Dogo Argentino Dog Breed: Pictures, Colors, Bark, Characteristics, and Diet

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The Dogo Argentino (Dogo) is a large-sized dog breed developed in Argentina in the 1920s. They were originally bred for big-game hunting, including wild boars.

Although they are quite large, they can still sprint up to speeds of 26mph (42km/h).

A Dogo Argentino lying in the grass
A purebred Dogo Argentino

Also known as the Argentine Mastiff, Dogo Argentinos are born in litters of 8-10 puppies and grow to reach their full adult size by around 16 to 19 months old.

The average male Dogo Argentino is 24 to 26.5 inches (61 to 67 cm) tall and weighs 88 to 100 lbs (40 to 45 kg), while a female stands at 24 to 25.5 inches (61 to 65 cm) and weighs 88 to 95 lbs (40 to 43 kg)

Like other Mastiff dog breeds, the Dogos have large, strong, muscular bodies, blocky heads, and square jaws, making them look powerful and athletic.

They have short, smooth white single coats, completely white but with a dark patch near the eye. They have small ears that naturally flop, although they are often cropped to stand up-right. 

The Dogos are loyal, affectionate, and very protective of their family, but they can be aggressive without proper training.

They have a strong bite force of 500 PSI which is much more powerful than a Pitbull with only 235 PSI.

They have a loud, deep, booming bark making them not ideal for owners living in an apartment.

Generally, the Dogo Argentino dogs are healthy breeds with an average lifespan of 9 to 15 years with good care, including healthy fats and a high-protein diet, and 1 to 2 hours of exercise a day to support their high energy level and keep them healthy. 

Keep reading for everything you need to know about the Argentine Mastiff.

What is a Dogo Argentino?

A Dogo Argentino standing in a forest
A Dogo Argentino in a forest

The Dogo Argentino is a large hunting breed developed to hunt big game animals like mountain lions and wild boar, hence their huge, muscular build and fearlessness.

The breeder of the first Argentine Mastiff used the Cordoba Fighting Dog, a now-extinct large and ferocious hunting dog, for the base of the breed.

He crossed the Cordoba Fighting Dog with various breeds to create the Dogo Argentino, including the Great Dane, the Boxer, the Spanish Mastiff, the Old English Bulldog, the Bull Terrier, the Pyrenean Mastiff, the English Pointer, the Irish Wolfhound, and the Dogue De Bordeaux. 

Why are They Called Dogo Argentinos?

The name Argentino Dogo is Spanish, the national language of the dog’s home country, Argentina.

In English, it means Argentine Bulldog, which is named after the dog’s origin and canine ancestry. 

Where Did the Name “Dogo Argentino” Come From?

As their name would suggest, the Dogo Argentino originally comes from Argentina.

They were bred by a medical doctor, professor, and surgeon called Antonio Nores Martinez, who set out to breed a big game hunting dog capable of being a loyal, loving pet and guard dog.

When Did the Dogo Argentino Originate?

A Dogo Argentino standing
Meet Yumi, a beautiful Dogo Argentino – Image source

Antonio Norez Matinez started breeding Dogo Argentinos in the 1920s and wrote the first breed standard in 1928.

They were first bought into the United States in 1970 and accepted into the American Kennel Club in 2020. 

How Many Dogo Argentinos are There in the World?

It’s not known how many Dogo Argentinos there are worldwide, but they are fairly rare, as they’re banned or restricted in several countries around the world, including Australia, Cayman Islands, Denmark, Fiji, Iceland, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. 

There are also restrictions on owning Dogos in parts of the United States, such as Aurora, Colorado, and New York City.

However, they are recognized by AKC and ranked 93 out of 195 dog breeds nationwide for popularity as of 2020.

What are the Characteristics of Dogo Argentinos?

A Dogo Argentino smiling
A cheerful Dogo Argentino – Image source

The Dogo Argentino is a complex breed. Although every dog is different and their temperaments can vary, all breeds have specific characteristics that they tend to display. 

