Dogo Argentino

Written by: Jamie
Updated: November 9, 2020

Keen to learn more about the infamous Dogo Argentino, a banned breed in the UK? Then check out the guide below for further information.

Dogo Argentino stand isolated on white background

Height: Male 24-27 inches, female 24-26 inches
Weight: Male 40-45 kilos, female 35-40 kilos
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): No, this breed isn’t registered with the Kennel Club

Positives and Negatives

Below are the pros and cons related to the Dogo Argentino:


  • Excellent watchdog
  • Low grooming needs
  • Highly intelligent
  • Ideal for weight pulling


  • Can be unfriendly towards dogs and cats
  • Unsuitable for an apartment
  • First-time owners should steer clear
  • A tendency to wander off


Also known as the Argentinian fighting dog, the Dogo Argentino can become aggressive when they feel the need to protect their family. As descendants of the now-extinct fighting dog of Cordoba, these canines are often thought to be naturally aggressive.

Socialize this dog, give them a strong leader, don’t let them push boundaries and it is possible to have a well-behaved Argentine Dogo. These pooches have the potential to make good family dogs and are often referred to as a nanny. They have a kind, caring side that loves to dish out affection and cuddles!

Dogo Argentino lying in the grass

But the training will be very tough! These dogs are known to be rowdy in their younger years. However, once you establish leadership and respect, getting the Dogo Argentino to listen to your commands, won’t be too difficult. These dogs share a deep bond with all the family, including children, and will go to great lengths to protect all in the face of danger.

Muscly by nature, the Dogo Argentino is popular in weight pulling competitions. Other sports such as agility, hiking, and swimming are also enjoyed by this breed.

In their hunting days, these dogs were trained to hold prey with their body weight to keep them in place for hunters. The breed is easily able to tackle large prey with fearlessness. Pack work was also needed to target game such as wild boar and pumas. So, despite contrary reports, the Dogo Argentino can indeed work alongside other dogs.


In 1928, the Dogo Argentino was developed in Argentina’s Cordoba region by Dr Antonio Martinez. They were created to hunt large game such as wild boar and quickly grew in popularity. The Dogo Argentino descended from the Cordoba dog, a now extinct fighting dog.

Other breeds included in their development were the Boxer, Dogue de Bordeaux, Spanish Mastiff, Great Dane, Old English Bulldog, Pyrenean Mastiff, Bull Terrier, and the Irish Wolfhound. These canines were introduced into America in 1970 when Dr Raul Zeballos brought over the first 6 Dogo Argentinos.

The Dogo Argentino, banned in the UK, due to its aggressive nature, can’t be bred in the United Kingdom. When they arrived they quickly became prominent fighting dogs. Other banned breeds in the UK include the Japanese Tosa, Pitbull, and Fila Brasileiro. Ten other countries have also banned the Argentinian Mastiff.

The breed is allowed in America and has been newly recognized by the American Kennel Club. Thanks to the Dogo Argentino Club of America and their work, this breed was registered with the AKC on the 1st of January 2020.

Related: Discover more about the English foxhound next!


Dogo Argentino Temperament:

This canine can be vicious and fearless when necessary, but can easily adapt into a loving dog capable of being around children. The key is a strong, patient, and consistent owner that can balance out this dog’s behaviour.

Playing games with the family is something this pooch adores. They won’t hesitate to get involved and are actually rather affectionate and loving. A Dogo Argentino will be close to their owners indoors, yet outside their independence will show. Their high prey drive may lead them to explore so always keep them leashed.

Are Dogo Argentinos Good With Strangers?

No. this breed isn’t good with people they don’t know. If they haven’t been trained correctly they will automatically see strangers as a threat and will show aggression. With the right socialization, they can be calm and potentially even friendly, but will always be alert.

Puppy dogo argentino standing

Are Dogo Argentinos Good With Children?

Yes, this breed can make an excellent family companion. They are extremely loyal to their pack and will protect everyone within their household. Some even see the Dogo Argentino as a nanny dog due to their protective instincts when it comes to children. Ideally, any dog should be introduced to a child as early as possible.

Are Dogo Argentinos Ok With Other Dogs?

