The Dogo Argentino, sometimes called the Argentinian Mastiff or the Argentine Dogo, is a strong, athletic, and loyal breed. They can be both fierce hunters and gentle protectors of their humans. They have a high prey drive, a strong will, and, at times, a distrust of strangers and other animals, all of which require an experienced dog owner to handle the breed.
Dogo Argentino puppies need lots of physical activity and mental stimulation along with patient training; otherwise, they can become bored and destructive. Dogo Argentinos are often used to help with big-game hunting, though they are also trained for police work, search and rescue, military work, and as service dogs.
With proper training, they can make an awesome family companion and watchdog.
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash like this one in public!
Health And Grooming Needs
If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards. To help keep your home a little cleaner, you can find a great de-shedding tool here!
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Sporting DogsHeight:23 to 27 inchesWeight:80 to 100 poundsLife Span:9 to 15 years
More About This Breed
The large, muscular Dogo Argentino was bred for strength and big-game hunting, especially for bringing down wild boars. Despite its capability for aggression when it comes to hunting, the Dogo Argentino generally has a happy disposition, and it is fiercely loyal to its human family. This breed’s strength requires a firm, active trainer who is capable of keeping big dogs in line, and they need strict boundaries. A tall, strong fence for the yard is a must, or else the Dogo Argentino’s prey drive can lead them to chase small animals or wander. Socialization with other humans and pets is also key to keeping the Dogo Argentino’s natural caution around strangers and other animals in check. Dogo Argentinos need to stay active, or they may become bored and prone to destructive behavior. They should not be left alone for long periods of time. With the right training and a good, loving home, the Dogo Argentino can make a courageous and dedicated family companion, as well as an excellent watchdog.
- Although it was bred from fighting dogs, its aggressive traits were bred out so that it could cooperate with other dogs during hunts. It is not natural for them to want to fight, but some people train them to do so anyway because of their strength and courageous nature.
- Because they are used in dog fighting rings, Dogo Argentinos have been deemed dangerous and banned in several countries, including Australia, the Cayman Islands, Denmark, Fiji, Iceland, Singapore, and Ukraine. In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to own one without lawful authority.
- Dogo Argentinos are sometimes used for work with the police, military, and search and rescue efforts.
- The breed is beloved for its loyalty and courage–qualities that make them excellent watchdogs.
- About 10 percent of Dogo Argentinos suffer from pigment-related deafness in one or both ears, which is an affliction that often affects dogs that have white coats.
- Socialization and early training are important for keeping the Dogo Argentino well-behaved. They are physically strong and strong-willed, so they need a firm trainer that can keep them in line without resorting to force or physical punishment. They are not a breed for novice owners.
- This breed is often confused with the American Bulldog, though it is taller and has a white coat. It may also be confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier, though the Dogo Argentino is much larger and is different in many ways.
The Dogo Argentino is a descendant of the now-extinct Fighting Dog of Cordoba, a large, fierce dog bred for, as the name implies, fighting. A man named Antonio Nores Martinez from Argentina wanted a fearless hunting dog that could handle the terrain of his homeland, as well as being a loyal companion. In the 1920s, Martinez began to use selective breeding and aimed to reduce the dog’s desire to fight so it could cooperate in a pack, and he worked to replace the fighting instinct with the need to hunt. Several breeds were mixed to achieve the desired traits that are seen in the Dogo Argentino breed. Martinez created a trustworthy companion dog with a strong prey drive and muscular build, ideal for hunting in the rugged terrain of Argentina or being a loyal family guardian. Sadly, the breed is still sometimes used in dog fighting rings because of its strength and fearless nature.
Dogo Argentinos are large dogs that grow to a standard height of about 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder. Males tend to be slightly taller than females by about an inch on average. The breed usually weighs between 80 and 100 pounds. The body is usually slightly longer than it is tall, and Dogo Argentinos have large, broad heads that make them resemble the American Bulldog or the American Pit Bull Terrier. Although these sizes are considered “breed standard,” some Dogo Argentinos may be quite a bit bigger or smaller.
The Dogo Argentino is a loyal breed with a tendency to be highly territorial, making them excellent watchdogs. They are fierce defenders of their human families, even children, though their strong prey drive makes them poor companions for other animals like cats or smaller dogs. That prey drive does, however, make them great hunters, able to take down wild boars with their ferocity and strength.
They are independent dogs that need an experienced owner to handle their training needs, especially when it comes to socialization, as the Dogo Argentino is known for being less than welcoming to strangers and other dogs. They are strong-willed and need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, so apartment living isn’t the ideal situation for them. It is best to begin their training early as puppies.
The Dogo Argentino is predisposed to a few health problems. One of the major issues is deafness, with about 10 percent of dogs in the breed being deaf in one or both ears. This is called pigment-related deafness, and is found in other mostly-white colored dogs, including Dalmatians, white Boxers, and white Bull Terriers.
The breed may develop other conditions, including hypothyroidism, glaucoma, and laryngeal paralysis. Dogo Argentinos may also suffer from hip dysplasia, which is common among large breeds.
It is important to provide Dogo Argentinos with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, as they may become bored, anxious, and destructive if their needs are not met. As with dogs of any breed, you should keep up with regular vet checkups, keep their teeth clean, and groom them as needed. They should have their ears checked weekly and their nails trimmed monthly. Ask your veterinarian about your individual dog’s needs and make sure you keep up with at-home care.
Dogo Argentinos will need a diet formulated for large breed dogs with plenty of fresh, clean water. They are a fairly high-energy breed, which should also be taken into account. Feeding needs will change from puppyhood into adulthood. The best way to create an appropriate feeding plan for your individual Dogo Argentino is to speak to your veterinarian or a professional nutritionist about their needs. They will be able to provide you with specific guidance.
Coat Color And Grooming
The Dogo Argentino has a short, all-white coat, though there is sometimes a black spot on the head. Though the coat is short and fairly easy to maintain, the size of the Dogo Argentino makes the grooming process a little more difficult. Dogo Argentinos should be brushed weekly and bathed every three months or sooner if they get dirty. They will shed a fair amount, but the length of their coat makes this a little bit less noticeable than long-haired breeds. Still, you’d do well to have a lint roller on hand.
Children And Other Pets
Dogo Argentinos are very loyal to their families, including children, so long as they are introduced and accustomed to their presence. However, visiting children may present a bit more of a challenge, as this breed does not naturally take to strangers. Children should always be supervised with dogs, even when they are family, and they should be trained on how to interact with animals to avoid incidents. Socializing Dogo Argentinos early and training them to interact with new people and animals will help, and the earlier training begins, the better.
Dogo Argentinos have a high prey drive, which can cause trouble when it comes to smaller pets, including cats and other dogs. They may learn to interact with these animals if they are trained and socialized properly, but this breed is best suited to a home that has no other pets or only has other large dogs.
If you’re interested in adopting a Dogo Argentino from a rescue group, you can try DC Dogos, an organization based in Tampa, Florida that works specifically with the breed. You can also search for local large breed rescue groups near you,