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Dogo Argentino outside

Breed overview

  • Breed group — Working group (American Kennel Club)
  • Height — 24-26.5 inches (male), 24-25.5 inches (female)
  • Weight — 80-100  pounds
  • Coat length & texture — Short and smooth
  • Coat color — All dogs in this breed are completely white. A small dark patch around the eye is accepted.
  • Exercise needs — High
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 9-15 years
  • Hypoallergenic — Yes/No
  • Origin — Argentina

Dogo Argentino temperament and characteristics 

The Dogo Argentino is a bit of an oxymoron. They’re bred to be vicious hunters, yet score at the highest level for being lovey-dovey. The Dogo Argentino has a strong prey drive and is a very aggressive animal in their element as a hunting dog.

👉 The breed is not for novice dog owners or someone not committed to early socialization and training. 

When it comes to their families, they’re playful, loving, and protective and will fiercely guard against any perceived threat. Therefore, they’re not great with strangers or other animals, particularly smaller ones. The breed is considered moderately kid-friendly in a family of skilled owners, but caution and proper training should always be used. They have the potential to be affectionate family dogs, but their instinctual drive to chase and hunt can be problematic with small children.

Due to their size and need for vigorous exercise, they’re not suited for apartment life.


The Dogo Argentino has a white, short, smooth coat with occasional ticking. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard, the coat color should be entirely white. The only tolerable spots are one black or dark-colored patch on the skull, which can also be located on one ear, around one eye, or very small dark spots on the ears. We teamed up with FidoTabby Alert, and according to their database, a common coat color for the Dogo Argentino is (83%) white.  

Dogo Argentino fun facts 

👉 Coming up with a pet name can be fun but tricky. Search no further! According to PetScreening’s 2024 database, the majority of our users name their male Dogo Argentinos Ghost and Zeus. Meanwhile, most of our users with female Dogo Argentinos love Luna, then Lola equally.

  • They’re banned in multiple countries. Bred to be a tenacious and aggressive hunting dog, Dogo Argentinos can be dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced owner. Well-socialized and trained Dogos can be great pups, but the risk landed the breed on the ban list in many places worldwide.
  • They’re newcomers to the United States. The Dogo Argentino breed didn’t appear in the States until 1970 and wasn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club until 2020.
  • They’re among the strongest in the world. Dogo Argentinos easily make the top twenty list for strongest dogs in the world, outranking bull terriers. In fact, a Dogo Argentino’s bite force is double the strength of a pit!
Dogo Argentino close up

Common Dogo Argentino health problems 

The Dogo Argentino is a healthy breed with few complications. Conditions they are more susceptible to are due to size rather than genetics. Still, there are a few conditions that the Dogo Argentino is prone to.

  • Hip dysplasia. A common condition in large breeds like the Dogo Argentino, hip dysplasia results from a loose hip joint that leads to painful arthritis. The degenerative disease can be managed with physical therapy, medication, and sometimes surgery.
  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus. GDV, or bloat, occurs in large breeds with a deep chest and can be fatal. The condition occurs when the stomach bloats and flips over, blocking blood supply. Preventative surgery is available. If you notice shallow breathing, swollen abdomen, cold body, or other symptoms, visit the emergency vet.
  • Deafness. Deafness in the Dogo Argentino breed is genetic and is generally related to their white coat, as white pigmentation affects cell development. In this case, the cellular development needed to hear sometimes fails.
  • Hypothyroidism. Another condition that usually affects large dog breeds, hypothyroidism, occurs when the thyroid underproduces. A variety of complications can follow but are typically managed with medication.

Cost of caring for Dogo Argentino

Although they’re a healthy breed, there are times when your Dogo Argentino can have an expensive medical need. If your dog has GDV, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars for emergency surgery. Other conditions like arthritis and thyroid disorders will require monthly medications.

For large dog breeds, health insurance may be a way to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Insurance provides the greatest benefits to pet owners who sign up their pets early. An alternative might be creating a budget or a pet savings account for when things come up.

Dogo Argentino puppy

History of the Dogo Argentino

The story of how the Dogo Argentino came to be is both enthralling and exciting. The idea for the breed was conceptualized by an Argentine teenager from a wealthy family. Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez was determined to create a hunting dog able to take down big game and, at only eighteen years old, willed the modern Dogo Argentino into being.

Here’s a breakdown of what happened.

  • Cordoba’s famous fighting dog was near extinction when Dr. Martinez used it as the foundation for his hunting dog. Crossing the fighting dog with six other breeds , the Dogo Argentino was eventually born.
  • Years later, Dr. Martinez showcased the breed’s abilities by pitting it against a wild boar and a puma. Only the dog survived.
  • Over two decades passed, and the doctor’s dream of seeing the Dogo Argentino recognized by the Federación Cynologique Internationale still hadn’t been realized.
  • Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez was tragically murdered, and several years later, his brother located some of the original dogs and restarted the breeding program. He went on to travel the world, making the Dogo Argentino known as he went.
  • The FCI finally recognized the breed in 1964; many years later, the American Kennel Club followed. Today they’re often employed by police or search and rescue teams.

