AKC Dog Breeds: Argentine Dogo

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Foundation Stock Service
Height: 23-28 inches   Weight: 80-100 pounds  Color: White

The Dogo Argentino, also known as the Argentine Dogo or Argentinian Mastiff, is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina for the purpose of big-game hunting, primarily cougar and boar. Originating during the 1920's, the Argentino Dogo breed was developed by Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez to be a fearless big game hunter. They were also used in police and military work as well as a family guard dog and guide dog. However, Argentino Dogo's became a favorite of those involved in the bloodsport of dog fighting and as a result gained negative notoriety. In 1991 the Argentine Dogo was banned in Britain under the Dangerous Dog Act. They are also banned in Australia.

General Appearance
The Dogo Argentino is also called the Argentinian Mastiff or Argentine Dogo. It is a muscular, yet graceful dog of mastiff stock with very strong  jaws, and a short, sleek, glossy, thick, white coat. While not accepted in all clubs, sometimes the Dogo Argentino can have a black spot in the head known as "pirata". This trait in the Dogo´s coat is accepted by Federacion Cinologica Argentina. The head is convex in the front, with a moderate stop. The skull is massive and the jaws are strong and tenacious. The muzzle should be about the same length as the skull. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The ears are customarily docked and the eyes should either be dark brown or dark hazel with an alert, intelligent and intense expression. The nose should be black. The chest is wide and deep giving an impression of strength. The skin on the neck is loose to protect the dog during the hunt. The long tail reaches to the hock. It is never carried over the back, though the dog may swing it and carry it high when it is excited. The short white coat has no undercoat.


Dogos are known for being extremely loyal and affectionate with their families and crave attention from their owners. They are extremely tolerant of children due to low body sensitivity or high pain tolerance, a trait which stems from selective breeding as big game hunters. Like all dogs of any size or breed, they require obedience training and socialization; no dog should be left unattended with small children. They are protective of what they perceive as their territory and will guard it against any intruder. They get along with other dogs as long as they have been properly socialized, but will usually not tolerate another dog trying to assert dominance over them and might not coexist peacefully with another dominant breed of dog. They can develop an aggressive or dominant temperament if not socialized with other dogs at an early age, particularly with other dogs of the same sex. Dog aggression per se is absolutely not a desirable trait in the Dogo Argentino, as it is at odds with its intended purpose as a pack hunter. A single "pet" dogo without a working outlet for energy and drive may feel himself to be "king of the mountain" and carry himself accordingly, though the same dog may work perfectly cooperatively with other males while hunting. Dogos are typically strong-tempered animals not suitable for the novice dog owner; they do best with an experienced handler. Dogos are recent comers to suburban life. Unlike many breeds classified as "working dogs", dogos are not "historically" working dogs, but dogs currently and actively selected for working function and temperament. Pet owners interested in the Dogo Argentino would do well to remember that these are working animals with a serious need for exercise and outlet of hunting drive by way of activities such as tracking, trailing, or sport work.

Weekly brushing is required to minimize loose and dead hair. Bathing should only be done when necessary using a mild shampoo or a shampoo formulated for white coats. Frequent nail clipping is required.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Argentine Dogo is relatively healthy, although deafness and hip dysplasia can occur. Due to pigment-related deafness, as in the Dalmatian and the white bull terrier, the dogo commonly experiences an approximately 10% deafness rate overall with some dogs afflicted unilaterally (one deaf ear) and some dogs bilaterally (deaf in both ears).As with all large dogs, hip dysplasia is potential though highly uncommon in lines actively worked. They have a life expectancy of 10-12 years.

Activity Level

Argentine Dogo's thrive on athletic activity and vigorous exercise. They are not recommended for apartment living. They do best in a securely fenced yard. The Argentine Dogo's make good walking and jogging companions provided they are securely leashed and muzzled when in public.


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