Height: 23.5 - 27 inches. Minimum height for females is 23.5, while minimum height for males is 24.3 inches.
Weight: 80 to 130 lbs in proportion to height.
Life Span: 11 - 12 years. Some have been known to live up to 16 years, still hunting.
Litter Size: 4 - 8 puppies.
Country of Origin: Argentina
Activity: Medium. They love to lay on the couch with their owner, or play outside for hours on end.
Guard-dog: Very High. Dogos were bred for this purpose.
Description: As an endurance hound much like the Irish Wolfhound ancestor, the Dogo Argentino (Dogo's) are expected to track wild boar across vast pampas, corner the animal and attack and hold it for the hunters. They are capable of incredible bursts of speed for short distances, but are known for covering long distances at a gallop. Having cornered the boar, they must have enough strength in reserve to attack and hold a wild boar weighing up to 400 pounds. The Dogo is a large, white, smooth coated animal that gives the appearance of power. They have bodies slightly longer than they are tall, with females being slightly longer than males. They have a mostly square, slightly domed skull and a large black nose, that may have some pink in it. The ears are naturally dropped, but may be cropped for show. Made up of ten different breeds for ten different reasons, the Dogo Argentino may look fierce, but his friendly demeanor is masked by his appearance. The Dogo Argentino craves close physical contact with their people. As the saying goes, a Dogo Argentino never lays at your feet, they lay on your feet. They are a reliable family guardian, interested in all activities and enjoying guests along with their family. Dogos are very protective and good at guarding. Unwelcome guests should not approach this breed. Should the Dogo Argentino discern a direct threat to any member of their family, they will act to protect that person. Argentine Dogos are very reliable, affectionate with friends and family, and intelligent. They are highly trainable, good with children, and love to be the center of attention. A warm body and soft couch will keep a Dogo Argentino quiet for hours.
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Other Names: Argentinian Mastiff, Argentine Dogo
Colors: White with possible ticking. One dark marking is allowed on the head.
Coat: The Dogo Argentino's coat should be short, thick, glossy and feel like satin.
Temperament: The Dogo Argentino is not hyperactive, but young pups are inquisitive and keep themselves busy by investigating everything. They are excellent for game hunting, friendly towards people, especially children. Very good guardians, faithful and docile, they make excellent guide dogs for the blind. They are reliable, protective, and friendly to friends and family. They are affectionate and love to be the center of attention. Dogos greatly enjoy human companionship, longing to be with their owners every step of the way. They are intelligent, curious, trainable and trustworthy. They are powerful, loyal and courageous. They are wary of strangers, and prospective owners should be aware that they were originally bred to be able to attack unwelcome guests, although they have been bred down to be pack hunters and non-aggressive. Some strains in Argentina are still bred for aggressiveness, so they can be used in dog fights. These lines are unsuitable for hunting or for families. These specific lines are smaller in size, ranging from 75 - 90 lbs. Regular Dogo Argentinos are protective of their space, and loyal to their owners. Dogos are an endless playmate, with stamina and long life. Dogos require a dominant owner to lead them.
With Children: Dogo Argentinos love children with a passion; they are generally very good with them. They should be socialized early on.
With Pets: The Dogo Argentino should be socialized and trained with other animals and dogs at an early age to eliminate aggression towards them.
Care and Training: The Dogo Argentino is a clean house dog that needs little coat care. Once a week grooming with a rubber curry to keep the coat and skin in good condition. Their skin is sensitive and can sunburn, so shade should be available when the Dogo Argentino is outside for long periods of time. Use only gentle shampoos or those made for white coats when bathing. The mature Dogo Argentino needs regular exercise to maintain their muscle structure. They are an energetic breed when given the chance. Dogos are natural heelers and respond wonderfully to positive reinforcement and motivation training. They enjoy working and pleasing their owners. On the other hand, they don't do well with force training and may be stubborn to a forceful attitude. They can be trained for tracking, drug detection, support dogs, police dogs, therapy dogs, search & rescue, bomb detection etc. Training should begin at puppyhood.
Learning Rate: High. Dogo Argentinos are very intelligent and house trained easily.
Special Needs: Positive training, socialization, and sun protection.
Living Environment: Loves to be indoors with their family, laying on the couch. A large yard with room to play in the shade is necessary, as they can sunburn. They are naturally strong and enjoy long runs. The best owner for this breed would be someone who is an active, dog-experienced owner in a rural or suburban home.
Health Issues: 10% are born deaf due to their white color. Other health concerns include hip dysplasia and sunburn.
History: The Dogo Argentino was developed in Argentina in the late 1920’s by doctors Antonio and Agustin Nores Martinez, dog enthusiasts and avid hunters. The Dogo Argentino was primarily intended to be used as a hunting dog for puma and jaguar, as well as a guardian and all-around family dog. As a guard dog, the Dogo Argentino was expected not only to bark a warning at strangers and stop intruders, but to do so with such determination as to fight an intruder to the death, if needed, without being distracted by any injury inflicted to itself during the course of the battle. Dr. Martinez' belief was that "A dog which attacks an intruder and then, at the first threat of injury, abandons its prisoner is worth nothing as a guardian." And so great care was put into high pain tolerance for this breed. Another trait highly valued in the Dogo was his white fur, able to deflect the sun rather than absorb it. Unfortunately, Dogos still suffer from sunburn in intense heat. The base stock began with the Old Cordoba Fighting Dog (now extinct). This dog was known for one thing: fighting. It was said that an Old Cordoba would even try to pick a fight with the female it was trying to mate with. Next, several other breeds were added to the mix. These included Mastiffs, Bulldogs, Boxers, English Pointers, Bull Terriers, Old English Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Dogue De Bordeaux, Harlequin Great Danes, Pyrenean Mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds. This created the animal that Martinez was looking for. The Dogo had the tenacity, endurance, confidence, trainability, guarding instinct, speed and awesome scenting ability that they had searched for. The first standard for this breed was recorded in 1928. The breed is still used today as a fighting and hunting dog in Argentina, and is popular in Europe, especially Germany. Here it gained recognition with the FCI in 1960. In America, there are clubs for this breed, although not widely known. Today they are used for narcotics and drug detection, police dogs, and even guides for the blind. Dogo Argentinos are one of very few breeds to come from Argentina.
First Registered by the AKC: Foundation Stock Service (not yet eligible for the AKC) - 1996
Class: Working Hound
Registries: FCI, UKC, Argentinean Kennel Club