Dogue de Bordeaux: The Dog With The Mournful Face

Before we get into the origin of the Dogue de Bordeaux breed, here’s how this one came to feature in this Get Well card.

What happened was that I was walking on the Links in Edinburgh. The Links is a lovely grassed area that got its name from being the first place that golf was played. That may be world wide or it may be in Scotland – authorities differ on the subject. Whatever the origin of that history, it is a lovely grassed area on a gentle slope. And that is where I came across the dog and its owner. We chatted for a while, I had my camera with me, and I asked whether I could photograph his dog.

The owner was happy and I stretched mysefl down on the grass to get a dog’s eye view. I was met with the most slobbering, drooling sight I have ever seen that close up. There was so much slobber that I had to take a lot of photos before I managed to get a couple that had minimal slobber. Luckily, with Photoshop it is relatively easy to clean up photos. That is, provided you can see the detail you do want between the bits you want to remove.

Dog's life is a get well card featuring a Dogue de Bordeaux looking decidedly down in the dumps and mournful.

A Get Well Card

Looking at the photo on the computer, Tamara and I had it in mind to make a Get Well Soon card featuring this dog. The clean-up process was because while we wanted a sad expression, we didn’t think anyone would want to see a face full of slobber.

So here is the end result, with the dog sitting with the most mournful expression a dog can muster up. Of course, the Dogue de Bordeaux is built for a mournful expression with all that loose skin.

The reason it has all that slobber is that saliva builds up in the loose skin folds around its mouth. From there it either drips, or gets flung about when the dog shakes its head.

The Origin Of The Breed

With that introduction to one of the characteristics of the breed, would it surprise you to know that they have been around in France since the 1300s?

Dog historians believe they were bred from even earlier breeds that were used as war dogs. And it’s easy to see how that might be the case, don’t you think, with the massive head and the crushing jaw.

Certainly, the breed predates France as a country, because in the 1300s the country had not yet united. Perhaps there were Dogue de Bordeaux near the field of Agincourt in 1415.

And no surprise that they were originally bred in the region around the city of Bordeaux. That said, the dog takes the prize for number of different names by which it is known. That’s because it is also known as the Bordeaux Mastiff, the French Mastiff, or simply the Bordeaux.

I think ‘the Bordeaux’ sounds quite fancy. What’s your dog? Oh, it’s ‘the Bordeaux’.

Be that as it may, there were sub-breeds such as the Parisian, the Toulouse, and the Bordeaux. And as you can guess, that depended on the region in which is was bred.

About The Loose Skin

You can see from the thickness of its leg bones that it is a powerful dog. It is a type of mastiff, with a big head for its size and an undershot jaw, like a bulldog. The loose skin and deep furrows on it brow gives it a mournful look. And then there are those dark amber coloured and oh so expressive eyes. No one knows why it has loose skin. It is not an advantage that anyone can make out. In fact, it drags the base of its eyelids down and exposes them to infection. That’s something to think about if you are considering a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy.

What Does The Dogue de Bordeaux Need To Keep It Happy

They need exercise and plenty of it. When they are not exercising they will sit and move quietly, as though the world is just too much. That belies what can happen if they confront the right target, such as a small dog. They may be placid but if another dog starts to mess with it, the Dogue will most probably be the last one standing. If you get a Dogue de Bordeaux puppy, you may not realise exactly what it is going to grow up to become.

Turner And Hooch And The Dogue de Bordeaux

If you are getting the idea that you might have seen one of these dogs, perhaps it was in Turner & Hooch. That was the film where Tom Hanks plays a detective who gets saddled with a dog. The relationship gets off to a rocky start, but everything comes right at the end. After all, this is Hollywood.

More Dog Cards

We also have A Romantic card ‘Dog Lover‘ featuring a dog in profile with an eager look in its face, its tongue hanging out, and a little red heart on his body and a speech bubble and text ‘From The Very First Moment I Saw You’. And another A romantic greeting card ‘Dog Love‘ featuring a dog with tiny hearts swirling around its head and looking amorously at another dog. What more is there to say – love is love!

And finally, we have a post How Old Is Your Dog, about dog years and how they tie up with dog breeds of different sizes.

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