theriogenology 75 (5): 911–919. doi:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2010.10.034. PMID 21196028.
- Tønnessen, R.; Borge, K. S.; Nødtvedt, A.; Indrebø, A. (2012). "Canine perinatal mortality: A cohort study of 224 breeds". Theriogenology 77 (9): 1788–1801. doi:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2011.12.023. PMID 22365700.
- Evans, K.; Adams, V. (2010). "Proportion of litters of purebred dogs born by caesarean section". The Journal of small animal practice 51 (2): 113–118. doi:10.1111/j.1748-5827.2009.00902.x. PMID 20136998.
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