These are the most common traits in Argentine Mastiffs.

  • Cheerful – Dogo Argentinos are known for being enthusiastic dogs.
  • Strong-willed – They are very independently minded, which can lead to extreme stubbornness without an experienced trainer. 
  • Loving – The breed forms very close bonds with their family members and is affectionate with their loved ones. 
  • Loyal – They’re fiercely faithful to their family and thrive on companionship. 
  • Protective – The Dogo Argentino is very protective of their homes and families.
  • Fearless – They’re also confident and courageous, thanks to their hunting history.
  • Aggressive – Dogo Argentinos can be unfriendly, even aggressive towards strangers and other dogs, especially those of the same sex, without extensive training and socialization. 
Dogo Argentino Characteristics Rating 
Relation with family 4
Good with children 2
Friendly with strangers 2
Friendly with other dogs 2
Easy to Train 2
Energy Level 4
Barking Level 2
Mental Stimulation Needs 4

What Does a Dogo Argentino Look Like?

A Dogo Argentino standing in the snow
Lady, a beautiful Dogo Argentino standing in the snow – Image source

Dogo Argentinos are large white dogs with blocky heads, square jaws, and stocky build that are often mistaken for White Pitbulls (American Pit Bull Terriers).

Although the Dogo and Pitbull look quite similar, the Dogo’s muscular frame is much bigger and more imposing than a Pitbull.

The Dogo Argentinos have short, smooth single coats that are completely white with a small patch on their head.

They have small ears that naturally flop, but they are often cropped to stand up-right. 

How big is the Dogo Argentino?

The average male Dogo Argentino is 24 to 26.5 inches (61 to 67 cm) tall, while females stand at 24 to 25.5 inches (61 to 65 cm) tall.

They need to live in medium-large homes with outdoor spaces, so apartment living isn’t really appropriate.

If you’re going to crate train your Argentine Mastiff, you’re going to need a 40” crate. 

Dogo Argentino
Physical Features
Male Dogo Argentino Female Dogo Argentino
Height  24 to 26.5 inches 
(61 to 67 cm)
24 to 25.5 inches 
(61 to 65 cm) 
Weight 88 to 100 lbs 
(40 to 45 kg) 
88 to 95 lbs 
(40 to 43 kg)

How long does a Dogo Argentino dog grow?

The Dogo Argentino puppy takes about 16 to 19 months to grow to full adult size. They reach adolescence at six months old and sexual maturity at 11 to 12 months.

Reaching mental maturity can take a little longer, with most Dogo Argentinos becoming mentally and emotionally mature at two years of age.

What is the average weight of Dogo Argentino dogs?

The average male Dogo Argentino weighs around 88 to 100 lbs (40 to 45 kg), while females weigh around 88 to 95 lbs (40 to 43 kg).

Their exact weight will depend on their size and activity level.

It’s essential to keep your Argentine Mastiff at a healthy weight because they’re prone to joint problems. 

How Long Do Dogo Argentinos Live?

Generally, Dogo Argentinos are healthy dog breeds with an average life expectancy of 9 to 15 years.

However, large dog breeds, such as Dogo Argentino, often develop orthopedic problems as they age, like hip dysplasia.

They can also be prone to autoimmune thyroiditis, allergies, and deafness.

What Coat Type Does the Dogo Argentino Have?

A close-up image of a Dogo Argentino
A close look at the Dogo Argentino’s elegant white coat – Image source

The Dogo Argentino has a short, white single coat that is pretty low maintenance to care for.

They need brushing with a bristle or slicker brush once a week to remove loose hairs and bathing every three months with an all-natural, gentle dog shampoo.

What is the Dogo Argentino dog’s coat like?

The Dogo Argentino has a smooth, glossy coat with straight fur that is soft to touch and reasonably easy to maintain.

Its coat is smooth all over its body and face; it doesn’t have any feathering, waves, or curls. 

How long is the Dogo Argentino’s coat?

The Dogo Argentino’s coat is very short, with fur measuring around ½ to ¾ inches in length.

