The Dogo Argentino is an imposing working dog breed that is native to Argentina. This breed was originally bred to hunt big game. It features a thick muscular build and a short white coat. Being an intelligent, courageous, and athletic dog, it requires loads of exercise daily.
An Argentino is an affectionate dog breed that can be a watchful guardian for your entire family. Nonetheless, this dog requires consistent training and isn’t ideal for first-time dog owners. The Argentinian Mastiffs make excellent guard dogs who are known for their strength and agility.
- Height: 24 to 25.5 inches (female), 24 to 26.5 inches (male)
- Weight: 80 to 100 pounds
- Coat: Short, smooth with black spots on the skin
- Coat Color: White
- Physical Attributes: The length of the dog’s body is slightly longer than its height. Its front leg length is almost equal to half of the dog’s height at the withers. While viewing the profile you will see that the dog’s head has a slightly domed skill and its muzzle is slightly higher at the nose compared to the stop. Its low-set tail is thick at the base and tapers to a point.
Characteristics of Dogo Argentino
- Though the Dogo Argentino is both loyal and loving towards its family, it can get apprehensive about meeting strangers. Families rely on this dog breed as they are great with children.
- They aren’t a good match if you have other smaller household pets courtesy of the high prey drive.
- Originally, they were bred to be hunters and can be trained for competitive obedience, police assistance, military work, search and rescue, a guide for the blind, and as service dogs.
- These dogs have a quiet nature and don’t bark excessively. They might turn vocal on seeing or hearing something that might interest them.
- You might have to keep them on a leash or inside fenced-in areas to prevent them from running away.
- You shouldn’t leave them alone for prolonged periods(exceeding 8 hours) as they tend to get bored easily in lack of simulation. To keep boredom at bay, you can take them for runs or long walks and also provide them with ample toys.
- The Dogo Argentinos can be standoffish towards strangers. You can teach them to be friendly with proper introductions.
- They possess a high degree of endurance and courage and can work individually or in packs.
Despite being a pretty healthy breed, the Dogo Argentino is prone to certain health issues that have been listed below:
- Deafness – Approximately 25% of Dogos are born deaf. Thus, it’s important to be aware of this health issue and also the signs of deafness. You can even get your dog tested by a vet on suspecting a cause of concern such as:
- Failure to respond to commands
- Not coming or reacting when called
- Appearing oblivious to their surroundings
Various tests like the auditory brainstem response testing and the BAER testing (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) can be performed by the vet. Though it’s advisable to be aware of deafness, this shouldn’t prevent you from bringing home this amazing breed as deaf Dogos can lead a healthy and happy life with their families. They might even make awesome pets with proper socialization and training.
- Hip Dysplasia – Under this condition, the joint between the thigh-bone and hip gets affected causing intense pain and lameness. In extreme cases, it can lead to arthritis. This disorder can be commonly seen in larger dog breeds and results from a congenital issue as the dog ages.
- Bloating – This life-threatening condition occurs when the stomach twists by trapping gas and air inside causing the dog’s abdomen to swell. It can impact dogs of all breeds and lead to painful consequences.
- Cancer –Dogos are extremely vulnerable to developing certain types of cancers like lymphoma or osteosarcoma (bone cancer) which is why it is necessary to have them checked regularly by a veterinarian.
- Periodontal Disease – Dental disease is common among most domesticated dogs and cats. You should ensure their dental hygiene to prevent gingivitis and tartar buildup. It is recommended to brush Dogo Argentino’s teeth three times every week and schedule annual dental cleanings with a vet once they attain 3 or 4 years of age.
- Laryngeal Paralysis – This causes the vocal folds to open partially or prevent them from opening at all leading to increased breathing sounds and trouble breathing.
- Hypothyroidism–This occurs when the dog’s thyroid gland produces inadequate levels of thyroid hormone causing weight gain, increased susceptibility to infections, disorders with the dog’s coat, and low energy levels.
Just like other large breeds, you can feed a large-breed puppy formula to the Dogo Argentino. A nutritionally balanced canine diet alongside plenty of fresh water is required for its proper growth and development while preventing joint ailments.
As puppies, you might have to feed them four to six times daily to main proper blood sugar levels. With time, they will have to be fed one to three times a day.
You can discuss the type of diet and how much you feed your dog with your vet as this gets influenced to a great extent by activity level, size, age, and other factors.
If you wish to prevent your canine from getting overweight, then you need to be cautious about feeding them treats and other extra food. Since Dogo Argentinos are eager eaters, a slow-feeding bowl can come in handy to keep your pet buffered from rapid food ingestion.
Fish oil can serve as an ingenious addition to the canine’s diet since it contains omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids which support the health of the heart, joints, kidneys, haircoat, and skin. It is also recommended to give them a joint supplement containing methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), glucosamine, and chondroitin as Dogo Argentinos are highly vulnerable to developing hip dysplasia and arthritis. You should start administering this supplement from an early age for the best results.
Exercise for Dogo Argentino
To keep your Dogo Argentino healthy and happy, you should make them exercise daily at least for an hour. While brisk walks are an excellent option, you should ideally make them run freely in a secure area as that can tire out your canine.
You can try out a spirited game of fetch or engage in dog sports like obedience, agility, or weight pull as these will challenge them physically and also help them burn some mental energy. They have a high prey drive and need to be kept on a leash while outside.
The Dogo Argentino doesn’t have much of a doggie odor and sheds moderately. They aren’t hypoallergenic dogs but you should brush their coat weekly using a rubber curry or soft bristle brush to remove loose hair and also distribute oils evenly. Make sure to brush in the direction of hair growth to prevent any mats or tangles from forming.
It is also recommended to bathe them occasionally whenever they get too dirty. You should examine their ears weekly for signs of debris, dirt, redness, or other abnormalities. The dog’s nails shall also have to be checked monthly to see whether they require a trim. Daily brushing of teeth is recommended to maintain proper dental hygiene.
Since the Dogo Argentino is extremely susceptible to getting sunburnt, you should limit its time under direct sunlight and also talk with your vet about possible sun protection tactics. The white coat causes them to often develop tear stains under their eyes following excessive chronic tearing. You should consult your vet in such cases.
You should try and start training your Dogo Argentino as young as possible as they might get difficult to manage if they turn into big and strong yet ill-mannered adults. As a pet parent, you need to consistently use positive reinforcements while training as harsh corrections might hinder the learning procedure.
You can start with basic commands like sit, come, stay, and down. Once your Dogo becomes more obedient, you can move on to more advanced commands like rolling over, fetching, agility tricks, playing dead, etc. It is necessary to enrol them in a puppy obedience class once they are of age and also expose them to various people, dogs, and situations to develop their confidence and comfort.
Dogo Argentino puppies can cost between $800 to $1000. If you are thinking of bringing one home, then you need to be prepared to spend the necessary money as they are a high-maintenance breed.