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 this large dog. 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 Dogue being considerably larger than the Dougin. The smaller 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. Whichever 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 it was required to do. The ancestral Dogue de Bordeaux had various coat colors, such as brindle and a majority of white markings that carried fully up the legs. It had scissor bites in some regions, undershot in others; a big head or a small head, a large body or a small body; very inconsistent in type. Another controversial aspect was the mask, red (brown), none or black. The Dogue de Bordeaux of Bordeaux of the time also sported cropped ears. Regardless, it had a general type similar to today's Dogue de Bordeaux.
History of the race
Article in the Russian magazine "Mastiff" in 2009.
- In the bulletin of the French Club Dogue de Bordeaux in August 2009
- In the form of Italian Hounds Club in September 2009.
- Now on our site 2015
Mysteries of the Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux is the race that day after day, becomes more and more popularity and continues to surprise us with its rich history.
Today I will reveal what really is "Dogue de Bordeaux."
To avoid repeating what I've written before, my advice to readers curious to read my book A Dogue de Bordeaux, where they can experience many new things, which is not always the case in other editions devoted the Dogue de Bordeaux ...
I need yet to start, revealing the most important.
First, the Dogue de Bordeaux was not the "dog" ("dog"). Second, the name "Bordeaux" had not been allocated by location of his home, but at the whim of an experienced breeder, but unfortunate in the late nineteenth century.
First of all our favorite was given the name "Alant, going," the namesake changed the name of the tribe of "Alani (Alans)" came from the Caucasus to Western Europe in the fifth century . Alans crossed the Rhine, and later the Loire, and then settled around Orleans. Some of them are set on the banks of the Rhone around Valencia.
There are also in Spain traces of their passage and their presence in the West.
It is unquestionably proved that the Alans are behind a sturdy breed of dogs imported by them, a race that has kept their names.
The exact appearance of these dogs at this time is unknown. However, southwest of Europe, the Middle Ages, descendants of these dogs are trained several varieties. And the first "alanos espanols" (the "alants" Spanish).
Until the tenth century at the time of the Carolingian Empire across the Pyrenees belonged to France. So, in the southwest of France in the Pyrenean region who had ongoing contacts with Spain, other varieties of these dogs were created: "Alant nice", "Alant wallows" and "Alant beef."
The first was more like a greyhound with a very rough and heavy head, the product being selected from a cross between "alants" and greyhounds. At that time the nobles preferred the white color of this variety. However, there were also dogs brindle and black with white spots on the legs and chest.
The second, as described by the medieval writer Gaston Phoebus (1331-1391), is presented as a dog heavy, clumsy, heavy with ears and pendulous, a brindle coat color or slightly yellowish with black. It was "ugly" and smaller than the first. The nobles of the time did not spare such dogs and threw them against the boar. If these dogs died of his tusks, hunters did not have any regrets.
Some contemporary writers, looking at the engravings in the book by Gaston Phoebus, are likely to believe they see such a dog among others. However, this view may be wrong, because at that time some hounds had also the appearance of heavy dogs.
Regarding the third type of "Alant," we know that it was a dog butchers. Judging by the words of Gaston Phoebus, who calls him "mastinail" we can imagine its appearance. This variety was the product of a cross between the "Alant" and "rascal", the latter being the great shepherds of primitive type (according to their function, the present classification has assigned the name "mountain type dogs") which once looked like (in appearance) to more current dogs like German Shepherds or Belgian (but much more robust). Despite this strange intersection, the "Alant beef" was more like a "Alant" as a shepherd dog.
In the XIth century the Duke of Normandy conquered England, he became king. He then attached his French lands to his crown. After several strategic marriages his successors possessed more than half of French territories, especially in the western part: the duchy of Aquitaine with the city of Bordeaux, the duchy of Gascony, and the County of Toulouse they belonged.
In the thirteenth century the king of France has regained much of these territories, but the Aquitaine remained under the domination of English. The fourteenth century the Hundred Years' War broke out between France and England, because every country wants to have this rich province.
