Dogo Argentino

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dogo argentino portrait
Welcome to the world of the Dogo Argentino, a breed that's as bold and beautiful as the country it hails from. With their stunning white coats, muscular build, and heart full of courage, these Argentinean powerhouses are a captivating mix of strength, loyalty, and affection that dog lovers simply can't resist!

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, ideal environment, grooming, exercise requirements, training tips, dietary needs, health concerns, history, and more.

Best For

The Dogo Argentino is perfect for the active, adventurous type who appreciates a loyal and protective companion. Their high-energy and strong-willed nature match well with owners who love outdoor pursuits and have experience with large breeds.

Overview

OFFICIAL NAMEDogo Argentino
OTHER NAMESArgentinian Mastiff, Argentine Dogo
ORIGINArgentina
BREED GROUPWorking Group
BREED SIZELarge
HEIGHT23.5-27 inches
WEIGHT77-100 lbs
LIFESPAN9-15 years
LIVING SPACELarge
SENSITIVITY TO COLD WEATHERModerate
SENSITIVITY TO WARM WEATHERLow
GROOMING NEEDSLow
EXERCISE NEEDSVery High
TRAINABILITYHigh
BARKING TENDENCYModerate
BITING TENDENCYLow
DROOLING TENDENCYModerate
SHEDDING LEVELModerate
POPULARITY RANK88th
dogo argentino standing in a forest
Photo: Lunja/Getty Images Pro

Appearance

The Dogo Argentino is a breed that exudes a unique blend of strength, grace, and charm. This large, powerful dog is an eye-catching sight with its robust physique and pure white coat.

Standing tall at about 24 to 27 inches for males and 23.5 to 26 inches for females, this dog is built like an athlete. Males can weigh between 88 to 100 pounds, while females tip the scales at around 77 to 88 pounds. Their sturdy body, deep-set chest, and well-muscled build are a testament to their strength and endurance.

The Dogo Argentino’s head is a focal point. It’s massive yet rounded, supported by a thick, but elegant neck. The abundance of skin on the muscular neck adds to the breed’s distinctive look. Their ears, often cropped and triangular, are set high on their head and alert – always ready for action.

One look into a Dogo’s eyes and you’ll be captivated. Almond-shaped and colored dark or hazelnut, these eyes hold an expression of calm intelligence and unwavering loyalty. There’s a certain gentleness that softens their powerful appearance.

Then there’s the coat – short, smooth and completely white. It’s this stunning white coat that sets the Dogo Argentino apart from many other breeds. Occasionally, you might find a Dogo with a dark patch of coat near one of their eyes or on the ear, a unique trait that adds a dash of character.

And let’s not forget their tail. The Dogo’s tail is thick and long, carried naturally low with a slight curve. It’s a perfect complement to their athletic body, swaying rhythmically as they move.

In essence, the Dogo Argentino is a striking blend of power and elegance. Their physical characteristics not only highlight their strength and athleticism but also reflect their gentle, affectionate nature.

dogo argentino running in a field
Photo: Lunja/Getty Images

Temperament

First and foremost, the Dogo Argentino is known for its loyalty. These dogs are fiercely devoted to their human families, always ready to stand by their side, come what may. They form strong bonds with their owners, making them excellent companions. If you’re looking for a dog that will stick with you through thick and thin, the Dogo Argentino is it!

But don’t mistake their loyalty for passivity. The Dogo Argentino is a confident and assertive breed. They carry themselves with a certain dignity that reflects their strong-willed nature. They’re not afraid to take charge, especially when they sense a threat to their family. Their territorial instincts make them excellent watchdogs, always alert and ready to protect their loved ones.

Yet, despite their assertiveness, the Dogo Argentino is known for its good-natured temperament. They’re generally friendly dogs, often displaying a playful side that can be quite endearing. They enjoy spending time with their families and are known to be very good with children. A Dogo Argentino will happily engage in playtime, and their affectionate nature means they’re always up for a cuddle.

On the flip side, the Dogo Argentino can also be quite independent. They have a mind of their own and aren’t afraid to use it. This independence can sometimes be perceived as stubbornness, but it’s just part of their unique personality. It’s important for potential Dogo Argentino owners to remember that while this breed loves to please, they also value their autonomy.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Dogo Argentino’s temperament is their ability to switch from being calm and relaxed at home to being alert and vigilant when on guard. This adaptability is a testament to their intelligence and versatility. They’re capable of understanding the difference between relaxation time and duty time, making them a joy to live with.

Despite their imposing size and powerful build, the Dogo Argentino is often described as a gentle giant. Beneath their robust exterior lies a soft heart that yearns for love and affection. They’re known for their tender, loving side, especially towards their human families.

dogo argentino lying on green grass
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Ideal Environment

Creating the perfect environment for a Dogo Argentino is all about understanding their unique needs and personality. These beautiful dogs are adaptable, but they thrive in certain conditions.

