The Character of a Dogue de Bordeaux
According to the Federation Cyniologique International, the Dogue de Bordeaux "assumes guard with vigilance and great courage, but without aggressiveness". It is "very attached to the master and very affectionate with children". At first glance, the perfect dog! But only at first glance, because although these words describe the temperament of the Dogue de Bordeaux accurately, they do not nearly define how "very" attached, and how "very" affectionate they can get. Attachment and affection are covered extensively under "A DdB for you?", but in short, a Dogue the Bordeaux worships you.

Having said that, a Dogue de Bordeaux does not listen as, for instance, a Labrador, German Shepherd, or even a Rottweiler would. To some, this may seem to be caused by a lack of intelligence, but far from it! The truth is, they are far too intelligent to be blindly obedient. When told to sit, they know precisely what they are being asked to do, but before actually performing the task, they will ask themselves why? What is going on here that requires me to sit? Is there something that I am missing that could be more fun than sitting? What are the chances of me getting away without sitting? Is there any chance that I will be rewarded for sitting? This makes the Dogue the Bordeaux a challenging candidate to train and it does require patience and a clear view of who is the boss to get results. If you are looking for a dog to obey you, stay away from the Dogue the Bordeaux.

Hooch proved it, Dogues de Bordeaux are great actors. If they could speak, Robert de Niro would have some serious competition. They are able to pull faces for every occasion like no other dog can. From sadness to joy, arrogance to humbleness, they will find the matching face, particularly when they want something. They will climb into your bed and pretend to fall asleep instantly in the hope that they will not be kicked out again. If they do not get their way, they can lie on the floor looking at you for hours with "seriously insulted" written on their face. Looking a person in the eyes at length is something dogs can not usually do. Dogue de Bordeaux can, and do.

For most people, the sheer sight of a 140 lbs dog looking at you is enough to stay well out of the way. By nature, Dogues de Bordeaux are suspicious of people they do not know, and they guard their home and masters fanatically. They never attack without reason though, and although they are often wrongly classified as fighting dogs, there has not been one instance of a Dogue de Bordeaux injuring a human being for no reason. People they do know are greeted with a dose of joy that no one will forget quickly.

Each Dogue de Bordeaux has a unique character. Whereas one will play fanatically with balls, the other might watch in boredom. Throw a stone down a hill though, and he will not be back until he has found it. One will start swimming just for the pleasure of swimming, whereas the other will not put one foot in the water, even if you throw a sausage in it.
They are all unique, yet they are similar in their need for attention and love. Anyone able to return this love will have a comrade for life and the happiest dog on earth.

So, is this the right dog for you? Well, probably not. Why, you may find yourself asking? Read the next chapter: Do You really want one? to find the answer.