The Dogo Argentino resembles the American Bulldog in many ways. It is a muscular, majestic dog that typically sports a short, pure white coat. Its forehead is broad, tapering to a narrower but still sturdy square muzzle. The ears of the Dogo are high and widely set. They naturally hang down over the dog’s cheeks and are broad, thick, flat and rounded at the bottom. Some owners elect to surgically crop their Dogo’s ears. When cropped, the ears should be triangular and stand erect. Ear cropping requires surgery and recuperation. Once a dog’s ears are cropped, the owner must pay special attention to keeping them clean and wrapped so that they ultimately will stand perky and erect. Sometimes, despite the owner’s efforts, the dog’s ears will never stand properly. The Dogo’s tail is thick and long, reaching to the hocks. At rest, it hangs naturally. When the dog moves, its tail is held out slightly over its topline and typically moves back and forth in a natural wagging rhythm.
Size and Weight
The Dogo Argentino is a large breed. Adult males ideally measure between 24 and 27 inches at the withers, and females typically stand between 23 ½ and 26 inches in height. Healthy mature males and females usually weigh anywhere from 80 to 100 pounds. While this is not a giant breed, it still is quite large in the eyes of most owners and observers. The Dogo is a slow maturing breed. Males are not considered full-grown until they are at least 3 years of age. Females tend to mature faster, reaching maturity by about 2 years. Dogos that are under or over these height ranges are severely penalized in the show ring.
Coat and Color
The Dogo Argentino has a short, thick, smooth, glossy coat that is uniform in length, averaging about ½ to 1 inch. Long coats are penalized. Its hair is stiff and somewhat coarse, which provides protection from the sun and potential hunting injuries. In warm, humid climates, the Dogo’s coat tends to be thin and rather sparse. In colder climates, its coat is denser and may actually develop an undercoat. The Dogo’s coat is typically solid white, giving it a crisp, clean look and making it easily recognizable in the field. Sometimes, darker skin pigmentation will show through the coat, looking like speckles or spots; this is not penalized in adult dogs, although it is not preferred. Some Dogos have a black patch over one eye. One dark marking around an eye is permitted, as long as it doesn’t cover more than 10% of the animal’s head. No other markings are allowed under the breed standard, except for some light ticking. All other things being equal, the whiter dog is always preferred. Because of its light color, the Dogo can sunburn easily and should be provided shade or coat protection when exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time.
The Dogo Argentino is low-maintenance and requires little grooming. It should be brushed every few weeks to remove dirt, dandruff and loose hairs and keep its coat looking brilliant and fresh. A rubber curry comb can enhance the health and shine of the dog's coat. This breed doesn’t need frequent baths. When they are bathed, owners should use shampoos formulated for sensitive skin. The Dogo’s nails grow rather quickly and should be clipped regularly, starting at a young age so that the process doesn’t turn into a struggle when the dog is older and larger. Grooming a dog provides a great chance to inspect its coat and skin for injuries, inflammation, irritation or infection. For example, if an owner notices a foul smell when cleaning his dog's ears, the dog may have a fungal, yeast or bacterial ear infection. Fleas, ticks and other external parasites can be found during routine brushing, and then treated appropriately.