(aka: Dogo Argentino, Argentinian Mastiff)
The Dogo Argentino is also called the Argentinian Mastiff or Argentine Dogo. It is a large, well muscled dog. The deep-set chest is wide. There is an abundance of skin on the muscular neck. The head is massive with a rounded shape from front to the back. The muzzle concaves upwards slightly, with a slight stop and is about the same length as the skull. The jaws are strong. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The nose is black. The eyes are set well apart, and are dark brown, light brown or hazel in color. The rims of the eyes should be pink or black. The ears are set high and are usually cropped to make them stand erect, and triangular in shape. The thighs are very muscular with a short hock. There are usually no dew claws. The thick tail is long and carried naturally low reaching the hock. The thick, glossy coat is white and has no undercoat.
While not accepted in all clubs, sometimes the Dogo Argentino can have a black spot on the head known as "pirata". This trait in the Dogo´s coat is accepted by Federacion Cinologica Argentina.
Argentine Dogo Temperament
Dogos are big-game hunters and are sometimes trained for search and rescue, police assistance, and military work. Due to their physical capabilities, they are not common family pets, though they are sometimes kept by experienced dog handlers.
Dogos Argentinos are protective of what they perceive as their territory and will guard it against any intruder. They get along with other dogs as long as they have been properly socialized, but will usually not tolerate another dog trying to assert dominance over them and might not coexist peacefully with another dominant breed of dog. They can develop an aggressive or dominant temperament if not socialized with other dogs at an early age, particularly with other dogs of the same sex.
The single white coat is very easy to care for. Brush occasionally. Keep nails trimmed. They have no doggy odor. This breed is an average shedder.
In the 1920's the Argentine Dogo was developed in Argentina by two Argentinians, Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez and his brother Agustin. The brothers wanted an ideal companion dog that was also a good pack hunter and guardian.
The breeds that were used in the development were the Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhound, Pointer, Great Dane, Dogue de Bordeaux, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Bulldog, Bull Terrier and a now extinct mastiff-type breed called the Dog of Cordoba. The result was a bullish, fearless hunter who also had great stamina. The white coat deflected the heat rather than absorb it. Unfortunately the breed earned a bad reputation in Britain when people started using the dogs for dog fighting, which is an activity still popular in many parts of South America and elsewhere.
It is not illegal to own a Dogo Argentino without a specific exemption from the court (according to the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991). They are also illegal in new Zealand, Australia, Norway, Iceland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore and Ukraine. Many people feel that this is unfair to the breed, and that laws should focus on the owners of the dogs, not the dogs themselves.
Early intense socialization and obedience training is an absolute must. The Argentine Dogo breed is highly intelligent and training must be done with respect, love, firmness, fairness, and consistency. The Argentine Dogo responds well to reward. Unpredictable behavior can occur if training is done with harshness, kennel isolation, or a regime of tough training. They excel in agility, as guide dogs, and police work.
The Argentine Dogo is relatively healthy, although deafness and hip dysplasia can occur.