The feudal Gaston Phoebus, Count of Foix and Viscount of Bearn had vast territories, but fragmented, in the Pyrenean region (current Pyrenees-Atlantiques, Landes, Gers, Lowlands Albi (Tarn current part), and the Lautrec as part of the Haute-Garonne.
For western possessions, tribute to Gaston III was King of England. These eastern lands were subject to the jurisdiction of the King of France. That is why the count was forced to lead a skillful political interests between the crowns of France and England, whereby he sauvegarda his land from the devastation of the Hundred Years War. Available to its areas forced the two rival kings to seek the friendship of the Count of Foix, for he does not agree to the enemy.
Through his marriage to Agnes of Navarre, the Spanish princess, his influence extended deep into the territory of Spain. Autocratic policy of Gaston Phoebus was much advantage to the economic growth of Béarn. The count has almost succeeded in creating a true Pyrenean realm (the county of Foix to the Soule), independent of the English crown and French. Ambitions for the Prince de Béarn was nicknamed "The Lion in the Pyrenees."
At that time, hunting was more than a hobby. It included all the moral and religious values. It would avoid idleness - the origin of all evil! Hunting used to form man for war (by developing the art of riding and strategy).
Gaston Phoebus is an avid hunter owned a large herd of dogs and kennels arranged lot. It is precisely his land untouched by the war that became the nucleus of breeding alants in France. Gaston Phoebus wrote books, including the famous "Book of Hunting" dictated to an amanuensis Bearn between 1387 and 1389. This book is written in French, while the mother tongue was the Count of Foix Béarn.
The influence of the prince on the culture of the region is invaluable. Today the memory of this noble knight is in the region as a valuable cultural history of the Middle Ages.
Later, at the end of the fifteenth century, the idea of ??"Pyrenean kingdom" (for a short time) became a reality through the marriage of one of the viscounts of Béarn to the heiress of the kingdom of Navarre. The descendants of the Viscount had received the title of Kings of Navarre until the King of Spain had annexed all the Spanish Navarre.
On the other side of the Pyrenees "alants" were scattered throughout the passage of the tribe of Alans. These dogs are trained several branches including the Spanish bulldog in northern Spain.
Although the English nobility had knowledge of "alants" French and Spanish, she called them "dogs" ("dogs" for writing French), translated simply "dog", as opposed to "hounds" (hounds) with which it preferred hunting. Since the word "dog" was introduced in France and has become common. Dogs of interest have been given a new name "dogs of Aquitaine", by the name of this southern province still English.
Although the city of Bordeaux could be witnessed fighting "dogs", she certainly was not the center of their breeding. Later, we meet with such dogs in the region of Toulouse and Albi, who belonged to the English at the time, but that bordered closely the areas of Gaston III of Foix-Béarn.
It is clear that the English have influenced the situation of "dogs of Aquitaine." At the same time, they made fashionable hunting with hounds. On the other hand, they borrowed the Franco-Spanish tradition of dog fighting.
At the same time, the English were beaten by the head convoluted (sophisticated) a strain of Spanish "alants", including the Spanish bulldog. And as varieties brindle and brindle with white spots in these dogs had become scarce, the British exported it on the British Isles "Bulldogs" brindle as a curiosity. There they were bred as purebred with a tendency to over-typing features exotic (the English bulldog current). But they were also crossed with mastiffs premises.
With high probability we can say that the old Franco-Spanish Bulldogs have influenced the formation of races in England. On the other hand, the "dogs" (Bulldogs) were sometimes mixed race French by the English dogs, especially mastiffs of the time having a head shaped unattractive to our tastes.
During the following centuries the "dogs" French also suffered a series of changes since their previous destination of hounds had changed. The French Revolution of 1789 led to profound changes in society. The working class did not spare the big dogs representing a sign of wealth and consuming lots of food when the French people were starved.
