History of the Argentine Dogo Breed
As the name suggests, this breed originated in Argentina. The Argentine Dogo was apparently developed in the 1920s by a doctor who desired a dog that was adept at pack hunting and also provided protection for the family. Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez began the development of this breed with the Dog of Cordoba, a breed that is now extinct. This dog was thought to be of Mastiff origins. Martinez further developed the Argentine Dogo by crossing the Dog of Cordoba with many other breeds, such as the Irish Wolfhound, the Pointer, the Bull terrier, the Dogue de Bordeaux, the Great Dane, the Spanish Mastiff, the Boxer, the Bulldog, and the Great Pyrenees. The result of this great mix produced a fearless breed that was capable of hunting big game. The Argentine Dogo also enjoyed popularity as a family guard dog and a guide dog, and it was also successfully used in police and military endeavors. Unfortunately the breed also gained favor with those who were involved with the "sport" of dog fighting, which resulted in a negative reputation in some parts of the world. In fact, in Britain, the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 banned three breeds of canine including the Argentine Dogo.
Size and Appearance of the Argentine Dogo Breed
A muscular dog of Mastiff proportions, the Argentine Dogo is known for its strong jaws and unique coat. The main feature of the large skull is the tenacious grip of the jaw. The teeth normally meet in a scissors bite, and the nose of this breed is generally black. Many times owners choose to dock the ears. The dark eyes are usually brown or hazel in color, and they offer an intelligent and intense expression. It is interesting to note that the skin at the neck of this breed is loose in order to help protect this breed from injury during hunting. The Argentine Dogo has a long tail that is often carried high while on the move. The short coat is thick and glossy, and it only comes in white.
Argentine Dogo Temperament
While considered to be both playful and intelligent, the Argentine Dogo is also a wonderful guard dog. It may be reserved with strangers until it knows who is accepted by the family. It is generally quite good with children. However, it can be aggressive with other dogs, although it usually won't be an instigator. If socialized from an early age, this breed can co-exist well with other pets in the family. Due to its intelligence, this breed is fairly easy to train, particularly with consistent, firm training. This breed can excel as a guide dog for the blind, if properly trained.
Argentine Dogo Recommended Maintenance
While the short coat is quite easy to maintain, please note that the skin of this breed is quite sensitive to the sun. Be sure to provide shade for the dog if it will be outside for a long time. It is said that this dog does not have a "doggy odor." To keep the coat in top condition, weekly grooming is suggested. Be sure to use shampoos specially made for sensitive skin or white coats when bathing. The nails of this breed tend to grow quickly, so be sure to trim on a regular basis. The Argentine Dogo is considered to be an average shedder. This breed is also known to drool. While this breed will do fine in an apartment dwelling if plenty of exercise is provided, a large yard with room to run and plenty of shade is highly recommended. It is important to keep the dog inside when the temperature outside is below freezing. This breed also loves to spend time indoors with its family. It will enjoy a long daily walk as part of its exercise regimen.
Argentine Dogo Health
Life span: 10-12 years
Major concerns: about 10% of dogs are born deaf
Minor concerns: None
Occasionally seen: None
Suggested tests: hearing