It’s no secret that Dogo Argentinos are stunning dogs. They are muscular, powerful, and strong. However, their white coat, warm eyes, and button nose still give them a soft look. However, this breed definitely isn’t the right choice for someone who never owned a dog before. In addition to being strong, these pups are also stubborn. This means that training them can be challenging. Some people are also concerned about their temperament, as they do have a bad reputation as former fighting dogs. But are Dogo Argentino dogs aggressive or dangerous? The answer is, it depends. Just like with humans, there are many layers to a dog’s temperament and behavior. So let’s see if a Dogo Argentino is aggressive, why he could be acting aggressively, and what you could do to control that.
Are Dogo Argentino dogs aggressive?
No dog was born aggressive. However, basically, every one of them can act aggressively. Dogo Argentinos do have a bad reputation for being fighting dogs, however, that does not mean that these dogs can’t be absolute sweethearts. When in the right hands, they act mellow, calm, and collected. However, if they don’t get the training and socialization that they need, Dogos can easily get overwhelmed by unfamiliar situations. In those moments, it is possible for a dog to display some aggressive behaviors. But it is your responsibility as a dog owner to never let it get so far.
The Dogo Argentinos of today are loving and good pets, and wonders companions. When he or she is in the right environment, gets the proper training she or he needs, and all of his or her needs are met, your dog should be tolerable even to strange humans or animals. These dogs are known for their military and police work, which just proves how obedient dogs they can be when they get the training and attention that they need. However, don’t underestimate the time, patience, and effort you will have to invest in raising your Dogo Argentino puppy.
Source: Instagram (@dogoargentino.planet)
What triggers aggressive behaviors?
No dog would start acting aggressively for absolutely no reason. There are always certain triggers that could push a psychological button in your dog’s brain, and cause him to act badly. In order to understand why your dog acts aggressively, you have to know what those triggers are, and how you could avoid them.
Dogs act on their instincts. They might be super smart, however, they are still animals. That means that they will do whatever it takes to protect their territory. And there are many different things that they could consider to be their territory. From you, their owner, to their bed, food bowl, toys, or even your garden. Whenever they feel that their personal belongings are at risk of being taken away from them they will start to react. That’s why you should never start touching your dog’s food bowl while he eats, or a toy while he plays with it.
If your dog isn’t socialized, he will have a very hard time around strangers. He will see each and one of them as a possible threat, and he won’t like anyone new coming to your home. That’s why you have to make sure that you start the socializing process as soon as you bring your dog home. Your dog will know that strangers aren’t enemies, and you won’t have to worry about your pup meeting new people. The same rule applies to strange animals. Dogs won’t like any other animal coming close to you. We will talk more about socializing and its importance later on in the article.
Dogs can feel anxiety too. One of the most common reasons why a dog may be experiencing anxiety is because of loneliness. Even though the Dogo Argentino is considered to be an independent and tough dog breed, they can still develop separation anxiety. Especially if they are left alone for hours every day. Because of the frustration that accumulates inside your dog’s mind, he could start behaving differently when someone does come to your home. Dogs are social creatures, and they have the need to be part of a pack.
Besides social anxiety, your dog could also feel anxiety when he senses that something is off in your household. The reason could be some sudden changes, like movings, traveling, new people or animals. But they could also sense a change in you, like pregnancy, stress, or health changes. Dogs can also get anxious when they hear loud sounds like fireworks.
No one likes to feel bored, from dogs to humans. This is a highly active breed and a working dog. That means that they always need something to do. If your dog is just laying around all day, with nothing to do, he will find alternative ways to kill his time. And chances are that you won’t like the outcome. He will either start destroying your personal belongings, like furniture or clothes, or he will start barking at strangers or chasing other animals that live in your house. Make sure that you give your dog enough mental and physical activity during the day, and some dog toys to play with when he is feeling bored.
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How to prevent aggressive behaviors
Dogs of any breed can be good pets. However, large and muscular dog breeds with a strong bite are definitely more dangerous and intimidating than small pets. Adult Dogo Argentinos are one of the strongest dog breeds on earth, so there is a high need to know how to balance their temperament and help them be in their best behaviors. If you are considering getting a Dogo Argentino, these are the things that you have to consider as a dog owner.
Early socialization is the best way to prevent any type of aggressive behavior in your dog. That means that as soon as you bring your new puppy home, you start introducing him to other people and animals. Your dog should also get familiar with different places, sounds, smells, and noises. You can take them to places such as dog parks or puppy schools, where they can meet other dogs. That will make it easier for them to understand that other dogs are potential friends, and not a threat. In addition to that, your dog will also get used to dogs smaller or bigger than they are. That could help them understand that smaller dogs aren’t prey to hunt, and larger dogs aren’t the enemy.