"Alant nice" has disappeared. Or, perhaps, he left a little blood in the dogs of France who disappeared in turn, following the ban on hunting with hounds. We know little about the fate of "Alant wallows," which probably has mixed with other local dogs.
This is probably the "Alant beef" which, being the most prevalent, will finally formed the newest bulldog who helped to drag the carts with the carcasses of meat until the First World War.
We may also find that at that time the name "Dogue de Bordeaux" appeared nowhere. This type of dog had the name "Bulldog".
In early twentieth century, Professor Kustler is already calling the "old bulldog of France." For some time before, after countless shenanigans in the middle of some breeders of these dogs, the old bulldog has given way to a series of bastards who did virtually not a drop of blood from the old bulldog!
This is where a variety of small size appeared. It represented a degenerate branch of the old bulldog because of successful crossings particularly poorly. Fraudsters who did not know how to call these little dogs that do not fit the trend of increasing the size of the "dogs", and to explain to potential buyers, called them "Spanish type mastiffs," although these dogs had no connection with Spain. Paradoxically, these dogs have also found their lovers. Today, most fans of the little "mumps" - the French Bulldog - do not realize that it is a direct descendant, but bastardized, our "Dogue de Bordeaux."
Professor Kunstler has made a truly heroic work to re-establish the old bulldog of France. He fought constantly against the defendants bitter bastards, who knew nothing about the history of the breed.
He proposed to recreate the true type of the old bulldog on the basis of few subjects more or less typical descendants of old stumps and in accordance with ancient engravings, drawings, paintings and statues.
Professor publishes Kunstler in his book Critical analysis of the images Dogue de Bordeaux dogs the most typical.
At the end of the nineteenth century, shortly before the time of Professor Kunstler, the Dogue de Bordeaux has acquired its current name, invented. At that time nobody could challenge it, because few people knew the breed. To read this strange story and also see the images mentioned above, I am again obliged to refer the reader to the book A Dogue de Bordeaux.
It is curious that this time the Dogue de Bordeaux was still several colors, including brindle. The dog "Black Prince", well known at the time, is shown in the images as almost black. Some dogs have white markings on chest extended, the "necklace" and white "socks" white. The coat of Bordeaux was not so short today and was pretty rough especially on the withers and back.
Finally, Professor Kunstler has succeeded in his enterprise. His followers and himself reconstructed the race according to their criteria.
However, I must do about an annoying remark. The fact that the famous professor, creator of a comprehensive standard can not see the consequences of his gigantic work is ultimately the best outcomes. For its standard reworked by his successors has survived until today, but the aspect of race in which he defended and tried to leave us, no longer exists ...
Of course, the type that we got through the selection we like. Anyway, we have not seen our other Bordeaux. However, if we try to read the description of "Dogue de Bordeaux" of this period, we can see how we have strayed from the original type in just over a hundred years. We and our predecessors have done everything in reverse. Traits that Professor of Anatomy advised to avoid flourished for fully satisfy current tastes.
In conducting my research, I stumbled upon a perfect sculpture of old bulldog of France. It was carried out almost half a century before the studies of Professor Kunstler by animal sculptor, Professor of sculpture and anatomy Pierre Louis Rouillard (1820-1881).
Today it is little known sculptor us. However, he was one of the major masters among wildlife artists of his time. He began his artistic career in 1837, returning to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where he became a pupil of Jean-Pierre Cortot. Soon, he himself became a professor of sculpture and anatomy at the School of drawing and mathematics (now the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris) in the year 1840 to 1881.
He worked on the famous monuments of the Louvre, the Opera of Paris, the Commercial Court of Paris, the Trocadero and the War Department, and the Saint-Michel fountain. He also made twenty-four groups of animals for the decoration of the Palace of Constantinople Belerbeyi. And many others.
The success of his works is due to his passion early (at age 15 years) on the comparative anatomy he had learned at the Natural History Museum of Paris. He became the sculptor of this museum where he received many orders to make.
