The Dogo Argentino (a.k.a. Argentinian Mastiff or Argentine Dogo) is a large athletic breed of hunting dog. This breed was first developed in Argentina by Antonio Nores Martinez mainly for big-game hunting. It was bred from the Cordoba Fighting Dog along with other strong breeds.
A broad skull and smooth white coat are its defining characteristics. It has a muscular body and can grow up to 27 inches in height and weigh as much as 100 pounds. Dog owners know this breed for its friendliness and cheerful demeanor. It is a strong and fearless hunter outdoors, but a gentle and affectionate companion at home.
The Dogo Argentino is more expensive compared to other breeds. It is listed as one of the six most expensive breeds. The price of a puppy is usually between $1,000 and $4,000.
Its price depends greatly on various factors such as its age, the breeder’s reputation and location, and whether it has been readily trained. Some Dogo Argentino puppies that have superior bloodlines and from highly reputable dog breeders may cost as much as $7,500.
There are other upfront costs associated with bringing a new pet dog at home; some of which are the following:
The Dogo Argentino is relatively larger than most breeds and thus needs larger beddings. The size of the beddings significantly affects its price so beddings for a Dogo Argentino cost a bit more. You can buy a comfortable large-sized (roughly 30” x 40”) bedding from Petco with a budget of $30 to $100.
Similar to beddings, the cost for a cage/crate is a bit more expensive because of the required size. The Dogo Argentino is large and needs at least an XL-size (roughly 42” x 28” x 30”) crate which costs around $50 to $280.
- Leash and Collar
Since a Dogo Argentino is strong and muscular, it is advisable to use a heavy-duty collar. You can find high-quality and heavy-duty collars and leashes from For Dog Trainers for around $20 to $70.
- Food and water bowls
Food and water bowls are essential but relatively cheap. You can buy good quality bowls from PetSmart for as low as $5 and up to $50.
What are Included when Buying a Dogo Argentino?
Pet stores and adoption/rescue centers usually include a registration certificate. It gives details about the puppy (e.g. birth date, father, and mother) but does not necessarily assure its quality. Consider it as merely a brief summary about the puppy.
Health papers are also included especially when a breed is prone to specific hereditary health problems (e.g. Dogo Argentino prone to pig-related deafness). The document about the family tree of the puppy is also included (pedigree). These documents may serve as an indicator that the breeder is a professional and competent one.
Aside from the aforementioned documents, most reputable stores also include different freebies and accessories such as food and water bowls, toys, and a few dog treats.
What are the Recurring Expenses?
Maintaining a healthy, active, and athletic breed such as the Dogo Argentino is a bit costly. Mainly because it is very sensitive and grows quickly in size.
The annual cost is estimated to be around $500 to $1000. This includes the price of foods, toys, and most importantly, health care (spay/neuter, flea checks, dental care, and regular vaccinations).
Since the Dogo Argentino is muscular and highly active, it requires a large amount of food to compensate for its energy consumption and maintaining body weight. Dog foods with high protein and fat are best for them.
One recommended food is Purina Pro Plan’s Shredded Blend Large Breed Formula which costs around $1.41 per pound. For a raw food brand, Only Natural Pet is a great option at only $0.45 an ounce. Crave Adult Canned food is a natural winner if you want to go that route at only $1.89 per can; this brand is also denser than most dog foods, so your dog will generally need fewer cans than with other brands.
The Dogo Argentino, due to its higher level of activity, needs toys it can play or train with. Prices of toys vary greatly depending on their quality and purpose. Dog exercise aids found on Pet Expertise costs between $24 and $110. Chew toys and treat puzzle toys costs around $6 to $50.
Health care is probably the most expensive but also the most important expense. Health care expenses include costs from various factors.
The costs for spaying and neutering depend on the dog’s weight. Affordable spay and neuter services by the FACE Animal Clinic cost only around $95 to $105 given the average weight of an adult Dogo Argentino (between 80 and 100 pounds). These are the usual prices found in reputable, local clinics. You can also search for low-cost spay/neuter providers on ASPCA’s Database. Due to the Dogo Argentino’s size, we do recommend waiting until maturity to neuter or spay in order to prevent joint problems.
