Dogue De Bordeaux – Isabella aka Issy
by Mark Rankin
(Plattsville, ON, Canada)
Our bordeaux life
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We did a lot of research when looking for our first dog together. I had several different breeds of dogs growing up with a German Shepherd being the biggest and best one I ever had.
My wife had never had a dog growing up just cats. We work shifts so a high energy dog was out of the question. We decided a large breed with low to moderate energy level was what we wanted. The Dogue De Bordeaux was our choice after we had narrowed our choice to three breeds.
We found a reputable breeder, one of the top in Ont, Canada. Issy came home with us. Issy was lots of fun with many adventures. A very human interaction type breed. Trips to the dog park to meet our dogs and get integrated with other dogs. This is a must.
Also interaction with as many people, kids to adults is also a must. We did this at an early age and never had any problems with Issy when she reached adulthood. We took Issy everywhere, lots of car rides, from Home Depot to family get togethers.
Issy was a very friendly dog that looked intimidating to some people. One friend that was scared of dogs even warmed up to Issy after being around her. How could you resist when Issy leaned against your leg and looked up at you with those eyes.
One story of many, we left Issy with my brother when we went away on a trip down south. My brother has two young girls 5 and 7. The 5 year old would lay on top of Issy and sleep with her. She was even caught in Issy's crate with Issy, she had locked the door behind her.
When my brother walked Issy each day both girls would go. The 5 year old would cry when she was told she could not walk Issy. One day my brother relented thinking Issy would pull her, but walked perfectly along side of her, this is 130lb dog.
On one walk my brother stopped to talk to a neighbour and the 5 yr old continued on walking with Issy. A aggressive dog in the neighbourhood was loose and came running towards them with the 5 year old between the dogs. Issy pivoted and got in front and never let the dog get near the 5 yr old until my brother running got there. My brother told us Issy had got in a low wide stance and growled a way he had never heard Issy before and stayed between the aggressive dog and his daughter.
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Health issues we had with Issy, ingrown eye lashes called distichiasis, that we had to get lasered off. Demodectic Mange. Found inherit from the mother. Breeder never responded to our calls.
Hypothyroidism, seasonal flank alopecia, and the last and worse idiopathic epilepsy at just 3 years old. We took Issy to University of Guelph for full check and MRI when her first Custer of seizures happened to find out why. They determined it was genetic.
After several calls to breeder with no response, a final call with very direct intentions got a call back admitting the litter of 8, Issy was the fourth to show seizures. They had stopped all breeding of the male which they blamed as responsible for the seizures.
We lost Issy 6 months later when multiple seizures occurred one day that the vet could not stop and was determined the most humane root.
It was very tough losing Issy so early.
We took several months before we decided to get another dog. We loved the Dogue De Bordeaux breed and decided to go with a different breeder but same breed and currently have both boy and girl. They are a handful but are great. Hope the health issues we had with Issy do not happen with Otis and Shelby.
Health issues are the only concern I would tell potential owners to be wary about. Need to see health records of the sire and bitch of the litter to confirm. Also get to know about the breeder, history of former clients and rep of breeder.
Only poor breeders have something to hide and will get defensive. There is no sure thing but odds increase of getting a healthy dog if you do your due diligence.
Final comment, the love of a bordeaux to its owner far out ways any drool or snoring concerns you may hear about as issues.