Later, he taught anatomy with such success that he had limited the number of listeners.
For his work as countless animal sculptor, as well as the quality of his teaching, he was awarded the Academic Palms and made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
Why dwell in detail on the life and work of a sculptor who seems to have no direct link with the theme of our discourse?
Here it is: Throughout his career, Pierre Rouillard tried to accurately reproduce the anatomical details of live models. Thus it differed profoundly from his colleagues for whom these details were playing a secondary role to express, through the image of the animal, human emotions. Rouillard aspired to replicate the animal's appearance and exact real. This led him to specialize in monumental sculpture: he preferred to make his subjects life-size and even daunting. His monumental works could be reproduced in cast iron and the smallest - in bronze.
One of the famous sculptures, the standard "Dollar" is an exact copy of the English horse racing, Stud Stallion of Fontenay. In the image shown what we see with anatomical details, further to the veins, Mr. Rouillard translated the real horse (photo 1).
Now back to the statue of the "bulldog" of France (Bordeaux), for which I was forced to move me to another part of France, notably in Toulouse.
Near the center of town is the Jardin des Plantes with the highest place "Grand Round", which is a park round (as the name suggests!), Small area, surrounded by a ring road on which rays converge on the streets.
In 1865, during the Exposition in Paris where the artist has presented her work, administering the city of Toulouse has acquired two bronze statues of "The Bitch and The Wolf", from smelters Durenne at Sommevoire in Haute Marne. The statues were sent to Toulouse and placed on both sides of the aisle leading from the central fountain at an entrance to the Garden of the Great Round (photo 2) and (photo 3), (photo 4) and (photo 5 ).
These sculptures, made in 1858, were also known by other names: "Wolf in his paw clutching a small dog" and "bitch dog high breed with its small".
The two sculptures had a political meaning. The wolf was the Germanic Prussia of Bismarck, greedy, who wanted to capture the French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, which finally happened after the defeat of the French Empire of Napoleon III during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 (photo 6). The dog (photo 7) would represent France fertile creatures that protected the predator (photo 8), (photo 9), (photo 10).
Here we approach closely the key moment in our history. The "dog" in bronze (photo 11), (photo 12) represents an exact copy of the true mastiff (bulldog) of France, existing approximately half a century before writing the "Critical Studies" by Professor Kunstler when he had already collect specimens altered decimated descendants of the famous fighting dogs of France for the recovery of the breed.
My dear readers! Look carefully at the pictures that I present. You see before you a sculpture of a "Mastiff" authentic! (Photo 13), (photo 14).
In our "Bordeaux" we could still identify current characteristics of this famous ancestor fighter (photo 15), but no citations of standard, or any refined comparison of features can not deny the fact that today we raise a different breed!
Photograph of a sculpture, reproduced from a real horse shows great accuracy with which the sculptor Pierre-Louis Rouillard aspired to reproduce the anatomical details.
One of the four entries in the park of the Grand Round and the walkway to the central fountain where two parts of the composition "The dog and the wolf" are.
Statues of the dog (Bulldog) French and the wolf on both sides of the aisle.
Overview of the statue of the dog and her puppies.
Overview of the statue of the she-wolf with a stolen puppy.
Wolf, clutching his leg in a small dog.
Bitch protecting her offspring.
Head screaming puppy.
One of the pupies.
Head of the second pup.
Sculpture of the dog from the front.
Close up of "Mastiff" (old French bulldog) - Mid profile seen.
Closeup of the head of "Mastiff" - seen at right.
Closeup of the head of "Mastiff" - having the left.
Closeup of the head of "Mastiff" - front view.
The Dogue de Bordeaux ( DogueDeBordeaux ) was known in France as early as the fourteenth century.
The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, French Fighting Dog, or the Bordeaux Mastiff; and in France, the "National Guard Dog of France," is one of the most ancient breeds among today's existing purebred dogs.