Physical Environment

Firstly, the Dogo Argentino is a large, active breed that loves to stretch its legs. A home with a spacious yard where they can run and play would be ideal. They’re not well-suited to apartment living due to their size and energy levels. However, they should always have a safe, comfortable indoor space to retreat to, as they love being near their families.

Climate Adaptability

The Dogo Argentino is a hardy breed that can adapt to different climates, but there are some precautions to consider. Their short, white coat offers little protection against harsh weather conditions. In cold climates, they may need a doggy sweater to keep warm during winter walks. In hot climates, their light coat can make them prone to sunburn, so shade and sunscreen are must-haves during the summer.

Ideal Owner

Speaking of families, the Dogo Argentino does best with pet parents who understand their need for companionship. They form strong bonds with their humans and don’t like to be left alone for long periods. They crave interaction and engagement, so a home where someone is usually around would be perfect for them.

The Dogo Argentino is a smart and assertive breed. They benefit from an environment that stimulates their mind and challenges them mentally. Interactive toys, puzzle games, and regular socialization can help keep their minds sharp.

Other Pets

When it comes to other pets, the Dogo Argentino can coexist peacefully if properly socialized from a young age. However, their strong prey drive means they might not be the best match for homes with small animals like cats or rabbits. They often do well with other dogs of similar size, especially if they’ve grown up together.

dogo argentino lying on a sidewalk
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Grooming

Grooming a Dogo Argentino is an essential part of their care, but thankfully, it’s a fairly straightforward task. These dogs are known for their short, smooth, and almost self-cleaning coats that require minimal upkeep. But don’t be fooled, grooming isn’t just about maintaining their striking white coat. It’s also about keeping them healthy and comfortable.

Coat Care

Let’s start with their coat. The Dogo Argentino has a single-layered coat that sheds moderately. Despite its simplicity, it can still benefit from regular brushing. A weekly brush with a rubber grooming mitt or a soft bristle brush should do the trick. This not only keeps their coat looking glossy but also stimulates skin oils, promoting healthier skin. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your Dogo.

Bath time doesn’t need to be a frequent event for these dogs. Unless they’ve rolled in something smelly or muddy, a bath every few months should suffice. Use a dog-friendly shampoo to preserve the natural oils in their skin. Remember, their white coat can be prone to staining, so you may want to use a whitening shampoo to keep it bright and shiny.

Dental Care

Next up, dental care. Like any breed, the Dogo Argentino needs regular teeth cleaning to prevent dental disease. Brush their teeth several times a week using dog-specific toothpaste. Regular dental check-ups with the vet are also a good idea. Chew toys can also aid in keeping their teeth clean and healthy.

Ear Care

Don’t forget those ears! The Dogo’s ears should be checked weekly for signs of infection like redness, bad odor, or unusual discharge. Clean them gently with a cotton ball dampened with a pH-balanced ear cleaner recommended by your vet. Avoid using cotton swabs as they can damage the inner ear.

Nail Trimming

Then there are the nails. Dogos Argentinos have strong, fast-growing nails that need regular trimming. If you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Trim them every couple of weeks using a dog nail clipper. If you’re unsure about doing this yourself, your vet or a professional groomer can help.

Additional Grooming Tips

Lastly, remember to check their skin during grooming sessions. The Dogo’s white coat makes it easier to spot ticks, fleas, or skin irritations. Regular checks will help you catch any potential issues early.

dogo argentino in a park
Photo: Bill_Anastasiou/Getty Images

Exercise

When it comes to the Dogo Argentino, exercise is a non-negotiable part of their daily routine. These athletic dogs are brimming with energy and need an active lifestyle to keep them happy and healthy.

Exercise Amount & Types

So, what can you expect? On average, a healthy Dogo Argentino requires about one to two hours of exercise per day. This should be a mix of walks, playtime, and structured activities that engage both their body and mind.

Don’t just stick to leisurely strolls around the block. Remember, this is a breed born to work and they thrive on vigorous exercise. A brisk walk or a jog in the park would be more their speed. They also love to run, so if you have access to a secure, fenced area, let them stretch their legs.

Playtime can be another fun way to burn off their energy. The Dogo Argentino loves a good game of fetch and will happily chase a ball or stick for hours. They’re also quite fond of tug-of-war, which can be a great way to engage their natural strength and tenacity.

Exercise isn’t just about keeping your Dogo physically fit. It’s also an essential tool for training and socialization. Regular exposure to different environments, people, and other animals can help your Dogo Argentino become a well-rounded, well-behaved pet.

