When the people of Argentina wanted a dog that was brave and strong enough to fight off pumas and wild boars yet gentle with its owner’s family, they crossed several breeds to create the Argentine Mastiff.
The dog was a guarder of property, cattle and family. It also makes a loving family pet.
Also known as Dogo Argentino, this dog includes several breeds specifically chosen for certain characteristics.
Great Pyrenees was included for beeing able to adapt to high altitude, Boxer for its sweet and gentle nature, Bull Terrier for its agility, Dogue de Bordeaux for its jaw strength and the Irish Wolfhound for its wild game hunting abilities.
In addition to work as a guard dog, the Argentine Dogo has also been used in hunting and for search and rescue efforts. The military has also found this dog to be a good choice for certain jobs. Of course, today many of these dogs live their lives as much-loved family pets.
The main health issues with this breed are hip dysplasia which is common in larger dogs, and deafness. Sometimes the dogs suffer partial deafness in just one ear, but sometimes it is in both.
Argentine Dogos have a longer life expectancy than some other Mastiffs with the average being between 9 and 16 years.
Argentine Mastiffs are always white. They weigh between 93 and 100 pounds. They have a distinctive face with the muzzle sitting a bit higher than the nose. They are muscular and broad and the front legs are shorter than the back.
As is the case with most dogs, the temperament of an adult dog will depend on whether or not they were properly trained and socialized. In the right hands, this dog can prove a gentle and protective family pet. They were, however, bred to fight wild animals, so the tendency for aggression, especially with other animals, exists.
On the other hand, they tend to do great with other family pets, but again this depends on proper training and socialization.
Family Pet and the Best Owners
As mentioned above, this dog can make a wonderful family pet. The key is in the owner. The ideal owner for this breed will understand its genetic makeup and will have experience with this or similar breeds.
This is not the dog for someone who has never had a dog before or who doesn’t have the time or money to invest in the proper training early on.
Choosing an Argentine Mastiff
When choosing an Argentine Mastiff a reputable breeder should always be used. If at all possible, visit the breeder in person to see the conditions in which the dogs live and to see the mother or father of the puppy. Verify the reputation of the breeder by checking with groups that specialize in the welfare of Dogo Argentino.
Choosing a reputable breeder will help assure that the dog will have the desired temperament as well as a reduced chance of being afflicted with the common health problems, such as deafness, that were mentioned above.