The Dogue's history 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. Some believe that the Bulldog is the building block of the Dogue, and again, another group believes that the Bulldog was used in breeding programs further down the line. Another theory is the Dogue de Bordeaux originates from the Tibetan Mastiff.
"It is often been said that the common stem of all European dogues was a big dog coming from the confines of India and China, more than 3000 years ago, and by stages would have gone from Tibet to Mesopotamia, there, where begins the history of men; then to Epire, small kingdom of ancient Greece, founded by a mythological king; Molosse; then to Rome and from there to Gaule. He would have made this long journey by the side of conquerors, warriors and merchants. It is possible that this prestigious connection is in part true, but let us not forget the fact, maybe preponderant that archeologists have found in the land that would become France, bones of dogs dating from prehistory, bones that were those of a Dogue."
This notion ties in with the debate that the Dogue comes from the Alano Dog, a dog of smaller size from Spain. The Alano, also known as the Black Dogue, is a non-FCI recognized dog that exists sparsely today, while others insist that the breed is extinct and fanciers are "rebuilding" the breed. A theory is that the Dogue was brought to Europe by the Alans, an Oriental tribe that settled north of the Gironde estuary. The Alano is described in a quote (roughly translated) from Martinez del Espinar, year 1644, as having a "wide and lifted forehead, sunken and bloodshot eyes, an expansive look, and a neck short and wide. The Alano weighs between 35-45 kg and stands 62-63 cm for males and 57-60 cm for females. It has triangular ears, small vanilla colored eyes, a head shaped like two cubes, and a short, wide muscular neck, with loose skin to protect it against the razor teeth of its enemies. The Alano also has wide round ribs to hold its powerful heart and lungs. To see the Alano, one would notice that the Alano looks strikingly similar to the Dogue de Bordeaux.
It is also said that the Dogue is related to the GrecoRoman mollosoids used for war, as there was a breed similar to the Dogue de Bordeaux in Rome at the time of Emperor Julius Caesar's reign. This would make the Dogue de Bordeaux a cousin of the Neapolitan Mastiff.
Another theory suggests that the Dogue de Bordeaux is a descendent of a breed which existed in France a long time ago. "In the mid 19th century, these French dogues had disappeared from almost everywhere, with the exception of Aquitaine, where at all times, they had been numerous and famous. From Avnis and from Saintongue to the Pyrenees, these dogues from Aquitaine were not all naturally similar. The Dogues were bred depending on the region and the jobs they were required to do. The general appearance and prognathism were inconsistent. The Dogue had various coat colors and varieties They had scissors bites in some regions, underbites in others, but they had a general type similar to today's Dogues. "These were the dogues and doguins of Aquitaine, probable descendants of the 'Asans,' known since the 14th century by the "Book of Hunting" of Gaston Phoebus, Count of Foix-Bearn."
Another article goes further into this history:
"As early as the fourteenth century, Gaston Phoebus, Comte de Foix," a French writer, "described the great French Molossus, or Alant, doubtless the ancestor of the modern Dogue de Bordeaux, and in the distinction he drew between the Alant Gentil and Alant de Bourcherie may be recognized the difference we draw today between the large fighting dog of the South of France and the smaller kind with shorter muzzle known as the Bouledogue du Midi...Even then, stress was laid upon points we now ask for in the French Dogue —the wrinkles, the light, small eye, the liver colored nose, the absence of dark shadings on the face, and the red mask which is so much preferred...indicating Mastiff blood."
The best summary on all the various origins of the Dogue de Bordeaux could be credited to Dr. Carl Semencic, Ph.D., in his article "The Dogue de Bordeaux." Dr. Semencic states that although there are these differences in option over the "specific origin of the dog, it is clear that the breed is one expression of the ancient Mastiff type and this breed's specific physical characteristics are as typical of the pure Western Mastiff from those of any of toady's Mastiff.
