Dogo Argentino

Popular today as a playmate for children, the Dogo Argentino was originally a fighting dog created at the beginning of the twentieth century by crossing some hunting breeds.


Described as the dog with "Coat of White Satin, Body of Steel, Heart of Gold", this imposing breed has an unique beginning. It was planned by two schoolboy brothers called Antonio and Augustin Nores Martinez. In 1925, when Antonio was 18 and Augustin was 17, they started a breeding programme that would preoccupy them for the rest of their lives. Beginning with ten bitches of a angry breed, called the Cordoba Dog, they set about creating the ideal animal for hunting wild boar across the great expanses of the Argentinean pampas.

In order to reduce the aggression of the Cordoba Dog and improve its hunting qualities, they arranged a series of crosses involving no fewer than nine other breeds.

There can hardly be another breed in the world that can boast such a complex origin. After 20 years of careful selective breeding, the brothers were ready to present their perfected dog to the world and, in 1947, Antonio, now a successful surgeon, published the first breed standard.

Nine years later Antonio was murdered while on a wild-boar hunt, and it was left to his brother Augustin to continue to promote and support the breed. Augustin had risen to become an Argentinean ambassador, and his travels to distant embassies helped to spread the word about their impressive dog.

This pure white dog, looking remarkably like a white Pit Bull Terrier, was more than just a hunting dog. It was also employed in a wide variety of subsidiary roles, such as guarding, drug finding, guide-dog work for the blind, bomb detection, police work, therapy-dog work with retarded children.


The breed stands about 26-27 1/2 inches/65-70 cm at the withers. Its body should be rectangular, massive and muscular but never heavy or lymphatic. The skull should be broad and also massive with a strong, fairly short muzzle. The ears are cropped quite short, but with pointed tips and the tail should be left long. The coat should be smooth with a hard texture and always white.

Country of Origin: Argentina

Height: Males 24.5-27 in (62-68.5 cm) / females 23-5-25-5 in (60-65 cm)

Weight: 80-100 lb (36.5-45.5 kg) [est.]

Coat: Short, thick, glossy, smooth, uniform

Color: Solid white; may have black patch at eye

Other Names: Argentinian Mastiff; Argentine Dogo

Registries (With Group): AKC (Miscellaneous); FCI (Molossoid); UKC (Guardian)


The Dogo Argentino is the only dog developed exclusively in Argentina. It originated in the 1920s as a tough guardian—a hunter of wild boar, puma, and jaguar that was also a trustworthy and stable family dog. Today's Argentine Dogos are still used to hunt big game in packs and to guard. They are also reliable home protectors, family dogs, and police dogs.


This sometimes sweet breed can turn dangerous, and he needs a clear signal from his owner to determine the severity or potential threat of a situation before he takes it upon himself to figure it out.

In personality it has been described as intelligent, loyal, docile, faithful, patient, tolerant, obedient and willing to please. When in action as a hunter, however, it is brave, determined and tireless. As a guardian, it is prepared to fight any intruder to the death, regardless of injury to itself. Its one weakness is that ten per cent of its puppies are born deaf.


Regular, vigorous exercise is best for the Dogo Argentino, who needs to be active and given plenty to explore in the course of a day.


Experienced trainers are best for this protective breed. Socialization from an early age is critical.


The Argentine's short, smooth coat is easy to care for with brushing and an occasional bath. Because of its sleek white coat, the breed is susceptible to sunburn.


Average life span is 10 to 12 years. Breed health concerns may include bloat; deafness; and hip dysplasia.

Gallery of Dogo Argentino