This makes it much less noticeable when it sheds and means that it doesn’t ever need trimming.

What is the Dogo Argentino’s coat density?

The Dogo Argentino is a single-coated breed. This means they have no undercoat, and their guard coat is pretty thin. In fact, you can often see their skin through certain areas of it. 

Do Dogo Argentinos shed much?

Despite their coat not being that thick, the Dogo Argentinos do shed a fair amount of fur, and they shed all year round.

And since their coats are white, their hairs may show up on floors, furniture, and clothes quite easily even though their hairs are short and the number of shed hairs is not that large.

Can Dogo Argentinos Live in Hot Weather?

A Dogo Argentino puppy standing under the sunlight
Shiva, a Dogo Argentino, getting some Vitamin D – Image source

Dogo Argentinos are well adapted to living in hot weather, thanks to their thin, single coats than allow them to remain cooler than most dog breeds.

They were bred to work in Argentina, which gets very hot in the summertime and remains warm throughout the winter.

However, large dogs like Dogo Argentinos are at risk in a temperature of 70°F or higher.

Their skin is vulnerable to sunburn in the thinnest areas of their coat, so sunscreen is recommended. 

Do Dogo Argentinos Get Cold?

Dogos are very sensitive to cold temperatures such as 35°F or below due to their thin, short coat.

Prolonged exposure to extremely lower temperatures can quickly lead to hypothermia and frostbite.

It’s recommended to keep your Dogo inside the house during cold weather or provide him with a good winter coat to keep them warm when going out.

Do Dogo Argentinos Love Water?

Dogo Argentino dogs love the water. They’re very strong swimmers, and they love to play in the water, too.

So, they much appreciated homes and vacations with swimming pools, beaches, and rivers nearby. 

What Colors Are Dogo Argentinos?

A close-up image of a Dogo Argentino with its owner
The white coat of the Dogo Argentino – Image source

The Dogo Argentino’s coat is bright white. They don’t come in any other colors or color combinations, but their coats are so thin that you may be able to see the colors of their skin underneath.

What Markings Do Dogo Argentinos Have?

The Dogo Argentino is usually solid-colored and doesn’t have any markings, but some do have a black spot over the eye, although this isn’t an accepted marking by the AKC.

That said, it can appear that many Dogo Argentinos have markings because you can see their skin underneath their fur, which often has dark freckles on it.

Are Dogo Argentinos Good Family Dogs?

A Dogo Argentino and a man sitting in a park
A Dogo Argentino and its hooman in a park

Although the Dogo Argentino is loving and loyal to their family members, they require extensive training to be friendly with others and are not recommended for first-time owners.

They do best with active, fun-loving families who don’t have any other pets. 

Dogo Argentino Temperament Rating 
Adaptability 2
Friendliness 3
Mouthiness 2
Playfulness 3
Family-oriented 5
Stranger tolerance 2

Are Dogo Argentinos good with other dogs?

The Dogo Argentino can be very aggressive towards other dogs, particularly those of the same sex, without extensive socialization, and it’s not recommended that they live with other pets unless they are thoroughly socialized or they grew up with them.

Are Dogo Argentinos friendly with people?

A Dogo Argentino sticking its tongue out
A happy Dogo Argentino greets people with a smile – Image source

Dogo Argentinos can be very affectionate with their family members despite their intimidating appearance.

They make a strong distinction between loved ones and unfamiliar people and enjoy being a part of a close pack. 

Can Dogo Argentino dogs get along well with strangers?

Dogo Argentinos are not known for being welcoming to strangers. They can be reserved at best and unfriendly at worst.

This is why socialization is essential so that your Dogo Argentino can learn to read people’s behavior and discern a friendly stranger from an unfriendly one. 

Do Dogo Argentinos get along with young children?

Dogo Argentinos can get along well with children when raised together from an early age.

However, their large size means that Dogos are not ideal for households with infants or younger kids without supervision as they can get easily injured during playtime.

