Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

July 29, 2012

PET OF THE WEEK: Guardian French Mastiffs have deep history

By Ellen Hargle | Special to the Index

“Xena,” this week’s Pet of the Week, is a 1- to 2-year-old, mocha-colored, unspayed female French Mastiff, also known as a Dogue de Bordeaux. She is a friendly, but strong and powerful dog, currently weighing around 50 pounds.    

This working breed is believed to have originated in France more than 600 years ago; however, the history of the Dogue de Bordeaux is a mystery. Early on, the breed was prized for its protective nature and was often found in the homes of wealthy French citizens.

During the French Revolution, many of the breed were killed along with their wealthy masters. Another setback for the breed came during World War II. Adolph Hitler was said to have demanded the execution of all French Mastiffs because of their devout loyalty to their owners.

The French Mastiff possesses an instinct for guarding, which Xena will likely do with vigilance and courage. They are highly attuned to their environment and respond to a threat instinctively. The breed is the very symbol of loyalty and courage.

Xena gets along well with children and would make an excellent companion as the only pet in the household. She is extremely affectionate and sweet with people and has a patient, calm temperament. The most common word you will hear to describe the breed’s temperament is "balanced." Playfulness is another hallmark of this breed.

A French Mastiff appeared with Tom Hanks in 1989 as “Hooch” in the film “Turner and Hooch. Those who recall the film will know that Xena’s new owners should be prepared to deal with drool!

Her short coat is easy to care for. She could live inside if given enough moderate daily exercise – she has lots of youthful energy. Her ideal family would have a fenced-in yard where she could play a great game of fetch or tug-of-war.

Xena was found by Mineral Wells Animal Shelter staff one morning in one of the shelter’s fenced pens. She has proved to be great with people of all ages, but must not live in a home where other cats or dogs are present or visit. Before interacting with other animals, she needs the help of a professional, reward-based dog trainer.

The cost of adoption includes spaying and a rabies shot. To adopt Xena or any of numerous dogs and cats, call the shelter at (940) 328-7752.

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