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Great Dane of Argentina

Argentine Dog
Other names: argentine mastiff

The Great Dane of Argentina is a real gentleman with a number of advantages. Among them are nobility, courage and an unquenchable thirst for life.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Great Dane of Argentina
  • Country of Origin: Argentina
  • The time of the birth of the breed: 1928
  • Weight: males 40-45 kg, females 40-43 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): males 60-68 cm, females 60-65 cm
  • Life expectancy: 10-18 years


  • From the first day of its existence, the breed was used for hunting large game.
  • The impressive dimensions of the animals contrast with their good-natured and affectionate nature.
  • The Great Dane of Argentina is very stubborn and dominant, so it is not suitable for inexperienced dog breeders.
  • Copes well with the duties of a watchman and bodyguard.
  • Representatives of the breed get along wonderfully with children, but still you should not leave this cheerful company unattended.
  • It is not recommended to keep the Great Dane together with other animals, especially with cats and decorative rodents.
  • Dogs do not require careful care, but still it should be permanent.

Great Dane of Argentina is the main national treasure of the country, since it is officially recognized as the only breed bred on the territory of Argentina. This snow-white aristocrat is distinguished by a strong physique, which, coupled with excellent professional qualities, makes the breed universal for service and rescue and search operations. At the same time, the Great Dane of Argentina will also become a faithful companion, taking an active part in the life of the owner and pleasing him with well-learned commands.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Above Average ( Rating 4/5)
Activity ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Training ?
Difficult ( Rating 2/5)
Molt ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Need for care ?
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Friendliness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Health ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Expensive ( Rating 5/5)
Attitude to Loneliness ?
Moderate time ( Rating 3/5)
Intelligence ?
Standard ( Rating 3/5)
Noise ?
Almost inaudible ( Rating 1/5)
Security qualities ?
Excellent ( Rating 5/5)
*Characteristics of the Great Dane breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of dog owners.

History of the Argentine Great Dane breed

Despite the fact that the breed is quite young and has existed for about a hundred years, its history began long before that, namely from the XVI century – the stage of the Spanish Conquest. Along with the desperate desire to seize the lands of the New World, the army "armed itself" with huge ferocious dogs, which kept the local population in fear because of their indomitable temper and rare bloodlust. Basically, these animals represented a now–defunct breed - the Cordova fighting dog. However, among the imported there were also more peaceful Alan-Spanish bulldogs, which are common in their homeland to this day.

Great Dane of Argentina

It is worth noting that in those troubled times, fighting pits were popular, in which dogs fought to the last drop of blood. The center of this business was the city of Cordoba. Wanting to acquire new specimens that would be distinguished by extreme ferocity and endurance, the Spaniards crossed bull terriers and alano. This union gave birth to the Cordova fighting dog, which later became a legend of bloodthirsty carnage, since in most cases it snatched victory from the opponent with its teeth (and often literally). The breed practically did not participate in the mating, since even dogs of different sexes showed hostility towards each other.

In the XVIII century, an economic crisis reigned in the British Isles, and the state was forced to conduct active foreign trade. Among its partners was Argentina, which at that time had already changed the status of a Spanish colony to an independent confederation. Along with the goods, fighting dogs also got to the lands of Foggy Albion: staffbuli, bull terriers and the cordovskie mentioned above. Unfortunately, the latter did not take root on the territory of Europe. Over time, the fighting dogs of Cordoba disappeared altogether, but before that they managed to make a significant contribution to the creation of a new breed. It became the Great Dane of Argentina.

Dogo argentino (the second name of the dog) is the triumph of Antonio and Augustine Martinez, the sons of a wealthy landowner. Avid hunters used the Cordova dog as an assistant – an extremely ferocious and bloodthirsty creature. At the same time, the young men could count on participating in the baiting of a maximum of two animals: because of the pugnacious nature, the fighting dogs of Cordoba did not want to gather in a pack and work in a team. The realization of this fact was the first bell that foreshadowed the appearance of the Great Dane of Argentina.

Argentine Great Dane Puppy

Work on the creation of the breed began in 1925, when Antonio barely crossed the threshold of adulthood. The Martinez brothers set themselves a seemingly impossible task – to bring out a dog with outstanding physical characteristics, excellent flair and an attractive exterior. At the same time, she must have a balanced character, which does not imply aggression towards humans and other dogs.

