Pet Insurance for Dogues de Bordeaux

Find out all about Dogues de Bordeaux and their common health conditions, and then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on June 6th, 2024       

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Price range



58cm - 69cm


54kg - 66kg


Calm, loyal, affectionate

Coat length

Short, wrinkled

Exercise needs




Life expectancy

5 - 8 years

Dogue de Bordeaux


The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff or Bordeaux Mastiff, is a massive, comparatively rare dog breed originating from the Bordeaux region of France. Their history can be traced back to the 12th Century, when they were used to pull carts, and as herding and hunting dogs. They may be related to the Tibetan Mastiff, although their true origin is not definitively known. Dogues de Bordeaux almost became extinct between the two World Wars, with only ten pairs of dogs known to remain. However, they were saved from extinction, exported to America, and were officially recognised by the American Kennel Club in 2008. They were made famous by Tom Hanks in the movie Turner and Hooch. They are still comparatively rare in Australia. 

Known as ‘gentle giants,’ these huge dogs have the largest head of any known dog breed, and distinctive folds in their faces which give them their characteristic soulful expression. However, they are alert, intelligent dogs not known for their high energy level. They are known to be quite lethargic, prone to obesity, and have a comparatively short lifespan of five to eight years. 

They have a short, dense coat that requires minimal grooming. Bordeaux are known for their very gentle and affectionate nature. Although they are intelligent, they can be stubborn, and require an experienced owner who can provide strict training from an early age. Due to their huge size, they are not suitable for families with children or for small living areas. 

Common diseases and conditions of Dogues de Bordeaux

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a very common orthopaedic condition in this breed affecting the joint's development. It can lead to discomfort and mobility issues.  
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Another common orthopaedic condition that affects the elbow joints and can lead to lameness and mobility issues.    
  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome: Brachycephalic means ‘short-nosed’ and breeds that have this characteristic (flat, or ‘pushed in’ faces) tend to suffer from difficulty breathing due to narrowed nostrils. 
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD): This is an inflammatory condition that occurs when the diseased cartilage separates from the underlying bone. Surgery is usually necessary to manage the symptoms, such as lameness and joint stiffness. 
  • Subaortic stenosis (SAS): This is a type of heart valve disease. Most dogs with SAS do not survive beyond age three years without treatment, though dogs with milder cases can have normal life spans.
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat): A serious condition where the stomach twists, potentially causing a life-threatening emergency. 

Breed-specific issues:  

Their huge size and strength make them very heavy and powerful dogs, and they require firm consistent handling from an early age if they are to become manageable pets. They are highly affectionate dogs but not suitable for being around children. Due to their numerous known health issues, Dogues de Bordeaux require very regular vet checks, and it is recommended to have comprehensive health insurance if you are considering owning this breed.  

How much does pet insurance cost for a Dogue de Bordeaux?

Most Australians can expect to pay between $20 and $60 a month for pet insurance. There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your dog, including the following:

  • Age: The older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because senior dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.    
  • Type of insurance you choose:  There are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type of insurance available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most.  
  • The policy annual limit: Each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.   
  • Sub-limits: In addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub-limits that apply to the policy, for example, a $300 sub-limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.   
  • Benefit percentage: Pet insurance does not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies, up to 90% for the best policies available.   
  • Excess amount: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, whilst others do.  
  • Any add-ons you choose: It’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.  
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

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Common questions about Dogues de Bordeaux

Do Dogues de Bordeaux drool a lot?

Yes, Dogues de Bordeaux are known to be moderate to heavy droolers. This trait is common among breeds with loose facial skin and heavy lips, like the Dogue de Bordeaux, particularly after eating or drinking. You’ll need to keep a drool cloth handy at all times around this breed. 

Do they shed a lot?

Dogues de Bordeaux have a short, dense coat that doesn't shed excessively. However, like all dogs, they do experience seasonal shedding. Regular brushing will help manage this, but their grooming needs are relatively low compared to some other breeds. 

Do Dogues de Bordeaux need any special health care?

Yes, these dogs are prone to several breed-specific health issues, including hip dysplasia, heart problems, and joint issues. They also need regular facial cleaning to prevent bacteria and dirt building up in their facial folds. It's essential to establish a good relationship with a vet who understands this breed, and to schedule regular check-ups to monitor their overall health.  

How much exercise do Dogues de Bordeaux need?

While they may have a robust appearance, Dogues de Bordeaux are not overly energetic dogs, and are content with a moderate level of low-impact activity. They do not cope with heat well, and should never be exposed to very high temperatures, and should be kept cool during hot summers. These are not the breed of dog to take jogging with you. 

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Dogue de Bordeaux

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