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The Dogo Argentino, also known as the Argentinean Mastiff or Argentine Dogo, is the canine equivalent of an armored tank. The breed was created in the late 1920s by the Argentinean surgeon Antonio Nores Martínez who wanted to create a breed that was brave and strong enough to hunt big game like wild boar and puma, but also manageable and fiercely protective of its human owners. Since then, the Dogos have carved out a special niche in Argentinean culture and have even had a statue erected in their honor.
Dogo Argentinos have powerfully built well-muscled bodies. Their large heads are equipped with extremely powerful jaws designed to bite and hold on to large prey. Their necks have an abundance of skin designed to protect their necks when hunting dangerous game. The Dogo’s coat is pure white and any colored markings are considered a fault.
Despite their imposing appearance, Dogos are in fact extremely gentle and loving. They are highly devoted to their masters and will willingly risk their lives to protect their human owners. Unfortunately, they are banned in certain countries like Ukraine, Iceland, Australia and Singapore.
The Dogo Argentino, also known as the Argentinean Mastiff or Argentine Dogo, is the canine equivalent of an armored tank.
The Dogo Argentino was created by the Argentine breeder Mr. Antonio Nores Martinez. The goal in creating the Dogo was to create a dog that was a powerful and effective pack hunter as well as a wonderful companion.
In his quest to create a versatile hunting dog, the Dogo Argentino’s creator Antonio Nores Martinez started off with the now extinct Fighting Dog of Cordoba. The line was also crossed to a wide array of breeds including the Great Dane, the Boxer, the Spanish Mastiff, the Old English Bulldog, the Bull Terrier, the Great Pyrenees, the Pointer, the Irish Wolfhound and the Dogue de Bordeaux.
Dogo Argentinos are large dogs and should be fed two wholesome meals of high-quality dry food or canned/raw foods.
Since the Dogo Argentino was created to be a pack hunting dog, obedience was an important trait that was selectively bred into the breed.
Since the Dogo Argentino was created to be a pack hunting dog, obedience was an important trait that was selectively bred into the breed. Therefore they are highly responsive to training efforts, provided that they are handled with firm but loving leadership. It should be noted that Dogo Argentino’s aren’t for meek or beginner dog owners as they can be a handful if not given proper leadership.
Dogo Argentinos weigh in at a hefty 88 to 120 pounds.
Despite their fearsome appearance, Dogo Argentinos are actually a very loving breed of dog and overly aggressive traits have been selectively eliminated from the breed during the course of its creation. They are also highly loyal and protective of their human pack. For example, Morocho, a Dogo Argentino belonging to Ulises Martinez, the grandson of Antonio Martinez, heroically took on a puma to protect Ulises’ daughter when she was attacked by the big cat while plucking figs. Morocho was grievously injured in the fight but managed to kill the puma, save Ulises’ daughter’s life, and survive against all odds; a shining tribute to the success of Antonio Martinez’ breeding efforts.
Dogo Argentinos also get along extremely well with other dogs and thrive when raised in a pack environment. However, it is important to socialize them early with other dogs and animals to ensure that they do not turn aggressive towards them later on in life. It is also important to provide the Dogo Argentino with rules, boundaries and limitations with a calm but assertive leadership style as this dog can try to become the pack leader when faced with a meek or submissive owner.
Dogo Argentinos surprisingly do not suffer from the various joint ailments that plague other large breeds. However, they do sometimes suffer from pigment-related deafness.
Dogo Argentinos have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
Dogo Argentinos are highly energetic dogs and are unsuitable for owners that cannot provide them with daily, rigorous exercise. They are able to navigate various types of terrain and make excellent jogging partners. As a working breed of dog, they are also at their happiest when given a ‘meaningful’ task which they can devote themselves to.
Despite their fearsome appearance, Dogo Argentinos are actually a very loving breed of dog.
The AKC has this to say about the Dogo: “The Dogo Argentino is a pack-hunting dog, bred for the pursuit of big-game such as wild boar and puma, and possesses the strength, intelligence and quick responsiveness of a serious athlete. His short, plain and smooth coat is completely white, but a dark patch near the eye is permitted as long as it doesn’t cover more than 10% of the head.” The Dogo Argentino is not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The Dogo Argentino’s coat is soft to the touch and is relatively easy to groom. They have no doggy odor and are average shedders.
It is crucial that Dogo Argentino puppies be socialized with humans and other animals at a very young age. Their training too should begin as early on in life as possible.
Photo credit: Paul Hermans/Wikimedia; Monsieur Fou/Wikimedia