The Dogo Argentino is an Argentinian dog breed developed for big-game hunting. It has a formidable reputation because of that. However, the Dogo Argentino is also capable of performing a wide range of other tasks. Something made possible by the dog breed’s temperament.
1. Is Sometimes Called By Other Names
For starters, the Dogo Argentino is sometimes called by other names. A couple of common examples would be the Argentinian Dogo and the Argentinian Mastiff. On top of this, the Dogo Argentino is sometimes called just the Dogo, though it is important to note that the latter can refer to other dog breeds as well.
2. Is a Mastiff
These animals are considered to be mastiffs. Something that is perhaps unsurprising considering the fact that multiple kinds of mastiffs were used to develop the Dogo Argentino. For that matter, mastiffs often possess a number of distinctive characteristics such as huge size, a broad muzzle, a shorter-than-normal skull, a long, low-set tail, and a pair of pendant-shaped ears. Supposedly, the true mastiffs share a descent from the Molossus, a dog breed that became very widespread because of its popularity in the Greco-Roman world.
3. On the Bigger Side of Things
Size-wise, the Dogo Argentino is on the bigger side of things. The males can be expected to reach 60 to 68 cm in height while the females can be expected to reach 60 to 65 cm in height. This translates to the males reaching 40 to 45 kg in weight and the females reaching 35 to 40 kg in weight. Considering the Dogo Argentino’s intended use for big-game hunting, these measurements make a lot of sense.
4. Has a White Coat
Interested individuals should know that the Dogo Argentino is supposed to have a white coat. Any kind of marking on its white coat is considered to be a flaw, though this is something that happens from time to time anyways. A lot of kennel clubs will refuse to accept animals with these markings. However, there is a notable exception in the form of the Federación Cinológica Argentina, which will accept a Dogo Argentino with either a black or a brindle spot on its head. It is important to note that it is normal for these animals to have black spots on their skin, which are very much not the same as black spots on their coats.
5. Short-Haired Coat
As mentioned earlier, mastiffs often have short-haired coats. The Dogo Argentino is no exception to this rule, which can be considered a positive for interested individuals. After all, this makes it easier to brush these dogs, though this is balanced out to some extent by the fact that these are large dogs. Unfortunately, the Dogo Argentino does shed a lot, so that is something that interested individuals need to prepare for.
6. Developed By Antonio Nores Martínez
There are some dog breeds that are so old that there is no way to know how they came into existence. Simply put, we don’t even have perfect records of everything that happens in the present, so it should come as no surprise to learn that our knowledge becomes worse and worse the further back that we go. Unless someone specifically wrote a surviving account about something that managed to survive, chances are good that we just don’t know. Fortunately, the Dogo Argentino is a relatively modern dog breed. Thanks to that, we know that it was developed by an Argentinian man named Antonio Nores Martínez. Said individual was a doctor, a surgeon, and a professor who wanted a big game hunting dog that could also serve as a pet as well as a guard dog. As a result, Martinez started on his self-appointed task in 1928.
7. Its Basis Was the Cordoba Fighting Dog
A number of dog breeds were used to develop the Dogo Argentino. However, the basis was the Cordoba Fighting Dog, which was, well, a dog breed meant for dog fighting. The two dog breeds have both a lot of similarities and a lot of differences, not least because of their very different roles.
8. Its Basis Was Named for the Argentinian Cordoba
When people think of Cordoba, chances are good that they will think of the Spanish city, which was once the capital of Muslim-controlled Spain. However, the Cordoba Fighting Dog isn’t named for that city in a direct sense. Instead, the dog breed is named for the Argentinian city of Cordoba, which was named for the Spanish city of the same name. Said city is quite notable in its own right, as shown by how it is the second most populous city that can be found in the country.
9. Its Basis Was a Very Aggressive Animal
The Dogo Argentino can be aggressive when it is used for its intended purpose. After all, it wouldn’t be very useful for big game hunting if it had no aggressiveness whatsoever. However, the Dogo Argentino is nowhere near as aggressive as its basis, which was almost cartoonish in its aggressiveness. Supposedly, one of the reasons that the Cordoba Fighting Dog went extinct is that they were so aggressive towards other dogs that males and females would often fight one another rather than mate with one another. Something that presumably made dog breeders even less interested in keeping the dog breed going.
10. Its Basis Was Sometimes Used for Hunting
Still, the Cordoba Fighting Dog was apparently sometimes used for hunting. They weren’t very good at hunting in packs, but some of them were said to have been capable of working with one other dog of the opposite sex. Still, the fearlessness and the high pain tolerance that made the Cordoba Fighting Dog useful for dog fighting also made them useful for taking on pigs and other sizable animals.