We do know that the Dogue de Bordeaux was used as a guardian, a hunter, and a fighter. They were trained to bait bulls, bears, and jaguars, hunt boars, heard cattle, and protect the homes, butchershops, and vineyards of their masters. The Dogue de Bordeaux was prized as protectors and were often found in the homes of the noble and wealthy of France. A set back in the breed may have come in 1789, during the French Revolution, when many of the Dogues may have perished with their wealthy masters during the uprising of the French against the wealthy and nobility. But the Dogues of the common man must have thrived. These became the champions in the arena, and were powerful dogs bred to do their jobs and do them well.
It was in 1863 when we see the first reference to the Dogue that is the basis of our modern Dogue. The first canine exhibition was held at the "Jardin d'Acclimatation" in Paris, France. It was more like an inventory of the types of breeds living in France at the time than a conformation competition. The winner was a bitch named Magentas who won 150 francs. The Dogue de Bordeaux was then given the name of the capital of their region of origin. This marked the day and showed the superiority over the other French dogs.
There is no other known reference to the Dogue de Bordeaux until the year 1883. There was a diverse difference in the breed at the time, which created much controversy. Dogues still varied as having big heads, small heads, their bodies were exceptionally large, while others were very small. Some breeders preferred an underbite, others a level scissors bite. Also, the mask color was a subject of many debates and discussions; red mask, black mask, or without. There were also three different types of Dogue de Bordeaux adding to the controversy. There were the Toulouse, the Paris, and the Bordeaux. Our modern day Dogue de Bordeaux is a mixture of these different types, but the breed is primarily Bordeaux. The Toulouse was a Dogue that had almost every color in its coat, like a fawnish tiger color (light brindle perhaps) with a longer body and smaller bones. The bite was the biggest controversy of the time. Dogues in Paris had a scissors bite, while others had an undershot bite of almost one inch, until a group of breeders came to a mid point and agreed on a bite type, the undershot, which is the bite we see in today's Dogue. These Dogues also had cropped ears, where the current Dogues have ears in their natural state.
Today we can be surprised by a Dogue that comes up every now and then that is different from other Dogues in a very unique way. When breeding, we need to remember that there were these other types in the Dogue's background, and they are very defined and strong. These dogs are said "not to breed true to how they look like which is their phenotypes, but they are actually breeding true to what they carry, the genotypes. The genotype is what we cannot see, but is carried in the genes and will appear occasionally. This is from the various backgrounds of the Dogue, the Paris, the Toulouse, and the Bordeaux.
In 1895, a few well known Bulldog breeders tried to establish the Dogue de Bordeaux in England. Also that year, John Proctor of Antwerp, who had judged the Dogue de Bordeaux at a show, published an account of his experiences with the "fighting dogs of the South of France" in the magazine The Stock Keeper. This sparked the quest of Sam Woodiwiss and H.C. Brooke to search France for specimens of the Dogue de Bordeaux. Mr. Woodiwiss obtained a dog that had won first prize in Brodeau, "a warrior renowned in the arena, whose forequarters were one mass of scars received from dogs he had fought with or from bears he had baited." He also brought home a bitch named Cora; Mr. Brooke purchased a red bitch, Dragonne, later known as Amazone de Bordeaux (who later died from blood poisoning from a wasp sting), and a black masked dog called Tristan. Brooke went on to own many Dogues such as Sans-Peur, Diane, Bart, and Brutus. Mr. Brooke wanted to own a dog from a real fighting strain. So he imported a young fawn colored dog, Matador du Midi, from gladiatorial lineage. Among his ancestors was Caporal, Megere, and Hercules. Caporal was the champion of the Pyrenees for seven years. He weighed 108 pounds, stood 25 inches at the shoulder, and had a skull circumference of 26 inches. Megere was pitted against hyena, wolf and bear and Hercules was killed by a jaguar in a battle in San Francisco. Brooke pitted Matador du Midi against a large, older Russian bear when the Dogue was 18 months old. Brooke noted: "The dog showed great science in keeping his body as much sideways as possible, to avoid the bear's hug, and threw the bear fairly and squarely on the grass three times." Today, we see this in our Dogues when they are at play with their littermates or companions, and when they are engaged in a fight.