Wanting to create a solid foundation for a new breed, Antonio and Augustine purchased ten Cordova bitches – not as embittered as males – and began to knit them with dogs in which they saw the desired qualities: speed, hunting instincts, height and sense of smell. Worthy breeds for binding steel german and the Great Dane of Bordeaux, the English pointer, the Irish wolfhound and the great Pyrenean dog. It is worth noting that long before the positive result of his cynological experiment, Antonio formulated the first breed standard based on his own vision.

The brothers received tremendous support from their father, who hired people to take care of the dogs while his sons were away from home. In addition, friends also showed interest in the new breed, who often fed the animals and made a voluntary financial contribution. Everyone wanted to get a representative of a new hunting breed that would be able to work in the company of their relatives and not show them excessive ferocity.

For thirty years, Antonio and Augustine have been polishing the exterior of the Argentine. At the same time, two branches of the breed were formed: Araucana (from crossing with the Great Dane of Bordeaux) and guarani (offspring from the Irish wolfhound). However, the prototype of the modern Argentine Great Dane was a hybrid of two lines, so that in their pure form they have not reached our days.

Great Dane of Argentina with cropped ears

The death of Antonio Martinez on a hunt in the middle of the XX century brought chaos to the breeding of the breed. Most breeders began to cross dogs uncontrollably, which pretty much spoiled the geno- and phenotype of the Argentino. Only Augustine managed to return the process of dog breeding to its former course. By the way, he was also involved in the popularization of the breed. Martinez Jr. worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and presented the ambassadors with an unusual but very valuable gift – Great Dane puppies. The man believed that this kind of presentation is one of the most effective ways to glorify dogs all over the world.

And so it happened: already in May 1964, the breed was officially registered by representatives of the Argentine Cynological Federation. Nine years later, the Argentine Great Dane breed standard was recognized by the international organization FCI. At the same time, the breed has gained popularity in European countries – mostly thanks to Otto Schimf. The Austrian dog handler was fascinated by the proud posture of the dogs and played an important role in their spread across European territory.

To date, the Great Dane of Argentina is the only officially registered breed of the "Silver Country". Its representatives combine the best qualities of their ancestors: courage, hunting instincts, flair, strength, size – and all this is in harmony with the playfulness and good-natured nature of the animals. However, the latter features are still questionable in some countries of the world. For example, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom prohibit the breeding of Great Dane Argentines, since this breed is considered one of the most dangerous in the world. This is not so: dogs do not show ferocity towards humans and do not take part in dog fights due to the lack of aggression towards their tailed relatives.

Video: Great Dane of Argentina

Appearance of the Great Dane of Argentina

Great Dane and donkey

Argentine Great Danes belong to large breeds. These animals are built very proportionally and are distinguished by a densely built physique. The musculature has clear contours that are noticeable even under the dog's skin.

According to the FCI standard, males should reach a height of about 62-68 cm. Other parameters have been determined for the Great Dane bitches – 60-65 cm . If we talk about the dog's body weight, it varies between 40-55 kg.

Head and skull

The powerful and strong head of the animal is distinguished by the almost complete absence of subcutaneous fat, which is "compensated" by the predominance of muscles and bones. There are no sharp corners and deep depressions. The intersection of the muzzle and forehead lines is noted. The massive skull appears convex due to the developed muscles of the jaws and neck. The zygomatic arches are displaced from its apex, thereby forming a small depression in the temples. The central and occipital parts of the skull are poorly defined.


The muzzle of the Great Dane of Argentina is distinguished by seasoned proportions: its length does not exceed the height by much. The transition from the forehead to the nose is slightly pronounced, while the muzzle itself narrows slightly towards the end. A slightly curved upper line is a distinctive feature of all representatives of the breed. The nose of the Great Dane is raised and gives the muzzle a slight bend. It has wide-open nostrils and black pigmentation. The last sign is also possessed by the dog's lips – short, moderately fleshy, with free edges.