This breed can become aggressive with canines they don’t know. Yet, they were bred to hunt with other dogs, so with the right socialization, the breed can be friendly. Dogo Argentinos can live with dogs (of the opposite sex) and even cats in their household. Thorough socialization will be needed to ensure good behaviour around others.


Dogo Argentinos will need around 90 minutes of exercise each day and particularly love interactive games like fetch. Swimming is an activity the Dogo Argentino usually enjoys. Switch up your exercise routines and introduce this pooch to new environments and activities whenever possible.

Dogo Argentino running in the field

The physique of this breed is muscly. To enhance these features, lots of physical exercise will be needed. They have great stamina and can make a great jogging partner. Boredom can be a serious issue for the Dogo Argentino. Their bad behaviour could resort to aggression and destruction if their exercise needs aren’t being met.

Dogo Argentinos should only be exercised off-leash in an enclosed area. This canine has a strong prey drive and could mistake smaller dogs for prey. Games such as weight pulling, tug of war, and fetch are all activities this breed loves to enjoy. Be sure to factor in some mental stimulation where you can.

Related: If you’re looking for a dog that’s extremely active, then check out the Airedale Terrier.


Check out the breed-related health conditions of the Dogo Argentino below:

  • Hip Dysplasia- Poor development of the hip joint leads to lameness, swelling, pain, and inflammation. Arthritis may eventually follow.
  • Deafness- Age-related hearing loss is the most common form of deafness in dogs however, deafness can also be acquired.
  • Hypothyroidism- An underactive thyroid will cause a dull coat, excessive shedding, weight loss, and a lack of tolerance for the cold.
  • Glaucoma- A build-up of fluid and pressure in the eye due to decreased drainage of the Aqueous Humous. Causes redness, pain, and a loss of vision.
  • Laryngeal Paralysis- A dysfunctional larynx can cause issues with deep breathing and could obstruct the airway.

Intelligence & Training

An Argentine dog is highly intelligent and can pick up on commands much quicker than other breeds. Yet they are strong-willed and headstrong so won’t be ideal for first-time owners. This canine needs a leader that can handle their dominant side, ensuring they are calm and safe to be around.

If the Argentinian Mastiff doesn’t respect its owner, there will be a struggle when trying to teach this pooch obedience. This breed will push boundaries especially in their younger years and will need consistency. If you let bad behaviours slide, training will go right back to square one.

The Dogo Argentino isn’t sensitive so a firm voice won’t make this dog upset. Whilst this dog can handle harsher training techniques, a dog should never be physically touched during training. This could have serious consequences later on in life and could make even make them dog handler aggressive.

Socialization is especially important with the Dogo Argentino dog breed. They are known to be aggressive and need to be introduced to other dogs, people, and environments from as early as possible. This breed does have the potential to be a friendly, loving, and well-behaved canine, provided they are socialized and trained correctly.

Related: Why is the wonderful Otterhound breed so vulnerable?


The Argentinian dog has low grooming needs, so you won’t need to spend hours a week freshening them up. A quick brush once a week is all that’s needed. Ideal tools to use are bristle brushes, grooming mitts, or rubber brushes. Introduce grooming techniques as early as possible so that they become used to them.

The white coat may make debris more noticeable. Baths should be given every 12 weeks or whenever they begin to get dirty. Use a gentle, sensitive shampoo for their skin. Products need to be thoroughly washed to prevent them from settling on the skin.

Dogo Argentino forest portrait

The Dogo Argentino’s ears tend to build up debris rather quickly, even if they do have these cropped. Keep an eye on this once or twice a week and remove any debris. Excess fur may restrict airflow to the canal, so be sure to pluck this as and when necessary.

Nails grow fairly quickly and will need to be trimmed or filed monthly. It is important a Dogo Argentino is relaxed during this process, Try to get them used to this by the age of 6 months. Teeth will need to be brushed multiple times a week. Keep an eye on their front teeth. These can wear down quickly which could lead to decay.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Jamie! I've always been around dogs and now writing about them is an absolute joy.
Read more about my story here.
Reach me at or connect with me on LinkedIn below.

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