Argentino Dogo Dog Breed: Facts, Traits, Character and Look

Argentino Dog Breed_ Facts, Traits, Character and Look

The Dogo Argentino is an imposing, large working dog breed with roots in Argentina. These mastiff-like canines have a robust, muscular build with a short white coat. Argentino Dogos are courageous, intelligent, athletic dogs bred as hunters working in packs when going after big-game such as wild boar and puma. Dogos are also trained for search and rescue, police assistance, service dogs, guides for the blind, competitive obedience, Schutzhund, and military work. The breed requires lots of exercise every day. 

Dogo Argentinos love their human families, and along with their affection, they are watchful guardians that will not tolerate anyone who threatens their family members. Still, the Argentino Dogo breed is typically not ideal for first-time dog owners, as it requires careful and consistent training and socialization. 

The Argentino Dogo has 4 to 8 puppies per litter once per year, and their lifespan is 12 to 14 years. The average weight of the males is 94 pounds, significantly heavier than the females that weigh around 74 pounds, with only about a one-inch difference in their heights. The males’ average height is 25 inches, and the females stand 24 inches in the withers. Argentino Dogos have fine, smooth, short, white coats with minimal need for grooming. 

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What is the History of the Argentino Dogo?

The Dogo Argentino originated in the province of Cordoba, in the central region of the Republic of Argentina. Its creator was Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez, a doctor and member of a family with a deep sense of tradition. In 1928, his passion for dogs led him to set the basis and a standard for a new dog breed, which he named Dogo Argentino.

His work involved the methodical crossbreeding of several purebreds with the now extinct, Old Fighting Dog of Cordoba, a robust and vigorous dog. He added Great Dane, Pointer, Bull Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Pyrenean Mastiff, Irish Wolfhound, and Spanish Mastiff to this dog. Through different generations, Dr. Nores Martinez accomplished his purpose, producing the first family of Dogo Argentino.

Its strength, tenacity, sharp sense of smell, and bravery make it the best dog among those used for hunting wild boars, peccaries, pumas, and other predators that can be found in the vast and heterogeneous areas of the Argentine territory. Its harmony, balance, and athleticism are ideal for enduring long trips in any weather conditions and then fighting fiercely with the pursued prey.

In 1964 the breed was recognized by the FCA (Federación Cinologica Argentino), which opened the studbooks to initiate registry. In 1973 the breed was accepted by FCI as the first and only Argentine breed, thanks to the great passion, work, and effort of Dr. Augustin Nores Martinez, its late creator’s brother and successor. The breed received full AKC Recognition in January 2020.

What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Argentino Dogos?

The Dogo is a courageous and intelligent dog with a strong and natural instinct to protect its family and home. Dogos are very social dogs and are happiest when included in all family activities. Argentino Dogos make a strong distinction between familiar people and strangers, so it is imperative that they be well trained and socialized early. Argentino Dogos are courageous endurance hunters and will work individually or in packs. They have also successfully been used in police protection work. Below are more breed traits and characteristics of the Argentino Dogo.

Argentino Dogos 

Characteristics

Temperament

The Dogo is a courageous and intelligent dog with a strong and natural instinct to protect its family and home. Dogos are very social dogs and are happiest when included in all family activities. Dogos make a strong distinction between familiar people and strangers, so it is imperative that they be well trained and socialized early. 

Heavy breathing and palpitation are common symptoms of the dog getting excited or hungry. When properly trained and socialized from a young age, it makes the dog more friendly towards other species, including humans.

Argentino Dogos are courageous endurance hunters and will work individually or in packs. They have also successfully been used in police protection work. 

Adaptability Level

Argentine Dogos are okay with occasional changes in their routine. Changes in playtime and bedtime are also acceptable, so is relocation to a different home, as long as they are not removed from the love of their families and have ample space for playtime and running to spend excess energy. 