Fleas can be easily prevented if dogs are regularly checked, especially during the summer. But in case the fleas need to be treated, you can find a flea comb for $7 to $15 and flea removal shampoo for $15 to $17 per 24 oz at Pet Smart.
Regular vaccinations, on average, cost around $20 to $150 per year. There are some clinics that offer low-cost vaccinations which can save you a lot of money. The Abrams Forest Veterinary Clinic offers vaccinations which cost $30 to $50 per shot depending on the kind of vaccine.
Meanwhile, the cost of dental care depends on the seriousness of a dog’s dental problems. Dental procedures (including cleaning) are usually costly. Abrams Forest Veterinary Clinic also offers cost-efficient dental care for as low as $150.
It also offers a Senior Health Care package which costs $225 and includes most of those mentioned above and more.
Where Can I Get One?
You can search for a lot of Dogo Argentino puppies online. You can check websites like Europuppy.com, PuppyFind.com, DreamDogos.com, and PureDogo.com. These are the most famous ones, but there are other lesser-known websites. You can also try to check for reputable dog breeders locally.
We recommend only adopting from reputable breeders. While puppy mills and backyard breeders might be cheaper, they generally do not offer the same level of care and health testing that high-quality breeders do. The American Kennel Club has a list of qualified breeders on their website.
If you are quite low on the budget but would really like to own one, or if you just want to adopt instead of buying one, you can visit adoption websites like DogTime.com, DCDogos.com, and AdoptAPet.com. You can also try checking for animal shelters and animal rescue centers locally.
Be mindful that this does involve not only the initial Dogo Argentino price but also the expenses of raising one in the long run.
What are the Things to Consider Before Buying One?
First, the cost. Not only the initial cost of buying a Dogo Argentino (the price of a puppy/adult including expenses for shelter, accessories, and permits), but also the cost of maintaining a healthy one (the upkeep costs of food, consumable toys, and healthcare).
Second, time and energy. Someone who wants to own a Dogo Argentino should have the patience and energy to train it. It is very energetic and very active and therefore should be consistently engaged in activities. It has a higher activity level compared to other breeds and needs constant physical and mental exercises.
Lastly, environment. Although training plays a big role in the development of a dog’s behavior, there are some breeds that are naturally more suited to certain environments. The Dogo Argentino requires a large space at home for it to feel comfortable. It has a high prey drive and is harder to train when in crowded households or homes with small pets.
Tips and Facts About the Dogo Argentino
The Dogo Argentino should start socializing with other people and dogs from an early age in order to develop a friendlier personality. The earlier it is trained, the better.
The owner should be assertive in its role as the owner and trainer. This helps the Dogo Argentino be mindful of its boundaries. The lack of proper training may lead to unpredictable behavior.
The Dogo Argentino is very active and sensitive. Leaving it with nothing much to do or not giving it enough attention may lead to attempting to create its own fun, which can result in destructive behavior.
It also has a high prey drive. It will usually chase smaller animals like cats, rabbits, and even other smaller dogs, but it can learn to get along with other animals as long as it is raised properly.
Owners are highly-advised to leash it or let it stay within high-fenced enclosures. But time spent leashed or within fences must be kept to a minimum since it enjoys spending time with its owner and is very fond of socializing.
This breed has an estimated 10% chance of pigment-related deafness which can affect either of its ears or potentially both. Luckily, most quality breeders will check the parent’s hearing before producing puppies, which nearly eliminates the puppies’ chance of being affected.
The Dogo Argentino is highly intelligent, strong-willed, and loyal. These characteristics, combined with its excellent physical qualities (strong jaws, superb strength, and great stamina), make it a suitable watchdog when trained correctly. These qualities prove useful for police and military work, guarding, search and rescue operations, and guiding visually impaired people.
Do not be afraid to ask other dog lovers and owners. It is now much easier to connect with other Dogo Argentino lovers through websites and online forums. But at the same time, you must keep in mind that it is always preferable to ask a professional when it comes to health-related and serious behavioral concerns.
Lastly, think thoroughly when planning to buy or adopt one. All pets need consistent care, and the Dogo Argentino demands more than the usual pet. Impulsive buying or adopting may just be harmful both to you and your dog.