Dogo Argentino

With its white coat and substantial size and stature, the Dogo Argentino is a striking dog. Originally bred to work alongside a pack of other dogs in the pursuit of large game, one could assume that this type of hunting and pursuit would result in an aggressive dog. However, it is just the opposite. Because they had to work with other dogs towards a common goal, it was extremely important the Dogo Argentinos did not fight with other dogs in the hunting pack. They were specifically bred to tough, but completely non-aggressive with other dogs. It's an amazing feat, considering the high-intensity situations the dogs worked in.

This specific temperament (friendly, kind, and loving), is what allows the Dogo to be such an excellent pet. They have a lot of stamina and a strong work ethic, but they are mostly calm and relaxed dogs. They get along extremely well with other dogs and are loving, loyal family pets as long as they are socialized with children. Like most intelligent working breeds, they require some exercise and mental stimulation but are not known for being particularly high energy. They do tend to exhibit a stubborn streak, however, and may require a consistent, strong, and steady hand when training.

Key Breed Stats

Alternative names: The Dogo Argentino breed is also commonly known by the names Argentine Mastiff, Dogo, Argentine Dogo, Argentinian Mastiff.

Popularity: Very popular

Life expectancy: 10 - 12 years

Breed group: Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossoids and Swiss Mountain Dogs Dogs (FCI)

Size: Large

Male Female
Height 24 - 27 in 24 - 26 in
Weight 88 - 99 lbs 77 - 88 lbs

Coat: Short

Colors: White

Key Breed Facts

Shedding: Average shedder

Grooming requirements: High

Good with children: Average

Good with other pets: Not really

Intelligence / Trainability: High

Exercise needs: High

Tolerates being alone: Not really

Hunting drive: High

Suited as Guard dog: Excellent

Sensitivity: Average

Good for novice owners: No

Hypoallergenic breed: No

Drooling: High

Barking: Average

General health: Average

Cost to keep: High

History

The Dogo Argentino is a relatively young breed. In 1928, Antonio Nores Martinez, a medical doctor, professor, and surgeon, sought to breed a big game hunting dog that was also capable of being a loyal pet and guard dog. Antonio Martinez picked the Cordoba Fighting Dog to be the base for the breed. This breed is extinct today, but it was said that as a large and ferocious dog, as well as an impressive hunter.

Martinez crossed the Cordoba Fighting Dog with the Great Dane, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Old English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Great Pyrenees, Pointer, Irish Wolfhound, and Dogue de Bordeaux. Nores Martinez continued to develop the breed via selective breeding to introduce desired traits. Ultimately, the goal was to produce a dog with the necessary stamina to hunt big game but was also able to work well within the pack. The result was the friendly, affable, Dogo Argentino. Dogos are big-game hunters and are also trained for search and rescue, police assistance, service dogs, competitive obedience, and military work.

Even with careful breeding, up to 10% of Dogos exhibit pigment related deafness. This is typical among white dogs with light skin pigment. Responsible breeders attempt tp reduce chance of deafness by breeding dogs who are not affected.

Appearance

Dogo Argentinos are quietly proud, known for their intelligence and friendly disposition.
Typical characteristics are:


  • Strong, powerful head with dark or hazel-colored eyes, alert, intelligent expression, and high-set ears.

  • Harmonious, well-balanced body.

  • Long, thick tail.

  • Smooth, short, close coat.

  • Colors: completely white. One black or dark colored patch around the eye is allowed.

Temperament

Intelligence/Trainability

Dogo Aregentinos are well-known for their intelligence and trainability and were bred to hunt big game. They are athletic, moderately energetic, and because they may challenge their owners, they are not recommended for novice dog owners.

As with all intelligent breeds, Dogo Argentinos require an outlet for their energy and intelligence. In short, they do best with a job, even if that job is simply chasing a ball or accompanying you on walks.

Activity

Dogo Argentinos were bred as hunting dogs and require a moderate amount of exercise. 45-60 minutes of activity per day should suffice. Without enough activity and stimulation, your dog may engage in annoying and possibly destructive behaviors.

Dogo Argentinos are susceptible to certain bone disorders like hip dysplasia. Keep your puppy on soft surfaces like grass and keep play on hard surfaces to a bare minimum until your puppy is at least two years old.

