Is a Dogo Argentino a Pitbull? The Answers You Need

The Dogo Argentino is a different breed from any Pitbull-type dog. Though they may look similar in appearance, the Dogo is considerably larger in build and challenging when it comes to temperament. They’re not as friendly as the Pitbull, despite the other having a worldwide bad rep.

With their resemblance to each other, it’s no surprise why the Dogo Argentino is mistaken for a Pitbull. They have an imposing look, large, broad heads, and powerful bodies. This, unfortunately, results in stereotypes and unnecessary fear toward them. 

For the sake of not labeling one dog for another, this article is packed with details on why the Dogo is not considered a Pitbull-type dog, plus ways how to differentiate them from each other.

What Type of Dog Is a Dogo Argentino?

The Dogo Argentino is a Mastiff developed in Argentina. They have the old-world Mastiff-type dog running in their veins which explains why they’re naturally massive and muscular in appearance. 

Their impressive size is shared by other Mastiff-type dogs such as the English Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux, and the Neapolitan Mastiff. 

Dogo Argentinos are also a bully breed. They share the title along with other dogs, such as the:

  • Pug.
  • Boxer.
  • Rottweiler.
  • Cane Corso.
  • Great Dane.
  • Bull Terrier. 
  • Bull Mastiff.
  • Neapolitan Mastiff.
  • Olde English Bulldogge.  
  • American Pit Bull Terrier.
  • American Staffordshire Terrier.

The Bully breeds were originally bred with other animals in order to create dogs that can help protect the livestock, guard properties, and help with farmwork and other daily tasks. 

Unfortunately, a few of them end up getting bred for the wrong reasons. Some dogs, the Dogo Argentino included, were used to fight with other canines in the ring for entertainment. Thankfully, this was outlawed, turning the fate of these dogs into something more ideal and pleasant.

How to Differentiate a Pitbull From a Dogo Argentino

It’s certainly not easy to determine which one is a Dogo Argentino and which one is a Pitbull-type dog, especially if you know little about them. To avoid mislabeling either dogs, here are their differences in appearance, history, and temperament:

Physical Characteristics

Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino is a large dog breed with a height that’s 24 to 26.5 inches and a weight ranging from 80 to 100 pounds. Males are genetically more enormous than their female counterparts, plus they take longer to reach their full size.

One distinct characteristic of this dog breed is that they only come in white. Pigmentation may appear, but it shouldn’t look too prominent in a mature coat. There can be a black patch in one of their eyes, but the size of it shouldn’t cover at least 10% of their entire head. 

Meanwhile, the tail is set medium-high, and it tapers. It’s not a practice for this breed to be docked, especially since it’s unnecessary if they’re not working dogs. They may be cropped to alter their ears’ shape and make them look more threatening, but this is frowned upon by many.


Pitbulls are medium-sized dogs that are easily identifiable if they come in different colors except for white. Their usual natural coat shades are:

  • Red.
  • Tan.
  • Blue.
  • Gray.
  • Fawn.
  • Liver.
  • Lilac. 
  • Black.
  • Brown. 
  • Fawn sable.
  • Red brindle.
  • Blue brindle.
  • Black brindle.

Luckily for you, white coats are rare in Pitbull-type dogs. Also, they have massive skulls and broad heads, with solid, robust bodies. They have very small, almond-shaped, or round eyes that are striking, and they come in hazel, green, and dark brown.

They’re more noted for their wide muzzle and broad chests, which adds up to their intimidating looks. This is even more the case for their cropped ears. The aesthetic look makes them appear more alert, unpredictable, and sinister. 


Dogo Argentino

Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez developed the Dogo Argentino. This took place around the 1920s. He wanted an excellent big game hunter, and so he bred the Fighting Dog of Cordoba with other dog breeds, which include:

  • Boxer.
  • Mastiff.
  • Pointer.
  • Great Dane. 
  • Bull Terrier.
  • Irish Wolfhound. 
  • Dogue de Bordeaux. 
  • The Great Pyrenees. 

The selective breeding he did prove successful as out came the Dogo Argentino. Shortly after, he crafted the breed standards, and this paved the way for numerous kennel clubs to add the Dogo to their official list of dog breeds.

Due to the dog’s loyalty, strength, and even temperament, the Dogo often plays the role of being a companion, a guardian, and a hunter. 


It’s often claimed that all Pitbull-type dogs descended from the Bull and the Terrier. They were originally from the United Kingdom and were later on imported to the United States, specifically in North America during the 1870s.

In the past, dogfights were the commoners’ favorite pastime. They would pit the dog against a bear or any other dangerous animal inside an arena, and the spectators would watch with entertainment as the dogs pester the other animal.

This horrendous activity was put to an end eventually. When the banning took place, several breeders these days were attempting to rebrand the image of these Pitbull-type dogs. Unfortunately, their strong association with dogfights has prompted clubs and organizations to turn down their proposals.


Dogo Argentino

It’s honestly challenging to own a Dogo Argentino. They’re strong-willed; hence they require a leader to keep their behavior in check. They have so many positive and negative potentials, so raising them properly is a must, so they won’t become a liability.

Known to many is that the breed has a dual personality. They’re sweet and affectionate toward their loved ones, but they are also willing to take down anyone who threatens the safety of the family. Simply put, they’re loving and fierce, but they shouldn’t be hostile or unpredictable.


Pitbulls are misunderstood dogs. What many people don’t know, though, is that they’re one of the sweetest, most affectionate dogs there is. They make great family pets provided their owners know what they need and how they act.

Mostly, the reason why there are so many Pitbull attacks is due to incompatibility or bad ownership. However, when they’re raised right, the Pitbull will exhibit a pleasing personality that’s not threatening to anyone. 

On another note, sometimes, the reason why people are scared of approaching any Pitbull-type dogs is due to the fact that they don’t know how the dog was raised. It’s better to remain cautious and not try to pet a dog that you don’t find familiar with. 

Are Dogo Argentinos and Pitbulls Related?

Dogo Argentinos and Pitbulls are not directly related to each other despite them bearing the hallmarks of one another. The Dogo is a Mastiff breed, while the Pitbull descends from the mentioned Bull and Terrier. 

However, if you look deeper into their roots, you’ll find out that both the Dogo and the Pitbull have Ancient Greece’s Molossus dogs as their ancestors. These old dogs were mainly used to protect the flock, defend properties, and even join wars.

To be specific, the Dogo Argentino comes from the line of Molossus dogs, while the Pitbull is on the line of the Bulldogs. Both Mastiffs and the Bulldogs have the Molossus dog’s DNA running through them.