Standard - Dogo Argentino


In 1928, Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez, a young Argentine physician, began to develop a new breed of dog, which he called the Dogo Argentino. Using a methodical system, Dr. Martinez crossed a local breed, known as the Old Fighting Dog of Cordoba, with Mastiffs, Bulldogs and Bull Terriers. His new breed demonstrated a talent for hunting big game, including wild boars and pumas, as well as strong guarding instincts. The breed was recognized by the Federacion Cinologica Argentina in 1964, and by the FCI in July 1973.

Today, the Dogo Argentino is still used as a hunting dog, a guardian of property, a family companion, and an all-around working dog.


The Dogo Argentino is a large, white, short-coated dog with a smooth, muscular body, displaying both power and athletic ability. The length of body is just slightly longer than tall, but bitches may be somewhat longer in body than dogs. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog's height at the withers. The head is powerful with a broad, slightly domed skull and a powerful muzzle that is slightly higher at the nose than the stop, when viewed in profile. Ears may be cropped, or hang naturally, close to the skull. The relatively short tail is set low, thick at the base and tapers to a point. The Dogo Argentino should be evaluated as a hunting dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog's ability to work.


The Dogo is an intelligent and courageous dog with a strong, natural instinct to protect its home and family. Dogos are very social dogs and are happiest when included in all family activities. Dogos make a strong distinction between familiar people and strangers, so it is imperative that they be well trained and socialized at an early age.

Dogos are hunters of great courage and endurance, and will work individually or in packs. An unsteady temperament is a serious fault.

HEAD - The head is large, but proportionate to the size of the body, and broad, giving the impression of great power and strength, without abrupt angles or distinct chiseling. Viewed from the front, the head is shaped like a square within a square. Viewed from above, the head is broad through the skull, narrowing slightly where muzzle joins the skull, and then tapering only slightly to the blunt end of the muzzle. When viewed from the side, the length of skull and muzzle are approximately equal in length, and joined by a moderate, but well-defined stop. The planes of the skull and muzzle are not parallel. The skull slightly domed and the bridge of the muzzle rises slightly from the stop to the nose.

SKULL - The skull is broad and slightly domed, with a median furrow that diminishes in depth and width from the stop to the occiput. Cheeks are well developed, relatively flat, and powerful. The supraorbital arches over the eyes are moderately well defined.

MUZZLE - The muzzle is powerful, slightly longer than deep, and narrowing very slightly from stop to nose. The bridge of the muzzle slopes slightly upward from stop to nose. Lips are tight and moderately thick. Black pigmentation on the edge of the lips is preferred.

Serious fault: Pendulous lips.

Disqualification: Lips hanging below lower jaw.

EYES - Eyes are of medium size, almond shaped, and set well apart. Eye color may range from very dark brown to dark hazel, but darker eye color is strongly preferred. Eye rims are tight and preferably black in color, although lack of pigmentation is not a fault. Expression is alert and lively, but firm, particularly in males.

Serious faults: Functional abnormality of eyelids or eyelashes.

Disqualifications: Eyes any color other than listed above; eyes not of matching colors.

TEETH -  The Dogo Argentino has a complete set of large, evenly spaced, white teeth. A scissors bite is preferred, but a level bite is acceptable.

Serious faults: Overshot or undershot bite; small, weak or decayed teeth; incomplete dentition.

NOSE - Nose is large and black, with well-developed nostrils. Some pink pigment on the nose is acceptable, provided the nose is predominantly black.

Serious fault: Nose predominantly pink.

EARS - Ears are set on high on the outside edges of the topskull, and may be cropped or natural. Cropped ears should be triangular in shape, short, and erect. Natural ears are drop, broad at the base, short in length (reaching just to the corner of the lower jaw when hanging naturally) and tapering to a rounded tip. Ear leather is thick. At rest, the ears should hang nearly flat and close to the cheeks, with little or no fold. The ears may be semi-erect when the dog is alert. The outside of the ear is covered with smooth hair that is slightly shorter than the body coat. Ear color may range from heavily spotted to solid black or brindle.

