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Argentine Dogo

Dogo Argentino


Argentine Dogo Breed Standard

As a club, the USDAC has chosen to use the pre-1999 breed standard as its standard of judging. This standard is the last standard where all changes and modifications were approved by Augustin Martinez. All standards after that were changed without the approval of the founder. Below our club standard, we have posted standards used for judging elsewhere. If you are interested in showing, this should give a good idea of what is desired from a Dogo in the ring.

CRANIUM Solid, longitudinally and transversally convex, due to the relief of the chewing and neck muscles.

MUZZLE Of the same length as the cranium, that is to say a line joining the two orbital apopheses across the front must be the same distance from the occiput as from the alveolar edge of the upper jaw.

EYES Dark or hazelnut, surrounded by black or flesh colored eyerims, well separated, looking lively and intelligent but markedly hard at the same time.

JAWS Well adapted, without prognathism, strong, with large, well implanted teeth.

NOSE Strongly pigmented in black, with a slight stop at the tip and ample nasal openings.

EARS At the top of the head, erect or semi-erect, triangular in shape, must be shown cropped.

LIPS Well rolled, taut, free edged and pigmented in black.

OCCIPUT Not prominent because the powerful muscles of the nape conceal it completely, the head to neck insertion is arched.

NECK Thick, arched, slender, with very thick skin, wrinkling in the throat region like that of the Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux or Bulldog, and not taut like that of the Bullterrier.

CHEST Broad, deep, with the impression of possessing large lungs. Viewed from the front, the sternum extends below the elbows.

WITHERS High, very strong, of great muscular relief.

THORAX Broad, when viewed from the side its lower edge extends below the elbows.

SPINE Highest at the withers, inclined towards the rump in a smooth slope.

FRONT LEGS Straight, well aligned, toes short and close together.

KIDNEYS Concealed by the dorsal muscles.

REAR LEGS Muscular thighs, with short pastern and well closed toes without dewclaws.

TAIL Long and thick, but without surpassing the hocks when hanging down naturally. During the struggle, it is kept elevated and in a continuous lateral movement, as when exhibiting affection for the master.

WEIGHT 40-45 kilos (88.2-99.2 lbs) HEIGHT 60-65 centimeters (23.6-25.6 inches)

COAT Completely white. Any spot of any color must be disqualified as an atavistic trait.

DISQUALIFICATIONS Differently colored or blue eyes, deafness, spot(s) on the body, long hair, white or heavily white pigmented nose, prognathism of any type, excessively pendular lips, houndy head, uncropped ears, ears cropped too close, height under 63 cm (24.8 inches) for males or under 60 cm. (23.5 inches) for bitches, more than one spot on the head, all physical disproportion. Dew claws are a fault but not disqualifying.


Molossian normal type, mesomorphic and macrothalic, within the desirable proportions without gigantic dimensions. Its aspect is harmonic and vigorous due to its powerful muscles which stand out under the consistent and elastic skin adhered to the body through a not very lax subcutaneous tissue. It walks quietly but firmly, showing its intelligence and quick responsiveness and revealing by means of his movement his permanent happy natural disposition. Of a kind and loving nature, of a striking whiteness, its physical virtues turn it into a real athlete.

As a mesomorphic animal, no part stands out from the whole body which is harmonic and balanced. Mesocephalic, its muzzle should be as long as its skull. The height at the withers is equal to the height at the croup. The depth of the thorax equals 50% of the height at the withers. The length of the body exceeds the height at the withers by 10%.

It is cheerful, frank, humble, friendly, and not a hard barker, always conscious of its power. It should never be aggressive, a trait that should be severely observed. Its domineering attitude makes it continuously compete for territory with specimens of the same sex, most noticeable behavior in males. As a hunter, it is smart, silent, courageous and brave.

Of mesocephalic type, it looks strong and powerful, without abrupt angles or distinct chiselling. Its profile shows an upper line which is concave - convex : convex at the skull because of the prominence of its masticatory muscles and its nape; and slightly concave at the foreface. The head joins the neck forming a strong muscular arch.

Skull : Compact, convex in the front to back and transverse direction. Its zygomatic arches are far apart from the skull, forming a large temporal cavity which enables the large development of the temporal muscle. Its occipital bone is not very prominent due to the strong muscles of the nape. The central depression of the skull is slightly noticeable.
Stop : Slightly defined, as a transition from the convex skull region to the slightly concave foreface. From the side, it shows a definite profile due to the prominence of the superciliary ridges.

