Ron Wilbie, Animal Photography / Vetstreet.com
The Dogo Argentino is not an appropriate choice for a first-time dog owner. He is big, powerful, intelligent, energetic, and headstrong. A Dogo needs a leader who can guide him with firmness and consistency without using force or cruelty. If you want the courageous, yet kind, dog, that is the Dogo at his best. But you must commit to a lot of homework to find a reputable breeder and to training, socializing, and exercising him throughout his life.
The Dogo has a high activity level and needs a job to do, which can be anything from being your on-leash jogging companion to his traditional role as hunting dog and home guardian. He will not be satisfied to lie around and do nothing. He must also be prevented from chasing and killing cats or small dogs belonging to the neighbors. The Dogo has a high prey drive, a strong protective instinct, and a territorial nature, so he needs a strong, high fence to keep him on his own property. An underground electronic fence is not appropriate.
Early, frequent socialization is essential. Purchase a Dogo Argentino puppy from a breeder who raises the pups in the home and ensures that they are exposed to many different household sights and sounds, as well as people, before they go off to their new homes. Continue socializing your Dogo Argentino throughout his life by taking him to puppy kindergarten class, with visits to friends and neighbors, and on outings to local shops and businesses. This is the only way he can learn to recofnize what is normal and what is truly a threat.
Begin training as soon as you bring your Dogo Argentino puppy home, while he is still at a manageable size. That 20-pound ball of white satin will quickly grow. Try a nothing-in-life-is-free program, requiring puppies to “work” for everything they get by performing a command before receiving meals, toys, treats, or play. It’s always a good idea to take a Dogo to puppy kindergarten followed by basic obedience classes, especially if you are working with a trainer who understands the Dogo Argentino mindset.
Like any dog, Dogo Argentino puppies are inveterate chewers and because of their size can do a lot of damage. Don’t give them the run of the house until they’ve reached trustworthy maturity. And keep your Dogo Argentino puppy busy with training, play, and socialization experiences. A bored Dogo Argentino is a destructive Dogo Argentino.
The Dogo Argentino should spend plenty of time with his family. Chaining a Dogo out in the yard and giving him little or no attention is not only cruel, it can also lead to aggression and destructive behavior.
The Dogo Argentino has a smooth white coat that sheds heavily. Brush him at least once a week to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy. Clean the ears and trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Dogo on the rare occasions that he’s dirty.
You may have heard that this breed is hypoallergenic. That is not true. No breed is. Allergies are not caused by a particular dog coat type but by dander (the dead skin cells that are shed by all dogs). There is no scientific evidence that any breed or cross breed is more or less allergenic than any other dog. Some people with allergies react less severely to particular dogs, but no reputable breeder will guarantee that a dog is hypoallergenic.
Other Quick Facts:
- The Dogo Argentino can weight upwards of 80 pounds
- This breed was traditionally used to hunt big game in Argentina.
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