Breed Category: Working Group
Country of Origin: Argentina
Average Size: 60-68 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 38-45 kg
Average Life Span: 10-12 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: Medium
The Argentine Dogo was first developed during the 1920s in Córdoba, the second-largest city in Argentina. Dr Antonio Nores Martinez bred ten breeds of dogs in an effort to develop a hearty, athletic dog that also possessed a friendly disposition. His vision was to create a breed that would produce a companion in game hunting by day and a family dog by night. The standards for this breed were first written in 1928.
The Córdoba Fighting Dog, which is now extinct, was the base for creating the Argentine Dogo. The Boxer, Bull Terrier, Dogue de Bordeaux, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhound, Old English Bulldog, Pointer, and Spanish Mastiff were also cross-bred in order to select the specific traits Dr Nores Martinez desired for the Argentine Dogo.
This breed is typically large in size with an average height of 60-68 cm at the withers. Males tend to be slightly larger than their female counterparts. As a rule, the length of the dog’s front leg is roughly half of its height at the withers. The athletic, muscular appearance of the Argentine Dogo contributes to its substantial weight of approximately 38-45 kg. Its build can be compared to that of the American Pit Bull Terrier.
The Argentine Dogo has a short, thick coat that is typically solid white in colour, though some dogs have a black spot on the facial region. If present, this marking often surrounds the eye area. This breed has a large, stocky head with a thick neck and broad chest. Its eyes are almond-shaped, wide-set, and typically brown in colour. Cropping of the ears is common with this breed, as erect ears contribute to the dog’s lively and alert appearance. Much like the rest of its body, the tail of the Argentine Dogo is thick, hanging low when in a natural position and swinging from side to side when the dog is engaging in playful or active behaviour.
Argentine Dogos are agile, intelligent, and eager to please. Bred in part for its ability to serve as a hunting companion, it can be fierce in nature and assertive when necessary, which is not unusual for a working group canine. This dog, however, was also bred to be a family dog, so it generally has a gentle, playful disposition when not at work.
Ideally, the Argentine Dogo should be well-socialised with people and other dogs. It should also be under the guidance of an owner who displays consistent and firm leadership, as this will help discourage the dog from displaying aggressive behaviour.
In addition to hunting, this breed may also be used as a guard dog, guide dog, or as an aide in police work.
The Argentine Dogo is not inherently aggressive, though it is sometimes used in dogfighting in parts of the world where the activity persists. This breed is specifically mentioned in the United Kingdom’s Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991. Its physical resemblance to other breeds that possess aggressive traits has contributed to giving it an unfavourable reputation in some countries, leading to the restriction or banning of the Argentine Dogo in areas such as Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Contrary to what its appearance may suggest, this breed is typically affectionate, gentle, and loyal.
Though it is not known to have many major health concerns, it is estimated that up to 10% of Argentine Dogos experience deafness in one or both ears. This is a pigment-related condition that is not uncommon for breeds with a white coat. Another potential health problem in this breed is hip dysplasia, which occasionally presents itself in large breeds.
The average life span of the Argentine Dogo is 10-12 years.
This breed does not shed a great deal, though it should be brushed at least once a week in order to keep its coat healthy and smooth.
Since the Argentine Dogo is a large, athletic dog, it requires considerable exercise in order to expend its energy. A fenced-in yard with room to roam is ideal, though a daily walk is also recommended.
Due to its pigmentation, the Argentine Dogo should not be exposed to the sun for extended periods of time, as it is at an increased risk of sunburn. Conversely, it should not remain outdoors when temperatures are near freezing.