Dogo Argentino: Breed Facts And All You Need To Know

Dogo Argentino is among the breeds of dogs primarily developed for big game hunting purposes. The breed resulted from crossing a plethora of other kinds, the Cordoba Dog inclusive. As a result, its physical traits include a white coat that is very smooth and a huge head.

Apart from massive game hunting, the Dogo Argentino was bred for another reason – to provide protection for its human family. The canine is known to display dogged bravery when faced with danger, giving its adopters a sense of safety. Potential dog parents who have plans to adopt a Dogo Argentino should read this piece for detailed information on the breed’s character traits, temperament, nutritional needs, and much more.

History Of The Dogo Argentino Breed

It all started in the 1920s with an Argentine known as Antonio Nores Martinez who aimed to develop a courageous hunting pup that would function as a loyal companion, as well as thrive on the terrain of his home country. Martinez started with selective breeding which was targeted at reducing the breed’s fighting instincts to make it more suitable for pack life. He also tried to replace the dog’s desire to fight with hunting instincts.

The character traits that are evident in the Dogo Argentino pup today is a resultant effect of crossing several breeds, giving rise to a muscular, dependable companion with a high prey drive. The canine is just perfect for Argentina’s rugged terrain where it is mainly used for hunting. However, it equally functions as a loyal family guardian but it is important to note that the pup is still occasionally used as a fighting dog in the rings, thanks to its fearless trait and strength.

The initial six specimens of the Dogo Argentino came into the US in 1970 through Dr. Raul Zeballos. The breed has since spread to different places in the world, turning into one of the most popular dog breeds.

Important Things To Know About the Dogo Argentino

Thinking of getting this large canine for your household? You might find reasons to go ahead or call time on the idea while you read.


Though the Dogo Argentino is a healthy breed, it is predisposed to a handful of health issues. Among the major health problems that plague the breed is deafness – about ten percent of the Dogos come with pigment-related deafness in one of their ears or both. Other health conditions to look out for in the breed include glaucoma, hypothyroidism, and laryngeal paralysis. Note that large dog breeds are prone to hip dysplasia and the Dogo is not an exception.


Dogo Argentino
Dogo Argentino puppies should be exposed to early socialization source

With the Dogo Argentino, early training is compulsory. Early socialization is equally important because of the canine’s propensity to protect its own and be suspicious of strangers – this helps in preventing future problems at the adult stage. Training for your Dogo must be positive, consistent, and must involve the entire family. The dog is known for its high intelligence level and can easily excel in anything, be it competitive obedience, dog sports, or just being kept as an exceptional canine companion.


Being a large canine breed, the Dogo Argentino must be exposed to the right diet to meet its nutritional requirements for a healthy life. According to recommendations from experts, the Dogo should be fed three to four times a day with a regular supply of clean water. With maturity, the dog’s nutritional need is bound to change, including the size of their kibble and how often to feed the pup. The dog’s high activity level should also be taken into consideration when planning its diet and feeding frequency.


The dog’s white short-hair coat notwithstanding, Dogo Argentino still needs constant grooming as it sheds heavily. Brushing should be done once every week. The coat is usually tangle-free, thanks to its short length, but brushing can take a while because of the dog’s massive size. Bathing can be left for when the Dogo gets dirty or once in three weeks. Also remember to check the nails, ears, and teeth, and make sure to clean and trim them as the need arises. Dental hygiene is of utmost importance to prevent periodontal diseases.


The Dogo Argentino requires plenty of mental and physical enrichment. They won’t thrive in households that just keep them as mere companions without physical stimulations like jogging, running, weight pulling, and agility training. The dog’s well-developed sense of smell makes it perfect for scent work. During meal times, the dog’s mind can be kept active with food-stuffed toys and you can keep this large breed from destroying the household furniture by providing it with enough heavy-duty chew toys or items.


The Dogo Argentino breed is among the canines that are ranked as hard-working, intelligent, and with a very strong personality. The dog’s body and mind must be occupied with regular stimulation to prevent boredom which can lead to destructive behavior. The breed is a popular choice for police and military work and also functions as rescue and search pups in their native Argentina.

A well-trained Dogo can be extremely protective and loyal to its human family; they are also known to be playful and affectionate with their owners. If raised alongside kids, the Dogo Argentino can do well with them, however, it shouldn’t be left with smaller kids unsupervised. Likewise, it is not advisable to keep the breed with smaller household pets like cats and smaller pups, thanks to its high prey drive.

Does Dogo Argentino Make Good Family Pets?

The Dogo Argentino is known for its many excellent qualities which are quite impressive, however, it is not the ideal choice for novice dog parents or people who want to adopt an amenable companion. The dog is very powerful and thus, calls for an owner who can handle its strength, size, and drive. The adopter must be ready to provide the canine with loads of interaction, daily exercise, and enrichment.

The person must be willing to start socializing the Dogo puppy from an early stage, especially if children are in the picture.

Read Also: Dogs That Look Like Pit Bulls: 10 Breeds You Might Mistake For A Pit Bull 

Quick Facts About The Dog Breed

1. Initially, the Dogo Argentino was bred exclusively for hunting, meaning that it can collaborate with other dogs in a team to go on hunting expeditions without resorting to fights with them. However, now that hunting has almost become a thing of the past, the use of the Dogo Argentino has been diversified.

2. The breed is quite intimidating in appearance, with way above 80 pounds in body weight. The male of the specie stands a bit taller than their female counterparts at 24-27 inches while the female stands at 24-26 inches.
Thanks to its size that sets it aside as a large breed with a muscular and strong body, the Dogo Argentino is occasionally called Argentino Mastiff – it belongs to that canine group referred to as Mastiff.

3. Several countries either restricted or banned ownership of the pup for various reasons. It might be considered against the law to adopt a Dogo in countries like Cayman Islands, Australia, Fiji, Ukraine, New Zealand, Iceland, Turkey, Singapore, as well as Denmark. The Dangerous Dogs Act law of 1991 in the United Kingdom stated that permission is a compulsory requirement before a Dogo Argentino can be adopted. Needless to say that these nations see the breed bred as a big threat.

4. The puppies of the Dogo are known for their high activity level, requiring that they must be engaged in tasks that are not likely to engender destruction. A Dogo Argentino that is left unsupervised or idle will likely find its own entertainment and the outcome is usually unpalatable.

5. Owners of the breed should ensure that their compounds are well fenced with high walls to contain the dog. The reason is that the Dogo has a high prey-driven and fierce protective instinct regarding its territory – this might lead it to launch attacks on unsuspecting passersby and smaller pets in the neighborhood.

6. In addition to the dog’s major functions of being a family pet and acting as a companion to big game hunting, it can also be trained to work in rescue and search operations with the military and police. This task has gradually taken over Argentino Mastiff’s primary role which is big game hunting.

7. The Dogo possesses rare bravery and unflinching loyalty to its adopter, making it an excellent watchdog. It is endowed with the natural instinct of detecting danger – this also helps with its role as a guard dog.

8. To avoid trouble, the Dogo Argentino should be allowed to socialize from its puppy stage. Keeping it constantly chained may result in an aggressive and angry creature that will jump in to start wreaking havoc the moment it is released.

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