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Argentine Dogo

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Argentine Dogo
Alternative names
Argentinian Mastiff
Dogo Argentino
Country of origin
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The Argentine Dogo (Dogo Argentino in Spanish; also known as the Argentinian Mastiff) is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina for big game hunting.

Appearance (UKC)

The Argentine Dogo is a large, white, short-coated dog with a smooth, muscular body, displaying both power and athletic ability. The length of body is just slightly longer than tall, but bitches may be somewhat longer in body than dogs. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog's height at the withers. The head is powerful with a broad, slightly domed skull and a powerful muzzle that is slightly higher at the nose than the stop, when viewed in profile. Ears may be cropped, or hang naturally, close to the skull. The relatively short tail is set low, thick at the base and tapers to a point. The Argentine Dogo should be evaluated as a hunting dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog's ability to work.


In the 1920s in Argentina, Antonio Nores Martinez started breeding a dog intended to not only be a pet and family guardian, but also a hunting dog capable of taking on big game such as wild boar,peccary and even jaguars and cougars.

Martinez picked the Cordoba Fighting Dog to be the base for the breed. The breed is extinct today but was described as a large and ferocious dog that was both a great hunter and fighter. It is believed that the Cordoba Fighting Dog was developed from Spanish Mastiff, Bull Terrier, Old English Bulldog, and early Boxer stock.

With 12 Cordoba Fighting Dog bitches as the base, he then crossed :

He preferred white dogs for hunting as it could easily be seen during the hunt. As a result,only harlequin Great Danes, white boxers, and white pointers were used. Four Irish Wolfhounds were imported from the U.S, all of which were descended from show champions. Great Pyrenees also had to be imported specimens. Some Dogos appear with a black patch on the eye,this is due to Patched bull terriers being used in breeding.

Martinez kept improving the breed via selective breeding to introduce the traits that were desired. The first standard for the breed was written in 1928. This is the only molosser breed whose ancestry is known properly.



Argentine Dogos are very accomplished hunters, and are widely used today, mainly in South America. They are considered to be a working dog, not only for hunting but also as a tracker, as a guard dog, and for general police work including narcotics detection. They are even occasionally used as a seeing-eye dog. In Latin America,this is the most popular breed. In Cuba,this is the most popular breed.

Some Dogo Argentino's such as this pup have a black patch on the eye due to Bull Terrier ancestry.Only a patch on the eye is allowed Some Dogo Argentino's such as this pup have a black patch on the eye due to Bull Terrier ancestry.Only a patch on the eye is allowed


Dogfighters have picked up on the dogs' capability as a fierce fighter. Dog fighting is forbidden in Argentina as well as many other countries. Dogos can have an aggressive temperament if not socialized at an early age, particularly with another dog of the same sex. Argentine Dogos are banned in both Australia and Great Britain. The dog is one of the four restricted species of dog specifically mentioned in the United Kingdom's Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.


Carlos Sorín's 2005 film "Bombón (el Perro)" 2005, set in Patagonia, finds an unemployed man have his luck change after being given a dogo for a good turn, and a fine specimen is shown at home and on exhibition.

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