Dog Sports

If you’re looking for structured activities, consider dog sports. The Dogo Argentino excels in various canine competitions, such as obedience, agility, and tracking events. These activities not only provide physical exercise but also offer mental stimulation, which is crucial for this intelligent breed.

dogo argentino standing on a road
Photo: Lunja/Getty Images

Training

Training a Dogo Argentino is an adventure filled with rewards and challenges. These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, making them highly trainable. However, their independent streak calls for a pet parent who can provide consistent, patient, and positive guidance.

Positive Reinforcement

Dogos Argentinos thrive on positive reinforcement training methods. This involves rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, or playtime. It’s a great way to motivate your Dogo and create a positive association with training. Remember, these dogs are sensitive souls, so harsh training methods won’t work and may even harm your relationship with them.

Socialization

Early socialization is a crucial part of any Dogo Argentino’s training. Expose them to different people, environments, sounds, and experiences from a young age. This will help them grow into well-rounded, confident adults. Socialization also helps curb some of the Dogo’s protective instincts, making them more comfortable around strangers and other animals.

Basic Obedience

Obedience training should start as early as possible. Teaching your Dogo basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, “come”, and “leave it” is essential. Not only does this instill good manners, but it also strengthens your bond with them and enhances their mental stimulation.

Additional Training Tips

Despite their size, Dogos Argentinos are known for their agility. Incorporating agility training into their routine can be a fun and engaging way to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Plus, it can also prepare them for agility competitions if that’s a path you’re interested in exploring.

Lastly, remember that consistency is key. Dogos Argentinos are smart, and they’ll quickly pick up on inconsistencies in your training. Be clear and consistent with your commands and expectations, and you’ll find your Dogo is a quick and eager learner.

dogo argentino's face up close
Photo: Rafal Rutkowski/Getty Images

Diet & Nutrition 

Feeding a Dogo Argentino is not just about satisfying their hunger. It’s about providing the right nutrition to fuel their active lifestyle and maintain their robust health. These dogs need a balanced diet that caters to their unique needs.

What to Feed & How Much

When it comes to choosing the right food, quality is key. Whether you opt for dry kibble, wet food, or a raw diet, make sure it meets the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This ensures your Dogo is getting the necessary nutrients for their wellbeing.

Dogos Argentinos thrive on a diet high in animal proteins. Look for foods with lean meats as the first ingredient. They also benefit from complex carbohydrates for energy, and essential fats for a healthy skin and coat. Fruits and vegetables can provide necessary vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

How much to feed your Dogo can depend on their age, size, and activity level. Puppies usually need three meals a day, while adults can be fed two meals a day. Always refer to the feeding guidelines on the food package and adjust according to your dog’s individual needs. If in doubt, consult with your vet.

Treats

Treats are a great tool for training, but remember, they should make up no more than 10% of your Dogo’s daily calorie intake. Opt for healthy options like carrots or apple slices, and always give treats in moderation.

Water

Water is another crucial part of your Dogo’s diet. Ensure they have access to fresh, clean water at all times, especially after exercise or during hot weather.

dogo argentino standing in a backyard
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Health

The Dogo Argentino is a robust and resilient breed, blessed with an average life expectancy of 9-15 years. But like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health conditions. Awareness is key to ensuring your Dogo Argentino leads a long and healthy life.

Here are common health issues associated with this breed:

Hearing Problems: Dogos Argentinos have a higher-than-average chance of being born deaf in one or both ears. Regular hearing tests can help detect any issues early on.

Hip Dysplasia: This condition affects the hip joint and can lead to discomfort and mobility issues. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help maintain a healthy weight and lessen the impact.

Skin Allergies: Their white coat makes them susceptible to skin allergies and sunburn. Limit their exposure to direct sunlight and check their skin regularly for any signs of irritation or unusual spots.

Hypothyroidism: This is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to issues like lethargy, weight gain, and skin problems. Regular blood tests can help detect this condition.

Heart Conditions: Like many large breeds, Dogos Argentinos can be prone to certain heart conditions. Regular vet checks can help monitor your dog’s heart health.

To keep your Dogo Argentino healthy, a balanced diet is crucial. Feed them high-quality food that meets their nutritional needs. Regular exercise will keep them fit and help prevent obesity, which can lead to other health issues.

Routine vet check-ups are essential for early detection of any potential health problems. Regular vaccinations will protect your Dogo from various diseases, and preventative treatments can help guard against parasites like fleas and ticks.

two dogos argentinos lying on green grass
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History

The Dogo Argentino has a rich and fascinating history that is deeply intertwined with the culture of its native Argentina. This breed’s story begins in the 1920s with a man named Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez. A passionate hunter and dog lover, Dr. Martinez dreamed of creating a breed that would be both a brave hunter and a loyal family pet.

