18 Facts About the Imposing Dogo Argentino

A relative newcomer to our shores, the Dogo Argentino embodies the kind of power, strength and courage that stops you in your tracks. Chew through these noteworthy facts about this impressive South American canine.

  1. Where does the Dogo Argentino come from?

The Dogo Argentino is an Argentine breed of large mastiff-type bred in the early 20th century for dog fighting and for hunting large game such as wild boars, peccaries and pumas. He originated in the province of Cordoba, in the central region of the country.

  1. Who first bred the Dogo Argentino?

The Dogo’s creator was Antonio Nores Martinez, a doctor from a family that put a high value on tradition. In 1928, Dr. Nores Martinez set out to realize his vision of developing a new dog breed that he named the Dogo Argentino. He began with the now extinct Old Fighting Dog of Cordoba. He admired this breed for its power, but wanted to enhance size and strength. Other breeds were added over generations, beginning with the Bull Terrier, then followed by Great Dane, Pointer, Boxer, Bulldog, Pyrenean Mastiff, Irish Wolfhound and Spanish Mastiff.

Dr. Nores Martinez selected for white coat color, and rejected any dog with an undershot (Bulldog) mouth and jaw. He worked tirelessly on this mission, and by the 12th generation, his dogs were breeding true. In 1947 he presented his breed to the Club de Cazadores (“hunters club”) of Buenos Aires along with a breed standard. It was a labor of love for the doctor brothers Nores Martinez (the late Antonio, and his successor, Agustin) but ultimately, their dream of developing a supreme canine hunter and athlete bore fruit.

  1. When was the Dogo Argentino accepted into national breed clubs?

It took until 1973 for the Dogo to be accepted as the first and only Argentine breed by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), a world organization that recognizes the breeds that may compete in its global dog shows. The breed received full American Kennel Club recognition in January 2020.

  1. What is the coat color of the Dogo Argentino?

The Doctors Nores Martinez envisioned an all-white dog, and the American Kennel Club breed standard abides by their strict directives. Of color, the AKC standard allows that the “only tolerable spots are one black or dark-colored patch on the skull but which can also be located on one ear or around one eye or very small dark spots on the ears … More than one spot on the head (with the exception of small spots on the ears) is a disqualification … A black spot anywhere other than on the head is a disqualification.”

  1. What is the Dogo Argentino’s temperament like?

The Dogo is loving with family,  but a very dominant, protective breed when it comes to strangers and other dogs. Under “Character & Temperament,” the breed standard tells us that the Dogo is a “strong, tenacious and rustic dog that was created to protect family and property, as well as to hunt large game and destructive predators. He is a faithful companion at home and in the field. Of all the Dogo’s attributes, he is above all else, courageous.”

  1. What is the Dogo Argentino height and weight?

The Dogo is a large-sized dog breed with a height of 24 to 26.5 inches at the shoulder and the weight going from 88 to 100 pounds.

  1. How long does the Dogo Argentino live?

The life expectancy of the Dogo is 9 to 15 years.

  1. How active is the Dogo?

High energy level. Adaptable, trainable and eager to please so obedience, agility and rally are all possible with a well-socialized Dogo.

  1. Is the Dogo Agentino good for first-time owners?

Typically, no. This breed is much too strong and dominant for most situations.

  1. Is the Dogo Aregentino a good family pet?

He can be. A good Dogo breeder who socializes the puppies from an early age, followed up by ongoing socialization in his new home is essential. If there are other pets in the home, give careful consideration to the dynamics involved; this is a dominant breed.

  1. Is the Dogo a good apartment dog?

In most cases, no. This is an active, dominant breed with a high watchdog/protective nature.

  1. How easy is it to train a Dogo?

High trainability. This breed is eager to please.

  1. Is the Dogo given to excessive barking?

Medium to high barking level. Don’t get the Dogo Argentino if you are looking for  quiet dog.

  1. Does the Dogo make a good traveler?

Typically, yes. Get him accustomed to car travel early. Crate training is essential for safe car travel, hotel and motel stays, overnight stays at the veterinarian, etc.

  1. Is the Dogo easy to groom?

Yes. The Dogo Argentino has a medium to high shedding level, so occasional brushing reduces unwanted white hair left on furniture, floors and carpets. The breed has a smooth, short coat.

  1. How popular is the Dogo Argentino?

This breed comes in as No. 88 in the American Kennel Club list of the most popular breeds in 2022, based on annual registrations. (There are 200 recognized breeds in all.)

  1. Is there deafness in the Dogo Argentino breed?

Like the Dalmatian, the white Bull Terrier and the white Boxer, the Dogo may experience pigment-related deafness. There is the possibility of an approximate 10 percent deafness rate overall with some dogs afflicted unilaterally (deaf in one ear) and some bilaterally (deaf in both ears). Studies have shown that the incidence of deafness is drastically reduced when the only Dogos bred are those with bilaterally normal hearing. Insist on seeing the results of health testing for both parents and puppies if you are looking to add a Dogo to your home.

  1. Are Dogo Argentinos included in breed bans?

The Dogo has a fighting-dog heritage. Coupled with his size, strength and natural dominance, this has resulted in bans or ownership restrictions in certain countries, including the Cayman Islands, Denmark, Norway, Fiji, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Turkey. In the United Kingdom, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is illegal to own a Dogo Argentino without lawful authority. In the USA, some cities may ban the breed, and there may be insurance company policies and housing restrictions that impact breed ownership.

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