As long as the skull.
Nose : Ample nostrils. Black pigmentation. It is slightly elevated forwards, finishing off the concave profile of the muzzle. From the side, the front line is perpendicular and straight, coinciding with the maxillary edge or slightly projected forward.
Muzzle : Strong, a bit longer than deep, well developed in width, with sides slightly converging. The upper line is slightly concave, an almost exclusive trait of the Argentinean Dogo.
Lips : Moderately thick, short and tight. With free edges, preferably with black pigmentation.
Jaws/Teeth : Jaws strong and well adapted; no under-or overshot mouth. The jaws should be slightly and homogeneously convergent. They ensure maximum bite capacity. Teeth big, well developed,firmly implanted in line, looking clean without caries. A complete dentition is recommended, priority being given to the homogeneous dental arches. Pincer bite, though scissor bite is accepted.
Cheeks : Large and relatively flat, free from folds, bulges or chiselling, covered by strong skin.
Eyes : Dark or hazel colored, protected by lids preferably with black pigmentation though the lack of pigmentation is not considered a fault. Almond-shaped, set at medium height, the distance between them must be wide. As a whole, the expression should be alert and lively, but at the same time remarkably firm, particularly in males.
Ears : High and laterally inserted, set well apart due to the width of the skull. Functionally, they should be cropped and erect, in triangular shape and 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 a bit shorter than on the rest of the body: they may show small spots, not to be penalized. In natural position they hang down covering the back of the cheeks. When the dog is alert they may be half-erect.

Of medium length, strong and erect, well muscled, with a slightly convex upper line. Truncated cone-shaped, it joins the head in a muscular arch which hides all bony prominence in this part, and fits to the thorax in a large base. It is covered by a thick and elastic skin that freely slips over the subcutaneous tissue which is a bit laxer than on the rest of the body. It has non-pendent smooth folds at the height of the throat, a fundamental trait for the function of the animal. The coat in this part is slightly longer than on the rest of the body.

The length of the body (from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock) exceeds the height at the withers by 10%.
Upper line Level; the withers and the pin bones of the croup are at the same height, constituting the highest points.
Withers Large and high.
Back : Large and strong, with fully developed muscles forming a slight slope towards the loins.
Loins : Strong and hidden by the developed lumbar muscles which form a median furrow along the spine. Slightly shorter than the dorsal region, rising very slightly to the top of the croup. The development of muscles in the parts of the upper line causes the dogs to show a slightly depressed profile without being actually so. which is enhanced in adults due to the fully developed dorsal and spinal muscles.
Croup : Of medium length, large and muscular; slightly showing the tips of both ilium and ischium. Its width is equal or a bit less than that of the thorax; the angle to the horizontal is of about 30 degrees, thus the upper line falling in a slightly convex slope towards the insertion of the tail.
Chest : Broad and deep. The tip of the breastbone is level with the tip of the shoulder joint (scapulo-humeral joint) and the sternal line of the thorax is level with the elbow line. Large thorax providing maximum respiratory capacity, with long and moderately curved ribs which join the breastbone at the height of the elbow line.
Abdomen : Slightly tucked up beyond the bottom line of the thorax, but never greyhound-like. Strong with good muscular tension as well as in the flanks and loins.

Set medium high, with 45 degree angle to the upper line. Saber-shaped, thick and long, reaching to the hocks but not further down. At rest it hangs down naturally: when the dog is in action, it is slightly raised over the upper line and constantly moving sidewards. When trotting, it is carried level with the upper line or slightly above.

As a whole, they form a sturdy and solid structure of bones and muscles, proportionate to the size of the animal. Forelegs straight and vertical, seen from the front or in profile.
Shoulders : High and proportioned. Very strong, with great muscular contours without exaggeration. Slanting of 45 degrees to the horizontal.
Upper arm : Of medium length, proportionate to the whole. Strong and very muscular, with an 45 degree angle to the horizontal.
Elbows : Sturdy, covered with a thicker and more elastic skin, without folds or wrinkles. Naturally situated against the chest wall of which they seem to be part.
Forearm : As long as the upper arm, perpendicular to the horizontal, straight with strong bone and muscles.
Pastern joint : Broad and in line with the forearm, without bony prominence or skin folds.
Pastern : Slightly flat, well boned, slanting of 70 to 75 degrees to the horizontal plane.
Front feet : Rounded; with short, sturdy, very tight toes. Fleshy, hard pads, covered by black and rough-to-the-touch skin.

