Dogo Argentino is a quality dog that has been bred for success. It is known by different names such as the Bulldog of Argentina, Argentine Mastiff, El Dogo Argentino Cachorro and is known to have come to the aid of many a farmer by saving his livestock from wild boars. The Dogo’s lineage contains some super breeds that have all contributed to his prowess as a hunter. Let us study this beautiful, though oft misunderstood, dog breed in detail.
Facts and Characteristics
- Dogo Argentino is quite an old breed; a painting by Hondius made in 1635 depicts a fierce mastiff like dog that closely resembles the Dogo.
- The Dogo is a paradoxical breed in that; it appears extremely fierce and vicious but is also the most gentle and loving breed.
- It is believed that the menace of wild boars in large unsettled areas of Argentina was what prompted people to develop the Dogo Argentino. Farmers in the region wanted a super dog who could successfully hunt wild boar populations without harming humans.
- Many breeds constitute the super rich lineage of the Dogo including the Great Pyrenees, the Great Dane, the Irish Wolfhound, the Boxer, the Bull Terrier, the Spanish and French Mastiffs, as well as the Cordoba Fighting Dog.
- After gaining great fame as a fighting dog in South America, the Dogo made its appearance in United States.
- It is a super dog breed known for its musculature, speed, stamina, agility and power. All these unique characteristics make it one of the most popular breeds in dog world.
- Dogo Argentino size- Weight for show dogs is ideally between 88 and 99 lbs and height ideally between 23.6 to 25.6 inches.
Where to find a Dogo Argentino
When looking for Dogo Argentino breeders, always consider reputation rather than convenience of location. You can visit the official website of the DOGO Club of America or try to meet top breeders present at dog shows. Before selecting your Dogo Argentino puppy, visit the litter. Bear in mind that breeders often have waiting lists and you might even have to wait for 1-2 years before you can get your Dogo Argentino home. Here are some factors to consider while selecting your Dogo Argentino puppy:
- The puppy should be outgoing and appealing.
- Ensure that the seller provides you with the health and registration records.
- You can also consider bringing home a rescue Dogo from shelters. The money you give the shelter will go on to feed and care for other rescue dogs. So it is definitely worth considering. However, an adult rescue Dogo may not be an easy pet as s/he might have formed certain impressions about humans making it harder to train.
Once you get your Dogo Argentino puppy home you will know what a special breed this is. So special, in fact, that you will have to pay a hefty price for it. Expect to pay anywhere between $2500 and $4000 for a puppy from a reputed breeder.
Temperament and Training
Responsible breeders will strive for good temperament so never buy from breeders who concentrate solely on physical beauty at the cost of personality. Here are desirable characteristic features to look for in the Dogo:
- This dog has a strong personality and keen intelligence.
- They are working dogs and love to be given jobs as they are eager to please their masters.
- Dogos tend to have an intimidating cold stare; but do not let that fool you for this is a sensitive breed that loves humans.
- Training is an essential part of raising your Dogo. They respond well to positive reinforcement and gentle consistent corrections with stern voice.
- Remember to keep your pet intellectually stimulated at all times. This intelligent breed tends to get bored quickly and hates repetitious tasks. For the same reason, keep training sessions limited to 15-20 minutes.
- Always mix fun and games with training. This will keep your Dogo looking forward to the sessions which, in turn, will help you bond with him.
- Dogos make an excellent family pet and are quite good with kids. Having said that; make sure you teach your kids how to behave around the Dogo. After all; this is a large, powerful and aggressive dog that might not take kindly to being teased.
- If you have brought home a rescue Dogo, keep an eye on him around small animals like rabbits, hamsters etc owing to his high prey drive. With proper training and socialization from an early age, there is no reason why your Dogo won’t get along with other animals.
As per Michael Morris, author of Dogo Argentino – Complete Guide, the best dog food for this breed is Purina’s classic Alpo dog food. The author believes that this particular food is packed with the right balance of vitamins, minerals and proteins that provide your Dogo with everything he needs. Michael goes on to say that another reason Purina’s Alpo dog food is great for Dogos is because it is devoid of propylene glycol which is harmful to pets. Alpo food consists of ground corn and soybean meal which can provide your Dogo with daily recommended intake of proteins, calcium and vitamins B12 and D.
Dogo Argentinos have a lifespan of 10-12 years. Common health issues in this breed include hip and elbow dysplasia, tick/flea and other parasite infestations, eye issues, obesity and certain cancers. With good diet and a regular exercise routine, you can keep your pet healthy for years to come. Feed your pet the best dog food as recommended above and talk to your vet about supplements. Senior Dogos often fail to realize their diminishing strength and try to keep up. A responsible owner will modify the exercise and diet of their senior pet accordingly.
Dogos do not need too much bathing- once every 2 months can help keep ticks/fleas away and also keep the short coat clean and healthy. Use a vet approved shampoo for bathing your Dogo. Dogos have a short coat that does not shed too much. Daily brushing can keep parasites at bay and also help you catch skin irritations before they become serious. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly and also check its paws and trim its toenails from time to time.