Dogo Argentino Breed Standards

ORIGIN: Argentina

Purpose: Bred to hunt large game, particularly Mountain Lions and Wild Boars
Breed Summary: Historically, the Dogo Argentino standards emerged in the 1920’s as a result of  Antonio Nores Martinez and Agustin combining the genetics of approximately 10 of the worlds most well-loved breeds including but not limited to the Pointer, the Boxer, the Spanish Mastiff, and the Great Dane.   Characteristically then, it is not difficult to understand why the Dogo Argentino standards are of most importance being that the breed is rapidly becoming known as one of the most adored,  athletically  developed, naturally protective, and  intelligent working class canine  companions.  Combining the the right owner(s) , early socialization, and quality canine training the Dogo Argentino can be one of the most  satisfying and stable family protection companions. The Dogo Argentino, is one of the most versatile canines due to its ability to channel guardian-like instincts, fearlessness, power, and animal aggression while  maintaining its fondness and frolicsome (playful) behavior towards family and within social settings.  The Dogo Argentino was bred to pack-hunt big-game such as Pumas or Wild Boars and possesses strong prey drive which accounts for the need to have an owner with the mentality of an Alpha. The ideal owner will have the proper respect for the power, intelligence, and the abilities of what we consider to be a superb breed.  Although the mechanics or makeup of the Dogo Argentino allows it to function as a mighty force when the situation or circumstance warrants, it is unique in its ability to be sensitive towards family often times soliciting physical attention or contact from family members. The Dogo Argentino is also known for it’s display of a peaceful, calm, or composed behavior when indoors.  A breed that encompasses it all- athleticism, protective instincts, playfulness, calmness.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: The Dogo Argentino standards- in keeping with the working class guardian that it is- has a large head  and a powerful jaw. The cranium shape of a Dogo Argentino is rounded and the muzzle is curved upward. The Dogo Argentino is dominantly white with very few variations in the pigmentation.  Periodically, a Dogo Argentino may have a black spot on the head referred to as Pirata or a black patch may appear around the eye. Overall though, the coat of a Dogo Argentino is white, thick and shiny with virtually no undercoat. The nose of the Dogo Argentino is generally black with perhaps a slight hint of pinkish coloration. The ears of the Dogo Argentino are usually cropped, they set atop the head upright and usually are triangular in shape.  The eye color of the Dogo Argentino varies from dark brown to hazel; however, the rim of the eyes usually are either black or pink.The Dogo Argentino is a great balance of sturdiness and style.  It’s chest is proportionate and sturdy, the tail is long and strong, and the neck of the Dogo Argentino is thick and robust.The Dogo Argentino standard in weight typically ranges between 80-110 pounds, it has a height of 24 to 28 inches at the shoulders with a life span of approximately 10-12 years on average.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: Mesocephalic (head of medium proportion), the muzzle should be the same length as the skull. The height at the withers should be to a small degree greater than the height at the croup. Depth of the chest should be at least 50% of the height at the withers. The length of the body should exceed the height at the withers by no more than 10%.

argentinian mastiff getting measured

HEAD/CRANIAL REGION: Mesocephalic (of medium proportion). compact, noticeably developed neck muscles that appear strong and powerful. The cranium and face axes should be convergent. The cranium shape of a Dogo Argentino is rounded and the muzzle is curved upward. Massive, convex front to back, and transverse.

FACIAL REGION: The same length as the head. The line connecting the two orbital projections of the forehead are at an equal distance from the occiput (the back of the head or skull) and the teeth-ridge of the upper jaw.

Muzzle- should be have a slight outline or surface that curves inward like the interior of a circle or sphere with nostrils wide opened. Cheekbone arches are distinctly separated from the head, with a full temple cavity. Cheeks are large and covered by firm skin absent of folds.

EYES-Dark or light brown in color, medium size, eyelid rims should be black preferably or clear; eyes set well apart. The look should be that which exudes vibrancy, enthusiasm, intelligence, yet resoluteness.

