Possibly Adding Dogo Argentino Puppy To Family - Input?
  • esquimeauxesquimeaux
    Posts: 13
    Hi everyone! It's been a long time since I was on these boards, but was reminded when I ran into Kona and Kimber(?), two adorable Kais at lure coursing over the weekend. I remembered these boards are particularly informative, so I thought I'd put a question to those of you experienced with Dogos that I've been mulling over.

    I currently share my home with 3 spayed female dogs (Shiba Inu, Doberman Pinscher, Staffordshire Bull Terrier) and 2 neutered male dogs (Rhodesian Ridgeback, Siberian Husky). My boyfriend and I work about 30 hours a week at the carefree daycare and boarding facility we own together, and the boys go to work with us every day, and the older girls go once a week. Our shiba is only here half the time, as she is my boyfriend's family's dog, but stays with us for training and socialization. We have worked with dogs in packs and individually for about 10 years, and are very experienced with local popular dog breeds. But we have only met a handful of Dogos, and never spent an extended amount of time with them.

    My plan for our little female Dogo is to spay early to keep the peace, and depending on her needs, either keep her as an active pet through nose work, lure coursing, or S&R, or maybe go into hunting. I've never hunted before, but I have always been interested in learning. If she shows inclination towards it, I'd be happy to try. A friend is taking a male from the same litter, so I thought maybe they'd be a good team if that happens. It's a priority for us to keep our dogs satisfied, so finding an activity or sport is not a problem.

    I'm selecting my puppy in a couple days and have been thinking about it a lot. Our biggest concern is possible dog aggression. A Dogo that can't handle carefree daycare as an adolescent/adult is no problem for me, I pretty much expect it. But I worry about aggression within the house as she matures, especially with our spayed females. Our breeder reassures me that she will be submissive to the adults if raised with them though, and her dam is so dog-social, she can be crated with a buddy. But I'm trying to pinpoint what I should look for in the puppy when selecting. There is an ultra-submissive girl so far, but she literally just sits there while the other pups trample her, and my instinct tells me she might possibly be too submissive/weird/nervous.

    My other concern is how Dogos do in a home with a lot of human and dog visitors. Our friends and family stay with us often, and our home is open to their well-behaved dogs/children also, so it sometimes can get full, but not crazy. They know to respect the dogs, and our dogs have places to chill out alone if they want to, but they usually like the company. If well bred and socialized properly, would a Dogo thrive in a situation like this, or would she merely tolerate it, or does it just not sound like the right match?

    As our pack grows, we get more and more cautious about additions. Our Dogo will be the largest dog in our pack, and is the most "serious" breed out of them. So we are trying to make sure we are thinking this through, and these are the questions that come up that we can't figure out yet. Thanks for any help you can give us! We will be discussing this more in depth with our breeder also upon our next meeting, but love to hear from experienced owners.
  • mdokicmdokic
    Posts: 1020
    Ah, HEY!! :D Good to see you on here again, and it was great meeting you this weekend! Hopefully we'll get to see you more often now that i know it's something the girls are interested in :) @BradA1878 just got a dogo pup, and has experience with them and im sure has done plenty of research, maybe he can help give you some insight!
    Michelle, with Kai girls Kona and Kimber
    DSC_6037_NEW_banner
    Post edited by mdokic at 2014-07-28 21:23:01
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12220
    So you have a breeder picked out already? If you are getting a female, make sure the mother is good with other dogs. If you do not know for sure that she is, then do not purchase a pup from her.

    Before you decide to hunt a dogo, make sure you understand how they hunt. They're not bay or tee dogs, they're fighters. Hunting a dogo can be a violent experience.

    I've been around a lot of Dogo, I owned one to 6 months old then had to put him down due to an extreme health issue. I now have a 7 week old male. So, my ownership experience is limited, but I've been around the breed a good bit.

    However, my focus on the dogo is hunting, so I have zero knowledge of non-hunting or show/hunting kennels.

    Where do you plan to get your dogo pup from?
    Post edited by BradA1878 at 2014-07-28 22:01:21
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    I have zero experience with dogos but what do you plan on hunting with your dogo? I'm guessing you're in socal so I will give you a run down on using dogs for hunting in Ca. Since dogo's are primarily big game hunting dogs, you're really limited to big game hunting with dogs in our state. Ca has some of the most strict dog hunting laws in the US and as of right now the only big game animal you are able to hunt with dogs are wild hogs and deer. On top of everything, there's very limited amount of public land and areas with game. There are private hunting clubs where there are hogs to hunt but memberships can run anywhere from 3k to 10k a year for hunting rights.