11. Developed Using the Boxer
One of the other dog breeds used to develop the Dogo Argentino was the Boxer. Said dog breed is a German dog breed created for hunting, which made them so friendly, intelligent, and good-natured that they have made a smooth transition to other roles such as guard dogs, police dogs, and service dogs. As such, it isn’t hard to see why Boxers were chosen to contribute to the Dogo Argentino considering that the latter was also supposed to serve as a pet as well as a guard dog.
12. Developed Using the Bull Terrier
Another dog breed used to develop the Dogo Argentino was the Bull Terrier, which is very recognizable because of its strange, egg-shaped head. These dogs are even-tempered, though capable of being both independent and obstinate. As a result, Bull Terriers are capable of getting along very well with their human masters but are nonetheless not well-suited for first-time dog owners. Role-wise, these dogs were exactly what they sound like, which is to say, dogs meant for blood sports as well as vermin control.
13. Developed Using the Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux also contributed to the Dogo Argentino. These dogs are named for the French city because they are associated with the region surrounding the French city. In any case, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a big, powerful dog breed, which is why they were used for pulling carts as well as protecting livestock. Originally, there were two varieties of these dogs called Dogues and Doguins, with the major difference being that Dogues were much bigger than Doguins. Given the size of the modern dogs, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Dogues are the ones who managed to make it to the present while the Doguins are now nothing more than an occasional mention in history books.
14. Developed Using the English Pointer
More than one English dog breed was used to develop the Dogo Argentino. One excellent example would be the Pointer, which is sometimes called the English Pointer for specificity. These dogs are named thus because of the very distinctive stance that they take when they pick up on the scent of game. Something that is useful because that makes it much easier for hunters to pick up on what is happening. Personality-wise, the Pointer is like other hunting dogs in that it is both adaptable and obedient but rather unusual in that it is somewhat less interested in human companionship than most of its counterparts.
15. Developed Using the Great Dane
The size of the Dogo Argentino is no wonder considering that it is descended from the Great Dane to some extent. Confusingly, these huge dogs don’t have much of a connection to Denmark. Instead, the ancestors of the Great Dane were crossbred from English Mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds before being brought to the continent where they were very popular for hunting bears, boars, and other big animals. Eventually, the Germans started breeding these dogs on their own, with the result that they were then exported back to English-speaking countries. Initially, they had names indicating that they were German dogs. However, rising tensions in the 20th century caused a change to the Great Dane because that was a more marketable term.
16. Developed Using the Irish Wolfhound
Speaking of which, the Dogo Argentino was also developed using the Irish Wolfhound. Given their earlier mention, it should come as no surprise to learn that these are also huge dogs. Something that was necessary because Irish Wolfhounds were expected to take on wolves. The original dog breed went extinct because of the extinction of wolves in their homeland, but these dogs were recreated in the late 19th century using the Great Dane, the Scottish Deerhound, and other dog breeds.
17. Developed Using the Old English Bulldog
The Cordoba Fighting Dog isn’t the only extinct dog breed that contributed to the Dogo Argentino. After all, Old English Bulldogs were used as well. These dogs were specialized for the specific blood sport of bull-baiting. As a result, Old English Bulldog went extinct for a couple of reasons. One, the passage of the Cruelty to Animals Act in 1835 brought about a gradual decline in bull-baiting and other blood sports in its homeland. Two, while those blood sports continued for quite some time, it was found that a cross of the Old English Bulldog with the Old English Terrier made for a superior fighting animal. In other words, the Old English Bulldog was made obsolete by its own descendant the Bull and Terrier.
18. Need to Have a Yard
A yard is important for the Dogo Argentino. These dogs aren’t the most energetic dogs that can be found out there. However, they still need plenty of exercise to keep them from becoming bored. Something that can lead to destructive behavior on the Dogo Argentino’s part. Similarly, interested individuals should also remember that these are very social animals, meaning that they need to spend time with their dogs on a regular basis for the best results.
19. Need to Have a Well-Fenced Yard
Speaking of which, that yard should have a tall, strong fence. Otherwise, there is a real risk of the Dogo Argentino running off for the purpose of chasing small animals as well as wander around. Of course, supervision can also be very useful.
20. Loyal, Happy, and Courageous
On the whole, the Dogo Argentino is a loyal, happy, and courageous creature. Still, it isn’t well-suited for first-time dog owners because their human masters need to be capable of setting boundaries for big dogs as well as otherwise keep big dogs in line. Failing that, the Dogo Argentino can run into problems, both because it can be aggressive under certain circumstances and because it has a natural suspicion of strangers. Unfortunately, this dog breed has been used for illegal dog fighting, with the result that it is either banned or otherwise restricted in a number of countries.