To achieve this, he started with the now-extinct Fighting Dog of Cordoba, a fierce and courageous breed. He then introduced a variety of other breeds into the mix, including the Boxer, the Great Dane, and the Bull Terrier, among others. The result was the Dogo Argentino – a muscular, tenacious, and fearless yet gentle and affectionate breed.

Dr. Martinez’s dream was realized as the Dogo Argentino proved to be an excellent big game hunter, known for its bravery and strength. Yet despite its hunting prowess, the Dogo was also recognized for its loyalty and gentleness with family members, becoming a cherished companion in many households.

In 1964, the breed was nationally recognized by the Argentine Kennel Club and the Federación Cynologique Internationale, marking a significant milestone in its history. However, it wasn’t until much later, specifically in 2020, that the Dogo Argentino was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.

The Dogo Argentino’s unique combination of strength, courage, and affection has earned it a place in popular culture. In Argentina, the breed is often seen as a symbol of national pride. Dogos have also made appearances in films and TV shows, showcasing their striking looks and impressive abilities.

Today, the Dogo Argentino continues to be celebrated for its hunting abilities, its loyalty, and its fearlessness. Whether they’re tracking down game, competing in dog sports, or simply lounging at home with their families, these dogs embody the vision of their creator, Dr. Martinez. They are a testament to the power of selective breeding and a shining example of Argentina’s canine heritage.

Parent Club

The official parent club for the Dogo Argentino in the United States is the Dogo Argentino Club of America (DACA). The DACA has been active since 1985 and is recognized as the original Parent Club for the breed in the U.S. For more information about DACA, you can visit their official website.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines established by breed clubs or kennel organizations, defining the ideal appearance, temperament, and physical traits of a specific breed. 

It serves as a reference for breeders, judges, and enthusiasts to evaluate and maintain a breed’s unique qualities. Covering aspects like size, appearance, and temperament, breed standards are used in dog shows and competitions to assess individual dogs against the ideal representation of their breed.

Check out the Dogo Argentino’s breed standard as set by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

dogo argentino puppy in the garden
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Acquiring

Bringing a Dogo Argentino into your home is an exciting journey that requires careful preparation. Before you welcome this energetic breed, ensure you have the time, space, and resources to meet their needs.

If you choose to buy, always opt for reputable breeders who prioritize the health and temperament of their dogs over profits. Ask to see health clearances and meet at least one of the parents to get a sense of the puppy’s potential temperament and appearance.

However, consider giving a second chance to a rescue Dogo Argentino. There are many Dogos in shelters waiting for their forever homes. The Dogo Argentino Club of America and the American Kennel Club can provide resources to help you find a Dogo to rescue.

Remember, whether you buy or rescue, bringing home a Dogo Argentino is a long-term commitment. Make sure you’re ready to provide a loving, active, and secure home for this remarkable breed.

FAQs

Is the Dogo Argentino a good family dog?

Yes, the Dogo Argentino can make an excellent family dog. They are known for their loyalty and affection towards their families. However, they require consistent training, socialization, and plenty of exercise, making them better suited for experienced dog owners.

Why are Dogos Argentinos so expensive?

The cost of a Dogo Argentino puppy can be high due to several factors. These include the cost of caring for the mother during pregnancy, vet fees for the puppies, and the time and resources invested in socializing and training the puppies. Also, reputable breeders conduct health tests to ensure the puppies are healthy, which adds to the cost.

Is the Dogo Argentino the most powerful dog?

While the Dogo Argentino is undoubtedly a strong and powerful breed known for its hunting abilities, it’s subjective to claim that it’s the “most” powerful dog. The definition of power can vary, depending on whether you’re considering physical strength, bite force, or overall endurance.

Is a Dogo Argentino stronger than a Pitbull?

Physically, Dogos Argentinos are larger and heavier than Pitbulls, which may give them an edge in terms of raw strength. However, both breeds are strong and athletic in their own right. It’s important to note that strength doesn’t determine a dog’s temperament or suitability as a pet.

Are Dogos Argentinos aggressive?

Dogos Argentinos are not inherently aggressive. However, like any breed, they can develop aggressive behaviors if not properly trained or socialized. They’re known for their bravery and protective nature, but with the right upbringing, they can be gentle and affectionate companions.

How much exercise does a Dogo Argentino need?

A minimum of one hour of vigorous exercise per day is recommended for Dogos Argentinos. This could include walks, playtime, or training sessions.

Can a Dogo Argentino live in an apartment?

While it’s possible for a Dogo Argentino to live in an apartment, it’s not ideal. They are a large and active breed that thrives in homes with ample space to move around. If living in an apartment, extra effort must be put into providing enough exercise and mental stimulation.

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