The Dogo Argentino is a breed that got a bad rap in the 1990’s thanks to some boneheads in England. Aside from its imposing features, a thick neck, muscular shoulder and body, and intimidating muzzle, this fiercely athletic dog is just one big love machine.
Dogos are rather simple in nature, with their wants and appearance, you won’t find a lot of coat alternatives, and they are rather simple to provide for. This breed has been known to own one of the most powerful bites in the world, that is, if they choose to use it.
Yet, they were breeded by two brothers who had a different vision for a dog that has received an unfavorable and unfair reputation. A good family dog, that you can take with on hunting trips, and that others won’t mess around with when this breed is around.
So why is this breed increasingly becoming so popular with dog lovers all over? Here is everything that you need to know about the Dogo Argentino.
The Dogo Argentino can be referred to as a lot of things because it quite literally was cross-breeded with a lot of things.They’ve been called the Argentinian Mastiff, Dogo, and Argentine Dogo.
The Dogo is a rather new breed and the hopes and dreams of a man from Argentina in the 1920’s, who wanted a dog that near perfect. What did he want? He wanted a dog that could hunt and track wild boar, jaguars and pumas. He wanted a canine that would be able to hold imposing and dangerous predators. They had to be strong, gritty, dedicated and intelligent enough. They had to be versatile and athletic in size.
Antonio Nores Martinez and his younger brother, Agustin, didn’t just want a service dog that could hunt and herd. They also wanted a dog that you could trust to protect your family when they were away. They wanted a companion that was stable.
The Martinez brothers began conspiring a way to get that kind of dog. The older Martinez, was an avid dog lover and a very smart man. He was a doctor, professor and surgeon.
He and his brother began by taking what is now extinct, a Cordoba. This was a prized fighting dog with a legendary status. They were known as fierce and talented hunters, which is what he wanted to based his Dogo Argentino on. They hand picked several female Cordoba dogs and crossed them with nine other breeds such as: Bull Terriers, Boxers, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhounds, Old English Bulldogs, Spanish Mastiffs, English Pointers, and Dogue de Bordeaux.
It was that dedicated vision and breeding that led to one agile and talented hunter of a dog, the Dogo Argentino.
Today, as hunters, Dogo’s are used for many purposes around the world, where they are legal. The Dogo can cover a lot of ground, with bursts of high speeds, hunt and kill larger animals during intensive hunts. But like the brothers visioned, when they come home from a kill, there is no inherited anger or aggression towards their family and masters.
They were recognized in 1964 as a breed by the Cinologic Federation of Argentina and the Argentine Rural Society. They were accepted as a breed in 1973 by the Argentina Kennel Club, and in 1985, the Dogo Argentino received its first club in America with The Dogo Argentino Club of America. The American Kennel Club has acknowledged the breed into its Foundation Stock Service and Miscellaneous Class in 2011, as a working dog designation.
Dogo Argentino continues to grow in popularity despite its tarnished reputation. In Germany, the Dogo is utilized appropriately as a hunting and companion breed.
The Dogo Argentino is considered to be a large breed of a dog. The average recommended height for a Dogo female should be around 20-26 inches. Males should stand around 24-27 inches. When it comes to weight, the Dogo can pack some pounds ranging anywhere from 88 -100 pounds.
Personality & Temperament
The Dogo was bred into existence to make that transition from hunting dog to the perfect home companion without episode. Much to the satisfaction of its inventor, the Martinez brothers, the Dogo Argentino has thrived with both traits.
While they are aggressive out in the field, or vicious hunting dogs during a hunting expedition, the Dogo is not meant to be aggressive towards its humans. They are good, with some supervision, around children, for as long as they were raised properly as pups.
This breed tends to a cuddle-bug, that is very gentle to be around. One common theme about the Dogo Argentino is that it would rather lay on you then around you.
They are very alert and instinctive, which serves accuracy of their hunting purpose. They can adapt to their surroundings very well, and a transition into a smaller space like an apartment shouldn’t be an issue, for as long as they can get their activities honored.
That said, the Dogo Argentino is very active and loves plenty of time running around and playing. If early socialization is achieved with this breed, it responds well with other dogs, but won’t tolerate a bully, and may take on more of an alpha role with the pack.
Dogos are protective of their family and especially smaller children. They shouldn’t be neglected or left alone for long periods of time. This can cause a Dogo to become depressed or bored, while being riddled with separation anxiety. When this occurs, they may take out their nervous energy on property especially furniture.
The Dogo Argentino can live on average from 10 to 12 years of age. They produce a modest litter size of about 4-8 per birth. They do not appear to be an unhealthy breed, although there are some health concerns that the Dogo is more prone to.