Disqualifications: Unilateral or bilateral deafness.

NECK - The neck is of medium length and muscular, with a slight arch at the crest, and tapering slightly from shoulders to the head. The skin on the throat is thick and elastic, and may form slight, smooth, non-pendent folds.

FOREQUARTERS – The shoulder blades are long, wide, muscular, and well laid back. The upper arm is roughly equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an apparent right angle, lying flat against the chest wall.

The forelegs are well boned, strong and muscular. The elbows are set close to the body. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are set moderately wide apart and perpendicular to the ground. The pasterns are short, powerful, straight, and flexible. When viewed in profile, the pasterns are slightly flat, well boned and slightly sloping at an angle of 70-75 degrees.

BODY - The chest is deep, well filled in, and wide with ample room for heart and lungs. The forechest does not extend much beyond the point of shoulder. The prosternum is level with the point of shoulder. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung from the spine, then flattening to form a deep body extending to or below the elbows. The back is strong and firm. The backline falls off slightly behind the withers and blends smoothly into the loin. The loin is short, broad, with a slight rise, blending into a moderately sloping croup. The flank is moderately tucked up and firm.

Serious faults: Barrel chest; flat ribs.

HINDQUARTERS - The hindquarters are strong, muscular, moderately broad, and slightly less angulated than the forequarters. The second thigh is slightly shorter than the upper thigh. The rump is well filled in on each side of the tail and deep. The bone and musculature of the hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters. The thighs are well developed with thick, easily discerned muscles. Viewed from the side, the hock joint is well bent and the rear pasterns are well let down and perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are straight and parallel to one another.

Serious faults: Overangulation; long hocks.

FEET - The feet are round, well arched, and tight. Pads are thick, black, and rough in texture. Rear feet are slightly smaller and broader than front feet. Dewclaws may be removed.

TAIL - The tail is set on moderately high, forming a 45 percent angle to the horizontal. It is thick at the base, and tapers to a point. When the dog is relaxed, the tail is carried low and extends approximately to the hock. When the dog is moving, the tail may be carried slightly above the backline, moving rhythmically from side to side. When the dog is excited, the tail may be carried in a raised, upright position (challenge tail), but never curled over the back (gay tail).

COAT - Coat is short, smooth, and glossy. Density of coat may vary with the climate. Coat on the ears may be shorter and thinner than the body coat. Coat on the throat and neck may be thicker and slightly longer.

Disqualification: Long coat.

COLOR -  White. Skin pigmentation that shows through the coat is not to be penalized in mature dogs. One dark marking on the head is permitted provided that it does not cover more than 10% of the head. All other things being equal, the whiter dog is preferred.

Serious fault: Patches of color on the coat other than as allowed on the head; small patches of colored hair, other than as allowed above; excessive skin pigmentation in young dogs.

HEIGHT and WEIGHT - Height for mature males should range between 24½ and 27 inches. Height for mature females should range between 23½ and 25½ inches. A mature Dogo under the minimum height for its sex is disqualified. Dogos are not a giant breed so a mature Dogo over the maximum heights should be penalized, because the additional height detracts from its ability to work.

Dogos should always be presented in hard, working condition. Weight should be sufficient so that the dog presents a harmonious blending of sturdiness and substance with agility and athleticism.

Serious faults: Dog or bitch, one year of age or older, over the maximum height for its sex; overweight; poorly conditioned dog.
Disqualification: Dog or bitch, one year of age or older, under the minimum height for its sex.
GAIT - The Dogo Argentino moves with power and agility, able to change gait quickly and smoothly when in the field. When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful, and well coordinated, showing good reach in front and drive behind. When moving, the backline remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance.

Poor movement should be penalized to the degree to which it reduces the Dogo's ability to perform the tasks it was bred to do.

DISQUALIFICATIONS - Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Lips hanging below lower jaw. Eyes of any color other than listed. Eyes not of matching colors. Unilateral or bilateral deafness. Long coat. Dog or bitch, one year of age or older, under the minimum height for its sex.

Pet Care

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