    I primarily hunt wild hogs here in socal with my kishu ken and its extremely difficult. It takes a lot of time and patience to big game hunt with dogs. During the first few years of training and hunting, a person will need to spend on average of 4 to 6 days in the field per month to get a dog started. There's also a lot of equipment you will need to get started such as tracking collars, cut vests, gun, k9 first aid kit, maps, etc

    Best thing is to get out with a experienced dog hunter or hounds men and get first hand experience on what its actually like. Hunting with dogs is a huge commitment and so its always best to get some prior experience before going in first hand. I hope I didn't turn you off from it but with a dog like a dogo, a big game dog can become a huge liability to keep and its always best to know what you're getting into :)
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • esquimeauxesquimeaux
    Posts: 13
    Hi - Michelle, right? Hopefully we'll see you at the next one! It was awesome seeing your dogs run. I'd love to see them on rabbits. :)

    Hi Brad! I do have a breeder - I'm talking to Debonair here in San Diego. She seems like a typical show kennel and when I came across some negative information about her, I spoke to Del Rio in Arizona (who was my first pick when it came to breeder practices) who vouched for Debonair. The mother of this litter is particularly dog friendly, as is the uncle, which is why I'm extremely interested in this current litter.

    I have talked to hunters and read/watched a lot of stuff on the internet, but never been actually present in a hunt. But I really enjoy what Dogos do, and seeing them reach their full potential. Not that I am a violent person, but I am definitely not dainty or faint-hearted. I look forward to it, although I am unsure what my ultimate reaction will be. I know it's possible I will say, "Nope, not for me!" Although right now I love the idea of it.

    Something many breeders/owners have mentioned to me is the interesting phenomenon of the soft, manageable, easy to train Dogo puppy that can mislead many new owners. Apparently they are known for being great puppies and then entering adolescence with a roar. Most dogs develop similarly, but I've been told it's very noticeable in Dogos. Have you experienced that at all?

    Hi shishiinu! Sorry, I can't figure out your name from your handle! My friend is looking to hunt boar with his pup. He has an APBT he trained for birds right now, and is an experienced deer hunter. So he's excited to work with a dogo. If our dogs show the inclination, I am definitely going to ask to learn from him and probably also look for experienced hunters we could meet up with. Like you! Haha. :) We are outdoorsy people to begin with, so the prospect of training a lot sounds fun to me right now. Even if it's just slogging through brush and camping out at night. But you're right, I should definitely try to experience it first hand, I'm sure it will be wildly different from what I'm imagining. I actually don't even know if our dogs will have what it takes to be hunters though - there's some hunting dogs in their bloodline, but their parents don't hunt. I guess I have the perspective that if it turns out she NEEDS to hunt, I will do whatever she needs to be satisfied, and that will in turn keep her happy and manageable in the house and that will prevent her from being a liability. But is that an naive way to look at it?

    Thanks for all the input!

    -Tammy
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    Awesome! I always welcome people to tag along because big game hunting with dogs is such a misunderstood tradition. I chase our local hogs here in San Diego. I'm going to be helping a fellow forum member train his new kishu pup on hogs so come fall, we will be out quite a bit. During the summer months I try to limit the amound of hunts due to snakes and heat.

    Our state definitly needs more dog hunters and I would highly recommend you join California Houndsmen for Conservation (CHC). They are fighting really hard to try and preserve our tradition even though we continue to lose our freedom to hunt with our dogs.

    Gen
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
    Post edited by shishiinu at 2014-07-29 18:35:19
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12220
    Good good. I'm glad you found a female who is good with dogs, that will make your life much easier. The dogo is still fought in Argentina, and dog aggression can mos def be an issue.

    I think all Molossers grow like that. They're pretty easy puppies, then they go an "asshat phase", then they chill out.

    Dogos are mos def soft - like handler soft. So they can be misleading: with their owners they are easy and biddable, but they're still a very aggressive breed. Aggression is paramount in the dogo temperament as w/o that aggression they couldn't do their work.

