The Furry Critter Network

Argentinean Mastiff Breed Description

Back to Canine Breed Menu


Breed Organization

Argentinean Mastiff Club of America

Native Country

Other Names
Dogo Argentino

Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-12 Years

Litter Size
Average 4-8 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

The Argentinian Mastiff (also known as the Argentine Mastiff) is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina primarily for the purpose of big-game hunting, including wild boar and puma; the breeder, Antonio Nores Martinez, also wanted a dog that would exhibit steadfast bravery and willingly protect its human companion to the death. It was first bred in 1928, from the Cordoba Fighting Dog along with a wide array of other breeds including, but not limited to, the Great Dane.

It has been described as looking similar to the American Bulldog, but very tall with a solid white coat. The breed has also been described as looking similar to the American Pit Bull Terrier, even though the American Pit Bull Terrier is far smaller (13.5 to 27 kilograms).

The Argentinean Mastiff is a hunter of great courage and endurance, and will work individually or in packs. It has also successfully been used in police protection work

The Argentinean Mastiff is banned or has ownership restrictions in certain countries

Breed Standard

Head: Molossian appearance. Strong, well chiseled. Capacious, convex skull. Deep wrinkles on forehead. Slightly hollow muzzle. Powerful jaws.
Ears: Set on high. Held erect or semi-erect, v-shaped. Generally cropped.
Eyes: Dark or hazel color.
Body: Powerful without bulkiness. Arched, strong neck. Deep, full chest. Solid back.
Tail: Long and thick, naturally hanging down.
Hair: Short, thick, lying close to the skin.
Coat: White. Any color marking is a disqualification.
Size: Dog: 62 to 65 cm. (24.-26.5 in).Bitch: 57 to 60 cm. (22.5-23.5 in).
Weight: 40 to 50 kg. (88-110.5 lb).


This breed was created in Argentina by the Martinez brothers in the early twentieth century. The root stock was the Fighting Dog of Cordoba, a ferocious mastiff. As the breed was developed it was crossed with the Spanish Mastiff, the Great Pyrenees, the Great Dane, the Boxer, mastiffs, the Bulldog, pointers, and the Irish Wolfhound. The result was a versatile breed that could be used for hunting, fighting, guard duties, and more. The first standard was written in 1928 and approved by the Argentina Kennel Club in 1965. In 1973, the FCI established a standard for the breed, and, in 1975, officially recognized the first and only breed ever developed in Argentina.


This is a very robust, active, energetic, agile, courageous breed. The Argentinian Mastiff is calm, peaceful, affectionate, and docile. He is very sociable and needs to stay close to his owner. He rarely barks. This breed is aggressive and dominant with other dogs, and is fearsome indeed when defending his owner's property. Firm training is required, but be gentle with this sensitive dog.

The Argentinean Mastiff can adjust to life in an apartment if he can get out two or three times each day and get plenty of exercise. He should be outdoors as much as possible. Brushing once or twice per week and bathing two or three times per year is recommended. It is necessary to clean his eyes regularly to avoid streaks.


Hunting dog (large game: boar, puma, etc.). Utility dog: police dog, army dog, customs, search and rescue, guide dog. Guard dog, pet.


As in the Dalmatian, white Boxer, and the white Bull Terrier, the dogo may experience pigment-related deafness. There is possibility of an approximate 10% deafness rate overall with some dogos afflicted unilaterally (one deaf ear) and some bilaterally (deaf in both ears). Studies have shown that the incidence of deafness is drastically reduced when the only breeding stock used is that with bilaterally normal hearing. Hip dysplasia is also a common health concern.

Back to Canine Breed Menu

Featured Rescues

"Don't Shop ... Please Adopt"

laptop pro


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

laptop pro


If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

laptop pro

Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.