Caring for your Dogo Argentino

Adopting a Dogo Argentino is in a class of its own. Caring for a new puppy can be overwhelming. You’ll need to choose a veterinarian, make your first trip, then schedule your dog’s vaccinations. We can even help you puppy-proof your home and prepare for things like teething. Although no one likes to think about losing their new dog, FidoAlert provides a free Fido ID and tag so you’re prepared just in case.


Argentine Dogos require an average amount of exercise. With this breed, it’s the type of exercise they need that’s specific. The Dogo Argentino is athletic and powerful and needs an outlet for it. They also require a good amount of mental stimulation. An hour or more of daily exercise will be enough to keep your pup healthy.

A brisk walk or hike can be a good start to exercising your Dogo Argentino. Keep in mind that their strong prey drive could be problematic on the trail, so don’t try to take this strong dog for a walk around other people and animals without training.

To support their athleticism and stimulate them mentally, try engaging your Dogo Argentino in dog sports, agility training, or weight pulling. Good ole’ fashioned zoomies in a controlled setting are also great.

Although they aren’t highly sensitive dogs, they don’t do well in very cold temperatures.

Dogo Argentino lick


The breed’s short, smooth coat makes for easy grooming. They shed a good bit, so using a grooming mitt once a week will help remove loose hair. Your Dogo Argentino will need a bath about every three months and a wipe-down after hunting trips. The most important thing for their health is to clean and dry their ears to avoid infection. Regular teeth brushing and nail trimming are also important parts of caring for your dog.

Start off with a relaxed, well-exercised dog. If your Dogo Argentino is at all averse to grooming, it’s best to use a muzzle when brushing or bathing them. Their extremely powerful jaws could do major damage even with a nip.

👉 A Dogo Argentino’s bite force is an astounding 500 PSI (pressure per square inch)

Diet and nutrition

This large breed requires high protein and proper calcium for optimal health. Dogo Argentino puppies will need to eat three times per day, while adults only require two feedings. Pups need fat in their diet, but dog owners should be cautious not to overdo it since unnecessary weight gain can lead to hip dysplasia. Depending on your dog’s age, your Dogo Argentino may eat up to five cups a day, spread out over two to three feeding times. Refer to your vet for food portioning and help getting the right nutrients in your dog’s food.

Training your Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino is both intelligent and strong-willed. Dogo Argentinos need to be trained from an early age by experienced dog owners. Otherwise, their protective instincts and strong prey drive will result in unwanted aggressive behaviors.

👉 The need for an experienced dog owner and trainer can’t be over emphasized with a Dogo Argentino. The breed requires close monitoring in public, and even a trained Dogo Argentino isn’t a good dog park dog. 

This breed requires a trainer who will consistently present as the pack leader. Short (five-minute) focused sessions, three to five times daily, are the best way to get started. Dogo Argentinos are ready to begin training by about eight weeks old and will grow in their learning capacity over the next several weeks.

With any breed, it’s important to use positive reinforcement and refrain from punishing or shouting.

Dogo Argentino training

Breeds similar to the Dogo Argentino

Not quite sure that a Dogo Argentino is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Cane corso. The Cane corso and the Dogo Argentino have a common ancestor in the mastiff. Cane corsos are bulkier dogs, shed less, and have a coat blended with up to five colors. Both dogs are territorial and protective.
  • Great Dane. The Great Dane is much taller but with a gentler disposition. Great Danes can adapt to apartment life, have low grooming needs, and are typically a better choice for families with children.
  • Pitbull. The pitbull, like the Dogo Argentino, often gets a bad rap, yet both can make loving pets with proper structure. The pitbull is typically smaller, but just as athletic with powerful force.

Frequently asked questions

What two dogs make a Dogo Argentino?

The original breeder created the Dogo Argentino by crossing the Cordoba fighting dog with mastiffs, bulldogs, bull terriers, and boxers.

Are Dogo Argentinos good family dogs?

They can be. Dogo Argentinos are loyal and loving and can make a great pet for an experienced family committed to training.

Are Dogo Argentinos illegal in the United States?

No. Owning a Dogo Argentino is legal in the U.S., but they are banned in multiple countries.

Are Dogo Argentinos overprotective?

They’re territorial guard dogs, and it is in their instinct to protect their family against any perceived threat, even if that “threat” is the neighbor’s cat.

Are Dogo Argentinos good for first-time dog owners?

No. The complex training needed to make the breed a good domestic pet requires a highly experienced dog owner who is familiar with the requirements of owning this breed.