Dogo Argentino

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Is the Dogo Argentino right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Argentine Dogo; Dogo; Argentinian Mastiff

The basics:
The Dogo Argentino was first developed in Argentina in the 1920s, when the original breeder sought to create a powerful breed capable of hunting large prey like boars and jaguars that could also serve as a loyal family pet. Its ancestor, the now extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog, was utterly fearless but also a poor pack hunter because of its high levels of aggression. The Dogo inherited this courage, leading to Argentine legends of this breed single-handedly bringing down mountain lions.

As you might expect with this history, the Dogo is a powerful and highly athletic animal who can be extremely loyal when properly socialized and exercised by an active owner. You will need to know how to confidently provide guidance to a hunting dog with a natural desire to investigate all sorts of interesting smells. Their resemblance to banned breeds such as the American Pit Bull Terrier may mean you will have problems owning these dogs in certain neighborhoods. Check your local law, attitudes, and insurance before acquiring a dog you're not allowed to keep.

The Argentine Kennel Club has recognized this breed since 1964, and the American Kennel Club has recorded it in its Foundation Stock Service since 1995, a step along the way to being recognized as a pure breed in the United States.

Appearance / health:
Similar in appearance to American Pit Bull Terriers, Argentine Dogos are large heavy-boned athletic dogs with a smooth, muscular body. They have a strong neck and broad chest, packed with oodles of strength and stamina. The nose is black and the tail is long.

Argentine Dogos are average shedders. Brushing with a rubber brush keeps the dog's coat shiny and removes any loose hairs. The ears and teeth should be cleaned regularly. Bathing is done occasionally.

Argentine Dogos need frequent exercise owing to their athletic bodies. A run or a jog is appropriate for these dogs.

The owner may not realize that the Dogo is suffering from any ailment as these animals have a high tolerance to pain. As most large dogs, hip dysplasia is common in these dogs. This condition refers to badly formed hips, which may result in lameness. Congenital deafness is common in these dogs. They could be prone to skin problems.

Behavior / temperament:
Argentine Dogos are natural hunters that treat all other animals as prey. They are normally gentle and sensitive with family but can be ruthless with their prey. They are extremely protective of their families, and were bred to be so fearless that they can put their lives at stake to protect their loved ones. They are pets for life, as they do not take to a new owner easily. Once they lose their owner, they may become distrustful of other humans.

They are fast learners but do not respond to heavy-handed training methods. Trainers need to vary their sessions to keep the dog motivated and enthusiastic.

They are not very noisy.

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