Dogo Argentino Breed Guide

Some dogs are bred to help on the farm. Others are bred as companions. Even hunting dogs aren’t necessarily thought of as actively hunting other animals. The Dogo Argentino is an interesting breed in that it was bred to help hunt big game.

Learn more about this Argentinian breed by reading below.

Breed History

The Dogo Argentino has a relatively short history when it comes to some other breeds. It has only been bred since 1928. It was in this year that a medical doctor named Antonio Nores Martinez set out to breed a dog that can not only guard a family but help to take down big game.

Martinez ended up starting with a Cordoba dog as the base dog. The breed doesn’t exist anymore today, but Martinez crossed it with Great Dane, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Old English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Pyrenean Mastiff, English Pointer, Irish Wolfhound and Dogue de Bordeaux.

With selective breeding for desired characteristics, the first Dogo Argentino litter was brought to the United States in 1970 by Dr. Raul Zeballos. In 1973 the Dogo Argentino breed was officially recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). The FCI is an international federation that oversees many different kennel clubs.

Physical Traits

The Dogo Argentino is a large breed that stands over two feet at the shoulder. As is normal with dog breeds, the males are usually larger than the females. The breed can get up to one hundred pounds, as well. The dog is thickly built and can be said to resemble the American Pitbull Terrier or American Bulldog. They should be colored entirely white. Some black markings are accepted around the eyes or on the head. The American Kennel Club states that dark markings should be on no more than ten percent of their head.

Health Traits

Overall, the Dogo Argentino is a very healthy dog. They are predisposed to the same illnesses that affect many other large breeds. The most common thing large breeds develop is hip or elbow dysplasia. Other conditions that affect the Dogo Argentino include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Deafness

Deafness is one of the most common conditions that can affect the Dogo Argentino. It’s estimated that around ten percent of this breed is deaf in one or both ears. This deafness has genetic roots and affects other white-colored dogs like the Dalmatian, white Boxer and white Bull Terrier.


The Dogo Argentino’s short, white coat is very easy to maintain. You really only need to bathe as needed to keep them looking good. A weekly brushing will keep their coat tidy and help you avoid it landing all over your floors and furniture.

You should also make sure you brush their teeth a few times a week and check their nails when you brush them to ensure they do not become too long. Along with checking their teeth and nails, be sure to check their ears to ensure you avoid infections


The Dogo Argentino is a very loyal breed. They were originally bred to help protect the family, and they take that job very seriously. They have an independent spirit but are highly territorial. They see their family as their territory, so they will fiercely defend their family from intruders.

They can also be very wary of strangers. This means that early socialization is a must. An unsocialized Dogo Argentino can be a very powerful force. This means the breed would be best for an experienced trainer. They also don’t do very well with other small pets. The Dogo Argentino has a very strong prey drive. This makes it difficult to introduce cats or other small dogs to them. If they are trained and socialized properly from a young age, this can be overcome.

The Dogo Argentino also needs a lot of exercise. They won’t do well in an apartment as they are much too large and require a lot of stimulation. Many Dogo Argentino trainers suggest taking them on multiple walks per day to get their energy out.

Final Thoughts

The Dogo Argentino is a strong, smart and powerful dog breed. They are also prized for their loyalty. These traits make them a great choice for military, police and search and rescue efforts. But these dogs only thrive when they are allowed to burn their excess energy with a strong handler.

The Dogo Argentino can be a wonderful family companion if you are willing to put the work into training them. Just like with any dog, early socialization and training is the key to having a trustworthy companion.

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