A Fierce and Gentle Protector: The Dogo Argentino

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argentine dogo dog hiking in the mountainsThe Dogo Argentino is the perfect dog for experienced dog owners who want a gentle and protective puppy at home. They’re athletic, strong, muscular, and very intelligent.

Dogo Argentino puppies love being challenged mentally and playing with their owners. This energetic breed can be found helping with big-game hunting, in the police force, as military dogs, and as family dogs.

A True Hunter! 

The Argentine Dogo is a unique dog. Not only do they have a very particular look, temperament, and personality, but they also have an interesting history behind them.

They were bred for specific reasons, one being for hunting wild boars. Because they’re so independent, intelligent, and strong, they’ve been loved for many, many years.

History of This Fiercely Powerful Breed

Argentine Dogos have the Fighting Dog of Cordoba (or the Perro de Pelea Cordobes, as it’s also known) as their ancestor. The Cordoba Fighting Dog is now extinct, but the breed was known to be large, fierce, and great at fighting other dogs and larger animals.

In the 1920s, an Argentinian man called Antonio Nores Martinez wanted a tough fighting dog he could bring to his homeland. Not only did he want a dog who had a lot of muscle and could pull his weight in a fight, but he also wanted one that would be loyal to its owner.

Martinez chose the dogs he bred carefully. His goal was to reduce the Dog of Cordoba’s drive to start fights, boost the dog’s ability to be part of a pack, and turn them into hunting dogs. Martinez crossed this dog breed with the Great Dane, the Spanish Mastiff, the Old English Bulldog, the Bull Terrier, the Dogue de Bordeaux, the Pointer, and the Irish Wolfhound.

After some years, the Dogo Argentino breed was born and recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale and by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The characteristic owners of the Argentino dog loved the most was the breed’s ability to hunt in the country’s terrain.

The Argentine Dogo puppy is especially good when pitted against a wild boar.

Unfortunately, you can still find the El Dogo Argentino in fighting rings today. But most dogs are working dogs helping in hunting big game, in the police force, and as military dogs. Their strength and perseverance are what makes them so suited for these jobs.

The Story Behind the Dogo Argentino vs. Puma!

Some years ago, this dog breed made headlines when they fought off a puma and saved a little girl’s life. In La Cocha, Argentina, two little girls were playing under a big fig tree some feet away from their parents.

When one climbed up the tree, she noticed that there was some kind of animal rustling the branches and coming her way.

This was when the animal, a puma, clawed at her and jumped down to the ground, right next to the little girl who hadn’t climbed the tree. What the girls didn’t know was that Morocho, a Dogo Argentino that belonged to the family, was following them and had witnessed this unexpected attack.

When the puma launched at the little girl, Morocho grabbed the wild animal by the throat. Both the dog and the puma started to fight and when the parents arrived at the fig tree, Morocho had pinned down and dominated the cougar. He got away with some bruises and cuts, but as a hero!

Appearance and Personality of the Muscular Dogo Dog

The first thing you’ll notice about the Dogo Argentino dog is how big and muscly they are. The front legs are shorter than the hind legs but are equally as strong. The neck and the shoulders are bulky and very strong because of all the muscle that they have.

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This dog’s head is broad with a slightly domed skull and the muzzle sticks out. Their ears droop down and their tails are pointy. A Dogo has a white coat, but sometimes they have a black spot on their heads. This mark (known as Pirata), however, is only accepted by the Federacion Cinologica Argentina.

Protective and Loyal: Temperament

The Argentinian Mastiff is an incredibly loyal and often territorial breed. They make great guard dogs because they’re fearless and protective of their household. They’re even great with children!

This dog has a high prey drive, which means that living with small animals such as dogs or toy breeds of dogs isn’t the best idea. They like chasing smaller animals they see as prey and tend to try to hunt them. Because of this, they shouldn’t be let alone in a yard that doesn’t have a fence.