With medium angulation. As a whole, they are strong, sturdy and parallel, creating the image of the great power their function requires. They ensure the proper impulsion and determine the dogs characteristic gait.
Upper thigh : Length proportionate to the whole. Strong and with fully developed and visible muscles. Coxo-femoral angle close to 100 degrees
Stifles: Set in the same axis as the limb. Femoral-tibial angle close to 110 degrees.
Lower thigh : Slightly shorter than the upper thigh, strong and with similarly developed muscles.
Hock joint / Hock : The tarsus-metatarsus section is short, strong and firm, ensuring powerful propelling of the hind limb. Sturdy hock joint with a noticeable calcaneus (tip of hock). The angle at the hock joint is close to 140 degree Sturdy hock, almost cylindrical and at 90 degree angle to the horizontal. If present, dewclaws should be removed.
Hind feet : Similar to forefeet, though slightly smaller and broader, but with the same characteristics.

Agile and firm; with noticeable modification when showing interest in something, changing into an erect attitude and responding to reflexes quickly, typical for this breed. Calm walk, extended trot, with a good front suspension and a powerful rear propelling. At gallop, the dog shows all of its energy displaying its power fully. The four feet leave simple, parallel traces. Ambling (pacing) is not accepted and is considered a serious fault.

Homogeneous, slightly thick, but smooth and elastic. Adhering to the body through a semilax subcutaneous tissue which ensures free movement without forming relevant folds, except for the neck area where the subcutaneous tissue is laxer. With as little pigmentation as possible, through this increases with the years. An excessive pigmentation of the skin is not accepted. Preference should be given to dogs with black pigmentation of the rims of labial and palpebral mucous membranes.

Uniform, short, plain and smooth to the touch, with an average length of 1,5 to 2 cm. Variable density and thickness according to different climates. In tropical climates the coat is sparse and thin (letting the skin shine though and making pigmented regions visible which is not a cause of penalty). In a cold climate it is thicker and denser and may present an undercoat.

Completely white; only one black or dark colored patch around the eye may be admitted, provided that it does not cover more than 10% of the head. Between two dogs of equal conformation, the judge should always choose the whiter one.

Height at the withers: Dogs: 62 to 68 cm; Bitches: 60 to 65 cm.

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Poor bone and muscle development (weakness).
Nose with little pigmentation.
Pendulous lips.
Small, weak or decayed teeth. Incomplete dentition.
Eyes excessively light; entropion, ectropion.
Barrel chest; keel chest.
Flat ribs.
Excessive angulations of the hindquarters.
Hock too long.
Untypical movement.
Excessive skin pigmentation in young dogs.
Appearance of small areas with colored hairs.
Unsteady temperament..

Nose without pigmentation.
Over-or undershot mouth.
Light blue eyes; eyes of different color (heterochromia).
Long coat.
Patches in the body coat. More than one patch on the head.
Height under 60 cm and over 68 cm.

N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Dogo Argentino

The head is large, but proportionate to the size of the body, and broad, giving the impression of great power and strength, without abrupt angles or distinct chiseling. Viewed from the front, the head is shaped like a square within a square. Viewed from above, the head is broad through the skull, narrowing slightly where muzzle joins the skull, and then tapering only slightly to the blunt end of the muzzle. When viewed from the side, the length of skull and muzzle are approximately equal in length, and joined by a moderate, but well-defined stop. The planes of the skull and muzzle are not parallel. The skull slightly domed and the bridge of the muzzle rises slightly from the stop to the nose.

Skull - The skull is broad and slightly domed, with a median furrow that diminishes in depth and width from the stop to the occiput. Cheeks are well developed, relatively flat, and powerful. The supraorbital arches over the eyes are moderately well defined.

Muzzle - The muzzle is powerful, slightly longer than deep, and narrowing very slightly from stop to nose. The bridge of the muzzle slopes slightly upward from stop to nose. Lips are tight and moderately thick. Black pigmentation on the edge of the lips is preferred.

Serious fault: Pendulous lips.
Disqualification: Lips hanging below lower jaw.

Teeth - The Dogo Argentino has a complete set of large, evenly spaced, white teeth. A scissors bite is preferred, but a level bite is acceptable.

Serious faults: Overshot or undershot bite; small, weak or decayed teeth; incomplete dentition.

Nose - Nose is large and black, with well-developed nostrils. Some pink pigment on the nose is acceptable, provided the nose is predominantly black.

Serious fault: Nose predominantly pink.

Eyes - Eyes are of medium size, almond shaped, and set well apart. Eye color may range from very dark brown to dark hazel, but darker eye color is strongly preferred. Eye rims are tight and preferably black in color, although lack of pigmentation is not a fault. Expression is alert and lively, but firm, particularly in males.

