Getting acquainted with the french mastiff
The French Mastiff is the common name for Dogue de Bordeaux or Bordeaux Bulldog. This amazing breed is thought to have descended from the Greek and Roman Molossus and brought to Europe by the Alans. This dog has had many uses over its long history, such as war dog, guardian of flocks, and also used as sport in dog fights with bulls, bears, and dogs. By the end of the middle ages this breed was used as personal protectors and cattle drivers. During the French Revolution many of these large dogs were killed defending their masters. These dogs were luckily saved by a man named Raymond Triquet along with his group called the French Dogue de Bordeaux Club. Today the French Mastiff is well established in France and gaining popularity in other countries.
This Mastiff is not easy to breed. Often Cesarean sections are needed because the puppies’ heads are so large. Litters are usually small.
The French Mastiff is a stocky dog with a huge, broad, heavy, wrinkled head. The head of this Mastiff is a very important feature, especially when it comes to showing this breed. The head features deep wrinkles and a powerful jaw. Its coat is short and sleek and usually comes in shades of red. All French Mastiffs have a mask around the eyes and muzzle. This mask can be either red or black. The nose is the same color as the mask.
Grooming is quite easy since they have short coats. Lightly brushing once a week to keep from shedding is sufficient. Mastiffs should be bathed about every 10-15 days. It might be tricky, but be sure that they are clean between the wrinkles on the head! It is extremely important to keep their toenails trimmed to avoid problems that could develop in their feet and legs. Regular cleaning of the ears with help prevent yeast build-up and also their eyes must be wiped several times a day with a damp cloth.
Some of the common health problems found in the French Mastiff include heart disease, bloat, epilepsy, obesity, degenerate joint disease, and kidney disease. Some problems can be prevented through a careful diet and regular vet visits.
Obedience training is a must for Mastiffs. It is best to train them well while they are young. When they are older they are harder to control mainly due to their size and weight and they can become quite stubborn. Be consistent with training. Faster and greater learning takes place when the trainer is consistent. Once the French Mastiff learns a lesson he never forgets. Socialization is important while they are young also. They should be introduced to many people in different places as well as to other dogs.
Like other Mastiff breeds, the French Mastiff has a calm temperament. They are patient and devoted to their owners, feeling a strong sense of protectiveness toward them. Being on guard is inborn in them so strangers might want to beware. Though they are large in stature and look somewhat fierce, they are gentle with children and those they love.