Bred to hunt big game in packs, Dogo Argentinos are powerful, athletic dogs who can make excellent pets if they receive firm training and plenty of exercise. If you’re an experienced dog person who wants an active, protective yet affectionate companion, you might enjoy life with a Dogo.
Dogo Argentinos were developed to hunt boar, puma and other large game in their native Argentina. They’re intelligent, strong and possessed of remarkable endurance, but they can also be aggressive with other animals. Unlike some hunting dogs, though, Dogos can make wonderful pets for both individuals and families. They usually have pleasant temperaments, fun-loving and affectionate personalities and a gentle but protective attitude toward children.
Dogo Argentinos have the stamina to run for hours, and they need rigorous daily activity to be happy and healthy. If you regularly bike, hike, jog, run or engage in other serious exercise, you might be an ideal buddy for a Dogo. They’re playful, so you can have rousing games of fetch, and they have a great time in the water. While Dogos love homes with large backyards, they also can thrive in apartments if you provide abundant exercise and activity. These dogs require both physical and intellectual challenges to prevent boredom—which can lead to inappropriate, costly and even dangerous behavior.
Standing about two feet tall at the shoulder and weighing 80 to 100 pounds, the muscular Dogo looks formidable and intimidating. These dogs are extremely protective of their people and usually leery of strangers. While Dogos can make excellent guard dogs, though, they need to be socialized and trained so they don’t become unnecessarily aggressive. Unfortunately, they’ve developed a bad reputation in some places, so check your city ordinances, neighborhood or apartment complex regulations and insurance coverage before you decide on a Dogo Argentino.
If you aren’t an "alpha personality" or haven’t had a dog before, you might do better with another breed; Dogo Argentinos need consistent, lifelong training by a firm leader. Unfortunately, without proper training, physical activity and mental stimulation, this breed can become destructive and even dangerous. If you plan to have more pets, you should socialize your Dogo as early as possible, because the best chance for inter-species or inter-dog harmony is to raise him with other animals.