Are Dogue de Bordeauxs Aggressive? 4 Ways to Stop It

The Dogue de Bordeaux or French Mastiff is a generally friendly and gentle dog, so there is no way that he can be labeled as aggressive or dangerous. Because of his calm and loving temperament, the French Mastiff can be a good family guard dog. He is excellent at keeping company to older children as long as there is supervision. The only time when a French Mastiff may show hostility is when someone threatens him or his owner. 

To learn more about the French Mastiff aggression, this post will tackle mainly his temperament and ways on how to keep him from showing bad behaviors.

Does History Affect a Dogue de Bordeaux’s Temperament?

History may have a certain effect on the French Mastiff’s temperament. He was used as a fighting dog and, later on, became a popular breed of choice as a guard dog or hunter for his French Masters which he does until now only that he’s turned into a household pet.

It can be said that he has a dark and sad history since he almost got wiped out twice. The first was during the French Revolution and the second, was when Hitler gave an order during World War II to have the breed exterminated.

The French Mastiff survived all of these and thankfully, he remains gentle, loyal, and loving- personalities that can easily lighten up the mood and spirits of his owners and friends.

Although the past may impact a dog’s temperament, a huge chunk of his temperament boils down to:

  • Age
  • Owner’s personality
  • Relationship with the owner

There is also such a thing as genetic temperament. The prominent behavior of his parents can be passed down to their offspring. 

Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament

Due to being a large dog and categorically labeled as a Mastiff canine, people may have misconceptions regarding the Dogue. Aggression is a possible part of his behavior, but there are other more outstanding and prevailing moods he possesses. Here are 5 things you need to know to better understand what the Dogue personality is mainly composed of:


Despite being shy and distrustful towards strangers, the French Mastiff is not easily bothered or provoked by them. He’ll maintain a distance, however, and try to keep off strangers and other animals from his territory. He’ll not attack unless there’s a serious provocation or threat laid out against him. Typically, he just stays composed and vigilant.


French Mastiffs are extremely loyal to their owners. A great guard dog at heart. He’ll protect his family until death once trust is established. His loyalty is seen in guarding your house and property. He won’t have second thoughts when an intruder breaks in. If you raise him well, there are very low chances that he’ll turn to you.


Despite being often labeled as unsafe around people, the French Mastiff continues to disprove it. He’d just need some time to establish trust before friendship comes in. Once the relationship is built, you’ll have a good friend for life. He is amiable with kids, especially the older ones. Proper monitoring is needed for younger kids as he’s not used to their rough antics and his size and reaction might cause injuries.

Devoted Courageous

The French Mastiff breed is a reasonable one. He doesn’t just act out aggressively when there are no triggers. He takes pride in his guard dog duty and would often display a tremendous amount of courage and seriousness to ensure his master’s safety. He’s always alert for any danger. His devotion to face any threat makes him an excellent protector. 

Calm & Gentle

You’d be surprised that this big, muscular, and fearsome-looking canine would be so calm and tender. He’s quiet and wouldn’t make a sound unless something picks his interest. He’ll only get loud during stressful periods or if he’s left alone with no one to give him attention. This’ll end up making him develop undesirable behaviors which potentially include aggression. 

5 Things That Make a Dogue de Bordeaux React Badly

Although there are lots of wonderful traits found in the French Mastiff breed, it can’t be denied that some may exhibit very bad reactions which can either be intimidating or vicious. Know these 5 things that might trigger them to behave that way:


Frustration-aggression is when your French Mastiff is being held back from what makes him excited. Also known as the barrier frustration, the Dogue can lash out at anyone who’s holding him back from what he’s attempting to reach. It can be that he’s either kept on a leash or he’s under the grasp of his owner.


He could either be having arthritis, dental problems, or internal injuries that would need immediate medical attention. No doubt, any dog who has an illness will experience stress as well. This can lead to aggression, which at times, may come out as unreasonable if the ailment affects the brain.


Fear aggression can be a French Mastiff’s way of telling someone to stay away. He’ll act defensively while showing ready-to-attack stances to try to intimidate his enemies. 


This happens when a French Mastiff tries to keep others, dogs for example, in their place in the hierarchy. Hostility may also be directed to his owner if he’s threatened or challenged by his master’s actions.


When the French Mastiff gets a hold of something he deems as highly desirable and someone gets near him, conflict is possible. It can either be a chew toy, a tasty treat, or his favorite toy.

5 Ways to Stop Aggression

Any dog, no matter the breed, can show aggression. Although he can act dangerously, there are 4 ways that you can do to stop it from happening:

  • Intensive Socialization. Your French Mastiff needs to be exposed to different people and animals so his protective instinct is not heightened when there’s no reason to be. 
  • Showing Lots of Love. It doesn’t mean tolerating your Dogue when he acts out, but rather disciplining him without the use of punishments. Raise him well and ensure nobody would end up causing harm to him.
  • Know the Underlying Causes. Health problems are big factors that affect temperament. Bring your French Mastiff regularly to the vet so he can be treated immediately if he suffers from an illness.
  • Providing Positive Experiences. A happy dog is far from developing bad habits. Keep him entertained and build memories with him. Meanwhile, a neglected dog is prone to lots of behavioral issues.
  • Training, Training, Training! Always teach your dog how to behave around people and animals. If he knows his boundaries, he’ll less likely show belligerence.

Is a Dogue de Bordeaux Safe to Have as a Pet?

Absolutely! Just as long as you have what it takes to handle a large and sometimes stubborn dog, then it’s not a concern bringing a puppy home. You must ensure he gets all the needed training and reinforcements as well as your love, attention, and care so he grows up as a family asset and not a liability!