Dogo Argentinos are one of the lesser known, and majestic, members of the bully breed family. A lovable lump of a dog with superior power, intelligence and drive. The breed standards for the Dogo Argentino have only recently become official. Leading to questions like, are all Dogo Argentinos white?
All Dogo Argentinos are pure white. According to the breed standards put out by AKC in 2020, Dogo Argentinos are to have a pure white coat. The only allowable coloring to be a black or dark spot appearing on the head covering no more than 10% of the total area.
The history of the Dogo Argentino though short, is one filled with some amazing lineage progressions to develop a very specific, and very selectively bred dog.
Everything from their white coats, to their keen senses make the Dogo Argentino a pure specimen of human will to create the ultimate dog.
Why Are Dogo Argentinos White?
This history of the Dogo Argentino began back in the mid-1920’s Argentina. A teenage boy with the focus of creating the ultimate big-game hunting dog with a pure white coat.
Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez had the vision of creating a fierce hunting dog to pursue wild boar and puma in the grasslands of Argentina while only just a teen aged boy. A boy however who came from a well off family. With the available capital and resources, to make this vision manifest itself in a relatively short period of time.
The very base breed of what we now know as the Dogo Argentino stemmed from the now extinct the Viejo Perro de Pelea Cordobés, or old fighting dog of Cordoba. The Cordoba was infamous for it’s sheer tenacity and willingness to fight to the death in the early days of pit-fighting. With it’s high threshold for pain, the Cordoba was a fierce competitor.
Dr. Nores Martinez began breeding the Cordoba with various other dog breeds to accentuate many of the features he was striving to produce in his new ultimate dog. One of these dogs being the Bull Terrier with it pure white coat and occasional black spot on it’s head, the now trademark look and standard for the Dogo Argentino.
What Breeds Helped Create The Dogo Argentino?
Among the other breeds Martinez used to build his ultimate dog were:
- Great Dane – to add the breeds height.
- Boxer – to add to the breeds agility.
- Spanish Mastiff – to add elements of size and strength
- Old English Bulldog – for their powerful jaws.
- Bull Terrier – for their pure white coats, tenacity and agility.
- Pyrenean Mastiff – another rare pure white dog know for it’s good temperament, and why Dogo Argentinos are always white.
These are just a handful of the other breeds Martinez used to further hone and accentuate the qualities he was going for in what we know now as the Dogo Argentino.
Through years of selective breeding he was able to achieve his ultimate dog and create the standard for the breed in 1928.
One of the ultimate goals for Dr. Martinez in his breeding across various other dogs was to breed out it’s desire to fight and instead replace it with a keen ability to hunt.
The Rise Of The Dogo Argentino
Two decades after completing his breed standard, the Dogo Argentino was beginning to gain some notoriety and was published in a national magazine.
To exhibit his new ultimate dog breed Dr. Martinez organized an exhibition to demonstrate the breed’s gladiator like power and agility against a boar and a puma. The Dogo Argentino was the only one to survive.
Dr. Martinez unfortunately did not live to see the day where his masterpiece of a dog was recognized by the Argentina Kennel Club in 1973. He was killed in what appeared to be a botched robbery attempt in 1956.
The Dogo Argentino lived on however. Achieving recognition in 1995, the breed was added to the American Kennel Club (AKC)’s Foundation Stock Service. In 2020, the AKC announced that it had officially granted the Dogo Argentino full recognition, joining 194 other AKC-recognized breeds. The Dogo Argentino was placed in the AKC’s Working Group.
Are Dogo Argentino Dogs Dangerous?
The Dogo Argentino can be a dangerous dog due to it sheer size, power, and roots as a working hunting dog. They can be especially dangerous to other small animals including cats and other small dogs.
With the Dogo’s dog-fighting and hunting ancestry it is extremely important that they are highly socialized with other dogs and properly trained from a very early age.
The strong prey drive in the Dogo Argentino does not make them ideal for cats in the house. Unless they were raised together. Even in these cases close monitoring is recommended.
The Dogo Argentino also does not do particularly well living with other dogs of the same sex, especially in males. If you plan to have more than one dog in the household opposite sexes and of similar size are preferred.
When it comes to people the Dogo Argentino is a friendly and affectionate dog to people they deem familiar and family. It is important to socialize them from a very early age. Getting them used to all sorts of different people so they are able to develop that stable, discriminating temperament they are well known for.
Though friendly the Dogo Argentino is know for it’s vigilant guard dog loyalty to it’s family. They can have a thunderous bark to back it up. Socialization is key to ensure any over protective or fearful behaviours are not developed that may pose a risk to strangers.
Is A Dogo Argentino A Good Family Dog?
Despite their intimidating appearance, the Dogo is a big softy with their family and loves to cuddle up and be pet.
They have a tendency to always wanting to be near their owners and touching them. Whether that be laying on the couch or just sitting on their feet, Dogos are very loving and affectionate pets.
To ensure your Dogo is a well behaved family member however, you the owner, need to have a strong and steady hand in their training, exercise, socialization, and overall consistency that YOU are the boss.
The Dogo Argentinos are know to have an independent mind, and like to be the boss where they see the opportunity. They will respect an owner who is consistent in role as the pack leader. Because of their high levels of intelligence can be little sponges for training once their attention is captured.
Training from a puppy is your best approach to having a well behaved and attentive dog.
Exercise And Mental Stimulation
Exercise and mental stimulation are a key component to having a well behaved Dogo. This breed has an ancestry rooted in hunting and as a result very high energy. Before you bring a Dogo home you need to be sure you are going to be able to match their energy levels.
This means daily vigorous exercise. The Dogo will need plenty of activities to burn off the large amount of energy they have. Things such as running, swimming, hiking, and very long walks are just a few.
If you are bringing this dog into your home only committed to a few laps around the block each day you may experience behavioural issues.
More advanced forms of exercise such as such as weight-pulling, tracking, agility (obstacle course), or advanced obedience are highly recommended.
Socialization is another key component of having a happy well behaved Dogo family member. Extensive socialization is important for the naturally protective Dogo to get accustom to variety of peoples and environments from a very early age.
They need to be around as many friendly people as possible they can determine abnormal behaviours in people from the behaviours in the “Good Ones”.
Without this early socialization Dogos could, because of their protective nature, become suspicious of people too easily leading to potential bites or other injuries.
If you are able to stick to those key components of exercise, socialization, and consistent training you are setting yourself up to have an amazing dog.
Granted you don’t mind a little extra drooling and slobbering, or maybe having to share a little more of the couch then you are accustomed.