Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Mastiff, French Mastiff or Bordeauxdog is a French Mastiff breed, one of the most ancient French dog breeds. A typical brachycephalic molossoid type breed, the Bordeaux is a very powerful dog, with a very muscular body. This brawny breed has been put to work in many different capacities, from pulling carts and hauling heavy objects, to guarding flocks and, historically, the castles of the European elite.
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.
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 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.
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 its region of origin, today's Dogue de Bordeaux.