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French Mastiff Dog Breed: From Couch Potato to Calm Companion
Home Dog Breed The Imposing yet Docile French Mastiff Dog Breed

The Imposing yet Docile French Mastiff Dog Breed

by CareTips Dog
The Imposing yet Docile French Mastiff Dog Breed

The French Mastiff, also referred to as the Dogue de Bordeaux, is a very large and muscular French dog breed with a kind, devoted nature when properly trained.

Introduction The French Mastiff Dog Breed

The French Mastiff is an ancient French dog breed that descended from ancient Molosser-type dogs. They were developed as estate guard dogs and to hunt large game like boar. These days they are primarily beloved family companions and watch dogs standing 25-30 inches tall and weighing 100-145 pounds.

Adaptability: ⭐⭐

Apartment Living: ⭐
Novice Owners: ⭐
Sensitivity: ⭐⭐⭐
Alone Time: ⭐⭐
Cold Weather: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hot Weather: ⭐⭐

All Around Friendliness: ⭐⭐

Family Affection: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Kid Friendly: ⭐⭐⭐
Dog Friendly: ⭐⭐
Stranger Friendly: ⭐

Amount of Shedding: ⭐⭐

Drooling: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Grooming: ⭐⭐
General Health: ⭐⭐
Weight Gain: ⭐⭐⭐
Size: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Trainability: ⭐⭐

Ease to Train: ⭐⭐
Intelligence: ⭐⭐
Mouthiness: ⭐
Prey Drive: ⭐
Barking: ⭐
Wanderlust: ⭐

Energy Level: ⭐⭐

ntensity: ⭐⭐
Exercise Needs: ⭐⭐⭐
Potential for Playfulness: ⭐⭐

  • Appearance: Powerful muscular build, heavy rectangular head with wrinkles, dark devoted eyes, and a slightly undershot bite. Short fine coat in shades of fawn, mahogany, or brindle.
  • Characteristics: Calm, devoted, sensitive, docile nature. Courageous guard dogs yet gentle with their family. Need moderate daily exercise. Prone to heat exhaustion.
  • Popularity: 47th most popular breed.
  • Temperament: Loyal, calm, gentle, low activity indoors but enjoys moderately long outdoor romps. Sensitive so positive training is essential. Devoted to their family yet wary of strangers.
  • Lifespan: 7-10 years
  • Coat colors: Fawn, mahogany, different shades of brindle
  • Origins: Ancient Molosser type dogs in France used for hunting large game, guardian estate dogs. Recognized as a distinct breed in France in the 19th century.

Caring for a French Mastiff


  • High quality commercial dog food formulated for giant breeds to avoid rapid bone growth.
  • Low protein and low fat diet ideal for their tendency towards laziness.
  • Glucosamine supplements beneficial for their joints under pressure from their heavy build.


  • Access to a securely fenced yard to roam and play fetch. Their guarding nature makes walks difficult.
  • Cool, shaded areas to relax in during heat waves. Avoid overexertion in hot weather.
  • Comfy dog bed for sleeping 18+ hours a day.


Food puzzles, occasional new toys like heavy duty balls and tug ropes engage their moderate energy and intelligence. Simmons to guard like barking at strangers outside.


Bathe occasionally when needed but frequent brushing weekly with a rubber mitt to remove dead hair from the short fine coat. Clean facial wrinkles, nail trim, teeth brushing important.

Preparing for a French Mastiff

  • French Mastiffs can adapt well to apartment living with proper daily outdoor walks but a home with a yard is ideal.
  • Spend time puppy proofing and mastiff proofing your home by securing cables, removing toxins.
  • Stock up on giant breed orthopedic beds, slow feeder puzzle bowls, sturdy leashes.
  • Monitor weight as obesity stresses joints. Hip and elbow dysplasia common – provide joint supplements. Heat stroke, bloat risk.
  • Core vaccines, monthly heartworm and flea prevention essential. Spay/neuter by age 18-24 months.

Naming Your French Mastiff

Choose an elegant name that represents their imposing yet devoted presence. Popular names include Baxter, Zeus, Rocco, Lola, Luna.

Finding a French Mastiff

  • Popular in France, increasingly popular in North America
  • $2000 to $3500 USD from reputable breeders
  • Rescue groups: Mastiff to Mutt Rescue Society

Before Adoption/Purchase:

  • General Health and Energy Levels: Ensure no unresolved genetic joint or breathing issues. These giant breeds require extensive veterinary care.
  • Vaccine Records: Non-negotiable core vaccines for distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, rabies.
  • Temperament Testing: Check for any aggression, extreme shyness, or anxiety. Their guarding tendencies require extensive socialization.

How to stop French Mastiff biting?

Start with consistent verbal corrections. Never react physically. Reward good behavior. Muzzle if necessary.

How to socialize and train a friendly French Mastiff?

Very slow, extensive socialization starting as a small puppy ensures a friendly, confident dog. Positive reinforcement training strongly recommended over punishment.

How long should a French Mastiff see the vet?

At least every 6 months for giant breed health checks. Senior dogs should be examined more frequently according to veterinary advice.

Are French Mastiffs good family pets?

Yes, their affectionate and usually gentle nature makes them good family dogs when expectations align with their slower paced life and guarding instincts.

Are French Mastiffs good with children?

With training and supervision, these gentle giants can thrive with polite, respectful children but may accidentally knock small toddlers over.

Are French Mastiffs good with other animals?

When extensively socialized as puppies, these guarding dogs can accept indoor cats and some dogs but should not be trusted off leash with outdoor wildlife or pets due to prey drive activation.

Are French Mastiffs smart dogs?

The French Mastiff has middle of the road working intelligence. They can perform well in obedience work but may require more motivation and repetition – positive reinforcement training strongly advised.

How many types of French Mastiffs are there?

One standard French Mastiff breed with some variations in build and coat coloring but a singular breed standard.

Temperament of French Mastiff?

Calm, devoted guardians outdoors but lower energy housemates indoors who thrive when kept close to their families. Sensitive and requiring dedicated positive leadership.

How many colors of French Mastiff?

Shades of fawn, mahogany, and brindle. Some black masks and white markings on the chest or feet occasionally seen.

How long do French Mastiffs live?

Average lifespan is 7 to 10 years which is decent for giant breed dogs. Providing excellent veterinary care especially for hips, elbows, thyroid can help extend longevity.

Can French Mastiffs cause allergies?

No dog is hypoallergenic but their short fine coat releases less dander than many other breeds.

Are French Mastiffs ferocious?

With proper extensive socialization and training, these guard dogs are calm and devoted to their families, only showing ferocity when their family feels threatened by an imposing stranger.

Do French Mastiffs have hair loss issues?

No major hair loss issues associated with the breed as their short fine coat sheds an average amount year-round decreasing during cooler seasons.

By following our website, you can find the perfect dog breeds for you and provide them with the best possible dog care. Remember that owning a dog is a lifelong commitment that requires time, money, and patience. But it is also a rewarding experience that will bring you joy and companionship. All information in Dog care tips.

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