JAWS- Correctly positioned jaws should be well-adapted with no under or overshot. The arrangement or condition of the teeth clean and cross perfectly when biting. Scissors should be large and well-implanted.
NOSE- Heavily and dominantly pigmented with black, full nostrils with a pale stop at the tip of the nose.
EARS- Set well apart. If cropped, they should be high and erect, in a triangular shape with a length which does not exceed 50% of the front edge of the auricle of the natural ear. Without being cropped, they are of mid-length, broad, thick, flat and rounded at the tip. Covered with smooth hair which is slightly shorter than on the rest of the body; small spots may show. In natural position they hang down covering the back of the cheeks. However, they may be half-erect when the dog is on alert.
LIPS- Free edges, black pigmented, tight, pendulous lips are unacceptable. Lips should be short to support supplementary breathing easing the process of retain prey and preventing asphyxiation.

BODY TYPE: The length of the body (measured from the point of shoulder to point of buttock) may exceed the height at the withers by only 10% and is rectangular in shape.

NECK: Arched, slender, and pronounced with thickness including the throat area which should have smooth folds.

CHEST: Wide and deep, the sternum must reach down to the level of the elbows which maximizes breathing capacity.

BACK: Very muscular and sturdy with good definition.

THORAX: Long with ribs moderately curved and full when seen from the side. The lower edge escalates higher than the elbows.
SPINAL COLUMN : Higher in the shoulders, inclined in a mild slope towards the croup. Top line should be higher NOT level at the withers.

KIDNEYS: Wrapped by the dorsal muscles.

PAWS: Well-connected and well-padded, coarse to the touch with thick skin.

WEIGHT: 80 – 110 pounds

HEIGHT: 23.5 – 27.5 inches
From a functional point of view, primarily focusing on the breeds intended purpose and prey ability, greater size and weight should be given the advantage.

TAIL: Long and thick, but is not to exceed the hock joint, medium set. At rest it hangs low naturally, when engaged the motion is upright and lateral with curve.

LIMBS FOREQUARTERS: Good angulation. Legs should be straight and vertical. Highly muscular thighs, with a short hock and well-joined toes. Shoulders with great muscular development without exaggerations. The upper arm should be the same length as the shoulder; well raised/inclined. Strong, covered with a thicker and more elastic skin, the elbows should be without folds or wrinkles. and instinctively placed against the chest wall. The forearm and the upper arm should be virtually equally as long, horizontal to the ground, and straight with vigorous bone and muscles.
HINDQUARTERS: Very muscled, with short pasterns and well-closed toes, with no dewclaws. Moderate angulation. The upper thigh should be well proportioned, with visible and very developed muscles. Stifles: Appropriately and fitly angulated. The lower thigh should be marginally shorter than the upper thigh, strong and muscular. Hocks are strong, almost circular and vertical, without dewclaws. Although smaller the hind feet should be similar to the forefeet maintaining the same characteristics.

GAIT / MOVEMENT: Brisk and solid with noticeable changes when stimulated by something, Harmonious when walking with well balanced front suspension and powerful rear thrust. When exerting its energy at a slow or fast pace, the dog displays a full show of control and force.

SKIN: Thick with elasticity and similar in structure.
COAT: Short and smooth with a climatical variation of thickness and density. The length of the coat on average is approximately 1.5 to 2 cm. . Given two dogs of equal quality, the whiter should be advanced.

SERIOUS FAULTS: • Lack of bone and muscle development (weakness). • Nose partially pigmented in adults specimens. • Small, weak or unhealthy teeth. • Entropion, ectropion. • Eyes of round appearance due to the shape of the eyelids, bulging eyes, light or yellow. • Barrel chest. Lack of depth of chest, which does not reach the level of the elbows. • Lack of angulation on the limbs. • Croup higher than withers. • Ambling movement (pacing). • Males and females whose weight does not comply with the official valid standard and not in proportion to the size of the dog.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS: • Aggressive or overly shy. • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified. • Over or undershot mouth. • Deafness. • Lack of type. • Long hair. • Total lack of pigmentation of the nose in dogs aged 2 years or more. • Brown nose. • Pendulous lips. • Spots on the hair of the body. • More than one spot on the head. • Height above or below the limits established in the standard. • Eyes of different color or blue. • Lack of sexual dimorphism. N.B.: • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. • Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.