Interview About The Dogo Argentino

By Rogers Silveira & Aurea Giacomelli

Who are Aurea and Rogers in the Dogo Argentino Breed:

Aurea Giacomelli

    -Founder of Del Paine Kennel and Partner of Verdes Pampas Kennel

      -President of the Brazilian Council of Dogo Argentino

        -Breeding dogs for 15 years and visited over 100 dogo breeders in 25 different countries.

        Rogers Silveira

          -Founder- Verdes Pampas Kennel

            -Director of the Gaucho Department of Dogo Argentino

              -Breeding dogos for 25 years, his dogos are present in the pedigrees of the majority of the greatest champions around the world.

              Please tell me about the origin of this magnificent breed?

              The history of Dogo Argentino is indeed fascinating. It all began in 1925, in the province of Cordoba, Argentina, with brothers Antonio and Augustin Norez Martinez. Antonio, the guide and mentor, was not yet 18 years old (his brother was a year younger) when he conceived and took the first steps in designing the great hunter, bred especially for the larger game on Argentina’s steep and diverse terrain.

              At that time “las peleas de perros” (dog fights) were common, practice inherited by the Cordobeses of their Spanish colonizers. For such fighting, a mixture of Spanish Mastiff and Bullterrier was used, when not pure Bullterrier or mixed with English Bulldog. It was also used to mix Boxer’s blood. From this mix of blood, an unbeatable dog in the arena - the “Perro de Pelea Cordobes” - was formed through the crossings - an extraordinary animal for combat, of tremendous value and endurance for the fight. They died fighting, never retreating. The harsh fighting they were subjected to, generation after generation, increasingly strengthened their original prowess.

              And it was in this now-defunct dog that Antonio based himself on developing his perfect dog.

              “Perro de Pelea Cordobes” had essential primitive qualities, with an excellent ancestral heritage:

              Mastiffs (Alanos, Perros de Toro - brought by the Spanish),

              Bullterrier, English Bulldog and Boxer.

              However, they needed smell and speed for hunting. Moreover, their ferocity with their counterparts made them useless for hunting because it was impossible to take them together.

              In contrast, dogs imported from Europe had speed, agility and skill, but lacked courage and strength.

              Antonio’s plan was to take advantage of the extraordinary bravery of the Cordoban Fighting Dog by mixing other breeds that would give weight, size, smell, speed, hunter instinct and curb ferocity towards other dogs. This mix would result in sociable dogs but with the grand primitive courage, applied to a noble and useful purpose: sport hunting and pest control. In addition to the puma, which victimized the herds, wild pigs (wild boars) brought from Europe had spread alarmingly and began to torment the farmers.

              To the “Perro de Pelea Cordobes”, which was almost always white, Antonio was adding distinct blood lines to avoid consanguinity, and other different races, which, combined with his sacrifice, wisdom and tenacity, resulted in our Dogo Argentino.

              The brothers began their project with ten females of the “Perro de Pelea Cordobes” and were inserted in the crosses with the following races:

              Pointer: is primarily responsible for the smell of the Dogo Argentino and due to it the quality of sniffing in the air, which avoids disorientation as Hounds and Bassets sniff on the ground and take longer to find the prey. The cougar, for example, walks in circles to confuse its predators.

              The first Pointer to join the breed was imported from France. The incorporation worked and the obtained puppies began to develop their sense of smell, which is why they invested in the same blood mix using a dog born to the first Pointer and another French female. The combination’s success was largely due to the fact that the aforementioned imported animals were champions of structure and work in their homeland.

              Great Dane: The Harlequin Great Dane was introduced with the aim of giving Dogo greater size and head. The Nores Martinez used a pedigree female, owned by their father. As the size problem was a constant for Antonio, he also used several times in his crossings a giant Great Dane, the son of specimens imported from Germany. The Great Dane not only gave weight and size, but gave a good head to the new specimen.

              Boxer: contributed his liveliness and intelligence, providing the ability to assimilate lessons when Dogo is intended for attack and defense and as a guide for the blind, to which it has been very successfully intended.

              Bullterrier: The Bullterrier strengthened the insensitivity to pain, so necessary in a fight with the powerful enemies of the Argentine pampas.