The muzzle of the Great Dane of Argentina


The appearance of the Great Dane's ears depends on whether they are docked or not. The only common feature is a high fit. Cropped ears have the shape of a triangle, and their length is not more than half the length of uncooped (flat, wide, having rounded ends). At the same time, the latter may rise slightly when the Great Dane is angry or worried about something. Both cupped and uncooped ears are located wide enough apart from each other.


Dogs at the exhibition

Almond-shaped eyes have nutty or dark pigmentation. A black eyelid outline is desirable, but its absence is not regarded as a defect. The eyes are set wide apart from each other and set very deeply.

Jaws and teeth

The jaws of the Great Dane of Argentina are located relative to each other so that they form a scissor bite, but a straight bite is also possible. Even and large teeth with uniform arches firmly "sit" in the gums. The breed standard provides for a complete dental formula.


The thick neck of the Great Dane is characterized by a pronounced nape and lack of suspension. There are folds on the throat.


Has a rectangular format. A muscular broad back turns into a developed croup, the width of which coincides with the width of the chest. The latter provides a significant respiratory volume due to its size and structure. The stomach does not sag.


Great Dane from the back

The long tail of the Great Dane of Argentina has a saber-shaped shape, wide enough. Together with the upper body line, it forms an acute angle of 45 degrees. During walking and walking, the dog keeps the tail at the level of the back or slightly higher.


Are distinguished by a developed musculoskeletal system. The shoulders are distinguished by a moderate relief of musculature. The elbows of the animal are tightly pressed against the ribs and turned to the back. The vertically positioned forearms turn into long wrists, and those, in turn, into flat pasterns. Round paws have crowded powerful fingers.

Hind limbs

Their slight inclination, strength and muscularity determine a good push of the dog and a characteristic gait. Strong hips are connected to the joints at an angle of 100 degrees. They are not much longer than the muscular shins of the animal. The metatarsal bones have an oval shape and are located at right angles. The hind legs are not as big as the front ones, but the toes are assembled in a similar way. It is worth noting that the dewclaws are removed in most cases.

Manner of movement

Every step of the Great Dane of Argentina demonstrates confidence and agility. It is quite measured, but becomes more sweeping when the dog moves to a trot. The gallop perfectly emphasizes the natural strength of the animal. Balanced, harmonious, sustained – this is how you can describe the movements of a Great Dane.

Wool cover

The length of the guard hair does not exceed 2 cm. The density of the coat is determined by the climatic conditions in which the dog lives. In southern specimens, the skin can be seen through the wool cover, while northern representatives of the breed are happy owners of thick wool, often with an undercoat.


The Argentine Great Dane is characterized by a white color. A black spot near the animal's eyes or ear is acceptable, but a pure color without points is still more preferred.

Great Dane of Argentina with a black spot and pure white

Possible vices

Breed defects include:

  • non-standard gait;
  • weakened pigmentation of the eyes and nose;
  • heterogeneous skin color;
  • unstable nervous system;
  • keel- or barrel chest;
  • incomplete dental formula;
  • weak muscle system;
  • eversion or inversion of the eyelids;
  • flattened ribs;
  • long shins;
  • brylastost.

Any deviation from the breed standard is regarded as its defect.

If we talk about disqualifying vices, among them the Argentinean Great Dane are most often found:

  • the presence of points in atypical places for the standard;
  • aggressive or cowardly behavior;
  • uneven jaw development;
  • excessively long guard hair;
  • no pigmentation of the nose;
  • blue eye pigmentation;
  • heterochromia;
  • cryptorchidism;
  • deafness.

Photo of an adult Great Dane

Character of the Great Dane of Argentina

This breed is a vivid illustration of the saying that appearance can be deceptive. Of course, the Great Dane of Argentina gives the impression of a ferocious killing machine. Powerful jaws with sharp teeth, a superbly built body, impressive dimensions and a formidable appearance clearly do not contribute to friendship with the "Argentine". However, in fact, this is an affectionate animal that dotes on the owner and his family. Choosing a representative of this breed, you automatically become a friend and companion of a restrained aristocrat who never barks for no reason and will be able to behave with dignity in any society – even human, even canine.

The Great Dane of Argentina is demanding only in one thing – in special attention to his person. These dogs can't imagine communicating with the owner without physical contact, so be prepared for the fact that this snow-white big guy will sooner or later settle on your lap, quietly grumbling, and soon will fall asleep, dreaming about a juicy steak. If this behavior of the pet is unacceptable, it is worth thinking about another breed. Otherwise, you will make not only yourself unhappy, but also an innocent dog.

