Did you ever think a dog could be both ferocious and loving? Stubborn but loyal? Well its time you get acquainted with the Dogo Argentino...
Unless you’re some kind of dog connoisseur, you probably haven’t even heard much about the Dogo Argentino.
It’s not a name that rings bells like “Labrador” or “Pitbull”, but make no mistake…
The Dogo Argentino is one of the most unique, loving, loyal dog breeds there are.
They may look mean, but for the most part, these dogs wouldn’t harm a fly.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about this unique and wonderful breed.
As well as tips on finding a trust-worthy breeder, should you choose to adopt one of your own.
So, if you’re ready to learn everything you need to know about the Dogo Argentino, let’s get started…
Dogo Argentino History
The Dogo Argentino is a breed indigenous to the Mediterranean city of Cordoba in Argentina. It is here where Dr. Antonio Norse Martinez and his brother Agustin Martinez began cross breading numerous breeds to create the Dogo Argentino.
Their goal was to achieve breeding a dog that would be suitable for hunting and guarding while still being a loyal companion.
Doesn’t sound that easy…
To successfully attain such a dog the brothers started cross breeding the Cordoba Fighting Dog (unfortunately now extinct) with numerous other breeds. They selected this breed due to its aggressive temperament, vigorous strength, and endless stamina.
But the Cordoba Fighting Dog was far too hostile to be the loving pet the brothers imagined. Its hostility and drive to fight is actually a main contribution to the breeds extinction.
The tolerance of pain this breed could endure was astronomical, and when placed in a dog fighting pit they often fought to the death. Males even frequently killed females during mating.
Clearly the Cordoba Fighting Dog had the stamina and strength the brothers wanted but it needed to be crossed with other breeds such as the Great Dane, Boxer, Old English Bulldog, Pointer, Old English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhound, and Dogue De Bordeauxe to decrease levels of aggression.
After carefully selecting and breeding these dogs Antonio and Agustin Martinez had a breakthrough and the Dogo Argentino breed was created. The Martinez brothers had successfully breed a dog that was agile, intelligent and strong enough to attack big-game such as pumas and wild boars,
Although they seem to be ferocious the Dogo Argentino is friendly enough to be able to hunt in packs and be wonderful pets.
Dogo Argentino Weight And Size
Naturally you would think a dog with such great power would be pretty stocky, and you are right!
They don’t start out that way though. Like all dogs, the Dogo Argentino begins it’s life as a cute little puppy.
Within 1-2 years, however, it grows to full size.
Although weight and height varies for each individual dog, on average male Dogo Argentinos weigh between 88-99 lbs, while females average 88-95 lbs.
Their height doesn’t have that much variation, males usually reaching between 24-27 inches, while females land between 24-26 inches.
These dogs are natural born athletes and they have the muscular body to go with it. The Dogo Argentino was carefully breed to be a hunting machine, facing opponents that can easy outweigh them. But their shear strength always prevails.
Dogo Argentino Coat
The coat of a Dogo Argentino is always going to be a beautiful pure white color, this is due to Antonio Martinez selecting only white dogs for breeding. Occasionally there can be a black spot/patch on the dogs head, ear or around their eye, but the classic all white coat is ideal.
Due to the natural short length of their coats, which usually only reaches 2 cm in length, grooming is only needed occasionally to remove loose hair. You should always be aware of when to brush your dog, and try to do it regularly even if its not necessarily needed.
Although their coat is short and dense it is very smooth and enjoyable to pet. So even though they don’t NEED to be groomed regularly grooming them can be an enjoyable activity for the both of you.
Even though this breed doesn’t frequently shed you will see an increase in shedding during the summer. You might even be able to see some of their skin from how thin their coat becomes.
The density of their coat, and therefore the frequency of shedding, will change according to the climate they are in.
In winter months the Dogo Argentinos coat will thicken but their coat is still naturally thin, so it is important to keep them inside when its cold.
The good news is that having a thin coat means they’re less likely to collect filth, so you won’t have to bathe them as often.
Dogo Argentino Personality
Loyalty is what the Dogo Argentino was bred for so you can bet they will be an amazing companion.
Even if the Dogo Argentino isn’t in Argentina, where they originally needed to fight off predators, they still have the instinct to guard and protect. This combination of courage and loyalty makes a dog that will protect your family like no other.
What makes these dogs such a successful breed is even though they have the strength to overpower an opponent, their aggression towards other dogs and humans was luckily bred out of the breed. Leaving us with a beautiful dog willing to protect and love endlessly.
They are loving guardians of their families and will give children more kisses than they can handle. Even though they are good with children it is always smart to supervise any dog while they are with a child.
Life with a Dogo Argentino will be playful, funny, and loving. They are true characters that are capable of cuddling with you all day.
Not only will they love you unconditionally, they will love your friends, and even your friends dogs! Dogo Argentinos are known to be naturally humble dogs enjoying the company of any person or animal when introduced properly.
Dogo Argentino Training
Originally the Dogo Argentino was bred and trained to excel in hunting and guarding, so naturally it makes sense that the breed would respond positively to training. They are an extremely intelligent breed of dogs with a wide capacity to learn and please.