The Dogo Argentino does not do good in cold weather. Dogo Argentino’s have a thin, short coat that is not ideal for colder temperatures. They can be very sensitive to the cold and prolonged exposure to sub-zero temperatures can quickly lead to frostbite and hypothermia. 

Sensitivity Level

Argentine Dogos have an average sensitivity level, which may become more intense when they spend a lot of time with families and less time hunting. They may even develop the skill of sensing the emotions of a loved human family member. When scolded, a Dogo might become anxious and withdraw because it is essential to please their owners. It can be particularly stressful for Argentino Dogos if the trainer’s techniques involve punishing negatives instead of praising positives.

Affection Level

Argentine Dogos also have average affection towards their owners. They are friendly and protective, but not to the point where they can’t sit without having their owners in their line of sight. 

Dogo Argentinos should not be left alone for long periods of time. Because of their high intelligence and strong bond with their family they can become easily bored and develop separation anxiety. This can lead to problem behaviors such as excessive barking, destructive chewing, and other anxiety-related issues.

Overall Friendliness

The Dogo Argentino tends to have a loving and loyal temperament with its family, but it can be wary of strangers. The high prey drive part of its personality often makes it a poor match for other household pets, especially smaller animals. Overall, this is a bright and athletic dog breed that needs a lot of daily activity.

Kid-Friendly 

Dogo Argentinos are very loyal to their families, including children, so long as they are introduced and accustomed to their presence. However, visiting children may present a bit more of a challenge, as this breed does not naturally take to strangers. Children should always be supervised with dogs, even when they are family, and they should be trained on how to interact with animals to avoid incidents. Socializing Dogo Argentinos early and teaching them to interact with new people and animals will help, and the earlier training begins, the better.

Pet-Friendly

Dogo Argentinos have a high prey drive, which can cause trouble for smaller pets, including cats and other dogs. Dogos may learn to interact with these animals if trained and socialized properly, but this breed is best suited to a home with no other pets or only has other large dogs.

Exercise Needs

Argentino Dogos require regular intensive exercise, as they are a very energetic breed. At least one hour of walking daily and occasionally, a good, long run is needed to release the excess energy. They should also be used for their hunting skills once in a while, lest they become hyperactive and destructive. Dogo Argentines are strong-willed and need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, so apartment living isn’t the ideal situation for them.

Playfulness Level

With a courageous history as hunters, the Dogo Argentinos of today are moderately playful. They like playing by themselves and with their owners, but they aren’t always excited about games. Instead, they play for enough time a day that their quota for daily physical activity is complete. These dogs like to play games like fetch. Argentine Dogos trained to play with toys when puppies are much more playful.

Energy Levels

Argentine Dogos are very energetic. They are active throughout the day, and you’ll find them running around in the garden plenty of times. They don’t mind walking for an hour or more, and if a swim can be worked in somewhere, your Dogo would be thrilled. These dogs sleep for a small portion of the day.

Trainability Level

Dogo Argentino puppies need lots of physical activity and mental stimulation along with patient training; otherwise, they can become bored and destructive. Their inherited pack mentalities will likely challenge their owners for Alpha status. It takes a stern trainer to take charge of an Argentino Dogo because they are unlikely to obey the commands of an indecisive trainer and can be stubborn at times. Dogo Argentinos are often used to help with big-game hunting, though they are also trained for police work, search and rescue, military work, and as service dogs.

Intelligence Level

Argentine Dogos have high intelligence levels, and they understand and memorize new commands in 15-25 repetitions. Not only do they have excellent brainpower, but their senses also make them highly intelligent. Their sense of smell is well-developed, and they have a sharp sense of hearing. They can warn their owners about trespassers based on their hearing alone.

Barking Tendency

They bark loudly when angry or bored and unable to spend excess energy. Dogo Argentinos absolutely hate to be treated poorly. This dog gets very loud and expresses anger, fear, and aggression through excessive barking. 

Shedding Level

The Dogo Argentino has a smooth white coat that sheds heavily. Brush him at least once a week to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy.

