The Revival of the Dogue de Bordeaux Breed
Prof. Raymond Triquet is considered to be the father and the reviver of the breed that stood on the brink of extinction in 60-es of the 20th century. His devotion to this beautiful breed “began” in an unusual way. At that time Mr. Triquet was teaching grammar in a local school and one of the pupils, fascinated, came and told about the dog he saw. After that Prof. Triquet came to see his first Dogue de Bordeaux which made a great impression on him. He says the dog was “like a lion”. From that time Prof. Triquet felt it his duty to help reviving the breed.
There were only two Dogue de Bordeaux breeders in France and they were rivals. Mr. Triquet managed to get his bitch bought from one kennel served by an old male from the other one. The owner of the male had a right for “the first choice” and, of course, he chose the best puppy from the litter planning to sale him abroad. Still he was a real gentleman, as Professor Triquet states, and when he learn professor’s intention to help reviving the breed, he agreed to choose another puppy.
That best puppy helped to popularize the breed. He was shown by Mr. Triquet on shows, people gazing at him with enthusiasm and inquiring if that dog was a representative of some breed. Once an old man who was a whipper-in in the forest and before the WWII worked for an Englishman came and thanked Mr.Triquet for preserving the breed. That old man said he worked with Dogues de Bordeaux before Germans invaded France. Before leaving to the island the Englishman shot all his dogs and the former whipper-in believed there were no Dogues de Bordeaux left at all. The truth is that many Dogues repeated the fate of those shot before the Germans’ invasion. Some people say there was also a special order from Hitler to shot the Dogues at sight because of their strong protective instinct and genuine devotion to their Masters.
In 1971 Prof. Triquet and Dr. Maurice Luquet completed the creation of the 3d standard of the breed.
In 1982 the breed was “officially” introduced to American breeders in the article contributed by Carl Semencic for the “Dog World” magazine.
In 1989 Dogue de Bordeaux named Beasley starred in a famous movie Turner & Hooch, that became very popular with American audience. Of course, the attention was drawn to the beautiful stocky mastiff whose breed was not so familiar to people. The questions about what kind of dog was Hooch preceded climbing numbers of the Dogues in the USA and a complete recognition of this breed by the American Kennel Club in 2008.