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Dogo Argentino: A Guide to the Argentine Mastiff

The Dogo Argentino, also known as the Argentine Mastiff, is a distinctive breed known for its muscular build, loyalty, and courage. This breed has evolved from its hunting roots to become an admirable companion dog, while retaining the tenacity and stamina that made it so efficient in the field. 

Origin of the Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino originated in Argentina in the mid-1920s, bred by Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez with the aim of creating a breed that was both a capable hunting dog and a loyal family pet. The breed was developed primarily by crossbreeding the now extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog with other breeds like the Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, and the Bull Terrier. 

Appearance and Build

A Dogo Argentino is a large, muscular dog, with males standing up to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing as much as 100 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, but both genders possess an impressive strength and agility. They have a thick, all-white coat that's short and glossy, while their broad head, strong jaws and deep-set chest give them an imposing presence. 

The Personality of a Dogo Argentino

Although Dogo Argentinos were initially bred for hunting big game, such as boars and pumas, they are also known for their friendly and protective nature. They form strong bonds with their human families and are known to be protective of their loved ones, making them excellent guard dogs. Despite their formidable appearance, Dogos are often gentle and patient with children.

The breed is intelligent, energetic, and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. However, they are strong-willed dogs and may require an owner who is confident and assertive in their training approach.

Exercise and Training

The Dogo Argentino is an active breed that requires a lot of exercise to keep it healthy and satisfied. The breed enjoys tasks that challenge both their body and mind, like long walks, hikes, or interactive play with toys. 

Training a Dogo Argentino can be rewarding but it requires patience and consistency. Early socialization is crucial for this breed, allowing them to grow up into well-rounded and adaptable adults. Training should focus on positive reinforcement techniques, encouraging good behavior with treats, praise, and love.

Health and Lifespan

Dogo Argentinos generally live between 9 and 15 years. They are a relatively healthy breed but can be prone to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, deafness, and hypothyroidism. Regular vet check-ups and a balanced diet can help ensure a long, healthy life for a Dogo Argentino.

Living Conditions

Dogo Argentinos are adaptable dogs that can live in a variety of environments, but they do need plenty of space to move around. They are not well-suited to apartment living unless they receive sufficient exercise. These dogs prefer to be part of the family action and shouldn't be left alone for long periods.


The Dogo Argentino's short, smooth coat is easy to groom. Regular brushing will help keep their coat healthy and reduce shedding. They are an average shedding breed and may require more frequent brushing during shedding seasons.

Final Thoughts

The Dogo Argentino is a breed that combines strength, intelligence, and loyalty, making them excellent companions for the right family. They require an owner who understands their need for exercise, mental stimulation, and consistent training. 

Despite their somewhat intimidating appearance, Dogo Argentinos are loving and protective dogs that form deep bonds with their families. They're great with children and will do everything they can to protect their loved ones. 

If you're considering bringing a Dogo Argentino into your family, prepare for a loyal, loving, and protective addition who will need your time, attention, and plenty of space to roam and play. In return, you'll receive unwavering loyalty, protection, and a friend for life.

Did you know?

1. The Dogo Argentino was bred by a medical doctor: Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez bred this dog in Argentina in the 1920s with the aim of creating a brave, yet gentle hunting dog that could also serve as a loyal family pet.

2. They were originally bred for hunting big game: Dogo Argentinos were used for hunting dangerous game like boars and pumas due to their strength, tenacity, and excellent scent tracking abilities.

3. Dogo Argentinos are an all-white breed: They are one of the few breeds that are accepted to be only white in color. This was intentional as the breed's creator wanted a dog that could be easily distinguished in the hunting field.

4. They can be prone to deafness: About 10% of Dogo Argentinos are deaf in one or both ears. This is a common trait in all-white or mostly white dogs, due to a lack of pigmentation in the inner ear.

5. Dogo Argentinos are known for their bravery: They have a strong protective instinct, making them excellent guard dogs. Despite their formidable appearance, they are gentle and patient with their family members.

6. They are banned in several countries: Due to their power and potential for aggression if not properly trained, Dogo Argentinos are banned or restricted in several countries, including the UK and Australia.

7. The breed has a high pain tolerance: This made them efficient hunting dogs capable of taking down large prey, but it also means they might not always show when they're hurt or ill, so regular vet check-ups are crucial.

8. Dogo Argentinos are athletic and require plenty of exercise: They enjoy activities such as long walks, hikes, agility training, and even swimming.

9. Despite their size, they consider themselves lap dogs: Dogo Argentinos love to snuggle and don't always realize their size. They'll happily climb onto a lap for a good cuddle!

10. They're relatively new: The breed is less than a hundred years old, making them one of the newer breeds on the dog scene. Despite their young age, they've made a significant impact and have quickly gained recognition worldwide for their distinct personality and looks.

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