For instance, the Dogo Argentino is more prone to deafness, which is a trait most white coated dogs inherit. According to The Dogo Argentino Club of America, 10 percent of all puppies are born deaf. This reflects the same study numbers that the Dogo club in Germany concluded. You should always seek hearing tests for your Dogo puppy.
As far as joint ailments, the Dogo Argentino is clear of that. They can suffer other forms of illness such as epilepsy, thyroid diseases, and digestive issues. You should watch how active they are after eating, and what you do feed your Dogo, because the Dogo has a deep chest, which puts them at risk for gastrointestinal syndrome issues such as, bloat. Also, because of their activity level, always check for ticks and demodectic mange.
An Argentine Dogo is said to have serious hip issues, while pain and lameness because of their malformity. 40 percent of Dogos have malformed hips.
Your puppy should be updated on its shots, and should frequently visit the veterinarian to remain on a good plan to sustain good health.
Your Dogo Argentino is going to aim to please you but you should return the favor by taking your dog with you for long walks, or at least 20 minutes a day, so that the dog can exert the proper amount of energy it naturally has. You should give them a personal space, with ample amount of room to run and play. They should always be latched onto something like a leash and fenced in, as they can become somewhat territorial. Mental stimulation is as important as physical.
When you begin raising a pup, it’s important to be consistent and fairy authoritative. You can be gentle but reaffirming in your commands. The Dogo picks up on learning rather well. They can become embarrassed and withdrawn when they are made an example of. You shouldn’t scold or verbally lash out at a dog of this breed.
Training will be enjoyable for this breed, and you start off with sit, shake, bark, and then transition into more athletic games such as disc frisbee,They should be socialized at an early age, so that they don’t become aggressive and bitter towards other dogs.
You should always give them attention and constant contact. Always keep them involved with the family, while establishing a fair level of boundaries as well.
Your best friend for your Dogo will be a chew toy or rope, as it loves to use its powerful jaw and mouth to play and playfully bite. Do not let your Dogo become the alpha of the family. It will like to jump up on the couch, sometimes play rough, but only if you allow it to. At an early age, with discipline, comes a great dog as it matures.
Much like most large breeds, you should always feed your Dogo specifically labeled food that is catered towards specific types. Since this breed is a larger animal, always look for packaging that caters to a larger dog.
When a Dogo Argentino is a puppy, especially when its only weeks old, they will crave and want more food. At this point, from 8-12 weeks of age, you will be feeding your puppy Dogo Argentino 3-4 meals a day. This can 1-3 cups.
Once the pup matures to the ages of 3-6 months, reduce that amount to about 2-3 meals a day. At six months old and up to a year, you can feed your puppy 2 meals per day.
After the Dogo Argentino reaches a year, you should feed them only one meal a day. You can always break the meal up into two servings. For instance, when you eat breakfast, give them half of the portion then, and at dinner, give them the rest of the portion.
The Dogo is known to be incredibly unfussy, so finding them a food they will like won’t be a problem. You should exercise good judgement with quality. Eagle Pack Holistic Formula is rich with animal proteins and isn’t loaded with filler, artificial preservatives and coloring. It has all of the nutrients you want your Dogo to be consuming. Animal based protein meals, and dry food is the best route to go. It may be more expensive but much more worth it for an overall healthy breed.
You should always provide clean and fresh drinking water for your Dogo, and keep in mind that this breed is better off with his or her own bowl and eating space.
A Dogo Argentino has a very easy manageable coat to take care of. It is a soft to the touch, short length, and only one color. There are a few marking spots, but they should be limited. The solid white color coat can be brushed once a week, and bathed as needed. The Dogo Argentino doesn’t omit any foul odors. Use a natural bristle brush, towel dry, and warm water with veterinarian approved shampoo.
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- The Dogo Argentino was used for dog fighting in England during the 80’s-90’s. This caused a movement to ban the dog. Currently, the Dogo Argentino is banned in Ukraine, Denmark, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Cayman Islands.
- The cost to care for a Dogo Argentino is on average a cost of $420-$780.
- Dogos are big game hunters, that have been used for search and rescue missions. They’ve also helped assist police during investigations, guide the blind, and compete in obedience competitions.
- The Dogo Argentino is the only dog native of Argentina used to hunt much bigger game than itself.
Don’t let the rough and intimidating exterior fool you, while you can’t ignore the Argentine Mastiff brute force and hunting wizardry, they are a very affectionate and loving companion.
While some people have used this breed for the bad, others have seen the good in this dog and what good they can do.
If you like to hunt, and want a dog that can run fast, hold and track, as well as a breed that will come home and be a friendly, loving, and entertaining pet, then the Dogo Argentino is the dog you’ve been looking for.