When it comes to other humans, start slow. Don’t call up all of your family members and neighbors the day you bring your puppy home. Give them some time to truly get out of their shell, and feel comfortable around others. Remember that your puppy was mostly around his breeder, mom, and siblings. It could get especially tricky around kids that still haven’t learned how to handle dogs. So make sure you never leave your puppy with a kid without any kind of supervision.
These are physically strong and stubborn dogs, so needless to say that they will need a lot of training. You have to start right away after bringing your puppy home. Their brains will still be moldable, and they are much more likely to listen to you. These dogs thrive on positive reinforcement, which means that you reward them for their good behaviors, and ignore their negative ones. You should never yell at your dog, or make him feel anxious if he does something bad.
Start your training with basic commands, like sit, lay, drop, or leave and stay. You can start some more difficult tricks after your dog has these down. Dogo Argentinos are food-motivated canines, so make sure that you prepare enough treats to give him when he does something right. Also, make sure that you keep the training sessions short and sweet so that your dog doesn’t get worn out.
Dogo Argentinos are strong and muscular dogs, so it’s no surprise that they need a lot of exercise. If your dog lays around the house all day and has no way of blowing off his extra energy, he could get frustrated. That frustration could grow into aggressiveness, and he could start displaying some destructive behaviors. To prevent that, you have to make sure that your dog gets at least 60 to 90 minutes of exercise a day.
We don’t mean just an easy walk at the dog park. He needs to run and get his heart rate up. They love to do things such as hiking, running, or playing fetch. Dogos aren’t lapdogs, and they need an owner that is as active as they are. By the end of your exercise, your dog will feel tired, but happy and calm. So he won’t feel the need to bark at other people or animals. So if you are looking for a jogging partner, these powerful dogs could be a great breed for you.
Source: Instagram (@dogoargentino_worldwide)
Physical activity alone won’t be enough for this intelligent breed. You also have to get the mind of your dog busy and working. There are many different ways to do this. The first one would be training, however, there are more fun and enjoyable ways as well. You can give your dog different games or toys, like puzzles, to keep his brain busy. Mental stimulation is also allowing your dog to sniff around and explore his surroundings during your walks. Sure, that is also a way to train your own patience.
Dogs are in a way similar to kids. Everything is just so interesting to them. Especially if you are going to a new park, or he meets a new dog. Give your dog at least a few minutes to sniff around to feed his curiosity. You two could also engage in some more challenging games and interactive games, like tug-of-war. That way you won’t only exercise his brain, but this is also a great way to form a strong bond with your Argentine Mastiff.
If everything else fails, seek out the help of a professional dog trainer. Yes, dog training classes are pricey, but also well worth it. Dog trainers know how to handle a dog that is headstrong, and you could see some amazing results with only a couple of classes. If your dog is still a puppy, or you are just considering getting a Dogo Argentino, we would highly suggest enrolling your pup into puppy school.
He will learn some basic tricks and commands, and he will also have the chance to socialize with the other dogs attending the school. “Puppy schools” or other group training sessions are usually also less expensive than one on one training classes. You can also do some online counseling with trainers, to help you learn new ways to train your canine.
Conclusion: Are Dogo Argentino dogs aggressive?
In conclusion, this native Argentine dog breed can make a good family companion for pet owners who are willing to put a lot of work into their upbringing. This large breed needs a lot of obedience training, and while their white coat does make them look angelic, when not given the attention they need, they could fall into destructive behaviors. But that doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with the typical Dogo Argentino temperament. It’s just that the initial use for the Argentine Mastiff was to hunt large game like wild boars and pumas. So they share the common traits of other hunting breeds. And those traits could be too much to handle for first-time dog owners.
So if you aren’t willing to give your dog some extra training, this definitely isn’t the breed for you. Yes, they can be great family pets, but only when all of their needs are met. If you don’t teach your dog how to follow your firm commands, the chances of you making some negative experiences are very high. If you aren’t sure how to do it yourself, a good idea, and probably your best chance would be to pay for some professional dog training classes. Your dog will be on good behavior, and your home life will be much easier too. Also, another important note is that this is a banned breed in many countries, like New Zealand, Denmark, and Iceland. So make sure you check the laws of your country before getting a Dogo Argentino puppy.
Author: Katy Baker
My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.