In 1896, Pierre Meguin, a veterinarian and chief editor of the journal "L'Eleveur" (The Breeder) put together a synthesis of the best Dogue de Bordeaux shown and known from 1863-1895. He published a book, "Le Dogue de Bordeaux" that features a description and characteristics to the true Dogue. This effort, put forward by Mr. Brooke, Mr. Meguin, Dr. Wiart and a group of other authorities in France, was the first standard for the Dogue de Bordeaux. This is the basis of our standard today. In 1897, Henry de Bylandt's work "The Breeds of Dogs" introduced the breed standard to the world of cynophilia J. Kunstler, Professor of Comparative Anatomy of the Science Facility of Bordeaux, studied the Dogues in 1907 and in 1910 published "A Critique Etude du Dogue de Bordeaux" (A Critical Study of the Dogue de Bordeaux) with a precise standard of the Dogue.
The popularly of the Dogue de Bordeaux in England came to an abrupt end when the Kennel Club put in place their anti-cropping rule. "A Dogue de Bordeaux with his natural ears is not to be admired." Turc, Cora and Amazone were dead, Mr. Brooke and Mr.Woodiwiss sold their remaining dogs to a Canadian man, "So ended the history of the Dogue de Bordeaux in England." The Dogue de Bordeaux suffered greatly with the onset of World War I and II, to the point of almost being extinct. Dogue historians tell us that Adolf Hitler ordered that all Dogue de Bordeaux be killed on sight because of their guarding devotion to their families, and that there were three breeding pairs left after World War II.
In France, the region of Aquitaine was were a majority of the Dogue de Bordeaux could now be found. Here is where we can attribute the actual type of the Dogue de Bordeaux, the work of two breeders, Mr. Barnes and Mr. Deland. They worked to produce and keep toady's classic Dogue de Bordeaux head, a head that is not too bull-doggy, at the same time not being long, without losing the macro-morfous characteristic of the cranial region. During the 1960's, Dr. Raymond Triquet headed the rebuilding of the breed, and in 1970, Dr. Triquet wrote the new standard for the Dogue de Bordeaux. Dr. Triquet wrote in "A Word from the President" from The Society of Amateurs of the Dogues de Bordeaux, dated February 4, 1980: "When writing in 1970 the new standard of the Dogue de Bordeaux, I wanted, describing an archetype, to give a working tool to our breeders, very few of them existing at that time. I have tried, while staying faithful to the works of two illustrious amateurs of the Dogue de Bordeaux: Professor Kunstler and Veterinarian Pierre Meguin, to establish a text sufficiently scientific and a the same time clear enough for all amateurs. I know in my profession, the importance of the proverb: A standard poorly expressed and badly drafted can lead to grave errors and to the creation of teratological creatures. I have thus used caution to avoid certain dangerous formulae, in this, that they propose exaggerated forms as models...We were a handful of amateurs, we are now 500 members, and the year 1979 has seen the births of approximately 240 Dogues de Bordeaux.
The Dogue is also credited to taking part in the breeding programs of two other mastiffs, the Argentine Dogo and the Tosa. Dr. Martinez, who bred "The Fighting Dogs of Cordoba" now known as the Argentine Dogo, used a menagerie of breeds to produce the Dogo. He used the Harlequin Great Dane for height and coloring, the Pyrenean Mastiff for size, the English Pointer for the sense of smell, and the Dogue de Bordeaux to increase the head size and to accentuate the Dogos overall courage, strength and jaw strength. During the 1930's, Japanese fighting enthusiasts were importing Dogue de Bordeaux stock from France to cross with the Tosa (The fighting dog of Japan). The result of this was a larger Tosa with a massive head.