Great Dane of Argentina with a child
Great Dane of Argentina playing with a ball

Behind the tenderness and affection of the Argentine Great Dane lies his independent and somewhat dominant character. These animals are not the best option for novice dog breeders. Dogo Argentino is also not suitable for those people who prefer to spend their free time in front of the TV or with their favorite book in their hands. The Great Dane of Argentina needs regular physical activity to keep fit, as well as to improve its hunting and sporting capabilities. Forget what it's like to bask in a warm bed until noon. With the advent of the "Argentine", your usual routine will go into a steep turn and give a lot of new impressions from communicating with the animal.

Contrary to the misconception, the attitude of the Argentine Great Dane to strangers is very patient, although cautiously skeptical. However, with proper upbringing and socialization of the animal, it will quickly thaw in response to affectionate scratching behind the ear. Despite this, the Argentine Great Danes are excellent watchmen who, in case of illegal entry into the territory entrusted to them, will raise a loud bark. It is worth noting that these dogs prefer to scare the uninvited guest first and rush to attack only in case of extreme need.

Bitch and Great Dane's cable

Representatives of this breed are often used as bodyguards because of their amazing attachment to the owner. The Great Dane of Argentina will defend the people dear to him without the slightest hesitation – even if the opponent is several times larger. In the history of the breed, there have been cases when dogs fearlessly engaged in battle with ferocious predators and often emerged victorious from it.

Argentine Great Danes get along well with children. Your child will not find a friend more loyal and more fun! However, be careful: during the game, the dog does not assess the limit of his strength and may accidentally push the child. This rule also applies to the puppies of the Great Dane of Argentina, which, along with adult animals, are large in size.

As for the cohabitation of the Great Dane with other pets, this is extremely undesirable. Do not forget about the developed hunting instincts of this breed! If the Great Dane of Argentina can get along with dogs, then in the case of cats the situation will take an unexpected turn. The exception will be the animals with which Dogo Argentino grew up, but this does not apply to some dogs. Decorative rodents and winged animals should not be in the same territory with the dog.

Representatives of this breed are very unpretentious. They do not need soft feather beds and expensive harnesses. Do you want to see your pet happy? Give him the opportunity to stretch his paws! The Great Dane of Argentina is content with both a short run and a walk to the other end of the city. If you like to run in the morning, the dog will make a pleasant company. Leave your pet bored at home – and then your apartment will be in trouble: the Great Dane of Argentina will decide to throw out energy, and it is unlikely that you will like it.

This is love
And this is a very strong love

Education and training

Representatives of this breed have all the necessary qualities for successful and fruitful training. The Great Dane of Argentina has a flexible intelligence and ingenuity, which allows the animal to solve various tasks – from fishing a ball out of a laundry basket to opening unlocked room doors. Like any dog breed with an independent and dominant character, the Great Dane needs proper upbringing and correct socialization. Be patient properly and be prepared for the fact that you may need help from more professional dog breeders.

When resorting to self-training, remember: your primary task is to emphasize your leadership. If the team is successful, praise the dog and encourage her with her favorite treat. Be sure to follow the main rule: do not raise your hand to your pet! Such training will not bring positive results, and the animal will get angry at you and become withdrawn. Love and affection are the keys that will open the doors to the heart of the Great Dane of Argentina.

Care and maintenance

The Great Dane of Argentina needs minimal but constant care, the lion's share of which falls on the snow-white coat of the dog. It is combed no more than twice a week with a rubberized glove or brush. During the molting period – in autumn and spring – the procedure is repeated daily. Careful combing removes dead hair and, in addition, pleases the dog with a pleasant massage. It is worth noting that the Great Dane of Argentina is not the most suitable breed for squeamish and excessively clean people: the dog sheds profusely, so you will have to regularly clean clothes and furniture from wool. Think about another breed if you are allergic: white "needles" in all corners of the apartment will become a weighty reason to burst out with a loud "Ahhhh!".

It is highly not recommended to arrange a bath day for your pet weekly: once a month is enough. To do this, use soft shampoos, preferably for dogs of light colors. Ensure the complete absence of drafts in your apartment after bathing the Great Dane. Otherwise, the animal may catch a cold.