Although determined to learn Dogo Argentinos need a firm hand when it comes to training. They are powerful intelligent dogs and will need an owner that is able to be firm yet positive during training sessions.
Since they were bred to hunt in packs they naturally shine when it comes to socialization, making them important assets for certain group activities. These activities include being trained for police assistance work, search and rescue, guide dogs, competitive obedience training, and service dogs.
Even though Dogo Argentinos are known to be superior learners and easily trained, the breed is known to sometimes become stubborn. This is why it is important to be a strong dominant trainer, and to let the dog know who is in charge!
But these dogs are truly wonderful to train since they don’t have behavioral issues, they don’t even bark a lot, only when necessary.
When it comes to training dogs you can never go wrong with positive reinforcement. Especially when you’re training a clever dog like the Dogo Argentino. With proper training it is amazing what these dogs can achieve, making any task seem effortless.
Dogo Argentino Average Activity Level
The endurance of the Dogo Argentino is truly fascinating, especially for such a large dog.
Originally they probably spent most of their time outside in the countryside of Argentina guarding their owners property. Which is quite different than what the average living situation of a Dogo Argentino is today.
So its up to you as an owner to make sure they stay active!
Although these dogs are able to adapt to their living environments its important to make sure they get the necessary amounts of exercise. Dogo Argentinos make great pets since they are content with wherever they are living, whether it be on a farm, in a house, or in a small apartment.
But just because the Dogo Argentino is a down to earth dog that’s okay with hanging out and cuddling all day, doesn’t mean you can ignore their exercise needs.
They are an athletic breed and need stimulation of their muscles and mind to stay in a healthy state. If you don’t keep your dog busy they can become bored and therefore become aggressive or destructive.
Luckily a walk a day will keep destructive behavior away!
Dogo Argentino Health
The average life expectancy of a Dogo Argentino is between 10-12 years, which is the common life expectancy of dogs this size.
All dogs are prone to certain health issues, especially if they are purebreds.
Unfortunately the Dogo Argentino is prone to many health issues including
- Laryngeal paralysis
- Hip dysplasia
Hypothyroidism is common in dogs and is caused by a decrease in normal thyroid hormone levels.
Though highly treatable with the administration of synthetic thyroid hormone supplements it can still cause discomfort for your dog.If they show signs including lethargic behavior, constipation, irritated skin, and weight gain you should treat them immediately.
One of the most common causes of deafness is pigment-related.
Deafness is a common health issue for the Dogo Argentino and also other breeds such as Dalmatians. Some dogs experience deafness in one ear (unirally), while others can experience deafness in both ears (binarally).
Glaucoma is a genetically predisposed disease and is is another common health issue of Dogo Argentinos.
It is caused by excessive pressure on the eye, which causes eye fluid to be drained, eventually damaging the optic nerve and causing permanent blindness if untreated.
If your dogs eyes seem red or cloudy bring them to the vet immediately!
Laryngeal paralysis is better known as any disease of the larynx (voice box). It can be acquired but is often times present at birth
If the nerves controlling the larynx cannot function properly your dogs voice box becomes altered which can prevent them from growling and even barking.
Signs of laryngeal paralysis include couching, panting, and change in tone of bark.
If your dog shows any signs of laryngeal paralysis it should be top priority to get them to a vet because they will most likely need surgery.
Hip Dysplasia can affect all dogs, but large dogs can be more prone to developing it.
This hereditary abnormal defected formation of the hip socket can cause immense pain for your dog, and lead to extreme lameness.
If your dog is experiencing lameness they will have difficulty moving their body, and be in extreme pain.
Do Your Research On Dogo Argentino Breeders
There are a lot of breeders who claim to have purebred Dogo Argentinos, but in some cases it can be difficult to tell. If someone is claiming they have a Dogo Argentino for sale you should make sure to ask for a form of certification.
There are companies which specialize in DNA testing of dogs to authenticate their breed.
Seriously though, the misrepresentation of dog breeds is a serious problem. If you’re unaware of the breed of your dog it can pose medical risks if something were to happen.
Do yourself a favor and don’t believe everything you here from any random breeder.
The Bottom Line On Dogo Argentinos
The Dogo Argentino is an outstanding dog breed that will always leave you impressed with their courage and love. They are the product of careful breeding to make a dog perfect for hunting, guarding, and loyalty.
Although they are big, muscular, and kinda scary they are true sweethearts that will show you a new level of devotion.
When you get any dog they automatically come with responsibilities such as exercising and training them. So, if you don’t think you can commit yourself to your dogs needs maybe you shouldn’t get a dog just yet…
A suitable owner for a Dogo Agentino is an experienced dog owner that lives an active lifestyle, who has the time to give this dog the attention and care it deserves.
Getting a dog can be an enjoyable, fulfilling experience, but you cant forget it’s your job to do the research on what dog would suit you and your lifestyle best.
That starts with finding a breeder you can actually trust, and of course, coming up with an awesome name!
We hope you enjoyed reading about the Dogo Argentino. Do you have anything to add about the Dogo Argentino? Comment below…
Hi, I'm Carol Reddy, Founder and Editor of CommonPaw and Pawthentic. When I'm not sharing my love for and knowledge of dogs, you can usually find me at the gym or the beach, living a healthy lifestyle.