You may have heard that this breed is hypoallergenic. That is not true. No breed is. Allergies are not caused by a particular dog coat type but by dander, the dead skin cells that all dogs shed

What is the Average Lifespan of the Argentino Dogo?

The Argentino Dogo has adapted to all types of hunting and is considered one of the top hunting dogs. Thanks to his excellent sense of smell and hearing, incredible stamina, and unfailing determination, the Argentino Dogo is effective in all types of hunting and on all terrains.

Domesticated Argentino Dogo’s lifespan is 12 to 14 years. The expected lifespans of the breeds used to develop the Argentino.

  • Irish Wolfhound 6 to 8 years
  • Mastiffs 8 to12 years
  • Bulldogs 8 to 12 years
  • Bull Terriers 10 to 12 years
  • Boxers 10 to 14years
  • Great Dane 10 to 14
  • English Pointer 12 to 17 years

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Argentino Dogos?

While the Dogo Argentinos were originally bred to hunt big game, their many skills led to them serving in additional fields throughout the years. For instance, Argentino Dogos are commonly used as guard dogs and other service dogs. It is an extremely strong dog, which makes it suitable for a wide range of jobs, and many live in homes as companions and pets to people. Their versatility makes them more valuable and also pretty scarce.

The average price of a puppy is from $1,000 to $4,000, assuming you purchase them from a qualified breeder. Depending on their bloodlines and other criteria, some dogs may cost as much as $8,000. Dogs from other sources can cost less, but they may be more prone to health and behavioral problems. It would be best to consider annual expenses related to the maintenance of your Dogo and its wellbeing.

The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, spaying or neutering, etc. You can expect to spend about $3,000 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $1,700 a year. 

The typical annual costs of having a medium-sized hound like an Argentino Dogo, food and medical only, are listed below, excluding toys, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc.

  • US: Average $650 USD
  • Australia: Average $1,500 AUD
  • United Kingdom: Average ₤ 1,183

The most regular annual costs for dogs similar to the Argentino Dogo consist of:

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Grooming costs will not form a significant part of the maintenance bills for your furry friend. Argentino Dogos need no more than regular weekly brushing to keep the coat healthy and the Dogo looking good. These dogs don’t require frequent baths, only if they roll into something dirty or smelly. Argentino Dogos’ coat colors are white.

The Argentino Dogo is an average drooler. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. The Argentino Dogo has a moderate risk for obesity, especially if hunting dogs become house pets with insufficient exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together.

What is the best diet for Argentino Dogos?

Your dog’s adult size determines its dietary needs through all life stages. Thus, base your  Argentino Dogo’s diet on a large breed’s unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout its different life stages. Dogo Argentinos fall in the large breed class and most dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds. 

It is always a good idea to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as their Dogos grow. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Dogo from the table, all it does is add weight, instead, follow the advice below to ensure your Dogo friend’s optimal health.

Argentino Dogo is an active, athletic breed type. It will thus need food that contains animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. A dog of this size, activity level, and demeanor will thrive best on premium dry food because this food type contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

Argentino Dogo puppy’s portion depends on age, but 3.5 to 4.5 cups are appropriate. In contrast, an active, healthy adult Argentino Dogo should have 5 to 6 cups, depending on the brand and formula of the food. Feeding Argentino Dogos several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

Feed your Argentino Dogo a food formulated for large dog breeds, recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors.

Orijen Dry Dog Food for active large breeds, with recipes formulated for each life stage, is a good choice, made with WholePrey animal ingredients, including organs and bone, delivering 85% quality animal ingredients, freeze-dried coated for the wag-worthy raw flavor dogs love.

Below is a list of what to look for in the dry dog food formula when choosing the best nutrition for your Argentino Dogo.

