History and Rareness of French Mastiff Dogs Due To Almost Extinction Throughout Their History

Origin of the Dogue De Bordeaux

French Mastiff dogs also known as Dogue de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Mastiffs, or Bordeaux Bulldogs. Their history goes back to ancient times. For that reason, it is hard to identify the exact origin. This breed was known in France in the fourteenth century, specifically in Bordeaux. Bordeaux is located in the southern portion of France. It is believed that this is where the dogs originated from.

Theories About The French Mastiff

Some theories claim that this dog is an indigenous French breed that evolved over thousands of years ago. Another thesis argues that Neapolitan mastiff, Tibetan mastiff, and Greek mastiff are the ancestors of the French mastiff dogs.
For centuries these Bordeaux mastiffs were in two sizes- the smaller ones and the larger ones. By the late 1700s, the smaller variety, also known as the Doguin, died from the historical records. The larger dogs are the current Dogue de Bordeaux.

War Dogs As The Mastiff Was Once Called

In the first century b.c, there was a belief that Julius Ceaser introduced this dog’s ancestors. Romans used these Dogues as the war dogs and brutal combatants to battle other dogs and wild beasts in ancient Rome.

Dogue de Bordeaux french mastiff emotional support dog

Close Calls Almost Resulted In Total Extinction

It could be true that a cat has nine lives. But, Dogue de Bordeaux has already enjoyed three. The resurrected breed barely survived two extinctions in their history.
By the late 1700s, the Dogue outlived its utility as a fighting dog. It received new usefulness as a hunting dog, drafters, and guarders. For over 600 years, these breeds were favourites to the aristocracy in France for their loyalty. They lived a pampered life of the French aristocrats. They also guarded the nobility’s vast estates.

French Revolution Was The First Brush The Bardeaux Dogs Had With Extinction

The French Revolution ended their employment when the Dogue’s masters went to prison and the guillotine. When these nobles fell out, the breed also did. The dogs were slaughtered together with their masters. It is believed that due to their loyalty they would not leave their masters. This led to near extinction for the dogs. It is not uncommon for the dogs to protect their ownrrs, even to their own determent. Only a few of these breeds survived.
The few that survived the bloodshed and earned employment as livestock drovers. This line of work earned these dogs the name ”Butcher’s Dog.”

Adolf Hitler Tried Again To Remove The French Mastiff

Adolf Hitler even took a dislike for the breed. Again their loyalty and tendency to protect their owners caused Hitler to command they be killed when spotted. This again almost led to their extinction. Their loyalty and devotion to their masters seemed like a threat to his ruling. I imagine that reality is the dog stature was also an affront to Hitler who was short and slight himself. But a handful that survived provided a base for the preservation of the breed. It’s also assumed other mastiff type breeds where used to supplement the breed.

AKC Resurrects the Breed

In the 1960s, the Dogue de Bordeaux breed was revitalized and gained popularity up to today. The Dogues belong to the AKC working group. By the end of 2019, there were approximately 2000 Dogue de Bordeaux enrolled with the AKC.

Turner And Hooch

Before 1989, the breed was unknown outside France. But the release of the movie “Turner & Hooch” brought attention to this breed. The comedy showed a stubborn, drooling, but lovable French mastiff assisting a police detective, Tom Hanks. Because of the movie the color and formation of the dog has closely replicated Hooch. Prior to this it was possible to find the dogs in other colors. Many of today’s dogs can tie their lineage to Hooch in at least a remote way. In this case it was a blessing for the dogs.

For more information about these dogs I’ll leave a couple links below.

Turner & Hooch

Turner & Hooch is a 1989 American buddy cop comedy film starring Tom Hanks and Beasley the Dog as the eponymous characters respectively. The film also co-stars Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson and Reginald VelJohnson. It was directed by Roger Spottiswoode; the film was originally slated to be directed by Henry Winkler, but he was terminated because of his “creative differences”.

Dogue De Bordeaux – Fun Facts and Crate

AKC recognized in 2008 Lifespan: 5-8 years Size: Large Energy: Medium Recommended Crate Size: 48″ dog crate* Return to the mainDog Crate Sizes Breed Chart. The Dogue De Bordeaux originated in France in the early 14 th century. The Dogue De Bordeaux is bred to do many different things like carrying heavy objects, pulling carts, or guarding flocks.

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