How Big Do They Get?

These Dogos grow to be pretty big. The males measure anywhere between 24 and 27 inches at the shoulder, while females don’t grow past 26 inches. Adult dogs weigh between 80 and 100 pounds.

3 Facts You Need to Know About This Breed

The Dogo Argentino is an interesting breed with some secrets you may not already know:

  1. In some countries, owning a Dogo Argentino is illegal. In others, you need a permit to own an Argentine Mastiff. This is due to the fact that, unfortunately, some irresponsible owners still enter this breed in dog fighting events.
  2. These dogs make great rescue dogs and are known to be great at working with the military.
  3. One in ten Dogo Argentino dogs suffers from pigment-related deafness, which makes them deaf from one or both ears.

These Dogs Need a Strong Owner! Exercise and Trainability

As is the case with all dog breeds, especially the large and muscular ones, it’s crucial to train them from a young age. Argentinian Mastiffs need a firm owner who will be consistent in training them. If they’re not trained properly, they may become too territorial and think they can run the entire household.

If you think that you won’t be able to train your Dogo puppies yourself, enroll them in a puppy obedience school. Professionals will be able to teach them basic commands, such as to sit, stay, and to obey their owners.

You might have guessed that this is a very energetic breed that needs plenty of exercise. They get frustrated and bored easily if they’re not challenged mentally or taken for long walks. Walk your dog a couple of times a day for around thirty minutes.

Make sure to break a sweat!

Dogo Argentino Puppies! They Can Be Quite a Healthy Breed

The major issue this breed faces is deafness. Ten percent of dogs are either deaf in one ear or in both. This isn’t a problem that only Dogo Argentino pups face. Other white-coated breeds also have a higher chance of suffering from pigment-related deafness.

Hip dysplasia is also common with this breed. It happens when the thigh bone and the hip socket don’t fit snuggly. This causes the bones to grind on one another, something that is quite painful. Hip dysplasia affects walking, which is why dogs that suffer from this avoid moving.

How Long Do They Live For?

The average life expectancy for this dog is between nine and fifteen years.

Getting a Dogo Argentino!

If you’ve fallen in love with the Dogo Argentino breed, your next step is knowing where to get one. Whether you want to adopt or to buy a puppy, here is what you should do:

Adopting From a Shelter

There are lots of shelters across the country that have dogs up for adoption. Get in touch with your local animal shelter or visit an Argentinian Mastiff rescue. You’ll be giving a dog a new chance of being happy in a furever home!

Buying a Puppy

If you want to buy a Dogo Argentino, always do business with reputable breeders. Stay far, far away from backyard breeders and from puppy mills. These places don’t care about anything but profit, and getting a dog from here can mean they’ll be riddled with diseases.

5 Tips Dog Owners Have to Know if They Want a Dogo!

Owning a Dogo Argentino isn’t as hard as people may think, as long as you know what you’re doing. This breed isn’t high maintenance, but owners need to be aware of the responsibility that goes with owning such a powerful breed.

Here are some tips that will hopefully help you decide if being an Argentinian Mastiff owner is for you:

  1. Remember to walk these dogs every single day several times a day. They need a lot of exercise, otherwise, they may become destructive and frustrated.
  2. Brush your puppy once a week. Their short white coat isn’t difficult to take care of, but be sure to still look after it from time to time.
  3. Fence in your yard so your dog doesn’t run off chasing prey.
  4. Don’t introduce a Dogo Argentino into a house where there are small animals and cats. They really don’t do well together.
  5. Training and socializing your dog is of extreme importance. Large, strong dogs who get out of control are the last thing any owner wants.

The Dogo Argentino isn’t a breed for all dog owners. If you’ve had experience raising large dogs before and want the challenge of raising an Argentinian Mastiff, then go ahead. Make sure to keep in mind what your dog needs to grow up well-balanced and happy.

If you train and socialize them properly, you’ll surely have found your new best friend for life!

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