  • Lasting energy providers: Dog food made with premium meats like chicken, duck, turkey, beef, lamb, salmon, and novel proteins like venison, bison, buffalo, and wild boar. Fiber-rich carbs and highly digestible proteins keep your Dogo feeling energized and full throughout the day.
  • Ingredients for better health: Food that includes powerful superfoods like tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, along with their immune-boosting properties.
  • Optimizing Nutrient Absorption: Recipes with chelated minerals promote mineral attachment to proteins for maximized absorption during the digestive process.
  • Immune System Support: Formulas with prebiotics and species-specific probiotics with bacteria that are naturally found in a dog’s GI tract.
  • Perfectly Balanced Omegas: Contains just the correct dose of fatty acids, marine-sourced omega-3 and omega-6 from plant sources.

When Argentino Dogos are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why Orijen for active breeds is crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should an Argentino Dogo Puppy Eat? 

The Argentino Dogo is a large-sized breed whose pups under 12 weeks should get four bowls of food per day. When Argentino Dogos become three months old, owners can feed them three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Argentino Dogo puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for large-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Argentino Dogos should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times over two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • Argentino Dogos with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar are the exceptions because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the common health problems of Argentino Dogos?

Argentino Dogo is a healthy breed, but regular veterinarian checkups remain essential. The following list of health conditions should be monitored:

  • Hip dysplasia is a deformation that occurs and develops as Argentino Dogo puppies grow. It is caused by loose joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Argentino Dogo grows and becomes heavier. Although it could start in puppyhood, it usually only becomes evident in adult dogs, making annual medical examinations crucial.
  • Elbow Dysplasia is the most common cause of lameness in the forelimbs of active breeds like the Argentino Dogo.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) or Gastric Torsion is also known as ‘bloat’, A life-threatening disorder that happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and becomes twisted. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention.
  • Hypothyroidism is insufficient production of thyroid hormone, causing hair loss, dry skin and coat, and susceptibility to other skin diseases in Argentino Dogo.
  • Deafness: in Argentino Dogos can either be a temporary, partial, or total loss of hearing—due to a wax build-up in the ear canals—or permanent hearing loss due to a host of causes such as severe, untreated ear infections, congenital defects, old age, and injuries.
  • Muscle Strains and injuries happen to any dog that works for a living, the Argentino Dogo will have a higher chance of developing injuries over their lifetime than will companion animals or show dogs. Most commonly, they will be seen at a veterinary clinic for lacerations, claw injuries, soft tissue injuries, and fractures.

What are the nutritional needs of Argentino Dogos?

The nutritional needs of an Argentino Dogo include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the Argentino Dogo are listed below.

  • Protein: Argentino Dogos need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids they contain essential for Argentino Dogo’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Argentino Dogo’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Argentino Dogo need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Argentino Dogo sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, too much carbohydrate can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Argentino Dogo puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging dogs by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of Argentino Dogo.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Argentino Dogos chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for an Argentino Dogo’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Argentino Dogos.

Where to Buy or Adopt an Argentino Dogo?

Argentino Dogos are incredibly rare and, therefore, hard to find, even in Argentina, its country of origin. If you purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay up to $5,000, and for puppies with sought-after bloodlines, prices could be as high as $8,000.

If you manage to track down Argentino Dogo breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Argentino Dogo puppies are often peppy and playful—all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes. 

The best way to ensure you get a healthy Argentino Dogo hound puppy is to reach out to registered kennel clubs like the National Kennel Club (NKC), Dog Registry of America Inc (DRA), American Canine Association, Inc. (ACA), Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), or probably the best authority on this breed, the Federacion Cinologica Argentina.

Other good options are listed below.

  • The American Kennel Club’s Marketplace. The AKC has information about available Argentino Dogo puppies. They know of expected litters for those who want to get their names on a waiting list.
  • De Ultimo Corredor Kennel from Slovenia 
  • EuroBreeder.com is an online search engine for Dogo Argentinos worldwide
  • EuroPuppy.com is an online source of breeders and rescue Dogos available across Europe.

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

Although you can buy or adopt an Argentino Dogo from abroad, not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries allow the importation of Argentino Dogos may find the logistics challenging. Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Argentino Dogo is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel.

Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What are the Rescue Clubs for Argentino Dogos?

Even though the breed is slightly uncommon, you might be able to find an Argentino Dogo or Argentino Dogo mix at a local rescue or shelter. These dogs come with proper vetting, spay or neuter, and a history of health issues. You might not find Argentino Dogo puppies as quickly, but you can find an adult one in desperate need of love.

If you adopt a rescued hound, you can expect to pay $150 to $300, covering vaccinations, spay or neuter, and other basic care. The Federacion Cinologica Argentina is the best place to contact to get information on reputable rescue facilities. Registered kennel clubs in the U.S. and Canada handle requests and inquiries about reputable rescue facilities with available Argentino Dogo hounds. One such facility is DC Dogos Inc, a non-profit organization dedicated to Dogo Argentino rescue efforts in the U.S.

 It is essential to become familiar with your country’s importation laws if you fall in love with an Argentino Dogo seeking a loving home in another country. It must be noted that the Argentino Dogo breed is not allowed in the U.K.

How to Name an Argentino Dogo?

Naming an Argentino Dogo might require different criteria than new Argentino Dogo parents might expect. It is never the actual name the pup responds to; instead, it is the sound and how it is said. There might be a specific inspiration like history, a movie, nature, or the night sky, and in the case of the Argentino Dogo, why not use their French roots as inspiration. 

The building blocks for naming an Argentino Dogo include the significance of the sound. The Argentino Dogo’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but as far as your canine companion goes, only the sound matters. Argentino Dogos respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

Choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction than when calling your Argentino Dogo. It might be a good idea to call out a name you like and check your Dogo pup’s reaction. Be creative use different tones for each syllable. Don’t rush; try several, and if your favorite name is too long or too short, add or remove bits until you have composed the perfect unique sound that your precious pup will recognize from a distance.

An example of using a movie as inspiration is the 2004 film El Perro, or Bombon in English, featuring an Argentino Dogo. Names to use from that film include El Perro, Bombon, and Coco. 

But why not consider any of the names listed below to honor your Dogo’s roots? 

Male 

Argentino Dogo Names

Information About The Name

Lobo 

‘Wolf’ in Spanish

Rolo

“Famous Wolf” in Spanish

Mateo

“God’s Gift” in Spanish

Savio 

“Intelligent” in Spanish

Female

Argentino Dogo Names

Information About The Name

Bonita

“Pretty” in Spanish

Yuki  

“Snow” in Spanish (Perfect for your white Dogo pup

Peppi

“Everlasting” in Spanish

Mireia

“Admired” in Spanish

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Argentino Dogo?

Argentino Dogo resulted from purposeful breeding to enhance the different traits and characteristics necessary for good hunting dogs. Some of those breeds are similar to the Argentino Dogo, and in some cases, similar breeds may be available in countries other than Argentina. Below are some of the similarities between the Argentino Dogo and two of the breeds that contributed to the gene pool for the breeding of the Argentino Dogo. 

Boxer: The Boxer dog breed has German origins, while the Dogo has roots in Argentina. Although the Argentino Dogo weighs a bit more than the Boxer, the two breeds are both working dogs, and they share several other traits and characteristics. Both are categorized as large breeds with short, low-shedding coats, requiring minimal maintenance. Some of the personality traits they share include affection, loyalty, and protectiveness. Intelligence, playfulness, higher than average sensitivity, and a craving for human interaction are also traits of the Dogo and Boxer. They are easy to train, and both dogs’ barking levels are low. 

Pointer: Another German dog, the Pointer, contributed to the gene pool in the development of the Argentino Dogo. The Argentino Dogo and the Pointer are working dogs in the large breed category. The two breeds share several other traits and characteristics. Their smooth and short coats make grooming easy for both. Some of the personality traits they share include independence, intelligence, loyalty, and low barking levels. Both breeds are alert, courageous, affectionate, cheerful and playful, sensitive, and craving attention from their human families. Both breeds are easy to train.

Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.