Can Dogo Argentinos Adapt Easily?

A Dogo Argentino puppy lying in the grass
A cute Dogo Argentino pup with a black spot over its eye

Dogo Argentinos are not particularly adaptable dogs. They need large homes with backyards and wouldn’t be able to live in a small environment because of their size and activity level.

They also need a strong routine and don’t like being left alone for too long. 

Are Dogo Argentinos Aggressive?

Although dogs can become aggressive if mistreated or threatened, certain breeds are more likely to display unprovoked aggression than others.

The Dogo Argentino tends towards aggression, hence why they’re banned in several countries around the world. 

Are Dogo Argentinos Dangerous?

The Dogo Argentino is known to be a dangerous dog, especially in relation to other dogs. However, raising a friendly Dogo Argentino with an experienced, dedicated trainer is possible. 

Do Dogo Argentino Dogs Bite?

A Dogo Argentino biting an object
Nero, a Dogo Argentino, biting an object – Image source

The Dogo Argentino dog will bite as a puppy as a part of normal puppyhood behavior, but they may also bite as an adult if provoked.

They have a bite force of 500 PSI, which is the 8th strongest bite of any dog breed on the planet, and could easily seriously injure or kill a human or another dog.

Are Dogo Argentino Dogs Protective?

The Dogo Argentino is a very protective, courageous breed. They will alert their owners to disturbances in the home and won’t back down to a threat.

However, their protective nature can lead to defensive, territorial behavior without extensive training.

Are Dogo Argentinos Affectionate?

Although every individual dog is different, Dogo Argentinos tend to be very affectionate dogs. They love to be petted by their family members and spend lots of time together every day.

Are Dogo Argentinos Loyal?

A Dogo Argentino and a man in a park
A loyal Dogo Argentino bonding with its owner

Dogo Argentinos are a loyal breed by nature. They prefer companionship and family time to alone time and are prone to separation anxiety.

It’s not recommended that they spend too much time alone, as they can become lonely and anxious.

Do Dogo Argentinos Like to Cuddle?

As mentioned above, the Dogo Argentino is a very affectionate dog when it comes to its family members and likes to cuddle.

They can also express their love in other ways, such as quality time and play. 

Does the Dogo Argentino Love Freedom?

All dogs love to explore and go on adventures, but some breeds are more free-spirited than others.

The Dogo Argentino has a higher than average likelihood of escaping and wandering off. 

Are Dogo Argentino Dogs Easy to Train?

A leashed Dogo Argentino puppy
Ajax, a Dogo Argentino pup, loves taking walks even on gloomy days – Image source

The Dogo Argentino is an intelligent breed, but they’re also highly strong-willed and need an experienced, dedicated trainer to prevent stubborn behavior.

This breed will benefit from short, daily training sessions starting from an early age, with clear commands, behavioral markers, firm and positive reinforcements, and consistency. 

Areas of focus should include recall, obedience training, socialization, and positive association training with anything that triggers unsure or unfriendly behavior.

You should also focus on building a bond throughout your training, as Argentine Mastiffs respond most to those they respect. 

How Smart is the Dogo Argentino?

The Dogo Argentino is a bright breed that picks up new commands quicker than other, similar breeds.

That said, they’re not the easiest dogs to train and are not the breed for inexperienced owners.

Can Dogo Argentino dogs be used as working dogs?

Dogo Argentinos are still used in big game hunting, as well as certain service roles, including police work, search and rescue, and military work.

They can also make great watch and guard dogs with training. 

Do Dogo Argentino Dogs Bark a Lot?

A close-up image of a Dogo Argentino sticking its tongue out
A Dogo Argentino observing his surroundings – Image source

The Dogo Argentino is not a nuisance barker. They will bark to greet people or alert you to a disturbance in the home, and they may growl during play, but they won’t bark excessively.

How does a Dogo Argentino bark?

The Dogo Argentino has a loud bark that is low in pitch and often described as “thunderous.” Their deep, scary bark is a serious intruder stopper, as demonstrated in the video below. 

