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Dogo Argentino Dog Breed: Pictures, Info, Care & More

Written by: Rachel Giordano

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino Dog Breed: Pictures, Info, Care & More

The Dogo Argentino is strong and confident, with a high intelligence and extreme athleticism. Bred to protect family and property, these large dogs have proven worthy of hunting large game, making them a valuable breed to ward off destructive predators like wild boar, mountain lions, and puma. Armed with a solid white coat and muscular build, these dogs also make faithful companions for experienced dog owners.

In the guide, we’ll discuss the Dogo Argentino in-depth to give you a full-on view of these large pack-hunting dogs.

Breed Overview


24–26½ inches


88–100 pounds


9–15 years



Suitable for:

Active families, experienced owners, those looking for a hunting dog


Strong, tenacious, courageous, protective, territorial, intelligent, loyal, dominant, confident, athletic

The Dogo Argentino was created in the 1920s in the province of Cordoba, located in the central region of the Republic of Argentina, by Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez, a doctor with a passion for dogs. He set out to create a large breed with exceptional hunting skills and strong work ethic by methodically crossbreeding many different purebreds, including the Great Dane, Bull Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Pointer, Irish Wolfhound, Spanish Mastiff, and Pyrenean Mastiff.

The result was the creation of the Dogo Argentino, an athletic and muscular dog capable of hunting large game in Argentina’s vast and diverse terrain. Courageous, confident, protective, and loyal to family members, the Dogo Argentino is a powerhouse canine with high intelligence.

Dogo Argentino Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Dogo Argentino Puppies

Dogo Argentino Puppy
Image Credit: joseltr, Pixabay

The Dogo Argentino is a relatively new breed, and it wasn’t until the 1970s that they were introduced into the United States. The AKC didn’t recognize the breed until 2020, but you can find breeders throughout the States. However, they are still considered a rare breed but have gained popularity in recent years.

The Dogo Argentino is born with high energy, and puppies require lots of physical and mental stimulation to keep destructive behaviors at bay. Bear in mind, though, that it’s imperative not to over-exercise a Dogo Argentino puppy to prevent damage to their growing bones and muscles. The Dogo Argentino breed is slow to mature, and they grow quickly, which means holding off on extraneous activities, such as jumping and agility, until fully grown. It’s wise to consult your veterinarian about the suggested and appropriate activity levels for your Dogo Argentino puppy.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Dogo Argentino 🧠

The Dogo Argentino is a highly intelligent and energetic breed. They are serious athletes with solid and powerful physiques and are faithful companions with the right owner. These large dogs are protective of their humans and property, making excellent watchdogs given their loyalty to their owners. They are not big barkers but will alert you to something they feel is suspicious or not sure about. Despite their large size, they are gentle and affectionate with their owners but require early socialization to be the ideal doggie companion.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Powerful hunters yet gentle with their owners, these dogs can make a wonderful addition to the right family. In order for the Dogo Argentino to make an excellent family companion, they require an owner who can establish dominance as the pack leader, and the breed is not suitable for inexperienced dog owners. Remember that these dogs are strong and powerful, and their strength is not something to take lightly. Some families may have difficulty owning this breed, and they do best with families who allow them to be hunting dogs or, at least, a family with experience owning such a dominant breed.

They enjoy lounging with their human families as much as they enjoy intense exercise, but they may be aloof with strangers until they learn the stranger is no threat. They can be standoffish with children if not properly socialized, making early socialization crucial for safety. However, given their affectionate nature and high energy levels, they get along well with children, but supervision is always recommended due to their large and powerful size, especially around toddlers.

Dogo argentino autumn outside
Image Credit: KatePh, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

This breed has a strong prey drive, and blending them with smaller pets, especially cats, gerbils, hamsters, etc., is typically not recommended. It’s not recommended to pair them with dogs in general, especially considering they were bred for hunting large game and have no trouble taking down a large animal. However, they can do well with another dog if raised with one and are properly trained and socialized by an assertive owner.dogster paw divider

Things to Know When Owning a Dogo Argentino:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Dogo Argentino should be fed high-quality dog food with high-quality protein that is age-appropriate (puppy, adult, senior) and breed-size appropriate (large or giant breed). The food should contain no fillers or artificial ingredients, and it should also be approved by the Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to ensure quality. Ensure the food is complete and balanced with all necessary nutrients, and follow the feeding guidelines on the package. It’s also suggested that you consult your vet for the correct amount to feed.

