They are white musclemen with big hearts and excellent dogs. But still Dogo Argentinos are quite unknown in Germany. Not so in other countries. In his native Argentina, a Dogo Argentino even became a film legend through the movie El Perro.
- Temperament: Dominant, Loyal, Happy
- Size: Large
- Height: 60-70 cm
- Weight: 40-50 kg
- Lifespan: 10-13 years
- Coat: Shorthair
- Colors: White (Possibly with black spot around the eye)
- FCI Group: Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
Origin and History
The white fighting dog originates from the province of Cordoba in Argentina. He was originally bred as a fighting dog and for hunting wild boar and predatory cats. In the meantime, this dog breed has become a working dog in South America.
In the middle of the 20th century, the requirements for this dog changed. At that time one wanted still a dog with strength and low irritation threshold. Nevertheless, people should not be attacked. It was the attempt of Antonio Nores Martinez to breed a new hunting dog. This dog should be able to hunt pumas or panthers. Common European dogs were too weak for this.
Through a crossbreeding of local fighting dogs, Mastiffs and Pointers, the Dogo Argentino was finally created. The fighting dog should be lost here slowly. Only a capable hunting dog should remain. The white color of the dog’s coat was to ensure that the dog would be easily seen while hunting. The idea behind this was to avoid accidental shooting of the dog.
Then, in 1928, the first uniform breed standard was established by the breeder’s son. In 1973 this breed was recognized by the FCI, the largest governing body for dog breeds. It was included in the section 2 Molossoid ranked.
It was not until 1968 that the first Dogo Argentino came to Europe. This breed is still quite rare and unknown outside the South American continent.
The white athletes are relatively large for a domestic dog, with a shoulder height of about 60 to 70 centimeters. A full-grown Argentine Mastiff weighs between 40 and 50 kilograms. It belongs to the molosser dogs.
As a rule, the Argentine Mastiff is a pure white dog. However, it can already be recognized by the black nose and dark eyes that he is not an albino. The white coat color and a short top coat are an important breeding characteristic.
Nevertheless, some specimens carry dark spots on the fur on the head. However, according to the breeding standard, the head must be at least 90 % pure white. Characteristic for the athletic dog is also a dark spotted skin pigmentation. This must not be visible through the coat.
Due to the strictly defined rules regarding coat color, hereditary diseases often occur.
The head appears rather large and massive. The base of the ears is located on the side of the head and is relatively high. The shape of the ears belongs to the tipped ears. The docking of the ears is often practiced in this dog breed. This modification is not species-appropriate and is prohibited in many European countries. By docking the ears, a more dangerous appearance is aimed.
The Argentine Mastiff carries a long saber tail. It has an open character. He is friendly and playful. Since he gets along very well with children, this dog is quite recommended for families.
Actually, this dog breed was bred as a hunting dog. A fact that can not be hidden. The hunter is deep in his bones. Even through consistent education, the hunting instinct cannot be trained away from the Sauhund. Furthermore, this instinct is accompanied by a pronounced intention to kill. When hunting, the Dogo Argentino is extremely skillful and stalks its prey silently.
Due to the strength of character, it is difficult to train an Argentine Mastiff. She does not like to subordinate herself. Inconsistent training can lead to serious problems. An aggressive dog is difficult to get back under control. In general, he counts as a fighting dog. But also towards other dogs the Dogo Argentino usually shows a very dominant behavior.
For these reasons, the breed is on the breed list of some countries. So in some countries the keeping is forbidden or only possible under special conditions.
The dog breed wants to show its fitness and needs to be exercised. With sufficient exercise and good attitude, a Dogo Argentino will live between 10 and 12 years.
The Right Food
The hunger of these muscular guys is not to be underestimated. The food path in the Argentine Mastiff, in relation to other dog breeds, is quite short. That is why this breed is prone to flatulence.
It is to be paid attention to qualitatively high-quality food, otherwise it can come to incompatibilities. These usually manifest themselves as skin allergies. Therefore, you should feed your Dogo Argentino with easily digestible meat. Wet food is always preferable to dry food.
With this type of dog, you should also consider barfing, that is, feeding raw meat. Give the Argentine Mastiff his food best in coarse pieces. This way he has to chew longer and is satiated faster.
In addition, you must make sure to give him enough fiber. Indigestible products, such as flaxseed or a mix of flakes are good for the dog’s intestines. You can also feed fruits and vegetables, because this dog breed is omnivorous. Fruit is healthy and strengthens health.
Strong bones and muscles are also important. It is therefore recommended to use dietary supplements such as calcium or fish oil. This will help you build bones and muscles.
Feeding should be divided into two meals per day. These should always be given at the same time. Only then can the dog’s body adjust to the regularity of feeding. If your dog is still a puppy, you should feed more often than twice a day. In addition, for puppies it is important to resort to a special food for large dog puppies. Normal puppy food usually does not contain enough nutrients for the fast growing dogs.
It is important to pay attention to the correct weight. Excess weight has a fatal effect, especially on Molosser dogs. This mostly affects the joints and the entire musculoskeletal system.
Large dogs are also at increased risk of gastric torsion. This is a life-threatening condition. Regular rest periods after food can prevent this.
Dogo Argentino Care
The Dogo Argentino is recommended only for experienced dog owners. The intelligent dog needs a lot of exercise. That’s why you should walk him a lot and keep him mentally active. He has an excellent sense of smell, so you can play search games with him. If you want, you can even train him to be a search dog. Agility or tournament sports are also recommended.
Argentine Mastiffs are family dogs. Therefore, you should not keep them in a kennel. Dogs that are often left alone are at risk of severe behavioral problems. This can then result in dogs that can no longer be brought under control.
When it comes to coat care, the Argentine Mastiff is not fussy. With its short hair, the outdoor dog was bred to be a sturdy hunting companion. That has remained: He is low-maintenance, to this day.
Several times a week you should brush the coat and thereby remove dirt. It is also recommended to remove dead hair. You can also do this with a dog brush.
You should carefully clean the ears about twice a month. In addition, it may happen that the claws do not wear down enough. Then these must be shortened with claw pliers. Dog’s claws are almost all the way to the front. If you are not experienced in cutting claws, you should better go to the vet.
Regular bathing is harmful for this dog. It destroys the natural weather protection of the coat and should be done only in exceptional cases. In this case, use special dog shampoo.
There is nothing wrong with a summer dip in a stream or wading pool.
For puppies, a hearing test should be done after six weeks. Congenital deafness often occurs in this breed of dog.
The Dogo Argentino is an incredibly strong dog. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to a robust leash. This should have a sufficient length. Often it is not possible to let an Argentine Mastiff run without a leash. Therefore, if necessary, a drag leash is recommended.
Whether a harness or a collar is desirable, you must decide for yourself. For the dog, a harness is more comfortable, it does not press on the larynx. However, a pulling dog is more difficult to hold with a harness. In case of training difficulties, a Halti should be considered.
The Argentinian Mastiff belongs to the class of fighting dogs. Therefore, in some places muzzling may be compulsory. Therefore, you should also consider buying a muzzle.
Toys that challenge the dog’s mind are recommended.