The Dogo Argentino is also called the Argentinian Mastiff or Argentine Dogo. It is a large, well muscled dog. The deep-set chest is wide. There is an abundance of skin on the muscular neck. The head is massive with a rounded shape from front to the back. The muzzle concaves upwards slightly, with a slight stop and is about the same length as the skull. The jaws are strong. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The nose is black. The eyes are set well apart, and are dark brown, light brown or hazel in color. The rims of the eyes should be pink or black. The ears are set high and are usually cropped to make them stand erect, and triangular in shape. The thighs are very muscular with a short hock. There are usually no dewclaws. The thick tail is long and carried naturally low reaching the hock. The thick, glossy coat is white and has no undercoat. While not accepted in all clubs, sometimes the Dogo Argentino can have a black spot on the head known as "pirata". This trait in the Dogo´s coat is accepted by Federacion Cinologica Argentina.
The Argentine Dogo is a loyal dog who makes a great guardian of the home and family. Playful and very good with children, giving kisses and cuddling. Highly intelligent and powerful, Dogos are easy to train if you are consistent, using loving but firm authority. The Argentine Dogo is not a breed for everyone. With the right owners even the more dominant Dogos can be submissive towards all humans and other animals. This breed needs someone who understands how to display leadership. Humans who are firm, confident, and consistent, this breed needs rules he must follow and limits to what he is and is not allowed to do. The objective in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success. When you put this breed with a meek or passive owner, problems may arise as the dog will feel he needs to, "save his pack" and run the show. Adult Dogos can be aggressive with other dogs however, the Dogo does not usually provoke the confrontation but may if he senses another dog who is unstable. The breed needs an owner who can tell the Dogo it is not his job to put another dog in his place. They are good with other pets if they are raised with them from puppyhood. This white mastiff needs earlysocialization with other animals. It also requires early obedience training.
Height: 24-27 inches (61-69cm)
Weight: 80-100 pounds (36-45kg)
Health Problems *
Living Conditions This breed will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised and does best with at least an average-sized yard. Be sure to bring the Dogo inside when temperatures drop below freezing.
Exercise Give this dog plenty of exercise. They need to be taken on a daily, long walk or jog.
Life Expectancy About 10-12 years.
Grooming The single white coat is very easy to care for. Brush occasionally. Keep nails trimmed. They have no doggy odor. This breed is an average shedder.
In the 1920's the Argentine Dogo was developed in Argentina by two Argentinians, Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez and his brother Agustin. The brothers wanted an ideal companion dog that was also a good pack hunter and guardian. The breeds that were used in the development were the Great Pyrenees,Irish Wolfhound, Pointer, Great Dane, Dogue de Bordeaux, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Bulldog, Bull Terrierand a now extinct mastiff-type breed called the Dog of Cordoba. The result was a bullish, fearless hunter who also had great stamina. The white coat deflected the heat rather than absorb it. Unfortunately the breed earned a bad reputation in Britain when people started using the dogs for dog fighting, which is an activity still popular in many parts of South America and elsewhere. Rather than go after the dog fighters Britain has enacted a national legislation to control dogs in public. The Dangerous Dogs Act which came about in 1991 totally bans the three breeds Fila Brazileiro, Dogo Argentino and Japanese Tosa. A fourth breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier, is allowed but is heavily restricted. The dogs must be registered, neutered, tattooed, microchipped and owners have to carry insurance. The dog cannot be bred or imported and when in public it must be muzzled, leashed and handled by a person over 16 years of age at all times. This is a real shame. When properly raised these are all great dogs. A dog is what the master makes of it. Not all breeds are for everyone. People teach these dogs to fight giving them a bad name. Banning the breed is not the way to solve the problem. Some of the Argentine Dogo's talents are hunting, tracking, watchdog, guarding, police work, narcotics detection, military work, guide for the blind, competitive obedience, and schutzhund.