A Powerful Hunter’s Companion: The Dogo Argentino

Pet Type


May 4, 2020

There are many, many reasons why you might be looking to adopt a dog. Some people just want a family companion that walks on all fours. Other people might want a dog that can assist on farmland and herd animals to where they need to go.There are even some people out there who want a dog that can do a mix of both, working during the day and coming home to be affectionate.

With all of the different dog breeds out there, it would be expected that there is a breed for just about every purpose. This includes hunting dogs. Dogs, as predators, are naturally good hunters. Some breeds have been developed to accelerate those natural talents, turning the dogs into a powerful and capable companion for any hunting trip. One of the fiercest hunting dogs that you might encounter is the dogo argentino.

As the name of the breed might suggest, this strong dog originated in Argentina. While it hasn’t seen that much popularity outside of this country, more and more people are beginning to adopt these dogs as hunting companions. These dogs, once accustomed to children, can make wonderful family pets as well. They do not do well in multi-pet households or apartments though. Instead, they are better off with no other pets or only dogs comparable to its size (assuming that they are properly introduced). The dogo argentino is a dog unlike many others.

What Is the History of the Dogo Argentino?

Originating in Argentina, and with its name translating to “Argentine Dog,” this particular breed was actually developed as a descendent of a popular breed known as the fighting dog of Cordoba. Unfortunately, this ancestor breed is now extinct, but the dogo argentino bears a close resemblance to it.

A man by the name of Antonio Nores Martinez wanted to have a hunting companion that was strong enough to endure the terrain of the Argentinian homelands, while also retaining the ability to be a loyal companion. Throughout the 1920s, Martinez worked with the fighting dog of Cordoba to reduce its aggressive tendencies and turn that focus toward hunting smaller animals. This allowed the dog to be relatively obedient and loyal while also having the ability to chase down and hunt prey animals. Eventually, Martinez created a breed that he felt satisfied about, creating the dogo argentino.

What Does the Dogo Argentino Look Like?

The dogo argentino is a stocky, muscular dog with a boxy head and pointed triangular ears. These dogs are relatively large and they are athletic. They have a thick neck to support their large, boxy heads. The heads themselves also tend to have a longer, square snout on them. These strong heads also have powerful jaws on them, allowing the dog to hunt down and catch prey without a problem. Despite its bulky and boxy build, these dogs are more agile than you might think. They come in between 24 and 26 inches in height and weigh between 88 and 100 pounds. There is little difference between male and female sizes.

As for the coat, these dogs have a very clean and low maintenance coat. This allows the owners to focus entirely on putting their dog to work, rather than focusing on meticulous grooming processes. The dogo argentino’s coat is short and sleek and it is almost always completely white, giving the dog its classic appearance. This hard coat also helps protect the dog against some degree of climate and superficial scratches.

How Does the Dogo Argentino Behave?

These dogs have the perfect blend of a determined working dog and a dog that is a loyal family companion. Many working dogs have trouble in home environments as they can often seem aloof, as they were not bred to socialize. On the other hand, the dogo argentino was bred specifically with the idea that it could function in a pack, and your family is your dog’s new pack.

These dogs are loyal, playful, and surprisingly outgoing, given their history. As long as your children know how to interact with dogs, they can even make great playmates. If the dog has warmed up to you enough, they will even be happy to give kisses and snuggle up beside you on a cold winter evening.

These dogs are considered dominant dogs. This means that they will try to establish themselves as the “alpha” of the family. Only through training will you be able to show your dog that you are the “alpha” of the family. With time and dedication to training, you can eventually turn this naturally dominant dog into a submissive friend.

However, this is tough and it is not suited to people who are not used to training these types of dogs. The dogo argentino will push rules and boundaries if they are not enforced, meaning that as a trainer, you will need to be firm, confident, and consistent in your rules. The most important aspect of this is to show that you are the boss of the dog in a non-aggressive and non-combative manner.

In the end, this breed takes time and dedication to properly train, but once you have completed this, you will have a strong, intelligent, and loving dog in your family and during hunting expeditions.      

What Kind of Care Does the Dogo Argentino Need?

In addition to being hard to train, these dogs are high-maintenance in the energy department. After all, they were bred to hunt wild animals, which involves chasing the animals for some period of time. You will need to walk and play with your dog extensively for it to get all of its energy out. One of the best ways to do this is to play outside in a secured, well-fenced yard. These athletic dogs can also go swimming, hiking, jogging, and enjoy agility training. If you want a hunting companion, there’s a good chance that you will be able to teach your dog how to hunt as well.

The dogo argentino’s coat, on the other hand, is pretty easy to care for. When it comes to dog grooming, this is one of the most minimalistic coats to care for. You should brush the dog once a week, although you can probably get away with bi-weekly brushing if you do not mind a slightly scruffy appearance and mild shedding.

Depending on how many outdoor activities your dog is doing, bathing can be only situational and not a regular occurrence. The only aspect of grooming you will need to pay attention to is the nails. The dogo argentino has strong nails that grow quickly, meaning that they will have to be trimmed on a regular basis. It is important to get the dog accustomed to this sensation from a young age to avoid a stubborn adult dog.

How Is the Dogo Argentino’s Health?

As large and selectively bred dogs, the dogo argentino has its fair share of health problems that you will need to be prepared for. On top of that, you will need to keep in mind that all purebred dogs have an increased chance of developing hereditary conditions, and this dog is no exception to that rule.

These dogs have a tendency to develop conditions such as hypothyroidism, deafness, glaucoma, laryngeal paralysis, and hip/elbow dysplasia. Because these are large dogs, you can expect them to live between 10 and 12 years if they are well taken care of.