The Dogo Argentino, also known as the Argentinean mastiff or Argentine Dogo, is the result of a dream. Two brothers were determined to develop a sociable, yet intimidating hunter, capable of hunting cougars and wild boar. After some trial and error, the brother's dream was realized and the Dogo Argentino was born.
History and Origin
The Dogo Argentino is a native breed of Argentina. In 1925, brothers Antonio Nores Martinez and Agustin Nores Martinez longed to have a breed of dog capable of hunting big game in the Argentine countryside. Their desire to have a dog that was a companion as well as an effective hunter led them to develop a new breed of dog by combining the unique characteristics of 10 breeds.
The now extinct fighting dog of Cordoba was used as part of the foundation stock. This dog was then bred with the mastiff for power and the English bulldog for boldness and a broad chest. The bull terrier was added for fearlessness and the boxer for veracity and gentleness. The pointer was included in the development for their keen sense of smell. The Great Dane was added for size, the Irish wolfhound for a hunter's instinct, the Dogue de Bordeaux for powerful jaws and the Great Pyrenees for a white silk coat.
From all of these breeds came the magnificent hunter that is known today as the Dogo Argentino. The brothers started with 10 females and brought in males that met the standards they set for the new breed. In 1928, Antonio wrote the first breed standard for the Dogo Argentino. In 1956, Antonio was tragically killed and never able to see his finished dream. Agustin took over and moved the headquarters from Cordoba to Esquel, located in Patagonia in southern Argentina. Being the Argentine ambassador to Canada, Agustin used this opportunity to spread the breed throughout the world.
Finally, after 50 years of hard work, the brothers' Martinez had developed a magnificent breed with a talent for hunting, tracking and a watchful guard dog. In 1985, the Dogo finally reached the United States.
Appearance and Size
The Dogo Argentino gives the appearance of a smooth muscled, well-balanced dog capable of stepping out of the show ring and into the hunt. For the novice, the breed may look like a big white pit bull. The Dogo is a graceful dog of mastiff stock with strong jaws, cropped ears and a massive skull with a strong, short muzzle. The Dogo Argentino has dark brown or hazel eyes with an intelligent and alert expression. The nose should be black and should always have a sleek, short, thick white coat. The Dogo Argentino stands 24 to 27 inches from the shoulder and weighs between 80 and 100 pounds.
The Dogo has a stable temperament with an outgoing personality. The breed is friendly but will fiercely protect his family if danger lurks. The Dogo is usually accepting of other pets, especially if the other pets are submissive. Unfortunately, the Dogo has built a reputation for aggression and has been banned from several countries.
The Dogo Argentino is not a breed for an inexperienced owner. This white mastiff needs early socialization and obedience training.
Home and Family Relations
The Dogo Argentino can be a gentle loving family dog. They are loyal to their families and excellent guardians of their homes. Early socialization is important to help develop a strong family bond. The Dogo is a slow maturing breed that needs to be raised with other pets as a puppy if they are to be accepted as part of the family.
The Dogo Argentino has a short, sleek white hair coat that does not require much grooming. Weekly brushing and an occasional bath is usually sufficient.
Dogos are intelligent and easily trained. They have been successfully trained in obedience, search and rescue, military, police work, guard dogs, narcotic detection and Schutzhund. The breed has also been trained to hunt boar and moose and will do anything to please his owner. The Dogo responds to positive reinforcement and motivation. If trained with a forceful hand, the breed can become stubborn and aggressive.
The Dogo Argentino has a soft, sleek white coat that makes them more sensitive to the sun. They sunburn easily and should be kept out of the sun for extended periods. They also need regular exercise to maintain the muscle structure of the breed.
Gastric torsion (bloat) is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.