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Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino | Big Dog BreedsHistory

The Dogo Argentino is the only dog native to Argentina and is considered a newer breed. It was developed by Antonio Nores Martinez, hunter and dog lover, in the 1920s. He wanted a dog that could track and hold large, dangerous predators, such as wild boar, jaguar and puma, while also being sufficiently stable to be a trusted family companion.

The Dogo Argentino is a mix of the now-extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog and nine other breeds, resulting in a powerful agile, intelligent dog that hunted cooperatively with other dogs with great speed and stamina and had virtually no inherent aggressive tendencies toward people or other pets. They have tremendous endurance and hunting skills, as the Martinez brothers had envisioned. It can track a predator across vast plains, corner it and then attack and hold it for hunters who follow close behind.

The Dorgo Argentino is still used today for hunting and holding large game, tracking and search and rescue, watch dog, police dog and service dog. Because it has shown up in illegal dog fighting rings, the Dogo Argentino has developed a bad reputation in some countries, despite its fundamental placid nature. In the United States, breed-specific legislation varies between cities, counties and states.

Height & Weight

Adult males stand between 24 and 27 inches at the withers, and females 23 ½ and 26 inches. Mature males and females usually weigh anywhere from 80 to 100 pounds. The Dogo is a slow to mature. Males are not considered full-grown until they are at least 3 years old and females 2 years.


Luckily the Dogo Argentino was bred to be non-aggressive and gentle with people because it has one of the most powerful bites in the dog world. The bad news is that it loves to chew. They should be provided with strong, chewable toys at all times so that they will not take to chewing and destroying things in the home, like furniture and walls.

Dogos love close family contact and will lie on your feet, as they love to cuddle with their families, even sitting on their laps. If you are looking for a dog who doesn’t climb on furniture or who can be left a long for long periods of time, you should find another breed. Dogos are great watchdogs and protectors of people and property. They are brave and focused when protecting and extremely kind and gently in their home, especially with children and people who require special attention.


The Dogo Argentino is a friendly, outgoing and strong breed that should never be aggressive towards people. It was bred to be gentle and protective of it family, especially children. At the same time it was bred to be a strong, determined and daring hunter of large, dangerous prey. These traits sometimes can conflict, although this breed has the amazing ability to separate its fierceness with its kindness. They make great companions for active, experienced dog owners. Unfixed males can be assertive, overbearing and territorial around other dogs. However, they generally have a kind loving nature and are gentle at home. Dogos are also great watchdogs and are protective and loyal to their families with out being overly aggressive. If the dog is properly socialized they will easily make friends and only react when threatened or challenged. It is important they are socialized from puppies as they tend to try to assert itself as Alpha over other animals and people.


Dogos are very intelligent and quick to learn. They respond well to training when it is consistent, gently and positively reinforced. They should be given praise, rewards and affection for proper behavior so they will quickly learn what is expected of them. They will become withdrawn and stubborn if yelled at or punchiest harshly. They can also become dangerous. Delaying socialization from starting early on can create a fearful, aggressive dog instead of the friendly yet imposing watchdog that the Dogo Argentino was bred to be.

Dogos are competitive in obstacle coursing and disc-catching. Obedience training is fun for them as well, as they naturally want to please their owners. If bred and raised properly, they have a steady temperament and are able to adjust themselves quickly to different situations.

Exercise Requirements

To stay both physically and mentally fit and happy Dogos need a lot of daily exercise. They like longs walks and to be able to run around in a large open safely-enclosed area to burn off energy. They especially love hunting, tracking and following scents with their owners. When Dogos don’t get enough exercise, or left a long for long periods of time, they can become depressed, bored and destructive. Dogos are very curious and inquisitive dogs about their environment.


The Dogo Argentino is low maintenance when it comes to grooming. They should be brushed every other week to remove dirt, dandruff and loose hair to keep its coat healthy and fresh looking. They don’t need a lot of bathing and only shampoos made for sensitive skin should be used. Grooming time can also be used to look for ticks, infections or foul ear smells, which usually means an infection.

Their nails grow fast and should be cut regularly. Clipping should start when they are puppies so it doesn’t become a battle to clip their nails when they are big adults.

Health Issues

The Dogo is a fairly healthy breed, with a typical life span of between 9 and 12 years. Breed health concerns may include congenital deafness (can be in one or both ears), hip dysplasia, bloat/torsion and demodectic mange.

The primary genetic fault that “comes with” the breed, because it is a white-coated dog, is deafness. The Dogo Argentino Club of America monitors all litters whelped to DACA-registered parents. The percentage of deaf puppies is roughly 10% overall. All Dogo Argentino puppies sold by DACA members should be accompanied by either a statement from the breeders’ veterinarian attesting to the fact that the puppy can hear, or a BAER (hearing) test report.

Recommended Reading For More Information

Dogo Argentino: A Comprehensive Owner’s Guide

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