Dogo argentino, bred to be a hunting machine

There was a need in Argentina for a hunting and working dog, which could hunt and kill wild boar, pumas and other native predators, as well as guarding the owner, his flocks and his property. In the 1920’s no such dog existed, but the two Martinez brothers took up the challenge, and set out to breed a dog – the Dogo Argentino – with the required attributes.

They started with the then most valued hunting dog in their native Argentina, the Cordoba, which was bred from the fighting bulldog and the Spanish mastiff. Over a period of nearly 30 years the brothers gradually blended in 10 other breeds to produce the Dogo Argentino with the characteristics they identified as being right for their type.

They knew which breeds were blessed with the particular attributes they required ‘ these included the Pointer, the Spanish mastiff, the British bulldog and bullterrier, the wolfhound, the boxer etc etc.

The Dogo is a natural hunter. It has the inbred instinct to hunt down and kill wild boar and mountain lions single-handedly. As a natural hunter, the Dogo regards other animals ‘ including humans ‘ as prey, just like the wolf does. In their natural habitat, the Dogo is often not offered dog food, but is expected to eat his share of whatever prey he manages to catch.

There is no dog more devoted or loyal to his owner. This can obviously be a problem when the dog is owned by an undesirable or unscrupulous person.

Training such a strong and potentially fierce animal can present particular problems. This is a very intelligent, powerful dog which needs a firm and consistent hand.

If the Dogo is to be a working dog, or a hunting or guard dog, then the puppy should be imprinted at a very early stage to regard humans, and other animals, as natural prey.

Even if they are not imprinted, they will still show natural aggression towards humans as towards any other animal when they perceive a potential threat to their dominance,territory or food. So if you own a Dogo, never let him run free in public, or you could have real problems with other animals – or humans!

A wonderful animal, bred to perfection to hunt and kill wild and dangerous prey. So next time you come across a Dogo Argentino, before you get too close, remember that he probably sees you as prey.