Independence

Dogo Argentinos were bred for their hunting ability, excellent temperaments, and bond with their owners. Therefore, they require a lot of attention from their owners. They will not thrive in situations where they must spend long periods of time on their own.

Protective

Dogos are not aggressive dogs. In fact, aggression has been specifically bred out. Dogo Argentinos will alert you to an intruder's presence with barking.

Living Conditions

Because of their kind temperaments and moderate exercise requirements, a Dogo Argentino can live happily in a variety of environments, from apartments to places with room to roam. In an apartment situation, be prepared to walk your dog every day, even in unpleasant weather. Just keep in mind that they are indeed large dogs and will, therefore, require a certain amount of space simply to move around.

Children and Other Pets

Dogo Argentinos can be good with children if they are raised with them and properly socialized, and make good overall family companions. They are large dogs, so caution should be taken around small children (under the age of 6) as they could easily knock over a child while playing.


  • Young children may unintentionally invade the personal space of your dog and are unable to interpret the warning signals of your dog.

  • Dogs consider the family as a pack, and may consider the younger children as subordinates and may try to correct them.

  • Young children are very time-consuming. They may take away from the time you have to spend with your dog and he may become bored or frustrated.

Keep in mind that all children should be taught how to interact correctly with ANY dog and should never be left unsupervised.

Trained and bred to work in a pack without fighting, Dogo Argentinos generally live well with other dogs. However, they can exhibit a strong prey drive and care should be taken around other types of animals and pets.

Health

The average life expectancy of a Dogo Argentino is between 10 - 12 years. Like all breeds, the Dogo Argentino is prone to certain hereditary health conditions. A responsible breeder will only breed with dogs that have been cleared for these conditions. A Dogo Argentino is prone to these diseases:
  • Deafness (hereditary)
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (hereditary) : Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a very common genetic orthopedic trait, which is affected by environmental and dietary factors. Canine hip dysplasia occurs when there is an abnormality in the development of the hip joint. More info»

Grooming

Dogo Argentinoss have a sleek, short coat that requires minimal grooming, a good brushing once per week will suffice. They also don't have a "doggy" smell. They are relatively clean dogs and don't need regular baths. When you bathe them, make sure to use a dog-specific shampoo that maintains the skin's natural PH balance.

Ears should be checked regularly for dirt, redness or a bad smell that could indicate an infection. Clean your dog's ears when needed with an ear cleaner made specifically for dogs.

Nail trimming is an important part of grooming if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally. Once or twice a month should suffice. Trimming a dog's nails too close can cause bleeding and pain, so it is important to trim carefully or seek the help of a vet or groomer.

Consider brushing their teeth with a soft toothbrush and dog toothpaste two or three times a week. Daily is even better. This helps prevent tartar build up and teeth problems. All puppies should become accustomed to having their mouths and teeth checked regularly.

All puppies and dogs should be groomed regularly (preferably weekly) and have their paws, ears, and mouth handled and examined frequently so that they become comfortable with the process. This way, you will quickly become aware of any problems that arise and your dog will be easy to handle for the vet, groomer, and any treatments that are required throughout its lifetime.

Feeding

Dogo Argentinos are large, fairly active dogs, so they will require a fair amount to eat. 2.5-3.5 cups of high-quality, dry dog food fed in two daily meals is a good starting point, but other factors need to be taken into consideration. Higher quality dog foods may require less food, as more of the food is digested properly. In addition, higher energy dogs will require more food, while more sedentary dogs may require less. Special attention should be paid to ensure that your dog doesn't become overweight, which can cause health issues in both the short and long-term.

Puppies have special feeding requirements. Use food specifically designed for large breed puppies. Adult dog food contains too much calcium, which will increase the risk for hip and elbow dysplasia. Don’t overfeed your puppy, as overweight puppies also have an increased risk for dysplasia. Puppies need to be fed 3 to 4 times a day. This might seem like a hassle, but it will help when it comes to housebreaking. A puppy’s digestive system works very fast. Five to 30 minutes after his meal, he will need to go out to do his business.

Just like any other breed, they need to have free access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Older dogs, like puppies, might need a diet adapted to their needs. In some cases, it is advisable to feed them smaller portions 3 to 4 times a day.

When changing your dog’s diet, it’s recommended to do it gradually over a period of a few days to avoid stomach problems.

Avoid exercise 1 hour before and after the meal, to reduce the risk of gastric torsion (bloat).