The Argentine Dogo (or Dogo Argentino) is a large sized, short coated, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina.
The Argentine Dogo History
In the 1920s in Argentina, Antonio Nores Martinez started breeding a dog intended to not only be a pet and family guardian, but also a hunting dog capable of taking on big game such as wild boar and cougars.
Martinez picked the Cordoba Fighting Dog to be the base for the breed. This breed is extinct today but was described as a large and ferocious dog that was both a great hunter and fighter. He crossed it with Great Dane, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Old English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Great Pyrenees, Pointer, Irish Wolfhound and Dogue de Bordeaux. Martinez kept improving the resulting breed via selective breeding to introduce the desired traits. The first breed standard for the Dogo Argentino was written in 1928.
Each breed, contributed the following traits to the Dogo:
Pointer: keen sense of smell, which is essential for the hunt
Body: on the whole, the Argentine Dogo is strongly muscled, especially at the shoulders and loins. The chest is broad and the lowest part of the underline lies behind the elbows. The strong back gradually runs from withers to pubis. A correct muscle growth creates a trench along the spine, which is clearly visible from above. The tail does not reach further than the hocks and is carried high, but not curled. The legs are straight. The hindlegs include low placed hocks. Duwclaws may not occur. The feet features tightly closed toes and are shorters at the frontlegs than the hindlegs. The ornate neck is strong and vaulted, with an elastic throat skin. The vaulted neck is so muscular that the occiput is masked by the muscles.
Head: the skull is fairly round, with the facial lines slightly bent. The snout and skull are of equal lenghts. Argentine Dogos have well connecting lips with somewhat overhanging edges. The high attached ears are carried pending, falling along the head. The eyes are far from each other, and they have a lively, but hard expression. Dogs of this breed have a scissorbite.
Height at Withers: the height at withers is between 62 and 68 centimeters for males and between 60 and 65 centimeters for females. Bitches may be bigger than what is indicated.
Weight: males weigh about 40 to 50 kg and bitches about 40 to 45 kg. Bitches may be heavier than what is indicated.
Coat: the Dogo Argentino has a short coat that is rather coarse to the toutch.
Colors: Dogs of this breed are always white, possibly with some moles on the skin. A small black spot between eye and ear is allowed, but spots in other places lead to disqualifications at exhibitions. The tip of the nose is always black and the edges of the lips are black pigmented. The eyelids do not have to be black, but the eyes are always dark in colour.
Argentine Dogo Temperament
Character: Argentine Dogos are temperamental, sometimes inquisitive dogs with lots of stamina. They are balanced and sober, tenacious courageous, hard on themselves and generally also quite confident or even dominant. They are very loyal to their owner and the family, and they show their affection. Most of these dogs is quite watchful and will also defend the family if necessary, but they will rarely bark. Hunting instincts are present in most specimens in one way or another. Although these dogs are only slightly sensitive to the weather, they are not suitable as kennel dogs, it'd have a soul-destroying effect.
Social Build: Argentine Dogs generally go well with children, but their size and inquisitiveness makes them less suitable for families with small children. To people they do not know, they are usually waiting vigilantly, but acquaintances of the family are given a happy and warm inquisitive welcome. Dealing well with cats, cattle and other domestic animals is not impossible, but also not taken for granted. His hunting dogs background can play parts with this point, which means that the owner must spend a lot of time, socializing his dog well with these animals and at a very young age. Argentine Dogo are rarely social to other dogs. In particular, the males may be feisty towards other males, although there are some females who act much the same towards other females. A good upbringing and socialization may, however, make a huge difference.
Argentine Dogo Socially
Care: it is easy to keep the Argentine Dogo's coat in a good condition. A rubber brush is effective in removing the loose and dead hairs in the shedding periods. Keep the nails short if necessary.
Education: the Argentinean Dog should be brought up balanced, loving and very consistently. Harsh punishments usually works counterproductive with these dogs. Extra time should be devoted to a thorough socialization. Take the dog everywhere you go and let him or her get acquainted with a variety of people, children, dogs, and all sorts of different pets. All in all, the breed is less suitable for novice and unbalanced people. A quiet owner with a natural superiority gets the best out of this dog.
Activity: Argentine Dogos are energetic dogs and they usually will need more than a walk around the block on a daily basis. Take the dog along regularly on long walks. In a large, fenced garden, the Dogo can also use much of its energy. An Argentine Dogo must be under a lot appeal if you want to be able to walk him loose from its leash, because of hunting instincts and sometimes dominant behavior towards other dogs.
Usability: In its country of origin, this breed is still used for its original job as hunting dog for big game, but outside it mainly acts as vigilant family dog for people with adequate space in and around the house.
Argentine Dogo Quotes / Trivia
The movie Bombón: El Perro (Bombón: The Dog) stars a Dogo Argentino as one of the main characters together with its fresh owner while trying their luck in life. Sometimes known as the Film De Dogo Argentino.
Below a video of a Dogo Argentino following a fleeing mountain sheep, down a steep hill and he manages to catch up with it nevertheless: