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 Dogo Argentino

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Number of posts : 1138
Age : 35
Registration date : 2008-05-05

PostSubject: Dogo Argentino   Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:45 am

The Dogo Argentino

Martinez dogs - Kob and Chaira

The history of the Dogo Argentino and the two brothers who created the breed is as colorful and passionate as the history of Argentina itself. Antonio Nores Martinez was not quite 18 years old and Agustin a year younger in 1925 when Antonio first conceived of and took the first step in his vision of a large game breed created specifically for the varied and rugged Argentine countryside.

" I still remember as if it were yesterday... the day when my brother Antonio told me for the first time his idea of creating a new breed of dog for big game, for which he was going to take advantage of the extraordinary braveness of the Fighting Dog of Cordoba. Mixing them with other breeds which would give them height, a good sense of smell, speed, hunting instinct and, more than anything else deprive them of that fighting eagerness against other dogs, which made them useless for pack hunting.A mix that would turn them into sociable dogs, capable of living in freedom, in families and on estates, keeping the great courage of the primitive breed, but applied to a useful and noble end; sport hunting and vermin control. "

Agustin Nores Martinez.

History Of The Dogo Argentino

The formula Antonio started was:

* 1) the Fighting Dog of Cordoba, to which he added blood from
* 2) the Pointer to give him a keen sense of smell which would be essential for the hunt.
* 3) The Boxer added vivacity and gentleness;
* 4) the Great Dane it's size;
* 5) the Bull Terrier, fearlessness;
* 6) the Bulldog gave it an ample chest and boldness;
* 7) the Irish Wolfhound brought it's instinct as a hunter of wild game;
* 8> the Dogue de Bordeaux contributed it's powerful jaws;
* 9) the Great Pyrenees it's white coat and
* 10) the Spanish Mastiff gave it's quota of power.

The brothers gathered ten Cordoban bitches as their nucleus and began bringing in the first of the contributing breeds as studs until the early offspring showed promise in the desired direction. At a one point in their breeding program they had as many as thirty bitches in their care. This undertaking would not have been possible for two young men still in schoo,l had it not been for the help given them by their family and friends. The senior Martinez hired a kennel man to care for the dogs while Antonio and Agustin were in school and the brothers spent all their pocket money on food for the dogs. They were also helped by food donations given by their father's friends. Such help was gladly accepted by the brothers in those early years but the dream and the plan on how to make it a reality was Antonio's. His was the genius that guided the program and Agustin was always at his side. Later in life when Antonio became a respected surgeon, his medical knowledge improved and refined his dream. He wrote the first standard for the new breed in 1928. Sadly Antonio never lived to see his dream become reality. He was killed by a man who attempted to rob him during a boar hunt in 1956. Agustin then took over the dream, working on the new breed, bringing it back from near devastation and moving the headquarters for the breed from Cordoba to Esquel, located in Patagonia in southern Argentina.

The Dogo Argentino is expected to track the wild boar across vast pampas, corner the animal and attack and hold it for the hunters. He is capable of bursts of speed for short distances, but his forte is covering long distances at a steady gallop. Having cornered the boar, he must have enough strength in reserve to attack and hold a wild boar, or be prepared to lay his life down trying. In a traditional boar hunt the hunter dispatch the boar with a knife thrust to the heart while the Dogos are locked on with their powerful grip.

In A Brief History of the Argentinean Bulldog, by Agustin Nores Martinez, as translated from the original Argentine:

" I feel as a conscience imperative to make absolutely clear, which is the bulldog's background, the breeds that took part, what is what we intended to do, and which are the requirements or conditions that a bulldog must meet to be a typical example of the breed. This present extension, is a ratification of what was written in my first book. The fears I point to in the prologue to the four editions are confirmed a lot of times, when we see young people who ten years ago had never seen a bulldog, taking the part of "judges" in exhibitions, and who seemed to dream with "an own bulldog" awarding specimens which are far away indeed from what a good bulldog must be, as my brother Antonio and I intended in fifty long years of work and achievements.

To the enthusiasts and honest judges, who really want to know what the bulldog must be like is dedicated this knew (sic) book containing the objective history, step by step about how the bulldog was achieved and the extensive glossary of the standard that I make in chapter XV of this book. To the others, those who mix the bulldog with the Bullterrier to make them of lower height and weight, fighters against their own kind is not this book addressed, but a piece of advice: To devote themselves to the breeding of the Bullterrier in any of it's two varieties - White and Color Bullterrier, or the Staffordterrier (sic) - breeds which were created for fights, really noble animals, by the way, of extraordinary courage to fight against on another and with those dogs, let their low instincts loose if that is what they want, but, for God's sake!, do not spoil a breed which was made, after great sacrifices to be useful for mankind.

Since 1937 - more than forty years ago - a group of enthusiasts have been developing in Patagonia, with real sacrifice, the hunting instinct of the bulldog and trying to take away from them the ancestral fighting eagerness."

On the other hand, a few generations of bulldogs fighting between them will have made it involutionate, and we have painfully confirmed it already, to the useless Cordovan fight dog, insociable with it's own kind, harmful for domestic animals and useless as hunters or watching dogs. Happily there is, both in the country and abroad, a group of judges and enthusiasts, who know what it is and what it must be a good bulldog, and they use them for big game or they train them as watch - dogs, with which each generation will gradually improve and coming nearer and nearer to the goal we intended more than half a century ago."

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

Early on in Argentina the Dogo was used for obedience, military, police work and even as guides for the blind. People throughout the world are using the Dogo in a variety of ways from boar hunting, blood trail dogs, tracking, Search & Rescue, Therapy, Agility, Bomb detection and Service Dogs to Schutzhund training just to name a few.

The Dogo Argentino is the realization of a dream of two brothers, that began almost 75 years ago. To use the word primitive in any context when describing the Dogo Argentino would be doing the breed a grave disservice. The Dogo was meant to be a consummate hunter, a superb companion, a wise and elegant guardian.

Being a rare breed in North America does not exempt the Dogo Argentino from genetic problems, this is becoming more prevalant as time goes on, rather than less, due to "unscrupulous breeders." Our beloved breed, the product of the careful work of the Nores Martinez brothers, and the brothers achieved their goal by breeding ONLY the best animals they could find, to the best animals they could find, constantly looking to improve the lines. And then "culling" the offspring that didn't improve upon their lines...this is a hard fact of life. Nature can seem "cruel" with it's "survival of the fittest," and pack order determining which animals pass on their genetics, but Nature tends to weed out the weak, and preserve the strong this way. And when breeding domestic dogs, it's up to the breeder to act the role of "nature" and weed out teh weak and preserve the strong. They must leave their "hearts/emotions" out of the selection process of their breed stock, and instead consider each dog based upon what that specific dog/bitch brings to the table. Are they worthy of breeding, or should they be culled from the gene pool by sterilzation.

The one genetic fault that simply "comes with" the breed because it is a white coated/skinned dog, is deafness. For this reason, all breeders should test for deafness, and avoid breeding unilateral or bilaterally deaf dogs. Realizing that even with full hearing parents, there is a chance of deafness showing up in their offspring. But the statistics gathered by specialists in the area of canine deafness, have shown that the incidence of deafness in the offspring of a dog that is unilaterally or bi laterally deaf is a great deal higher.

Dogos generally enjoy working and pleasing their owners. Most Dogos have a very steady temperament and seem to adjust themselves quickly to different situations. In working with Dogos in obedience, you must always keep in mind that the Dogo is a hunting dog . Like other hunting dogs, you are constantly working to keep their attention and senses on you and not the exciting smells around them.

It took fifty years of the breed creators lives to create the big game hunter that we know today as the Dogo Argentino. Breeders today should take a close look at this kind of devotion. It is the duty of all Dogo Argentino breeders to keep this in mind, do not turn this breed into "just a pretty white dog," with no purpose or function.

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