The Dogo Argentino is a bold, tenacious, undaunted hunting dog that was invented in 20s of XX century to quarry various ferocious predators on the vast plains of Argentina. Being a true adept in its major specialisation it also possesses well-balanced and peaceable disposition, which makes it a wonderful companion animal. However this fairly rare breed is recommended only for energetic and experienced dog lovers.
The honour of creation of the only Argentinean canine variety belongs to a passionate hunter and dog lover, Antonio Nores Martinez and partially to his younger brother Agustin. His inspiration was to produce a dog that would be able to hunt down and restrain such perilous beasts as wild boar, jaguar and puma. Antonio also wanted it to have sufficiently stable and friendly personality to become a reliable family companion. As a basis of their breeding program he and his brother chose the now-extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog that was a fierce and courageous white hunting dog native to Spain. They acquired ten high-quality Cordoban bitches and mated them with carefully selected 9 males of other breeds: Dogue de Bordeaux, Boxer, Bull Terrier, Old English Bulldog, Great Dane, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Irish Wolfhound, English Pointer, and Spanish Mastiff. The resulting dog was a smart, nimble, strong pack hunter, which stood out for very few intrinsic aggressive issues with both humans and other types of pets.
Soon the Dogo Argentino attained local recognition for its incredible hunting skills and stamina. It’s capable of tracing a wild animal across huge distances, driving it into a corner and then fearlessly assault and seize in its mortal grip. After that the hunter usually arrives and finishes off the wounded prey. This dog can pick up a tremendous speed for short spans of time but it tends to cover vast territories at a light trot.
The Cinologic Federation of Argentina recognised the Dogo Argentino in 1964 and its registration with the Argentina Kennel Club began in 1973. The American Kennel Club (AKC) accepted the breed in its Foundation Stock Service in 1996. It received recognition of the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 2001.
Overtime the Dogo Argentino won international fame as a big-game hunter. It’s widely used for quarrying boar in the former Yugoslavia and moose in Canada. Furthermore its people-oriented nature and strong protective drive called forth its popularity in the roles of a watch and guard dog, as well as a police dog. In spite of its inborn tranquil nature the breed is considered dangerous in some countries and therefore it’s outlawed within their boundaries. Still it has plenty of fans throughout Europe, especially in Germany.
The Dogo Argentino is a sociable, self-confident, extremely powerful dog that is prone to be gentle and amiable with people and domestic animals. However it is also known for its dominative nature, which makes it unsuitable for inexperienced dog owners. With plentiful of early socialisation the dog can be kept alongside of children to whom it usually develops especially close bond. Its interaction with small kids should be closely monitored by adults as it may unintentionally hurt a child while playing. Remember that the dog must understand that its place in a pack hierarchy is beneath all family members including other pets.
The Dogo Argentino usually behaves itself politely with guests in the house. But with the first signs of aggression from a stranger it turns into a fearless protector of its family and territory. This dog is valued for its ability to discern the difference between a perpetrator and a friend and usually makes an excellent guardian. Thanks to its sharp senses and invariable vigilance it’s also often tasked with watching duties. Be mindful that this dog is keen on chewing everything so provide your pet with wide choice of chewable toys so it won’t be tempted to «play» with your shoes or furniture.
The Dogo Argentino gets used to work in concert with other dogs during hunting trips so it’s usually alright with other canines. However some of its members (especially intact males) may demonstrate aggressive behaviour around strange dogs. That’s why obedience training bears the outmost importance for this breed. Although it’s quite tolerant of familiar pets including household cats, naturally this dog still poses lethal danger for all street animals.
The most common problems for the breed:
· congenital deafness (unilateral/bilateral);
· canine hip dysplasia;
· demodectic mange.
The Dogo Argentino has very low grooming requirements. Brush your pet once a week to timely get rid of dirt, debris and dead hair in its coat and to keep it shiny and healthy-looking. Frequent bathing is really unnecessary as it destroys the layer of natural oils, which protects the dog’s skin from sun.
The owner should also trim nails of his dog every other month and regularly examine its ears for indications of irritation or infections. Weekly dental care will help to promote overall good health in this area for years to come. Introduce all above-mentioned procedures into the life of your Dogo Argentino as early as possible so it will accept these activities problem free in its adulthood.
The Dogo Argentino is notable for keen intelligence and well-expressed willingness to please its master so it usually makes a highly gifted learner. The key to its successful training is firm, but still gentle and respectful treatment as well as the use of generous amount of verbal encouragement and food incentives.
On the other hand this dog is irresponsive to training methods, which are based on physical punishments and other types of negative reinforcement. The Dogo Argentino becomes a tough competitor in such canine sports as obstacle coursing and disc-catching. Early and deep socialisation is of crucial importance if you want to get a calm and well-mannered adult dog.
The Dogo Argentino is endowed with muscular and lean body and clear mind which need a great deal of physical and mental stimulation on the daily basis. It loves brisk and long walks but it also immensely enjoys the chance to run unrestrained in a securely fenced territory to expend its surplus of energies. Of course hunting is its favourite exercise and it will gladly trail the prey for hours on end. Be mindful that the Dogo Argentino usually feels itself extremely stressed out if it doesn’t receive sufficient amount of physical activity. In this case it’s prone to express its discontent and frustration by destructive actions and unruly behaviour at home.