These dogs burn excessive energy, so they do well with eating two to three times daily, spread out between morning, noon, and evening. These dogs waste no time at the food bowl, and they tend to eat quickly, making gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat, a possible concern. To avoid this possible issue, we recommend feeding from a slow-feeder dog bowl to slow down the pace.

Exercise 🐕

These dogs require daily exercise to be fit and satisfy their high-prey drive and desire to hunt. You should set aside at least 1 to 2 hours of exercise per day by taking walks, playing fetch, or any other activity your Dogo loves. A game of hide-and-seek is also fun with these dogs, as they require both physical and mental stimulation. Given their athleticism, they excel in dog sports like agility, obedience, and weight-pulling.

Young dogo argentino running on meadow
Image Credit: Budimir Jevtic, Shutterstock

Training 🦮

The Dogo Argentino is highly intelligent, but it takes a firm owner who can display dominance and leadership for training success. As mentioned, they can be hard to handle for an inexperienced owner due to their high prey drive, strength, and energy. These dogs also have a stubborn streak, making an assertive owner all the more important with experience in positive reinforcement training.

Socialization is crucial for these dogs to be well-behaved. They require exposure to other animals and other people as early as possible due to their territorial and protective side.

Grooming ✂️

The Dogo has a short coat that only requires brushings once or twice a week with a soft bristle brush to remove dead hair. They require occasional baths with high-quality pet shampoo if they get dirty, but they do shed moderately, with even more extensive shedding in the fall and spring.

A purebred Dogo Argentino will have an all-white coat, making the breed more susceptible to sunburn. You should avoid allowing a Dogo to lounge in direct sunlight for long periods—that goes for sticking the head out of the car window during long car rides too.

Check the ears frequently and clean as necessary with dog-safe ear wipes, and trim the nails as needed. The teeth should be brushed at least three times a week for dental hygiene, and it’s best to acclimate a Dogo Argentino early to dental hygiene so they don’t fight you every time you bust out the pet-safe toothpaste and toothbrush.

Dogo Argentino running
Image By: Ira Bushanska, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Dogo Argentino is a robust and healthy breed, but this doesn’t mean they cannot develop health issues. As with most breeds, they can be susceptible to certain health conditions, and it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the possibilities while owning a Dogo Argentino.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (bloat)
  • Laryngeal Paralysis

Male vs. Female

Regarding appearance, males are slightly bigger than females and have larger square heads. The males have a bit more muscle, and the females are more compact. It’s possible for males to be more playful and active, but they can also be more independent and territorial. However, females are territorial when pregnant or have puppies but can be more affectionate apart from that scenario. In the end, temperament is typically individualized and really depends on the individual dog rather than gender.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Dogo Argentino

1. Dogos Are Banned in Several Countries

Unfortunately, the Dogo Argentino is not accepted everywhere due to being used for illegal dog fighting over the years in the native Cordoba, which has given them a bad reputation. They are, however, legal to own in the United States. Countries that have banned the breed are Singapore, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Israel, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

2. The White Coat Serves a Purpose

Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez meticulously bred these dogs to create an outstanding hunting dog, and the white coat was on purpose. The white coat enabled hunters to differentiate the dog from the quarry and spot them easily during nighttime hunting trips.

Dogo Argentino in the woods
Image Credit: Lunja, Shutterstock

3. They Are Not Apartment Dogs

Despite not being a big barker, the Dogo Argentino is unsuitable for apartment living. The problem is their size, as they weigh between 88 and 100 pounds. They also need plenty of space for play and exercise, and having a large, fenced-in yard is ideal and more accommodating to their needs.dogster paw divider

Final Thoughts

The Dogo Argentino is a rustic and powerful breed bred for hunting large game. They can make exceptional family companions, but only with the right, experienced owner who can display pack leadership. Early socialization is key for these dogs to be well-behaved around children and other pets; however, they are unsuitable for pairing with small animals due to their high prey drive.

Intelligent, courageous, strong, loyal, and athletic, these dogs are beautiful with pure white coats and muscular frames. They are intelligent enough to train but a little stubborn, and they excel in dog sports with tenacity and grace. All in all, if you’re an experienced dog owner, the Dogo Argentino may be a good fit for you.

Featured Image Credit to: wsanter, Pixabay

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