Serious faults: Functional abnormality of eyelids or eyelashes.
Disqualifications: Eyes any color other than listed above; eyes not of matching colors.

Ears - Ears are set on high on the outside edges of the topskull, and may be cropped or natural. Cropped ears should be triangular in shape, short, and erect. Natural ears are drop, broad at the base, short in length (reaching just to the corner of the lower jaw when hanging naturally) and tapering to a rounded tip. Ear leather is thick. At rest, the ears should hang nearly flat and close to the cheeks, with little or no fold. The ears may be semi-erect when the dog is alert. The outside of the ear is covered with smooth hair that is slightly shorter than the body coat. Ear color may range from heavily spotted to solid black or brindle.

Disqualifications: Unilateral or bilateral deafness.

The neck is of medium length and muscular, with a slight arch at the crest, and tapering slightly from shoulders to the head. The skin on the throat is thick and elastic, and may form slight, smooth, non-pendent folds.

The shoulder blades are long, wide, muscular, and well laid back. The upper arm is roughly equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an apparent right angle, lying flat against the chest wall.

The forelegs are well boned, strong and muscular. The elbows are set close to the body. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are set moderately wide apart and perpendicular to the ground. The pasterns are short, powerful, straight, and flexible. When viewed in profile, the pasterns are slightly flat, well boned and slightly sloping at an angle of 70-75 degrees.

The chest is deep, well filled in, and wide with ample room for heart and lungs. The forechest does not extend much beyond the point of shoulder. The prosternum is level with the point of shoulder. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung from the spine, then flattening to form a deep body extending to or below the elbows. The back is strong and firm. The backline falls off slightly behind the withers and blends smoothly into the loin. The loin is short, broad, with a slight rise, blending into a moderately sloping croup. The flank is moderately tucked up and firm.

Serious faults: Barrel chest; flat ribs.

The hindquarters are strong, muscular, moderately broad, and slightly less angulated than the forequarters. The second thigh is slightly shorter than the upper thigh. The rump is well filled in on each side of the tail and deep. The bone and musculature of the hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters. The thighs are well developed with thick, easily discerned muscles. Viewed from the side, the hock joint is well bent and the rear pasterns are well let down and perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are straight and parallel to one another.

Serious faults: Overangulation; long hocks.

The feet are round, well arched, and tight. Pads are thick, black, and rough in texture. Rear feet are slightly smaller and broader than front feet. Dewclaws may be removed.

The tail is set on moderately high, forming a 45 percent angle to the horizontal. It is thick at the base, and tapers to a point. When the dog is relaxed, the tail is carried low and extends approximately to the hock. When the dog is moving, the tail may be carried slightly above the backline, moving rhythmically from side to side. When the dog is excited, the tail may be carried in a raised, upright position (challenge tail), but never curled over the back (gay tail).

Coat is short, smooth, and glossy. Density of coat may vary with the climate. Coat on the ears may be shorter and thinner than the body coat. Coat on the throat and neck may be thicker and slightly longer.
Disqualification: Long coat.

White. Skin pigmentation that shows through the coat is not to be penalized in mature dogs. One dark marking on the head is permitted provided that it does not cover more than 10% of the head. All other things being equal, the whiter dog is preferred.

Serious fault: Patches of color on the coat other than as allowed on the head; small patches of colored hair, other than as allowed above; excessive skin pigmentation in young dogs.

Height for mature males should range between 241/2 and 27 inches. Height for mature females should range between 231/2 and 251/2 inches. A mature Dogo under the minimum height for its sex is disqualified. Dogos are not a giant breed so a mature Dogo over the maximum heights should be penalized, because the additional height detracts from its ability to work.

Dogos should always be presented in hard, working condition. Weight should be sufficient so that the dog presents a harmonious blending of sturdiness and substance with agility and athleticism.

Serious faults: Dog or bitch, one year of age or older, over the maximum height for its sex; overweight; poorly conditioned dog.
Disqualification: Dog or bitch, one year of age or older, under the minimum height for its sex.

The Dogo Argentino moves with power and agility, able to change gait quickly and smoothly when in the field. When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful, and well coordinated, showing good reach in front and drive behind. When moving, the backline remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance.

Poor movement should be penalized to the degree to which it reduces the Dogo's ability to perform the tasks it was bred to do.

Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Lips hanging below lower jaw. Eyes of any color other than listed. Eyes not of matching colors. Unilateral or bilateral deafness. Long coat. Dog or bitch, one year of age or older, under the minimum height for its sex.