The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the oldest French Breeds. It's actual origins are obscure but it probably descended from one of the strains of Mastiff type dogs that accompanied Macedonian and Roman armies through Asia, Europe & Britain.
A 14th century writer describing the Alaunt Veuteres, a probable ancestor of the Dogue de Bordeaux, wrote that this dog 'holds his bite stronger than three sight hounds'. By the middle of the 19th Century, the Dogue de Bordeaux was little known outside of Aquitaine. In France the Dogues were bred depending upon the region and jobs they were required to do.
The general appearance was inconsistent, the Dogues had various colors and varieties of coat, they had scissor bites in some regions and undershot in others, but they all had a similar type to today's Dogues. We do know that the Dogue was used as a guardian, a hunter and a fighter. They were trained to bait bulls, bears and jaguars: hunt boars, herd cattle and protect the homes, butcher shops and vineyards of their Masters. The Dogue de Bordeaux were prized as protectors and were found in the homes of the noble and wealthy in France. The Dogue de Bordeaux was entered under it's present name in the first dog show held in France in 1863. The breed narrowly missed extinction during the two world wars but enjoyed resurgence in the 1960's. Sometime in the early 1980's the first Dogue de Bordeaux was imported to the United States. The breed is now used today almost exclusively as a family companion and house guardian.
The Dogue de Bordeaux was first introduced into Australia in the early 1990's. Since then their popularity has slowly grown in numbers, in 1995 Australian National Kennel Council received registrations for 9 Dogue de Bordeaux, in 1997, 45 in 1998 , 120 and in 1999 they registered 144. The total number now is somewhere in the vicinity of 300 in Australia. They are scattered through out this huge country of ours and you rarely see them, making it hard to gain recognition for them , both in the Show Ring or by the public.