The Dogo Argentino is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina primarily for the purpose of big-game hunting, including wild boar; the breeder, Antonio Nores Martínez, also wanted a dog that would exhibit steadfast bravery and willingly protect its human companion. It was first bred in 1928, from the Cordoba Fighting Dog along with a wide array of other breeds including the Great Dane.
The Dogo Argentino is a large white short-coated dog with muscular and strong body that rarely has any markings (any type of marking or spot on the coat is considered a flaw). While it is not accepted in many of the clubs, a Dogo Argentino can have a black spot on its head known as 'pirata' and it is accepted by the Federación Cinológica Argentina.
Breed Standard Height: for females is 60–65 centimetres (24–26 inches) and for males is 60–68 centimetres (24–27 inches), measured at the withers. Weight: from 40–45 kilograms (88–99 pounds). The length of the body is just slightly longer than the height. 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 has a broad, slightly domed skull and the muzzle is slightly higher at the nose than the stop, when viewed in profile. The tail is set low, thick at the base and tapers to a point. It has been described as looking similar to the American Bulldog but very tall with a solid white coat. The breed has also been described as looking similar to the American Pit Bull Terrier, even though the American Pit Bull Terrier is far smaller (13.5 to 27 kilograms).
Dogos are big-game hunters and are also trained for search and rescue, police assistance, service dogs, guide for the blind, competitive obedience, Schutzhund and military work.
Dogo Argentinos have been bred specifically to allow better socialization with other dogs and are well suited for group environments. They get along with other pets in most rural and urban settings ranging from a complete outdoor farm dog to urban housing with a small yard, to crowded apartment buildings. Because aggressive traits are purposely bred out, attacks on humans or other pets are extremely rare. The Dogo has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
As in the Dalmatian, white Boxer, and the white Bull Terrier, the dogo may experience pigment-related deafness. There is possibility of an approximate 10% deafness rate overall with some dogos afflicted uniaurally (one deaf ear) and some binaurally (deaf in both ears). Studies have shown that the incidence of deafness is drastically reduced when the only breeding stock used is that with bilaterally normal hearing.
Hunting and legality
While the Dogo Argentino was bred primarily from the extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog, it was bred to be a cooperative hunter, i.e. to accompany other catch dogs and bay dogs on the hunt without fighting with the other dogs. Aggressive traits inherent in the Cordoban Dog were specifically bred out to enable a stable cooperative nature in a pack. However, in areas where illegal dog fighting continues, the Dogo Argentino has been used for fighting due to its fearless nature and great stamina.
The Dogo Argentino is banned in certain countries including Ukraine, Denmark, Iceland, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the Cayman Islands. In the United Kingdom, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is illegal to own a Dogo Argentino without lawful authority.