    The working Mastiffs are great dogs 90% of the time. The 10% they are bad tho, they are REALLY bad. You just have to always remember what they are and what they're capable of and set them up for success in all situations.
    Post edited by BradA1878 at 2014-07-29 17:59:42
  • NavyDogNavyDog
    Posts: 388
    Welcome back. Glad to hear you want to hunt though I think the main concern isn't whether you can handle the violence of the hunt as much as it is about are you prepared for the risk. I have a Kai and an American Staffordshire terrier but I only hunt with my Kai because she is a bay dog and I know my Amstaff will try to be a catch dog. Bay dogs have minimal risk since they just bark & stall the pray until the hunter can dispatch it. The job of a catch dog is to go in and grab the animal. This puts them at a huge risk at being gored by boars or kicked/trampled/bit by larger game. Dogo's are popular for hunting boar because they are very good catch dogs. If you are serious about hunting just be prepared for that. Look into getting a cut vest that covers the neck as well as the chest. Also get a field dog medical kit and learn how to perform basic first aid I.e. stiching and treating gashes and gouges. Train a good solid recall and maybe even invest in a GPS collar. If you can, try to find someone in your area that uses dogs to hunt and go out a few times to learn from them. Anyway I look forward to seeing future post about your experiences and your new pup!
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    Unfortunately GPS tracking collars are illegal to use on big game dogs in Ca. I use a Tracker Supra system without a tree switch. It's also illegal to have a system with a tree switch so make sure to read up on F&G regs.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • NavyDogNavyDog
    Posts: 388
    Oh wow really? Why are they illegal? I wounded if that would apply to hunting boar there as well
  • shishiinushishiinu
    Posts: 2337
    It's only legal for birds/small game so the pursuit of feral hogs are also includes in the GPS bann. Several years ago the HSUS and other animal rights extremists petitioned to make it illegal because they argued that it was not sporting and made it too easy for hunters to locate game. These are the same extremist groups that banned Mt Lion hunting and bobcat/bear hunting with dogs. They capitalize by tugging at people feelings and emotions (like their TV commercials) instead of sound science and work done by biologists. I have been told that within 10 years hunting may be all together banned in the state of Ca.
    Gen, Ami, Kaylynn, Trinity, Yusuke......Riki, Hana, Sammi, Taro, and the newest addition Koyuki.
  • NavyDogNavyDog
    Posts: 388
    That's silly. I like GPS collars so I can find my dog when I'm done hunting, not to find game. I should look to see if they are illegal here
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12220
    Something I learned yesterday when I made a comment about Che's apparent lack of bladder control: There are kidney issues in the breed similar to the Bull Terrier. My friend was telling me he knew of one female who was PTS for the issue and he owned several who had weak bladder control when they were young.

    Caz and Che both have been really bad with potty training, as was my friend's male and female pup. There is no official source of info on this particular issue in the breed (because the dogo is a "healthy breed" - sure). But, just something to keep in mind.

    So, when your pup is horrible to potty train, you'll know it's pretty typical of the breed due to the weak bladder issue.
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12220
    Here's a video of Che with my Turkish Shepherd "Ghazi"...
    http://instagram.com/p/rDO5VEAaJK/
  • Gen, thanks for the invite! We would love to tag along and see your dogs in action. Can't wait for November!

    Brad, it's good to hear about Dogos from your perspective. Sometimes when I'm researching new breeds, it's easy to get caught up in the hyperbole all over the internet, and then I meet some individual dogs or talk to owners of the breed and remember, they are still just a dog. With asshat moments. And I can handle that. :) Especially now that I've met my puppy at 8 weeks old - out of the entire litter, she was the only one who wasn't guarding her toys/grass tufts/holes in the ground or trying to dominate siblings. The breeder did say that in this litter, she hasn't seen any of the usual puppy fights. So I feel pretty good about their dog-tolerance levels, especially my sweet girl.

    Navydog, you are absolutely right about the risk to the dog being a factor as to whether or not I hunt her. I love the idea of hunting my dogs and seeing them in their element, but in reality, I may chicken out at the first scratch or sign of danger. Hah. My Dogo is on the smaller side, so maybe that will give her extra agility in a scrap and give me confidence, with a cut collar on. I will be hunting her with her brother, and hopefully they will make a good team. Two Dogos are better than one? :)

    If anyone is interested to know, my puppy's name is Turtle and is coming home in 2 weeks after her ears are done. I will post updates and pictures! Her littermate Dakota went home yesterday with my friend, and also happens to be fully deaf. His owner plans on training him to hunt upland birds and trying him out on boar under an experienced hunter. Hopefully we can meet up with Gen in the fall! I'm extremely interested to see how Dakota develops. As a puppy, he is very forward and dominant. I will post updates about him as well for those interested.

    Thanks for all the info everyone!

    -Tammy
  • NavyDogNavyDog
    Posts: 388
    Aw what a cute name! Can't wait to hear how the training and everything goes.
  • Ugh - plans went awry. Turtle is 7 and a half months old now and is a great dog, but I dislocated my patella, got knocked up, and her littermate's owner took off to hunt and live out of his car with his dogs and travel across the States instead of showing me the ropes!