Despite the fact that the dog's ears are docked for up to three months, they also need your attention. Once a week, soak the auricles with a cotton pad soaked in warm water.

Important: sulfur and a pungent smell should be absent, and the ears should maintain a healthy pink hue.

The animal's eyes need attention no less. Do not forget to carefully wash them with chamomile tea, using a small piece of soft, lint-free cloth. Discharge, noticeable redness, swollen eyelids and excessive tearfulness are a reason to consult a veterinarian.

To shorten the claws, purchase a special device for large breeds of dogs and a nail file that will help smooth out sharp edges and notches. The procedure is repeated once a week. After a walk, it is recommended to carefully examine the paws of the pet. Have you noticed the appearance of cracks on the pads? Rub vegetable oil into their surface and give it to the dog in the amount of one teaspoon per day.

Keep going...

Last on the list, but by no means least important, are the teeth of an animal. They need to be thoroughly cleaned with a special paste twice a week. Use a finger attachment or a brush.

Note: to prevent the appearance of tartar, it is recommended to include solid food and fresh tomatoes in the dog's diet. This will help to maintain the health of the animal's oral cavity.

Your pet's nutrition should be balanced and correct from the puppy age. Keep in mind that Argentinian babies have an enviable appetite and can rapidly gain weight if you indulge his plaintive looks and squeals. In general, it should be guided by the fact that the volume of absorbed food should not exceed the mark of 7% of the total weight of the puppy. At the same time, after six months, it is recommended to switch to two meals a day instead of feeding the pet four times a day.

Focus on one of two possible types of food: natural or ready-made high-quality feed. It is strictly forbidden to mix both options if you do not want your dog to get problems with the gastrointestinal tract.

Ready-made food should include cereals and vegetables. The absence of chicken meat is preferable for the reason that it is allergic to most breeds. Natural food should be served fresh. Usually it is based on boiled offal and lean meat, as well as low-fat "milk". The Argentine Great Dane can also be given boiled sea fish without bones. Depending on the season, include vegetables and fruits in your dog's diet.

The Great Dane of Argentina should not eat the following foods:

The Great Dane of Argentina is resting
  • river fish in any form;
  • baking with yeast;
  • grapes and nuts;
  • smoked products;
  • tubular bones;
  • fatty meat;
  • sweets;
  • legumes.

It is recommended to feed the Great Dane from the stand: this way the animal will retain its proud posture. There should always be fresh water in one of the bowls. Please note that a portion is eaten by a dog in a maximum of twenty minutes. If there is too much food, postpone it until the next feeding.

Great Dane of Argentina in the fog

Health and diseases of the Great Dane of Argentina

Representatives of this breed favorably differ in good health (especially in comparison with dogs of similar sizes). Most often, Argentine Great Dane suffer only from deafness – partial or complete. In the second case, dogs are put to sleep, because it is impossible to predict and take control of their behavior.

Other common diseases of the Great Dane include:

  • lack of thyroid hormones;
  • skin diseases;
  • joint dysplasia;
  • glaucoma;
  • allergy.

How to choose a puppy

If you want to get a healthy pet, it is best to buy a baby from a breeder who can provide you with a passport and documents on the animal's compliance with the breed standard.

Great Dane puppy with mom

It is preferable to wean the puppy from the mother at one and a half months. When getting to know a toddler, pay attention to the conditions in which he is kept. The place should be dry, sunny enough and ventilated, but without drafts. Your future pet is the kid who has a healthy appetite, activity and a desire to get involved in another fun game. An isolated and cowardly puppy is an unsuccessful purchase.

Special attention should be paid to the appearance of the animal. The coat of the Great Dane of Argentina should be shiny, the nose moist, the ears clean. Guided by the results of these simple observations, you will be able to choose the healthiest and most affectionate puppy who will become the most devoted friend.

Photos of Great Dane puppies

How much is an Argentine Great Dane

The breed cannot be called expensive: a puppy with a pedigree will cost the future owner $300. Copies that do not meet the standard or have disqualifying features are much cheaper. But is happiness really in the price? After all, the main thing is that you will find a faithful life partner for many years!

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