The Dogo Argentino is the realization of a dream had by Antonio Nores Martinez over 80 years ago. In 1925 he and his brother Augustin began the long and difficult process of creating a big game hound designed specifically for the diverse and rugged Argentine countryside. Antonio's goal was "a mix that would turn them into sociable dogs, capable of living in freedom, in families and on estates, keeping the great courage of the primitive breed, but applied to a useful and noble end; sport hunting and vermin control."
They started with the now extinct 'fighting dog of cordoba'. A great majority of their early work was devoted to eliminating the fighting eagerness while developing the hunting instinct. This was essential as Antonio's aim was 'more than anything else to deprive them of that fighting eagerness against other dogs, which made them useless for pack hunting'.
The formula they started is as follows:
- the Fighting Dog of Cordoba
- the Pointer to provide a keen sense of smell
- the Boxer boosted vivacity and gentleness
- the Great Dane its size
- the Bull Terrier, fearlessness
- the Bulldog bequeathed an ample chest and boldness
- the Irish Wolfhound borne it's instinct for the hunt
- the Dogue de Bordeaux contributed it's powerful jaws
- the Great Pyrenees the white coat
- the Spanish Mastiff equipped the Dogo with it's quota of power
Antonio later became a respected surgeon and used his medical knowledge to refine his dream. He wrote the standard for the new breed in 1928. Sadly, in 1956 Antonio he was killed during a boar hunt and did not live to see the realization of his dream. At this point Augustin resumed control of the breading program. He brought the Dogo back from near ruin and moved the headquarters for the breed from Cordoba to Esquel. AS Augustin later became the Argentine ambassador to Canada he was able to take advantage of his travels to spread Dogos throughout the world. The Dogo Argentino was quickly becoming a favorite among big game hunters in Argentina and surrounding countries, especially useful hunting wild boar and puma.
The Dogo Argentino is an endurance hound, expected to track the wild boar across vast pampas, corner the animal and attack and hold it for the hunters. Although capable of astounding bursts of speed for short distances, the Dogo's talent rests in it's ability to cover long distances at a gallop.
In a traditional boar hunt the hunter will jump on the boar and kill it with a knife thrust. Hence having cornered the boar, the Dogo must have enough strength in reserve to attack and hold a wild boar weighing up to 400 pounds.