    Gen, I was so excited to learn about hunting boar with you, but now I am more hesitant with my weak knee and presently pregnant condition. :) Also, Turtle shows VERY little prey drive at the moment, but has been consistently slower to develop than her brother throughout the 7 months we have been comparing them, so I won't be surprised if it kicks in eventually, although most people tell me it should have already. Her brother was one of the most dominant puppies in the litter, and Turtle was the most submissive and soft.

    For those that are interested, Turtle is extremely submissive to humans, teetering on the edge of being a little weird (slightly excessive cowering, quick to alarm bark if your hairstyle changes or you put on a hood, etc), and has absolutely no hold to her bite in tug games. Yet! Her personality suits me fine for now, as it makes her super easy to control and direct, you just have to be soft with her. Experience is making her more confident and intelligent, and she's learning, but so slow! Must be a mastiff thing. You can see her making progress, but nothing at the rate a GSD would learn at for instance. With dogs, she is a fun-loving, slightly hard-headed normal puppy most of the time, very pit-bull-ish. I do see that "duality of nature" dogo people talk about, as she can turn it on and get very intense at times. So far I've seen it the following instances, all after 6 months of age: hiking in areas without any other people, being charged by cows, when humans behaved threateningly outside the car she and I were in, and at daycare when correcting dogs that get excessively excited/hyper. I can see her developing into the type of dog we do not allow at daycare that will target wiggly, over-excited dogs that appear unstable and over-correct them, so we're watching this behavior of hers very closely and are prepared for her to go through life without daycare or dog parks if it escalates or is uncontrollable.

    Other fun things I have noticed that may or may not be a breed thing: she and her brother both have extremely high pain tolerances (she does not react at all when a toe gets accidentally stepped on, or a friend stands unknowingly on her tail for 10 minutes), they do not feel the cold the way my other short coated dogs do, and she and her brother both are extremely food motivated and can be food aggressive with other dogs, but not with people. For example, Turtle will guard her food from other dogs with warnings and mock charges, but her Siberian Husky brother can shut her down quickly and send her away. She will share things like treats, bully sticks, or food residues/spills discovered on the floor, however. Turtle's littermate Dakota will actually leave his food to bite and hold a dog wandering 20 yards away, as his owner found out recently. The other dog only suffered injured pride and a couple minor punctures, as they were able to open Dakota's immature jaws quickly when it happened. Both Turtle and Dakota will approach a dog eating in a kennel and proceed to guard that dog's food from him from the OUTSIDE. Hilariously ill behavior to observe when we realized what they were doing to the poor hungry dog.

    Lastly, Turtle has been minimally vaccinated and raw fed on whole prey her entire life with me beginning at 11 weeks. Her brother has also been minimally vaccinated, but fed Canidae kibble, with some raw meat as treats. He developed spontaneous hot spots and chronically inflamed, itchy, thickened ears with tons of discharge by 6 months. Turtle has not had either of those conditions. We chose a local breeder to give us a leg up in the battle with the skin allergies this breed is prone to, so they might have better reactions to our town's environmental allergens, but this was just a highly illustrative and encouraging example that raw diets really are the best!

    She's going through foundational e-collar training with me right now, which is new to me also and our trainer at work is showing me the ropes. It's similar but different from the clicker training I am accustomed to, but knowing what these dogs are capable of and seeing glimpses of the possible intensity of drive Turtle has the potential for, I think e-collar obedience training is the right method for me and her. Especially as my employees like to remind me, shaking their heads, "5 dogs and a stroller soon!" She's doing amazing with it, and it's fun to see my normally dopey, melty, lovey big puppy act all smart and sharp when she's in a training session.

    With current life events underway, I'm happy right now just to continue her basic training and see where it takes us. Pretty sure she will love lure coursing, so she can tag along when we take her Ridgeback brother out to fun runs, and it's possible we might dabble in therapy certification, as she LOVES to meet people and is super gentle and affectionate.

    Her littermate Dakota is now learning the ropes about upland game hunting with his owner and his veteran hunting partner, a 6 year old pit bull. When they left, Dakota was making slower progress than his owner would have liked, but he is accustomed to training Labs and his very sharp little pit, so he's adjusting to Dakota's pace. Dakota's deafness does not seem to hold him back at all.

    Okay, that's it for my lengthy info about my experiences with Turtle the Dogo Argentino! Hope it can give some insight and entertainment for those people who were as curious as I was about life with this breed, and any opinions or advice from others are always appreciate!

    -Tammy

    P.S. I told my husband I would like a Presa Canario in 5 years and he said ABSOLUTELY NOT. We'll see what happens.

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