              Spanish Mastiff: provided rusticity and power being one of the bases of “Perro de Pelea Cordobes”.

              English Bulldog: courage, boldness, stamina, insensitivity to pain and toughness in the fight.

              Dogue de Bordeaux: was introduced by his strong jaw, his powerful head and his great courage. The task of transmitting the broadest and most powerful bite was left to a not very pure dog. But if the purity of the blood could be doubted, one could not have it from his ability to fight against the cougars, which he hunted repeatedly. This crossing was not overemphasized, because the breeder of the breed did not like the yellowish hue that transmitted to the hair and was very difficult to eliminate.

              A descendant of this dog was also used, the result of crossing with a Bullterrier dog.

              Irish Wolfhound: has given speed and is, along with the Great Dane and the Pyrenees Mastiff, to whom the Dogo Argentino owes its size. The purpose of including Irish Wolfhound genes to encourage beast fighting spirit and increase size could not be fulfilled at first by a pure specimen, as these greyhounds have always been difficult to achieve in Argentina. They had to resort to a son of a pure female brought from Ireland with a Great Dane, since no male was found to cross with that female. However, the resulting offspring became excellent boar hunters. Later they could use pure Irish.

              Pyrenees Mastiff: size, height, width, rusticity, smell, accentuated the white cloak and gave strength and endurance, especially the adaptation to all climates, characteristic of mountain dogs. Copies imported from the United States were used.

              At one point the brothers Norez Martinez cared for over thirty females. This would not have been possible for two young people still in school if they had not been helped by their family and friends of their father. Mr. Martinez hired a professional to take care of the dogs while Antonio and Augustin were at school. The brothers spent all their money on dog food. His father’s friends also made animal food donations, happily accepted by the brothers.

              But the dream and plan for how to make it come true was Antonio’s. He was the genius who led the program and Augustin was always by his side. Later, when Antonio became a respectable surgeon, his medical knowledge improved and refined his dream. He wrote the first standard of the new breed in 1928.

              Unfortunately, Antonio did not live to see his dream come true. He was killed by a man who wanted to rob him in a boar hunt in 1956.

              Augustin then carried his brother’s dream forward, working on the new race and bringing it back from near extinction. He changed the creation from Cordoba to Esquel, located in Patagonia, south of Argentina. Augustin became the Argentine ambassador of Canada and used this opportunity to spread Dogo around the world.

              Great hunters from Argentina and neighboring countries were using Dogo to hunt cougars and wild boars and it was becoming a legend.

              Dogo Argentino was recognized by the Argentine Cinological Federation and the Argentine Rural Society in 1964. The Kennel Club Argentino, a member of the Federation Cynologique International (FCI), recognized the breed on July 31, 1973.

              Imagine a boy with a big dream, and a brother so devoted to another’s dream that he could devote his whole life to this creation. The whole family, parents, uncles, friends, doing what they could to help these boys.

              How much love, devotion and determination placed in this race. It took fifty years to create the magnificent dog we know today as Dogo Argentino.

              A lifetime ... Today’s creators cannot deviate from this devotion.

              It is our obligation to fight to keep the true Argentine Dogo to the standards outlined by the one who conceived it.

              When were you attracted to DOGOS ARGENTINOS and what attracted you?

              Rogers: In the late 1990s I was looking for a guard dog (as I had a lot of experience in this area of dog training, but I wanted a different dog) and I started reading about some breeds, so I found the
              dogo which although Being a larger hunting dog could also develop this activity with great ease

              Aurea: In 2004, I lived alone with my 5-year-old son in a large city with a high rate of home burglary and was looking for a large dog that was loyal to the family and excellent with children, as well as protecting us, looking noble and at the same time intimidating strangers. I searched for over a year until I saw the photo of a dogo argentino, it was love at first sight.

              What makes a good Dogo?

              Rogers: A good dogo is true to its owner and family and performs the tasks for which it is trained with great quality, whether hunting, guarding or just as a companion.

              Aurea: A healthy animal above all, harmonious in its proportions, a strong and rustic dog that can easily adapt to the field to perform its function or as a family member, a proper and powerful head because that where the racial type is shown (typicity), and of a loyal temperament to its owners.

