The Misunderstood and Tough Dogo Argentino Dog Breed
The Dogo Argentino, or the Argentine Mastiff, is another attractive South American breed who has been banned in numerous countries (Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, and others).
Is the dog big? Yes, he is a mastiff. This great dog weighs up to about 120 pounds and a male stands up to about 29 inches at the withers. His body is long and lean.
Is the dog tough? Yes, he was bred as a hunter for use on wild boar or any other found on Argentine grassland.
Is the dog mean? No, but due to his size, his reputation as a fighter, and his unwillingness to accept strangers, the Argentine Mastiff has been branded a dangerous dog.
A Misunderstood Dog Breed
What kind of history do these dogs have?
Antonio Nores Martinez, a physician from Cordoba, Argentina, developed this breed in 1928, for use both as a hunting dog and guard dog. He used the Cordoba Fighting Dog to start with but he wanted a calmer dog, not a fierce fighter, so he crossed that breed with the Great Dane, Boxer, and many other breeds to get the type of dog he wanted. His family continued developing the breed after his death and the Argentine Mastiff was later recognized as a native breed of Argentina.
From the background you will see that these dogs are NOT white Pitbulls. They are a breed that was developed to hunt in the wilds of Argentina.
Are Dogo Argentinos Good Pets?
These dogs are not fighters but are large and difficult to handle for some people. They have been selected to cooperate with other dogs during the hunt. Back at the homestead they are known to be good guard dogs and will do what it takes to protect their home and family. Their unwillingness to accept strangers, who they might view as hostile, has led to so many places considering them dangerous and subjecting them to breed specific legislation.
If you do decide to get one of these dogs there are several things to be careful of. About 10% of them have deafness, as do many white breeds. Some of them are affected with hip dysplasia. When purchasing a dog this big, medical expenses are high and normal expenses (like food) are going to be significant also. They also need a lot of space and a good fence, and you must be willing to take them for long walks.
Their short coats are easy to groom. If you can deal with some of their requirements, most of the Dogo Argentinos, despite their reputation and muscular appearance, are good pets.
Where Can I Buy a Dogo Argentino?
In some countries (like the UK) these dogs are considered dangerous. Anyone that has one of these dogs requires a special permit so they have effectively been banned. Finding a puppy is going to be almost impossible.
Since the Argentine Mastiff has been accepted by the AKC the dog is now available from some breeders in the U.S.They are not a common breed but you can still check Petfinder.com and see if you can find a dog for adoption. You can also try finding a breed rescue that works in your area, or search for "breeder Dogo Argentino (your area)" and write breeders to ask about any litters that will be available.
Puppies are usually expensive and it is normal for there to be a waiting list.
If you have experience handling big dogs and have decided to get one of these attractive and muscular hunters, you should visit several breeders before you make your choice. Meet the parents of the puppies and evaluate their temperament. Deafness will probably not be a problem if both parents are able to hear in both ears, and hip dysplasia is less likely to strike if both parents are certified free of the disease. Make sure you start training when the puppy is still small and malleable, provide him with adequate leadership, and socialize him as much as possible while he is still young.
The Dogos that I have seen around here are well socialized and great animals as long as they are with their owner. If yo live in a neighborhood infested with wild boars, the Dogo Argentino is definitely the right breed for you!
Links About Banning
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
I have recently rescued a puppy that we believe to be a Dogo. He is white, deaf, we think about 3-4 months old. He was rescued from a fight ring. We are planning to get his DNA tested, is it important that we know if he is a pittie or Dogo?
Not really. Take him to your local vet as soon as possible so that he can start on his vaccinations. If he is over 4 months old (your vet will know by the teeth) he can also have his rabies vaccine at that time.
It is a good idea to get that DNA test when you can but basic health care (vaccines, deworming, heartworm preventative) is really important at this point, especially considering his background.Helpful 2