DACA Breed Standard
As in all the canine breeds, and more so because the Dogo Argentino was bred for hunting big game; a few years ago some discrepancies arose among show judges as to it's physical specifications. The creators stated that the correct Dogo temperament should reflect their rare contrast between extraordinary courage and incredible kindness of character. The creators went on to say, "The Dogo is the most docile and mild of the hunting dogs and without a doubt, not even lap dogs have the kindness and patience to withstand the teasing that he can take from children." They outlined the standard below so that there will now be no possibilities of error in respect to the regulations by which the Dogos are judged and the goal to which responsible and conscious breeders of the breed ought to aspire.
HEAD: Massive, convex front to back, and transverse through the relief of the masticating muscles and the nape.
FOREFACE: The same length as the head. The line joining the two orbital projections of the forehead is at an equal distance from the occiput and the teeth-ridge of the upper jaw.
(We have separated the head and the face, although both together constitute the head of the Dogo. The head is typical and, as has already been previously explained, belongs to the mesocephalic type. It should have a convex-concave profile that is the head is convex due to the relief of the insertion of the masticating muscles, a classic in the head of the "masticating" type of hunting dog. The face or muzzle should be slightly concave upwards, proper in a dog with a good sense of smell or rather one that has the head of a masticator and olfactory face, inasmuch as there is a functional interaction: scenting high. The cheekbone arches are very separated from the head, with the full temple cavity for the comfortable insertion of the temple muscle.
EYES: Dark or light brown in color, eyelid rims should be black or clear; eyes set well apart. A lively, intelligent look but with a marked firmness.
(Clear eyes, or red eyelids, subtract points. Unequalness of color-bluish-grey eyes is a basis for Disqualification.)
JAWS: Well-adapted, not overshot or undershot, strong, with well-implanted, large teeth. (The number of molars is unimportant. The homogeneity of the dental arches, the lack of cavities, neither overshot nor undershot jaw, and especially that the eyeteeth (Canines) are large and clean, and cross perfectly when biting prey. (Scissors bite)
NOSE: Strongly pigmented with black, with a light stop at the tip, full nostrils. (A white nose or one very spotted with white loses points. A cleft or hairlip is disqualified.)
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.
LIPS: Well-turned up, taut, free edges, black pigmented.
(Short lips are demanded, so that when the dog is taking his prey, he can also breath through the back corners of his mouth. If the lips are pendulous, although the upper jaw is sufficiently long, it makes a valve in the inhalation and closes the corners of the lips. This impedes the animal from supplementary breathing through the corners of the mouth, while retraining the prey; thus he has to let go or cause asphyxia, as happens in breeds with pendulous lips.)
OCCIPUT: It should not be in relief, because as the insertion of the head and neck form an arch, the powerful muscles of the nape will completely hide it. (It is confused with the curved line of the convexity of the cranium.)
NECK: Thick, arched, slender, with very thick throat skin, wrinkled as the mastiff, the Bordeaux Dog, and the Bulldog, and not tight, as the Bullterrier.
(This elasticity of the neck is due to the fact that the cellular tissue of the part is very slack, allowing the neck skin to slide against the superficial aponeurosis so that the tusk or claw of an adversary injures only the skin. When puma, for example, tries to grasp the neck, the skin elastic and stretched a great deal, allows them to be caught easily.)
CHEST: Full, deep giving the appearance of large lungs seen from the front, the sternum ought to back up under the elbows. (As the Dogo Argentino is a working and fighting dog, the importance of a deep and full chest for the dogs' breathing is obvious.)
BACK: High, very strong, good muscular relief.
THORAX: Full when seen from the side, it's lower edge rises higher than the elbows.
SPINAL COLUMN (Top-line): Higher in the shoulders, inclined in a gentle slope towards the rump. (in adult animals, when the spine and kidney muscular development are good, it looks like an easy chair in profile, and given the relief of the spinal muscles, presents a middle channel and length of the column.) Level top-line should be severely faulted.
PAWS: Straight, with short, well-joined toes. (The length of the toes ought to be in proportion to the paw; well-padded, with thick skin, and very rough to the touch; with calluses that allow it to run a great deal through rough and rocky soil without hurting itself.)
KIDNEYS: Covered by the dorsal muscles.
LEGS: Very muscular thighs, with a short hock and well-closed toes, with no aberrant tow (Dewclaw.)
(Good angulation. Always remember that the legs are the propulsion pillars for speed and support for a struggle. One can never insist too much, therefore, on the strength of the thigh muscles. The aberrant toe (dewclaw), so easy to get rid of in the first months, loses points as a recessive characteristic from the Pyrenean Dog, but it is not reason for disqualification.
TAIL: Long, and thick, but not extending past the hock, carried naturally low. During a fight, it keeps it raised in a continuous lateral movement, as when greeting his owner. (It should be remembered that the tail is a great help in changing direction while on the chase, where it acts in a compensatory way as a rudder, and during a fight with it's prey, where it supports or helps the hind-quarters.)
WEIGHT: 80 - 100lbs
HEIGHT: 23.5 - 27.5 inches
(Dogs, measured at the shoulder should measure no less than 24.5 inches and no more than 27.5 inches. Bitches, measured at the shoulder, should measure no less than 23.5 inches and no more than 26 inches.. Dogs and Bitches below minimum height are disqualified. Dogs and Bitches measuring more than maximum height are faulted. Since the Dogo is a hunting dog which fights its' prey directly, among the big hunting breeds, small size loses efficiency. All adult Dogo, whether male or female, of less that the lowest allowable size, should be disqualified. Among several good dogs, the one of greatest height is preferred. The creator of the breed has established that there should exist a harmony of proportion or normal organic correlation that for a functional point of view, translates into a greater capacity to fight its prey. Therefore, one should look for the animal of greatest size and weight.)/p>
COAT: Completely white. Any spot of color should be disqualified as an atavistic characteristic. The small spots on the head are not cause for disqualification, but among two similar animals, the completely white one is preferable. In contrast, any spot on the body is cause for disqualification.
DISQUALIFYING FACTORS: Bluish-grey eyes, Unilateral or
Bilateral Deafness, spots on the body, long hair, white nose or very spotted
with white, prognatism (whether overshot or undershot), very pendulous mouth, a
greyhound head, bitches less that 23.5 inches tall, dogs less than 24.5 inches
tall, more than one spot on the face, any physical disproportion. The aberrant
toe (Dewclaw) loses points, but does not disqualify the animal.
*This Breed Standard was voted upon by DACA members and adopted in October of 2004. The Basis of this breed standard is from the original breed standard which was developed by the creators of the Dogo Argentino, for who would know what was best for this breed, than the creators themselves.