              AUREA - How is the temperament of Dogo?

              The Dogo is both playful and guardian, sweet and clumsy, cute and intimidating, lazy and tireless, submissive and dominant. But a dog that demands limits and needs to be led. For its owner, family and friends, it is a well of sweetness and gentleness. For invaders and enemies is danger itself, capable of losing his life defending his dear humans. Contact with the owners and the people of the house is a must for a Dogo. Dogo’s temperament is wonderful. When reared under normal conditions, with loving care and attention, it becomes a calm and confident animal. Dogo idolizes its owners. It is not uncommon to be reprimanded for doing something wrong to come and “apologize”. But we cannot forget it is a WORKING DOG and we must preserve its instincts, even if that means let them run after a squirrel or a fox at the park near your home.

              ROGERS - Now, being this breed, great hunters, do they need training to be a family pet?

              Rogers: The dogo is one of the most powerful dogs that exists, is an animal whose main function is an activity that goes against natural instincts, because it enters, often alone, in combat against much larger animals to prey on. He has a natural predisposition to do the main function for which he was raised, yet he, like any other animal, needs to be trained both to be an efficient hunter and to be a good companion in the family, that he is a hunting dog. bigger and with all this capacity of prey and autonomy makes him need an owner that he sees as pack leader, because dogs see the family where they live as a pack and if there is no leader in that pack he will try to take the lead , this is normal for dogs, however the dogo is a dog of fine treatment with great ability to interpret situations, capacities coming from its function, so that this leadership on him becomes fundamental, since it is not a cowardly or submissive breed, A dogo always shows his dissatisfaction with situations that displease him, be it for lack of leadership, attention or inadequate treatment, being easy to know what is going through his head.

              Unfortunately I have heard reports of accidents with dogs that lived in families, and although I do not know details of each of them, I can say from my experience in dog behavior for over 20 years that most or all of these accidents could have been avoided, because the dogs usually show their dissatisfaction. The dogo enjoys contact with family members, not meant to be kept tied up at a chain, needs contact, they love to exercise, these are also important factors to consider.

              Are you excited about Dogo Argentino joining the AKC Working Group? What should judges look for in dogos argentinos?

              Rogers: This will be very important for the breed as it will be in a group for which it was created. Judges should first look for balanced and mostly typical dogs, and what that would be, firstly dogs with proportionate and powerful heads, because a dogo without a good head is not a dogo, besides it needs to have good bone and musculature, along with excellent structure. Because the better the structure will be the ability to move with less energy, so this dog would be more efficient than others to perform the function, because it will tire less and will be better able to prey. Therefore, judges should pay particular attention to this, choosing the best dogo, because dogs that, despite being white and lacking typicality, power and structure, should not be well evaluated. And I want to make it clear that dogo has to continue to be selected for its main function (big game), yet there are many breeds that hunt around
              the world, but the dogo is respected and admired precisely for being the most powerful of them, and if it starts to be selected to lose its potency and typicality will no longer be dogo.

              Aurea : I am super excited! The rings are the thermometer of each breed "genetic pool" quality, and it is at the exhibitions of conformation that we can expose all the genetic work of years developed based on study, time, investments, mistakes and hits. But. there is a big issue happening today that goes beyond the scope of the exhibitions, because at the conformation shows the judges cannot evaluate the dog as a hunter, however many dogs are being disclosed as hunters only, being atypical specimens, with little power and etc., which leads believing that they have some degree of dilution with another breed, this should be avoided, because if we start to select just white dogs with great hunting capacity but that do not have the ideal characteristics of a dogo we are going to a path without return, because, the dogo It is dogo, because it has typicality and power and rusticity to develop its function, and not on the the other way around, being white, having tenacity and therefore being dogo, is an inverted way of analyzing the dog.

              So the dog shows are a way of ensuring that the functional dogo is not only functional, but it meets the minimum requirements specified by the official breed standard.

              We would like to thank Denise Michelle Johnson for the invitation of the interview and congratulate her for being a great asset to this new phase of the dogo argentino in the United States,

              for the passionate “doguera” she is and the great efforts she has put into the breed .

              Thank you !

              Aurea & Rogers

              Criadero Verdes Pampas

              , 05/03/2020

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