In the middle of the 19th these ancient dogues were hardly renowned out side the region of Aquitaine. They were used for hunting large animals such as boar, for fighting (often codified), for the guarding houses of cattle and in the service of butchers.
Dog fighting was popular in the nineteenth century, particularly in southern France in the region around Bordeaux. Hence, the city lent its name to these large fighting 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 Mastiff. As an important indication of purity of the breed, attention was paid to the leather-colored nose, light eyes, and red mask. Originally bred with huge anatomically incorrect 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 comes in two varieties, Dogues and Doguins, the former being a considerably larger dog than the latter. Breeding of the Doguins has been seriously neglected in recent years and the variety has dwindled to near nonexistence.
New initiatives will soon be required if the Bordeaux Dog can hope to flourish again both inside and outside of France. It is hoped that the few remaining survivors of this interesting old breed will be sufficient for its recovery.
In 1863 the first French dog show took place in Paris in the Jardin d'Acclimatation. The dogues de Bordeaux were entered under their present name. There have been different types:
The Toulouse type, the Paris type and the Bordeaux type, which is origin of today's dogue. The breed, which had suffered greatly during the two world wars, to the point of being threatened with extinction after the second world war, got off to a fresh start in the 1960's.
1st standard (caractere des vrais dogues) in Perre Megnin, Le Dogue de Bordeaux, 1869.
2nd standard in J.Kunstler, Etude critiqe du Bordeaux, 1910.
3rd standard by Raymond Triquet, with the collaboration of Vet. Dr. Maurice, 1971.
4th standard reformulated according to the Jerusalem model (F.C.I.) by Raymond Triquet, with the collaboration of Philippe Serouil, President of the French Dogue de Bordeaux Club and it's club and its committee, 1993.
Dogues de Bordeaux or French Mastiffs can vary in color from a deep mahogany to a light fawn. They are thick, stocky dogs with large heads and heavy jowls. Males have been known to weigh up to 150 pounds and reach 30 inches at the shoulder. Certainly males well over 100 pounds is the rule, not the exception. They are said to descend from the giant war hounds that accompanied Roman armies through the Gaul (modern-day France), but today's Dogues are decidedly gentler and of a much kinder disposition than their forerunners. They are still fairly uncommon pets, and this fact combined with their impressive size and striking physical features ensures that these beautiful animals will turn heads wherever they go.
Dogue de Bordeaux is the original descendant of numerous Dogue breeds that were the ancient residents in France. By the middle of 19th century these ancient residents breeds of French Dogues suddenly died away except for the province Alvitanny, where they were particularly numerous and esteemed. The French Dogues did not appear in identical forms in al French provinces. They served their breeders depending on a province or on assignment in different ways, namely for hunting big game, for dog fights, in war, for looking after cattle and to help butchers in slaughter-houses. These dogs were described as early as 14th century. The European Dogues are the descendants of big dogs that came to Europe from the area between India and China across Tibet, Mezopotamy to Epirus, the small kingdom in ancient Greece 3000 years ago. From there they came to Rome and eventually to Galley. During this long voyage they were used in conquests, wars and slave trade. By the middle of 19th century these Dogues found themselves in a completely new situation. The principles of spiritual, scientific and industrial revolutions came into being, the new ways of life and thinking in the full bloom of science which resulted in the beginning of cynology. The first exhibition of dogs took place in the Botanical garden of Paris in 1863. This was war about the review of the breeds existing in France at the time than the competition of the best specimen of specific breeds. The Dogue de Bordeaux, named after the capital of the province it originates from, showed quite clearly in those days its precedence and superiority over other French breeds
They are known by many names or terms like bordeauxdog, bordeauxdogge, bordeaux dogue, bordeaux, dogo de burdoes, dogue, dogues bordeauxs, french mastiff ,molosser, dogue de bordeaux, french mastiffs, dogue de bordeauxs, doguedebordeauxs,etc.
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