Do Dogo Argentinos Have High Energy Levels?

Dogo Argentinos are high-energy dogs. They need a lot of daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom, which can result in anxiety and destructive behaviors on a major scale. 

Are Dogo Argentinos Active?

A Dogo Argentino running
A Dogo Argentino exercising

The Dogo Argentino needs over an hour of exercise per day, but preferably closer to two, and ideally split into two walks.

They like to walk, run, hike, swim, play fetch, and explore new places. 

How Fast Can a Dogo Argentino Run?

Despite their large, heavy builds, the average Dogo Argentino can actually run pretty fast, probably due to their hunting history.

They can run 26 miles per hour at top speed and jump around 6 feet high. 

Are Dogo Argentinos Playful?

A Dogo Argentino and a woman on the sand
A Dogo Argentino and its hooman playing on the sand

Despite their harsh exterior, the Dogo Argentino is a very playful breed of dog. They benefit from toys and games that engage their bodies, their instincts, and their brains.

Here are some popular activities for the Argentine Mastiff:

  • Spring poles
  • Fetch
  • Treat dispensers
  • Sensory toys
  • Hide and seek
  • Treasure hunt

Does the Dogo Argentino Drool a Lot?

The Dogo Argentino drools moderately compared to other Mastiff breeds.

However, any dog may drool when they’re around food, and the Dogo Argentino may drool more than some other breeds in such situations because of their loose lips. 

What does the Family Life of Dogo Argentino Dogs Like?

The family life of the Dogo Argentino is an affectionate, active, and adventurous one. A typical day together will include long walks, lots of cuddles, and fun play sessions.

They also make great companions for outdoorsy families who like to explore new places and go on camping trips. 

What is the Average Cost of a Dogo Argentino Puppy?

Two Dogo Argentino puppies
Two affectionate Dogo Argentino pups – Image source

Although the Dogo Argentino dog breed is rare, its price is not that high.

If you purchase a Dogo puppy from a reputable dog breeder, its average price ranges from $1,000 to $2,500. It can cause higher than $5000 if it has a particularly good bloodline.

What Kind of Food Should Dogo Argentinos Eat?

A Dogo Argentino with a food bowl
Meet Nero, a hungry Dogo Argentino – Image source

The Argentine Mastiff should eat nutritionally complete and balanced food high in protein to power their large, active muscles.

An Adult Dogo Argentino should eat around 3 cups per day, split into two meals.

Pups should eat 20g of food per 1kg of their body weight per day, split into four meals until they’re six months old, and seniors should consume fewer calories as they slow down.

Both puppies and senior Dogos benefit from extra fatty acids to help their developing or aging joints and brains. 

What are the Best Dog Foods for Dogo Argentinos?

Based on what we mentioned above, we’ve made a list of the best commercial dry foods for Dogo Argentinos that are currently on the market.

Here are our top picks for puppies and adults!

For Dogo puppies: 

For Adult Dogo Argentinos:

What Other Dog Breeds Look Like the Dogo Argentino?

A white American Bulldog
Meet Princess, a joyful white American Bulldog – Image source

The Dogo Argentino has a distinct, imposing appearance, but they do have a few lookalikes, many of which are close relations.

Below, we’ve listed some of the dog breeds that you could easily mistake for an Argentine Mastiff!

The Verdict: Should You Get a Dogo Argentino?

The Dogo Argentino is a fiercely faithful companion with a soft side, but getting one is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

They need experienced owners, strict training, and full socialization early on in their lives to ensure friendliness. 

So, if you’re looking for a safe, cuddly family dog for your children that is easy to train, you should probably opt for a Labrador or a Golden Retriever

That said, if you can give the Argentine Mastiff the training they need and the care and the companionship, you couldn’t ask for a more loyal friend.

Consider your decision with care and make inquiries about legal restrictions surrounding the breed where you live. 

Have you met a Dogo Argentino – or do you own one? Let us know what you think of them in the comments down below!

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